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Friday, 25 January, 2002, 20:02 GMT
Pop Idol Jessica's new fame bid
Pop Idol viewers voted off Jessica at Christmas
Pop Idol viewers voted off Jessica at Christmas
A former Pop Idol contestant from south Wales has been given a second chance of fame - this time in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Jessica Garlick has been picked to sing one of the final eight songs bidding to become the UK's entry this year.

Ms Garlick, 20, from Kidwelly, west Wales, was kicked off ITV1's Pop Idol just before Christmas.

Among her challengers for a place in the Eurovision final in Estonia are news reporter Jonathan Maitland and Heartbeat actress Tricia Penrose.

Ms Garlick, who is already a professional singer, said it was always a dream of hers to sing at the Eurovision.

Jonathan Maitland was shocked by short-list
Jonathan Maitland was shocked by short-list
She said: "I watch the Eurovision Song Contest every year and I have always dreamed of taking part, so fingers crossed my dream might now come true."

She will sing Come Back, which is written by Martin Bayley and produced by the team behind Atomic Kitten's number one song Whole Again.

Ms Garlick shot to fame on the talent-spotting show. Pop Idol, when she gained 12.4% of the vote for her rendition of the Madonna hit Crazy For You.

Speaking about her Eurovision opportunity, she added: "It has all happened so quickly, I got the phone call on Monday and recorded the song on Wednesday."

Pop return

Former Brookside actress Ms Penrose is also making a second stab at pop fame.

The actress, who now plays barmaid Gina in Heartbeat, released a version of The Supremes' song Where Did Our Love Go, in 1998.

The 31-year-old will be singing a track called DJ Romeo.

For Mr Maitland, his short-listing came as a complete shock.

The ITV journalist, who works on Tonight with Trevor McDonald, recorded the song, called I Give In, for his new book, How to Make a Million From a Pop Band.

Mr Maitland, 40, is a guitarist with Surf 'n' Turf, a "wedding and bar mitzvah band" with his brother Peter and singer Jackie Collins.

Terry Wogan will play the semi-finalists on his show
Terry Wogan will play the semi-finalists on his show
The trio are said to have recorded the track in a makeshift studio attached to a friend's outdoor lavatory.

The song will now be judged by BBC Radio 2 listeners when all eight semi-finalists are played on the Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce shows between 28 and 31 January.

The four chosen songs will then go to another public vote on a BBC TV programme on 3 March - from which the UK entry will emerge.

The winning song will represent the UK on 25 May 2002 in Tallinn, Estonia.

The UK will be hoping on a substantial improvement in its Eurovision fortunes, having come 15th in the 2001 contest - after finishing 16th in 2000.

See also:

23 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Jessica voted off Pop Idol
23 May 01 | Music
Estonia's Eurovision worry
13 May 01 | Reviews
Another year, another Eurovision
09 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Breaking the Eurovision mould
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