The Head of Delegation for the United Kingdom at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) – Lee Smithurst gave further details about the BBC regarding the 2022 JESC participation including the staging about their entrant ”Lose My Head” performed by 13 year old Freya Skye.
Looking back to look to the future
Speaking to the The Eurotrip Podcast, feeling retrospective about events in Turin, Lee says he felt a lot of personal responsibility as a Eurovision fan while waiting for the Eurovision results to come in. He then went on to say he wants new fans to have the feeling that “the UK is always a contender”.
Riding the wave of positivity
After Sam came second with ”Space Man” in Turin, there was a wave of positivity regarding the UK and Eurovision, a wave that Rachel Ashdown wanted to ride into a UK JESC return and a BBC debut in Yerevan.
Furthermore while searching for an artist for JESC, Lee says he wanted to do something “really modern” and “build on the success of Sam”. He adds that he wanted an artist who “could be a pop star like Zara Larsson or Mabel or Becky Hill”.
Speaking about Freya, Lee touched on the fact that she already has performing credentials due to going to a performing arts school and going and performing at Disney World. He also stated that due to her 45,000 instagram following and 18,000 followers on TikTok shows that she knows how to create content and connecting to an audience. Lee then went on to hint that Freya will have a ”big TV performance” before heading off to Yerevan.
Seeing the value of the contest
The songwriters Jack Hawitt, Amber Van Day and Deepend, saw the value of entering the song to JESC, this is despite the fact that the song was not written for Freya or the Junior Eurovision. It was always Lee’s “personal favourite” alongside the UK’s delegation from the tracks shortlisted, and that it was “perfect for Freya”.
The value is also shared within the wider BBC too as Lee stated that the BBC’s involvement with the contest is not short term and is long term. Also he stated that there are plans for a ”televised final and audition shows” presumably on CBBC.
A successful formula
Lee went on to say that the behind the scenes and on stage team for Freya will be the same team that was behind Sam in Turin. This includes the vocal coach Annabelle Williams and stage designer Dan Shipton who did Sam’s staging and Lucie Jones’ famous mirror shard. Speaking about the staging he stated that the pitch for the idea of the staging will be pitched to Eurovision bosses ”next week”.
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