UNITED KINGDOM – The United Kingdom will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. The British entry for the 2017 contest in Kiev, Ukraine will be selected via the national final Eurovision: You Decide, organised by the British broadcaster BBC. Six acts will compete in the national final and the winner will be selected through a public vote and the votes of a professional jury panel. As a member of the “Big 5”, the United Kingdom will automatically qualify to compete in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.
On 6 October 2016, BBC announced an open submission for interested artists to submit their songs in the form of a video recording. The submission period lasted until 1 November 2016. The BBC invited the UK branch of the international OGAE fan club to assist in shortlisting the open entries and also revived its partnership with the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) who ran a songwriting competition amongst its members. The BBC also consulted with music industry experts including writers, producers, artist managers and members of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Former music director of RCA Records and founder of Innocent Records, Hugh Goldsmith, acted as music consultant to the BBC. Songs from all entry methods were included in a final shortlist which was presented to a professional panel, who ultimately selected six finalists to compete in the national final. The six competing songs premiered during The Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2 on 23 January 2017.
Six acts will compete in the televised final on 27 January 2017. In addition to their performances, musical guest performers will also feature in the show. A panel of three experts will provide feedback regarding the songs during the show. A combination of the votes from the public and the votes from a professional jury panel, distinct from the panel of experts who will provide feedback during the show, will select the winner. The members of the expert panel who will provide feedback regarding the songs will be: Bruno Tonioli – choreographer, dancer and television personality, Sophie Ellis-Bextor – singer and songwriter, CeCe Sammy – vocal and performance coach and television personality
Norway’s Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak was revealed as the first guest performer on 16 December 2016 and will perform his winning song “Fairytale”. Pop rock band The Vamps were also revealed as guest performers on 20 January 2017 and will perform their latest single “All Night” during the show.