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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 May, 2004, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Eurovision dilemma for Balsamo
Steve Balsamo
Steve Balsamo has co-written French entry A Chaque Pas
Swansea-born musician Steve Balsamo has a foot in two camps at Eurovision.

The former West End star counts fellow Welshman James Fox, who is representing the Uk, as a good friend - but he has co-written the French entry.

Balsamo has been enjoying the build-up in Turkey all week and having sized-up the competition believes both the UK and France are genuine contenders.

He had been working with up and coming French singer Jonatan Cerrada on the 18-year-old's first album since Christmas.

I knew James Fox before coming out here. Fingers crossed he gets in the top five and of course I hope France will be there as well
Steve Balsamo

The ballad Cerrada will perform, A Chaque Pas (Every Step), was not originally intended for Eurovision.

But Balsamo, who found fame as the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, is enjoying being involved.

"It's the craziest thing - It's quite camp to say the least, and the place is full of lots of very excited people getting very drunk," he said.

"But it's just great - we have brought a mini-studio along so we are writing a few things while we are here."

Cerrada was a finalist in the French version of Pop Idol last year and Balsamo was drafted in to help write new material for his album, even though his French is limited.

Jonatan Cerrada
Balsamo is tipping France's Jonatan Cerrada for great things

"He's a young guy but a really great singer and speaks Spanish.

"I think the market is there for him and if the Latin American market opens up he could be huge.

"I love France - I've got a lot of friends in the south.

"One of my little dreams is to have a small place down by Toulouse because I love that area - there is something very spiritual about it."

After Jemini returned home with no points last year Balsamo believes the Brits are taking it a bit more seriously than usual.

"I knew James Fox before coming out here. Fingers crossed he gets in the top five and of course I hope France will be there as well.

"I think Norway have got a good chance. The Greek song is very kitsch but the guy who sings it is very good and that could do well. The Serbian song is a beautiful song and very classily sung.

"I should be running book - if I had to pick one I'd say Greece from the crowd's reaction."

When the curtains come down in Istanbul Balsamo will be returning to Wales where he has got together with some friends to form a band.

"We've written about 35 songs but we can't settle on name yet.

"It's very exciting and we are putting together an album.

"I still love the performing side of it but the thing that has really sparked a fire in me in the last year or two is the writing.

"I'm hoping to write something with James Fox while we're out here."

Fox flies UK's Eurovision flag
13 May 04  |  Entertainment


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