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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May, 2005, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Javine goes east for Eurovision
By Michael Osborn
BBC News entertainment reporter

Javine
I know I'm going to be in the top 10
Javine Hylton

Singer Javine Hylton faces the onerous task of restoring the UK's pride at the 50th Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev.

The country's solid reputation as a five-times winner has been eroded after a run of dismal results, blamed on political voting rather than lacklustre entries.

The 23-year-old Londoner will attempt to make an impact with Touch My Fire, an uptempo song with the exotic feel of the Middle East, and shades of Turkey's 2003 winner.

"I did have it in mind a little bit. I definitely wanted that ethnic vibe. We did some reggae tracks, but this one stood out from the rest," she says.

'Top ten'

"I wanted it to be international so other people could get it too," adds the singer, aware that voters from every corner of Europe decide who wins Eurovision.

But Javine will not be the only entrant mixing western sounds with eastern influences - Albania, Cyprus and Greece are also pinning their hopes on the ethnic-pop ticket.

Greek singer Helena Paparizou
Greece's Helena Paparizou is one of Javine's rivals

"I've heard the Greek song. It's a good track - not as good as mine, though! I can't see myself coming last. I know I'm going to be in the top ten," she says.

"It would be a bonus to win, but it's going to be an experience. It's a singing competition which shouldn't be taken that seriously," adds the performer.

'Visual performance'

Eurovision is not only about singing and the music - many past winners have added an eye-catching visual element to their stage performance, such as the skirt-ripping routine of Bucks Fizz in 1981.

"Although the songs may be good, it is all about what they do on that stage to carry the whole performance off," says Javine.

"I'll have dancers who are great - and will be singing too. And it's going to be a visual performance, because everyone else will be doing that. We'll have to pull it out of the bag," she adds.

Javine
It's a singing competition which shouldn't be taken that seriously
Javine Hylton

The singer is unfazed about performing second in the final, which is less likely to produce a Eurovision winner.

"I'm quite glad to be going on early. I'll be able to sit back and enjoy the rest of the show.

"Everyone will be settling down to tune into Eurovision at the beginning - they'll start drifting off at the halfway point," she says. "It's hard to sit through all those songs.

"My performance is more likely to be seen. I'm not going to let it get me down.

"I'll just stay focussed on what I'm doing and not worry about anyone else. I'm also going to enjoy myself and party," says Javine.

As for the "curse of Eurovision" - which leads singers to sink without trace after they have performed at the contest - Javine is not worried.

"If people like what they see, they like it. If they don't - you know what? I've got other things to be getting on with!"

The Eurovision Song Contest semi-final on Thursday will be screened on BBC Three at 2000 BST.

The grand final on Saturday will be shown on BBC One at 2000 BST. Javine will be performing second.


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