Entertainment & Arts

Eurovision: UK Duo Electro Velvet earn mixed reaction

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Media captionUK Eurovision entry revealed

Reactions have been mixed for Electro Velvet, this year's UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Alex Larke, from Hertfordshire, who performs with a Rolling Stones tribute act, has teamed up with Bianca Nicholas from Kent.

Their song, Still in Love With You, is an up-tempo electric swing track.

The Guardian called the song "nightmarish" while on Twitter, Eurovision expert Paul Jordan admitted: "We've sent worse".

The Telegraph's Neil McCormick called the song "a Cole Porter-style 20s jazz pastiche, with strained faux witty lyrics that are clearly meant to represent a kind of old world British sophistication".

Image copyright @Robinwindsor
Image caption Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor gave a positive review

The president of the UK arm of the international Eurovision fan club, the Organisation Generale des Amateurs de l'Eurovision (OGAE) told BBC News he had "expected something more".

Paul Marks-Jones said reaction to the song had been "more negative than positive", adding, "I've now listened to it a few times but on the Euro stage you only get one chance and I don't know if its strong enough to woo the Eurovision voters".

Image copyright @SawbonesHex
Image caption The song's musical style has split fans

Last year, Molly Smitten-Downes came 17th for the UK with Children of the Universe. This year's contest is in Vienna on 23 May.

The UK has only been placed in the top 10 once since Jemini's infamous "nul points" in 2003. That was when Jade Ewan was fifth in 2009 with the Andrew Lloyd Webber written song It's My Time.

The last time it won was in 1997 when it was represented by Katrina and the Waves with Love Shine a Light.

Despite the lukewarm reaction to the new song, Mr Marks-Jones insisted the UK could still make an impact at the event:

"People just assume we won't win again but any country can win. This song will stand out a lot because there are a lot of ballads this year and they have something different. But I don't think this year will be the year that we win."

Voice contestant

Bianca Nicholas, of Beckenham, was a contestant on BBC's The Voice in 2013, although none of the judges swivelled their chair round in support of her performance, meaning she did not progress any further than the initial heats.

She released a single in 2011 - Hold on to Your Dreams - which sold enough copies to enter the top 100 singles chart.

She has the serious genetic condition cystic fibrosis, which affects the lungs, and has previously spoken about how singing has improved her breathing and lung function.

Image caption Electro Velvet is Bianca Nicholas and Alex Larke

Due to her affiliation with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, she has sung in front of Royal Family members at charity galas.

Larke, from Welwyn Garden City, has performed around the world with his Rolling Stones tribute act, and splits his time between performing and teaching in a primary school.

"I feel incredibly privileged and humbled to be representing the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, for this massively historic 60th anniversary event," he said.

Image caption Jemini were the last duo to represent the UK - with little success

"We have a fantastic song and will work as hard as is humanly possible to bring the contest home and make our great nation proud. It's time to get this party started! See you in Vienna!"

The song Electro Velvet will be performing was written by David Mindel and Adrian Bax White and chosen through an open selection process which saw hundreds of entries from both professional and amateur songwriters.

Austria's Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest last year, meaning it will be held in her home country.

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