Entertainment & Arts

Eurovision: UK entry Electro Velvet defend their song

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Media captionUK Eurovision entry revealed

The duo behind the UK's Eurovision entry have welcomed criticism of their song, Still in Love With You.

The Guardian called the track "nightmarish", while The Independent branded it "instantly forgettable".

But singer Alex Larke told the BBC: "I like the fact it divides opinion. It's better than everyone having apathy for it."

Bianca Nicholas, who shares the vocals, added: "There's a lot of ballads this year, so our song will stand out."

Larke described it as a "Marmite song", while Nicholas pointed out that "a party song" was "really fitting" as Eurovision celebrates its 60th anniversary.

The duo, who go by the name of Electro Velvet, did not exist before Eurovision, although Larke said he had been "looking to write some songs with Bianca".

The song was written by David Mindel, a jingle writer whose previous credits include the theme tunes for National Lottery Live and Jim'll Fix It.

It was chosen through an open selection process which saw hundreds of entries from both professional and amateur songwriters.

Image caption Katrina and the Waves were the last UK entry to win Eurovision in 1997

But it has met with mixed reactions.

One fan tweeted: "It's a fun song and it's very different to what we usually put in. We could be on to something here."

But more typical was the reaction of actor Mark Gattiss, who tweeted: "Just heard our Eurovision entry. Doomed again."

The president of the UK arm of the international Eurovision fan club, the Organisation Generale des Amateurs de l'Eurovision (OGAE), told BBC News on Sunday 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."

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.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Austria's Conchita Wurst won last year's Eurovision Song Contest

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Electro Velvet said they wanted to "bring it back home".

"We're ready to up our game for the actual performance," said Nicholas. "We're trying something new and seeing what happens.

"We're proud to be taking part and we hope to make the country proud as well."

Nicholas, from Kent, was a contestant on The Voice, although she failed to progress beyond the blind auditions.

Larke, from Hertfordshire, is a primary school teacher who also performs with a Rolling Stones tribute act.

Nicholas released a single in 2011, Hold On to Your Dreams, which sold enough copies to enter the top 100 singles chart.

She also 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.

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