The Voice's Joe and Jake to represent UK at Eurovision Song Contest
Published 27/02/2016 | 00:21
Former The Voice UK rivals Joe and Jake will represent the United Kingdom at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.
Screened on BBC Four, the pair won the battle for Britain, impressing a panel of judges and the public at home and will go on to compete in Sweden in May.
Having gone head to head in 2015, The Voice UK rejects Joe Woolford and Jake Shakeshaft teamed up to sing on behalf of the nation as Joe and Jake.
Singing You're Not Alone, the pair said their experience on The Voice helped them prepare and handle the pressure of being in the Eurovision.
On The Voice, Woolford was chosen to be part of will.i.am's team but lost out during the battle rounds. The 21 year old from Ruthin, Wales, has since gone on to support The Vamps on their 2015 tour.
Shakeshaft, 20, from Stoke-on-Trent, was on Rita Ora's team and eliminated in the knockout rounds.
The singers have never been to Stockholm, where the final will be filmed, and upon winning, said: "I hope we make you all proud."
Speaking after the show, they added: "That was insane. We worked so hard, we really want to represent the UK, we really want to win Eurovision.
Thanking the public, Shakeshaft said: "It feels even better knowing we were the public's choice, that's lovely.
"It means the world to us that everyone picked up the phones and voted for us."
Both boys commented on their backgrounds, with Woolford adding: "This doesn't happen where I'm from. It's a little place in Wales.
"We hit it off straight away on The Voice and we really did become good friends. It just made perfect sense to work as a duo."
They both said they wanted to speak to their parents and Woolford added that his mother "will probably criticise (him) a bit" which she does "all the time".
The pair refused to rule out a Bucks' Fizz-style "ripping their clothes off" but when asked about their stance on the EU, said nothing and Woolford booed. Shakeshaft admitted being a fan and holding Eurovision parties and the duo hoped others would have parties watching them this year.
But he promised they would not be partying in Sweden, saying: "The main thing is to focus on this. We have been given this opportunity, we don't want to mess this up, we really want to do this up so we will party once it is done. We will put everything into it."
The judges panel consisted of past contestant Carrie Grant, Jay Revell and Katrina Leskanich from Katrina and the Waves, who won the contest in 1997. She was the last UK winner singing Love Shine A Light and performing on air on Friday.
At the boys' performance, Katrina predicted their victory, saying "It's a winner", commenting on the catchy nature of the song, and adding: "These guys are really cute too."
Revell also said that "two lads having the time of their lives is exactly what we need".
Six acts competed in the Eurovision: You Decide episode, including Matthew James from 90s boy band Bad Boys Inc, who had a hit single with More To This World. The boys also beat buskers, Dulcima and Tom; Bianca Claxton whose song, Shine A Light was co-written by Leona Lewis; country girl-group Darline; and Liverpudlian Karl William Lund, who used to perform as John Lennon in a Beatles tribute band.
The show also paid tribute to Sir Terry Wogan as the "spirit" and "voice" of Eurovision, playing a retrospective of some of Sir Terry Wogan's best Eurovision moments.
The broadcaster, who died on January 31, was the BBC's Eurovision commentator from 1971 to 2008. The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Stockholm on May 14.