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Sunday, 3 March, 2002, 17:21 GMT
Idol singer picked for Eurovision
Jessica Garlick
Garlick: Dreamed of Eurovision success
Former Pop Idol finalist Jessica Garlick has been selected to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in Estonia in May.

Garlick, 20, from Kidwelly, west Wales, was chosen from four finalists by a live public vote on BBC TV's Song For Europe on BBC One on Sunday.

Her song Come Back earned 67,798 telephone votes in 10 minutes.

She beat off competition from Heartbeat star Trisha Penrose, television journalist Jonathan Maitland and the group Level Best.

I got a text message from Will (Young) saying how delighted he was for me

Jessica Garlick

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

"It feels absolutely mad. I can't really describe it but my face is aching because I can't stop smiling," she said.

"I've always loved Eurovision and it's always been an ambition of mine to appear - now I can't believe it's going to happen."

She later revealed that Will Young had taken time out from celebrating his number one to send her a message congratulating her on her success.

"I got a text message from Will saying how delighted he was for me. He'd just found out he'd sold over 1.1 million records and said we were both winners," she said.


Her rendition of Come Back was written by Martin Bayley and produced by the team behind Atomic Kitten.

Surf 'n' Turf
Maitland - and group co-member - came fourth

Overall 100,000 people voted in the Song For Europe final. In second place, with 28, 621 votes, came Trisha Penrose singing DJ Romeo.

In third place, with 8,927 votes, came Level Best with Every Step Of The Way.

Last was Mr Maitland's group Surf 'n' Turf, for which he plays guitar, with I Give In.

If he won, the ITV journalist, who works on Tonight with Trevor McDonald, intended to make a behind-the-scenes documentary-style programme about the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Charlton Athletic fan appeared on the pitch at half-time during his side's London derby with Chelsea at The Valley on Saturday, promising to wear the Premiership team's shirt in the final if he won the vote.


Following Sunday's result, Garlick was being tipped by bookmakers as having an 8-1 chance to win Eurovision outright in Talinn, Estonia on 25 May.

"Following the massive interest in the recent Pop Idol show, punters are sure to follow Jessica's progress with interest and we expect this year's Eurovision to be the busiest ever in betting terms," predicted David Stevens, from bookmakers Coral.

Sestre represent Slovenia
Sestre: Representing Slovenia

She will compete against a range of other acts, including a group made up of three transvestites from Slovenia, called Sestre. They will be singing the song Samo ljubezen (Only Love).

Garlick was kicked off ITV1's Pop Idol just before Christmas.

But within a week she was given a second chance of fame as one of eight Eurovision contenders whose songs were broadcast on BBC Radio 2 from 28-31 January.

The UK will be hoping she can improve substantially on its Eurovision fortunes, having come 15th in the 2001 contest - after finishing 16th in 2000.

See also:

25 Jan 02 | Wales
Pop Idol Jessica's new fame bid
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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