Blue unveil 'anthemic' Eurovision track
Reunited quartet Blue have unveiled the "anthemic" track they will be taking to Eurovision this year, insisting taking part will not be "career suicide".
"We felt quite privileged to be asked," singer Duncan James told reporters on Thursday. "How many opportunities do you get to represent your country?"
Blue will perform the song, I Can, on Graham Norton's BBC One show on Friday.
This year's Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Dusseldorf, Germany on 14 May.
Band member Simon Webbe is adamant the track will not receive the dreaded "nul point".
"We don't see this as career suicide even if a lot of people will see it that way," he continued.
"It's a great way to show we are a live group and we are back after 10 years."
The UK has not won Eurovision since 1997 when Katrina and the Waves triumphed with Love Shine a Light.
Last year's hopeful, Josh Dubovie, finished in last place with That Sounds Good to Me, a song co-written by Mike Stock and Pete Waterman.
"People always say the UK aren't particularly liked in Europe and we don't get the points," said James.
"But they're trying to change the block voting so it becomes less political."
"Eurovision is about the music and bringing people together," added Webbe.
"People just want to have fun and I hope the politics doesn't get in the way."
But according to Lee Ryan, it is a "cop out" to blame the UK's mixed fortunes on anti-British prejudice.
"It's nothing to do with being English," he insisted. "It's because we haven't put a good song in for a long time."
If anything, I Can may be too credible a song for this annual jamboree.
It's an up-tempo, polished number with a catchy chorus, a thumping bassline and some funky sound effects.
The lyrics have a personal flavour, the boys comparing rain to "drops of pain" and declaring they are "not the first ones to be divided".
"I can untie these hands and get back up again," they declare triumphantly.
One line, though, might come back to haunt them on Eurovision night.
"I've never lost anything quite like this," sings Antony Costa in a wavering falsetto.
At a press event in central London on Thursday, reporters were played the track which the band will perform on a Graham Norton's chat show.
The "anthemic" song, said Ryan, was "a very powerful" composition that was "perfect" for the annual competition.
For fourth member Antony Costa, the chance to win the contest "and bring it back to Britain" would be "fantastic".
"It would be amazing, wouldn't it?" he added, exhorting members of the press to "get behind us and bring the crown home".
The 29-year-old - who was unsuccessful in his attempt to represent the UK as a solo artist in 2006 - said he was "a massive Eurovision fan" and had watched it since childhood.
"As long as we can go out there and give 110%, so all you guys can wake up on the 15th and go 'Blue did a good job', I'll be happy."
X Factor contestants Jedward and last year's winner Lena Mayer-Landrut are among other acts competing this year, representing Ireland and Germany respectively.
Israel's Dana International, who won Eurovision in 1998, is also making a return to the contest.
Graham Norton will commentate the BBC's coverage of the 2011 contest, to be broadcast live on BBC One.