Britain’s Eurovision flops that never made the final: From Katie Price to Sam Fox and even Rita Ora… the stars who tried and failed to represent UK in the international song contest
- One singer succeeded at landing the job, but pulled out over career concerns
- Blue’s Anthony Costa did represent the UK at Eurovision – but on his second try
The UK’s Eurovision entries have had mixed fortunes over the years, with successes from Bucks Fizz and Lulu fading to more disappointing results in recent contests – until Sam Ryder took second place in 2022.
Throughout its history, Eurovision has helped make or break careers in the music industry – but what many fans may not realise is the sheer number of celebrities that have tried, and failed, to become the UK’s next representative.
A-listers including Rita Ora, Katie Price and Michelle Gayle have all been in the running for the honour of the prized spot on one of the biggest stages in the world. But what happened?
Here MailOnline takes a look back at some of the most famous faces who have failed to come out victorious from the selection process – plus one who was, but pulled out over concern it would harm their career.
That’s right – pop legend Rita Ora once auditioned to represent the UK at Eurovision.
She applied in 2009, aged 18, with Get Here, a song by Oleta Adams. But despite being successful she later pulled out, citing concerns over her career if she performed.
Instead, Jade Ewen took to the stage with It’s My Time, finishing in an impressive fifth position with 173 points.
Although she has still not competed in the competition, Rita Ora did perform in the first of the semi-finals in Liverpool this week – to the surprise of most fans.
She performed parts of hits such as Ritual, I Will Never Let You and Anywhere, as well as her new single Praising You.
Rita Ora auditioned to represent the UK in 2009 at the age of 18 – but later pulled out
Although she has still not competed in the competition, Rita Ora did perform in the first of the semi-finals in Liverpool this week (pictured)
Her performance was a shock to most fans as she combined old favourites with her latest single Praising You
Katie Price made headlines for her attempt to perform at the contest after she sensationally claimed she was ‘stitched up’ as she auditioned to be the UK’s next Eurovision star in 2005.
The former page-three girl set out on establishing a pop career shortly after appearing on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
She gained 29 percent of the vote – but that was one percent less than the winner, Javine Hylton.
Hylton went on to perform Touch My Fire, finishing in 22nd place.
Katie Price has famously claimed she was ‘stitched up’ during the 2005 competition
She gained 29 percent of the vote – but that was one percent less than the winner, Javine Hylton
The Blue singer represented the UK at Eurovision alongside his bandmates in 2011, where their rendition of I Can earned them a respectable 11th place.
But this was not Costa’s first time to the Eurovision party.
In 2006 he competed in the UK’s contest to represent the nation on his own, with a song titled It’s A Beautiful Thing.
He ultimately lost out to Daz Sampson’s Teenage Life – which went on to earn 19th place with 25 points.
Anthony Costa may have represented the UK at Eurovision with band Blue
By the time Kym Marsh applied to be on Eurovision, she already had a well-established singing and acting career.
The Coronation Street star auditioned with Whisper to Me in 2006, the same year that Anthony Costa failed to make it as the UK’s representative.
Before Eurovision, Marsh had been a member of the band Hear’Say, formed out of ITV’s talent show Popstars.
Their 2001 debut single, Pure and Simple, shot straight to the top of the UK charts, as did their second.
But shortly after Marsh announced she was leaving the band to embark on a solo career, the group split up.
By the time Kym Marsh applied to be on Eurovision, she already had a well-established singing and acting career
The Coronation Street star auditioned with Whisper to Me in 2006
Singer-songwriter Michelle Gayle made her bid to represent the UK in Eurovision in 2008 with Woo (U Make Me).
She was already a successful soul and R&B singer in the 1990s at the time and had seven top 40 UK singles during her musical career.
Gayle has long been a professional actor too and made a name for herself after playing Hattie Tavernier in EastEnders from 1990 to 1993.
She also took to the West End in 1999, where she played Belle in a musical adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
From 2007 she has also appeared regularly on Loose Women.
Unfortunately for Gayle, she lost out to Andy Abrahams, who performed second in the running order to finish last for the second time in British history with 14 points.
Singer-songwriter Michelle Gayle made her bid to represent the UK in Eurovision in 2008
Michelle Gayle as Hattie Tavernier in Eastenders, a role she played from 1990 to 1993
The longest-serving member of Atomic Kitten, Liz McClarnon may seem a shoe-in at any contest to represent the UK at Eurovision.
But McClarnon’s 2007 bid with (Don’t It Make You) Happy failed and was not chosen by the public.
Although she was picked out for the band, which enjoyed three UK number one singes and two number one albums, while she was still in secondary school, this did not translate into a successful solo bid.
The winning act was Scoot with Flying The Flag (For You), which finished in 22nd place with 19 points.
The longest-serving member of Atomic Kitten, Liz McClarnon, made her bid in 2007
She was beaten by Scoot with Flying The Flag (For You), which finished in 22nd place with 19 points
Model-turned singer Samantha Fox auditioned for Eurovision in 1995 with band Sox.
She first came to public attention as a page three girl in The Sun, where she appeared regularly between 1983 and 1986.
But by the time of her audition she had already released four studio albums, had number one hits across the world with single Touch Me (I Want Your Body) and had even been nominated for Best British Female Artist in 1988 at the Brits.
The all-female band was beaten by Love City Groove, who performed a song of the same name. The group finished Eurovision in 10th place.
Model-turned-singer Samantha Fox applied to represent the UK in the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest
Her all-female band Sox was beaten by Love City Groove, who performed a song of the same name
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