Six Ex-Contestants Of The X Factor Compete To Be The UK’s National Selection For Eurovision 2017

Today, all six acts for the UK’s national selection to Eurovision were confirmed on BBC Radio 2 on The Ken Bruce Show. All six acts are ex-contestants of The X Factor, all of whom got to various stages in the UK talent show.

“Eurovision: You Decide” will take place on 27 January 2017 on BBC Two from 7.30pm to 9.00pm. It will be presented by Mel Giedroyc, who is the former presenter of The Great British Bake Off and can be currently seen presenting Let It Shine alongside Eurovision Grand Final commentator Graham Norton. She has also previously commentated at the Eurovision Semi-Finals alongside Scott Mills.

There will be a jury panel consisting of Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli, recording artist Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and vocal and performing coach CeCe Sammy. A combination of jury votes and televote will decide the winner of the show, who will then go on to represent the UK in Kyiv, Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

Interval acts will be Norway’s Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak, who will be performing his winning song “Fairytale”; as well as The Vamps, who will be performing their latest single “All Night”.

Who are the six contestants of “Eurovision: You Decide”?

Olivia Garcia – “Freedom Hearts”

Songwriters: Gabriel Alares, Sebastian Lestapier, Linnea Nelson, Laurell Barker

The song is an upbeat power vocal that Olivia Garcia totally nails throughout. Can you believe she’s only 16? The song is a progressive ballad that may have a chance if Olivia Garcia nails it on the night of the selection show.

She competed on The X Factor last year, making it all the way to the judges’ houses. At her audition, she sang Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of New York“; at the judges’ houses she sang Britney Spears’ “Sometimes“.

The songwriters are all Swedish, with Gabriel Alares known as a Eurovision songwriter. He wrote Agnete’s “Icebreaker” – Noway’s entrant in 2016; Lidia Isac’s “Falling Stars” – Moldova’s entrant in 2016; Polina Gagarina’s “A Million Voices” – Russia’s entrant in 2015; and Dina Garipova’s “What If” – Russia’s entrant in 2013.

Holly Brewer – “I Wish I Loved You More”

Songwriters: Kevin Fisher, Courtney Harrell, Laurell Barker, Mattias Frändå, Johan Åsgärde, Oliver Lundström

Taking us to church, Holly Brewer gives us a great ballad, although it feels like it might get overshadowed on the night. She’s got a brilliant vocal range that might make the live version of the song much more incredible.

She competed in The X Factor 2015, where she got four yeses during her audition. However, during the show, they slimmed down the hopefuls by sending some acts home before bootcamp even started. Holly Brewer was one of them. Elsewhere, she has supported Jess Glynne, and has sung at Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan’s wedding.

The songwriters are a mix of Americans, Canadians, and Swedes. One of which, Courtney Harrell, competed in the U.S. version of The Voice, season 11; where she was eliminated in the fourth live show, missing out on the top ten.

Lucie Jones – “Never Give Up On You”

Songwriters: The Treatment, Emmelie de Forest, Laurie Martin

Another progressive ballad, that Lucie Jones sings beautifully. It starts off sweet before becoming more powerful. However, the studio version doesn’t quite do it justice. We know how amazing Lucie Jones is on stage thanks to her performances on The X Factor and in various musicals and theatre productions; we’re more than sure she’ll bring it when singing this song on the stage.

She took part in The X Factor 2009, where she made it to the live shows; coming eighth overall. The sing-off with John & Edward, now known as Jedward, went to deadlock. Jedward was saved by the public vote and Lucie Jones was eliminated. Jedward represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 and 2012, with “Lipstick” and “Waterline” respectively. Lucie Jones went into theatre and acting, where she took roles in the West End production Les Misérables, CBBC show The Sarah Jane Adventures, the world tour of We Will Rock You, musical American Psycho, ITV’s Midsomer Murders, musical Like Me, and the UK tour of Rent.

As for the songwriters, this totally explains why Emmelie de Forest was in London recently. She won the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 with “Only Teardrops“.

Danyl Johnson – “Light Up The World”

Songwriters: Dan McAllister, Rick Blaskey, Greg Walker, Chris Sutherland, Ameerah Roelants

This is an upbeat song which may stand out compared to the other five songs entered for the UK national selection. However, we have to agree with the people on Twitter who have said that it feels dated. On the other hand, Danyl Johnson is a natural performer and he could make the song current when he’s singing it live on stage.

He, along with Lucie Jones, competed in The X Factor 2009. He did slightly better than his competitor, managing to get to the semi-final where he was eliminated; placing him fourth. He hasn’t done an awful lot since leaving The X Factor; mainly, he has been working as an ambassador of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

As for the songwriters, Rick Blaskey is a producer and has worked with previous UK Eurovision representative Jessica Garlick, as well as the late Cilla Black. Ameerah Roelants is a Belgium singer who sang on the Madcon 2010 hit “Freaky Like Me“; she was previously known as Astrid, but now goes mononymously as Ameerah.

Salena Mastroianni – “I Don’t Wanna Fight”

Songwriters: Daniel Mirza Salcedo, Nicole Blair, Marli Harwood

Another upbeat song that could stand out completely on the night if Salena Mastroianni performs it well on the stage. Although, this is only the studio recording; live it could be different. However, this one has a shot at doing quite well.

She competed in The X Factor 2012, where she got past the audition stage after singing “Lady Marmalade“. Since then. she released an EP in 2015 titled “Feeling Good” with some tracks being a collaboration with MC Neat.

The songwriters are fairly unknown, apart from Marli Harwood. She is a British singer-songwriter who is known as Marli Buck; who competed in Fame Academy in season one; coming eighth overall. She released an album in 2011 titled “Clocks and Full Stops”; and has written songs for Kygo and Sam Feldt.

Nate Simpson – “What Are We Made Of”

Songwriters: Jon Hällgren, Eric Lumiere, DWB

More of a soulful ballad, Nate Simpson totally empowers the song. Yet, much like the Danyl Johnson song, it feels dated. However, on the night, Nate Simpson could belt this out and impress us all. This song allows him to give it his all on Friday.

He competed in The X Factor last year, making it all the way to the judges’ houses; where he sang Ella Fitzgerald’s “Summertime“. It just wasn’t enough to put him through to the live shows. He sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” at his audition, impressing the judges.

The songwriters for this one are quite impressive. Jon Hällgren has written songs for VIXX, Girls Generation, and E-Girls; he was also a part of Swedish pop band Sonic Dream Collective. Eric Lumiere has featured on a few songs including “Anthem” by Flio & Peri, as well as “Falling Back” and “Run Away” by Cosmic Gate.

So that’s all six contestants; all of which have taken part in The X Factor over the years. “Eurovision: You Decide” will take place on 27 January 2017 on BBC Two.

What do you make of the six acts? Who do you want to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

26-year-old writer, blogger, author, and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. In the past, I have written for Fox & Squirrel Photography and the Daily Star. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni