UK girl group to star at Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2023

Sunday: Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (BBC2, 3pm)
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Earlier this year, the UK came down with Eurovision fever as Liverpool played host to the Song Contest in the place of 2022 winners, Ukraine.

Admittedly, our entrant, Mae Muller, failed to replicate the success of Sam Ryder the year before, but for many viewers it was a reminder of just how much fun the competition can be.

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So, the good news for anyone who feels like they just can’t wait for next year’s extravaganza in Sweden, Malmo, is that we’ve got the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2023 to tide us over.

UK girl band, STAND UNIQU3UK girl band, STAND UNIQU3
UK girl band, STAND UNIQU3

This version, which is for talented performers aged between nine and 14, began in 2003, when the UK got off to a strong start – Tom Morley finished third with My Song for the World. We went one better the following year when Cory Spedding became the runner up performing The Best is Yet to Come.

However, after the 2005 contest, when we were represented by Joni Fuller, the UK took a long break from the contest, only re-entering it last year when Freya Skye finished a respectable fifth with Lose My Head.

France took the gold, so this year the Contest is coming from Nice – and girl group STAND UNIQU3 will be flying the flag for the UK.

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The trio includes 12-year-old Hayla from Liverpool, who has Eurovision in her blood – her granddad was a backing dancer for the 1987 UK entry. Her biggest musical inspiration is Rihanna, but she’s also a keen footballer.

Thirteen-year-old Maisie from Essex loves to sing and dance, but her other hobbies include clay pigeon shooting with her grandfather, while 12-year-old Yazmin already has some performance experience as a keen Latin and ballroom dancer.

The girls are excited about the contest, but they’re not underestimating the other countries. STAND UNIQU3 told CBBC’s Newsround: “I think we have a good chance. We have good competition, though.

“We’re not just proud of ourselves, we’re proud of every contestant so far, because it takes guts to do something like this. Even if we don’t come out on top, we’ll still be proud of ourselves and everyone else who has entered the competition.”

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The trio have been getting plenty of TV and radio experience under their belts over the past few weeks. The three singers found out they had been chosen to represent the UK when they were surprised by BBC Radio 1’s Dean McCullough. Their song Back To Life, which was penned by songwriters Sky Adams, Jakke Erixson and Jack Hawitt (who have written for artists such as Jason Derulo, Lauren Spencer Smith, Kylie Minogue and Ava Max), was then revealed on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.

STAND UNIQU3 were then interviewed by Scott Mills, and have gone on to perform on Blue Peter, Saturday Mash-Up, Strictly – It Takes Two and BBC Children in Need. So, hopefully they won’t be feeling too nervous as they take to the stage this afternoon.

Olivier Minne and Laury Thilleman are the presenters, and Lauren Layfield and HRVY are the UK commentators.

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