The British jury for Eurojury 2020 is formed of seventeen members, consisting of Dene Michael, John Matthews, Daz Sampson, Jake Shakeshaft, Michael Rice, Jai Ramage, Ana Matronic, Paul Potts, Jenny Ryan, Rob King, Paul Chuckle, Michael Chakraverty, Katrina, Lee Proud, The Fizz, Sam and the Womp and Matthew Ashton.
Each voting nation is represented by a jury consisting of past Eurovision, Junior Eurovision, national final participants and special guests. Each juror is asked to form a ranking of their favourite competing songs which is combined with the other jurors in their country.
Dene Michael is a singer who in 1986 joined the popular band Black Lace. Prior to Dene being added to the group, Black Lace represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1979 where the came 7th with their song “Mary Ann”. They then went onto release their most famous record “Agadoo” just before Dene joined, he however is often known by the name Mr. Agadoo.
As a solo artist, more recently Dene Michael auditioned for the fourth series of The Voice UK where sadly he didn’t get anyone to choose him for their team. He had previously lived and worked as a performer in Benidorm for 15 years with his new band “The Dene Michael Show”. He now has moved back to the UK in pursuit of more success as a solo artist.
More information can be found through his Twitter page.
John Matthews, perhaps better known by his stage name Ricardo Autobahn is a musician and songwriter as well as producer. He is credited as one of the co-writers of “Teenage Life” which went on to represent the United Kingdom in 2006 performed by Daz Sampson. The song managed to come in 19th place at the contest.
Prior to his involvement at Eurovision he originally was in the group Cuban Boys who in 1999 had a hit with the song “Cognoscenti vs. Intelligentsia” that managed to get to #4 in the UK charts. He is also still a member of the group Spray and was previously in a duo with Daz Sampson called Rikki & Daz.
Originally from Stockport, Daz Sampson started his career as a mobile DJ. He then went on to join the group Bus Stop in 1998 who had a hit with their remix of “Kung Fu Fighting”. Within the group, Daz released 4 singles and 2 albums which had chart success in 24 countries, until 2002 when they split. Later on he was involved in other groups Rikki & Daz, Fraud Squad, Filo Bedo, Blown Out, Barndance Boys and Uniting Nations.
Daz represented the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens, Greece. Eventually his song “Teenage Life” finished in 19th place. Daz had actually won over £8,000 through betting on himself to win the selection show “Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up”.
In 2019 Daz Sampson returned to the Eurovision brand when he attempted to represent Belarus with fellow British singer Nona and the song “Kinky Boots”. Sadly the song did not make it past the auditions stage. Daz has also recently been working on an autobiography.
Jake Shakeshaft, originally from Newcastle-under-Lyme, was first seen on TV back in 2015 when he appeared on the fourth series of The Voice UK. After successfully getting three chairs to turn in his blind audition, Jake chose will.i.am as his mentor. Eventually he made it to the third round.
While on the show, Jake met fellow singer Joe Woolford on Rita Ora’s team and the pair decided to form a duo called “Joe and Jake”. Together Joe and Jake managed to win “Eurovision: You Decide” when the BBC decided to return to a national final for the first time in 5 years and thus represented the UK in 2016 with the song “You’re Not Alone”. The song eventually came in 24th place.
Jake has been playing guitar since 2012 and one year later began performing solo gigs. Prior to The Voice and Eurovision, Jake made it to final of “NUA Entertainment Next Big Thing” back in 2014, held at The Cavern in Liverpool.
Michael Rice is a singer from Hartlepool. At the age of just 17, Michael auditioned for The X Factor where he made it to the bootcamp stage of the competition. Four years later, Michael appeared on the first series of the BBC show “All Together Now”. With the aim of the show being to get as many of the 100-strong panel of music performers and experts to stand and sing along, Michael made history as the first person in the show to manage to get a perfect score when he performed “Proud Mary” in the first round.
Michael eventually went on to win the competition, and thus earning a cash prize of £50,000. The following year Michael was chosen to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Bigger Than Us” after winning Eurovision: You Decide. In Tel Aviv sadly he came in last place, however he has continued to release music. In most recent weeks, he released his latest single “Think of Me”.
Jai Ramage is a renowned vocal coach based in the UK. Her credentials include being a regular vocal coach on The Voice UK as well as the spin-off The Voice Kids as well as coaching several pop artists and musical theatre performers ahead of new shows and albums.
In addition to vocal coaching, as a member of the British Voice Association she is also the manager of two artists, solo artist Flo Gallop and new indie band Coral Palms.
In 2019, Jai was appointed as one of the five members of the British jury at the Eurovision Song Contest. During her role as a jury member, Jai awarded North Macedonia’s song “Proud” by Tamara Todevska with her highest score in both the semi final and final. North Macedonia went on to score the UK jury’s 12 points in both events and even managed to win the jury votes of both of these events overall.
Ana Matronic, from Portland, Oregon in the United States is best known as a member of the hugely popular band Scissor Sisters. As lead female vocalist for the band, they had several singles that went on to global success. These songs include “Filthy/Gorgeous”, “Take Your Mama” and the song “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'” which went to number 1 in six countries including the UK. The group have also released four albums.
Especially as a radio DJ, away from Scissor Sisters, Ana has found success over in the UK. She is a regular host for shows on BBC Radio 2. including hosting her show “Dance Devotion” on Saturday nights. Back in 2013, Ana was one of the commentators for the UK during the semi finals at the Eurovision Song Contest. She worked alongside Scott Mills in the role on BBC Three when Sweden hosted the contest. The following year Ana took on the role of providing radio commentary for the contest through the new pop-up station “BBC Radio 2 Eurovision”.
In addition to her career in the music industry, Ana is patron of Chrysalis, a UK based charity that supports transgender people.
Paul Potts is a tenor who first rose to fame as the winner of the first ever series of Britain’s Got Talent back in 2007. His audition where he performed the song “Nessun dorma” sent him into international stardom almost instantly.
Since his win on the show, he performed at the Royal Variety Performance in front of Queen Elizabeth as part of his prize. Paul has since released seven albums classical albums.
In 2013, Paul Potts life story and rise to fame was adapted into the movie “One Chance” where he was played by James Corden. More recently, in 2019 Paul returned to the Got Talent franchise to participate in both the American and British version of the spin-off series “The Champions”. He even managed to qualify to the final of the American version of the show.
Jenny Ryan is best known among British audiences for appearing on popular quiz show “The Chase”. As an expert quizzer she participates in the show with her chaser nickname “The Vixen” where teams of four strangers compete to beat her knowledge in order to win money.
Alongside her extensive knowledge, Jenny is also a singer and has experience playing ukulele in the band Nanukes of the North. TV audiences were first introduced to her singing when she won celebrity show “Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief” alongside her colleagues from The Chase. They sang a medley from the movie Wizard of Oz and she played the role of Dorothy.
More recently, in late 2019 Jenny participated in “The X Factor: Celebrity”. Having originally been eliminated after the first round, due to popular demand she was reinstated into the live shows as a wildcard. During the live shows she sang both “Rise Like a Phoenix” and “Euphoria” of Eurovision winning fame. She went on to finish the competition in third place.
Manchester-based Rob King is a classically trained performer. His musical ability includes various styles including opera, swing, classical and pop. He has experience in television having appeared as one of the 100 judges in the BBC show “All Together Now” in 2018 and 2019.
Later in 2019, Rob made an appearance on another talent show as a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent. For his audition he performed “Rise Like a Phoenix” made famous by Conchita, the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. He ended up as a semi finalist in the competition where he sang “Memory” from the musical Cats.
Since appearing in Britain’s Got Talent, has worked on music through recording sessions organised by judge Simon Cowell. He also recently appeared in adult pantomime Sinderella alongside fellow All Together Now judge Divina de Campo.
Paul Chuckle is best known for his involvement as a comedian and children’s TV presenter as part of the comedy double act “The Chuckle Brothers” with his late brother Barry. The pair known for their parody and slapstick humour were best known for their children’s show “ChuckleVision” which ran from 1987-2009. They were well known for their catchphrases “oh dear, oh dear” and perhaps more so their phrase “to me… to you” which even inspired the title of an accompanying children’s gameshow in the late 90s, hosted by the brothers.
The Chuckle Brothers were last seen as hosts of the Channel 5 show “Chuckle Time” where they would react to funny videos sent into them by the public. Sadly Paul’s brother Barry took ill during the filming and passed away shortly afterwards.
Paul Chuckle continues to work in TV and comedy, being seen on several sketches with comedian Joe Lycett and also recently appearing on a celebrity edition of the game show “Tenable”.
Michael Chakraverty is most known to British audiences as a contestant on the Great British Bake Off in 2019. He finished the competition in 6th place, having received the coveted “Star Baker” position in week three of the competition.
In addition to his passion for baking, Scottish based Michael also has a whole host of other talents, with experience as both a theatre manager and fitness instructor.
Since appearing on the show, Michael, a self-confessed Eurovision fan has gained a whole host of fans on his social media platforms and has recently been seen on Instagram doing baking tutorials live with his fellow Bake Off contestants as well as other celebrities. He recently shared his love for one particular entry that should have appeared in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with his Twitter followers.
Originally from Kansas, Katrina Leskanich is best known as the lead singer of the popular British-American band “Katrina and The Waves”. The band were formed in 1981 and released 10 albums over a 16 year period. Their most successful song titled “Walking on Sunshine” was released in 1985 and charted well in both America and Britain.
Two years before the group disbanded, Katrina and the Waves represented the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 1997 with the song “Love Shine a Light”. The group managed to win the contest becoming the 5th win for the UK. Earning 227 points, they achieved the highest score ever seen at the contest at the time and retained this record for seven years.
After the group split up in 1999, Katrina went on to pursue a solo career, most recently releasing “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love”, her first Christmas song in 2018. She also co-hosted the special “Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest” back in 2005 in Copenhagen where she announced that Waterloo by ABBA was voted the best ever Eurovision song.
Lee Proud is a British born dancer and choreographer. He has experience choreographing several shows in both the UK and in Iceland. He had previously been named as one of the UK’s Top 10 Musical Theatre Choreographers by The Stage. Later in 2017, Lee won the award for Best Choreographer at the International Achievement Recognition Awards for his work in RENT the Musical.
His other choreographed credits in the UK and across Europe include his work on various productions of musicals such as Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot and Ghost The Musical.
Having previously choreographed and directed the Icelandic production of The Rocky Horror Show in Reykjavik, in 2019 Lee was appointed by Icelandic broadcaster RUV as the Artistic Director for Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The Fizz are a band formed of members Cheryl Baker, Jay Aston and Mike Nolan. The group is a spin off of original group Bucks Fizz, with which all three current members of The Fizz were previously a part of. As Bucks Fizz, alongside fellow band member Bobby G, they won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981 with their song “Making Your Mind Up”. This was the United Kingdom’s fourth win at the competition.
The Fizz were formed in 2004, originally titled “The Original Bucks Fizz”, this was to differentiate between this band and the first band Bucks Fizz with which original member Bobby G had continued in with brand new members. When the brand finally rebranded to “The Fizz” in 2017 they released their album “The F-Z of Pop” which featured four singles. They followed this album up with two further releases, with “Christmas with the Fizz” released in 2018 and “Smoke and Mirrors” released in March this year.
Sam and the Womp
Sam and the Womp formed in 2009 and are a British-Dutch pop group. The group is currently formed of Sam Ritchie who is a trumpeteer and vocals provided by Dutch-born Bloem de Ligny. The group also used to feature Aaron Audio as production for the band however he left in 2014.
The band achieved their breakthrough hit in 2012 when their song “Bom Bom” reached number 1 on the UK singles charts. After selling over 1 million copies worldwide, the song went on to be certified Gold in the UK and 4x Platinum in Australia.
Since their song “Bom Bom”, Sam and the Womp have gone on to release 2 EPs in 2018 as well as seven further singles since 2013, with their most recent titled “Ice Cream Man” being released in 2018.
Self-confessed superfan of the Eurovision Song Contest, Matthew Ashton has been working for the toy company Lego for several years. Within the company he now undertakes the role of “Vice President of Design at the LEGO Group”.
Within his role at the company, Matthew went on to become the executive producer of “The LEGO Movie”, as well as the spin-off “The LEGO Batman Movie”. Matthew later became a well known face to viewers when he appeared as a judge on two series of LEGO Masters on Channel 4. He judged the show alongside Roma Agrawal in the first series and Fran Scott in the second.
The British Votes
As revealed previously, in alphabetical order, the top 10 countries selected by the British jury are:
- Iceland (Top 3)
- Malta (Top 3)
- The Netherlands
- San Marino
- Sweden (Top 3)
United Kingdom will feature automatically in the grand final of Eurojury 2020 on Friday the 1st of May as a member of the Big 5. United Kingdom were due to be represented in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 by James Newman with the song “My Last Breath”.
About Eurojury 2020
Eurojury will return in 2020 for the eighth broadcast of the most accurate simulation of Eurovision results. 180 Eurovision winners, past participants, national finalists and a handful of special guests are due to take part in this year’s edition, which will be broadcast live on Showcase, by Eurovoix on May 1st.
For the past two years, Eurojury has correctly identified the winner of Eurovision with both Netta and Duncan Laurence topping the overall leaderboard in Eurojury and the Eurovision Song Contest itself. Eurojury also correctly identified four out of the top five acts in the final in Tel Aviv.
For a fifth consecutive year, Rob Lilley will present the coverage. This will be the third time he has been the sole presenter following two editions with a co-host – 2016 with Karl William Lund and in 2019 with Alice Chapman.
Directing the show once again will be Samuel Deakin – he has conducted this role on every edition of Eurojury. Heading up the production will be James Rowe after he co-produced the broadcast in 2019.
We’re pleased that we have partnerships with multiple trusted Eurovision brands this year: Eurovision Hub, Aussievision, ESCXTRA, Eurovision Showcase and The Euro Trip. Each brand will be supporting Eurojury 2020 in the run-up to the three broadcasts on April April 27, April 29 and May 01.
Follow all the latest updates about this year’s broadcasts on eurovoix.com as well as on Twitter, @Eurovoix and @Eurojury2020.