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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 20:58 GMT
Dance track wins Eurovision vote
MC Daz Sampson

Dance star Daz Sampson has been chosen as the UK's entry for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest after winning a live public vote on BBC One.

Sampson beat five other competitors in the Making Your Mind Up contest with the rap dance track Teenage Life.

The other hopefuls were ex-Blue star Antony Costa, male group Four Story, singer Goran Kay, female duo City Chix and former Hear'Say singer Kym Marsh.

Eurovision takes place in Athens on 18 and 20 May, featuring 38 countries.

Sampson has scored a number of dance hits with Blue Bus and Uniting Nations, whose song Out Of Touch made the top 10 in 2004 and was also a hit in many other European countries.

On being crowned the winner, Sampson said: "I knew the British public wouldn't let me down. It's time for a change, it's time to go out there and do something a little bit different and I hope that on 20 May you will all be behind me."

Kym Marsh and Antony Costa
Kym Marsh and Antony Costa were the big names in the contest

In his Eurovision entry, Sampson raps over a school choir type backing from a group of female singers. He co-wrote Teenage Life with his long-term collaborator John Matthews.

The UK is one of 14 countries to have an automatic place in the Eurovsion Song Contest final on 20 May. It will follow a semi-final on 18 May involving 24 countries.

The BBC initiated the Making Your Mind Up format in 2004 after the United Kingdom's entry Jemini finished last, with no points, at the 2003 contest.

Song For Europe was moved to a primetime slot on Saturday evening in a bid to bolster viewing figures.

Former Fame Academy contestant James Fox finished 16th in 2004, and last year's representative Javine Hylton came 22nd out of 24 finalists.

Since the Eurovision Song Contest started in 1956, the United Kingdom has won five times, the last victory being in 1997 with Love Shine A Light by Katrina and The Waves.

Ireland has won the contest a record seven times, but failed to qualify for the grand final at the 2005 event held in Kiev.

The United Kingdom has a direct berth to the final as one of the "Big Four" countries which make the biggest financial contributions to the event.

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