With the news coming out today that Sophie Ellis-Bextor once rejected Eurovision, we thought it would be fun to look back at people who nearly appeared at the iconic song contest, but due to varying reasons, didn’t get the opportunity to do so.


Rejected by Antony Costa

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The Blue singer auditioned for Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up in 2006 after the band had broken up. Sadly, he was less successful on his own; he sang “It’s A Beautiful Thing” and lost out to Daz Sampson’s “Teenage Life“. Luckily for Antony, he would go on to perform at Eurovision with Blue five years later!


Rejected them – Gal Gadot

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Hold your horses, this one wasn’t to sing! The Wonder Woman actor was actually approached to host the 2019 ceremony which took place in Tel Aviv by IPBC, an Israeli national broadcaster. Her team issued a statement to the broadcaster saying she would be happy to host, but scheduling constraints and previous commitments would unfortunately not allow it.


Rejected by – Katie Price

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Katie competed to be the UK’s entry back in 2005 with her song “Not Just Anybody”. She won 29% of the vote, which was only 1% behind eventual winner Javine Hylton. Katie later claimed that the vote was fixed due to her being seven months pregnant at the time of her performance.


Rejected them – Rita Ora

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I bet you didn’t know that Rita signed up to sing for Great Britain back in 2009. Apparently, the selection committee that year – which included Andrew Lloyd Webber – were really impressed with her audition, but the singer decided to turn down the offer to take to the Eurostar stage. She later shared that she was glad she didn’t do the contest, saying that “If I’d stayed, it would probably have been all over for me.”


Rejected by – Kym Marsh

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The Coronation Street star auditioned with “Whisper to Me” in 2006 alongside the aforementioned Anthony Costa, but was also pipped to the post by Daz Sampson. On her attempt at entering Eurovision, Kym has said, “some people warned me it’s a bit cheesy and that it ended some people’s music careers, but I don’t have a music career at the moment, so I didn’t consider it a gamble.”


Rejected them – Steps

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Back in 2018, the iconic noughties act shared they were hesitant to represent the UK at Eurovision because we have such a terrible track record. Speaking to Fearne Cotton on Lorraine, members Claire Richards and Lisa Scott-Lee said that it was a “gamble”, and that losing the content was not something the band wanted to add to their legacy. I mean, fair, tbh.


Rejected by – Justin Hawkins / Beverlei Brown

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The frontman of The Darkness teamed up with Beverlei to perform “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like The Used To” at the 2007 competition to determine the UK’s entry. Despite being favourites to win, the pair lost out to Scooch’s “Flying the Flag”… Ah, what a golden era of Eurovision that was!


Rejected them – Sophie Ellis-Bextor

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The “Murder On The Dancefloor” hitmaker revealed recently that she was asked to be a judge back in 2019. Her aforementioned track was apparently the most played song throughout Europe in 2002, and Eurovision’s organisers felt this more than qualified Sophie to join the judging panel! She declined, stating that she couldn’t abide by the contest’s strict rules, which include no talking during the entire show.


Rejected by – Liz McClarnon

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The Atomic Kitten star auditioned in 2007 alongside Justin and Beverlei, and was therefore also was bested by Scooch. Liz sang “(Don’t It Make You) Happy”, a song she had written for her then-boyfriend Swansea striker Lee Trundle. About the song, she said ‘I wrote it about Lee. I was asked to come up with a song about what made me happy and I thought of him and being in love, new love, and the song just came along.”


Rejected them – Jason Donovan

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Back in 2012 and fresh off of his Strictly Come Dancing success, Australian born actor-singer Jason was informally asked if he would rep the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest. He rejected the offer, stating that he had felt “under a bit of a microscope” recently and he didn’t want to add the pressure of going to Eurovision to his life at that moment.


Rejected by – Bill Bailey

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Following the UK’s “nul points” score in 2021, fans called for comedian and musician Bill Bailey to represent the UK at Eurovision. He addressed the buzz by saying he had already enquired about it. Bill sent in a “kind of spoof eco anthem in the style of Dad’s Army,” which the BBC had called “too silly”. Frankly, I think that’s a real shame.


Rejected them – Bonnie Tyler

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The iconic Welsh singer was first asked by the BBC to represent the UK back in the ’80s, but she turned it down because she was doing so well at the time. “I was in America at the time where I was number one for four weeks so it wasn’t the right time”. Bonnie would go on to represent the UK in 2013, where she placed 19th out of 26 countries.


Rejected by – Samantha Fox

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The singer and former model attempted to become the UK’s representative with the song “Go For The Heart” in 1995. She submitted the song incognito – partially because she thought people had a problem with her public image. The song was picked for the 8-song shortlist, but ultimately lost out to “Love City Groove” by Love City Groove.


Rejected them – Jony

Instagram: @jony.me

The Azerbaijan-born star has apparently been asked two or three times to represent both his native country and Russia – where he grew up – at Eurovision, but has declined every time because it wasn’t the right “fit”. The singer is signed to Atlantic Records Russia, and won the Russian version of The Masked Singer last year, making a lasting impression on judges and viewers. Despite this, Jony has not yet been tempted to enter the contest for either Azerbaijan or Russia.


Rejected by – Michelle Gayle


The singer, theatre actor, and Eastenders star lost out to X-Factor runner-up Andy Abraham back 2008. She performed “Woo (U Make Me)” in the 2008 Eurovision: Your Decision competition.


Rejected them – Damian McGinty

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The Glee star has apparently been asked to represent Ireland four or five times, but has rejected every single offer. Citing that it has never felt like the right time to do it, Damian has said it he would consider the offer if the right song came along and he stood a chance of winning – “if I got a song and thought ‘this is a hit’, then it would definitely be a consideration.”


Rejected by – Armin Van Buuren

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Even though the Dutch DJ is a household name, Armin has proved that name recognition doesn’t necessarily guarantee you anything when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest. Teaming up with Jaap Reesema (Dutch X Factor winner), their song was rejected by public broadcaster AVROTROS to be The Netherlands’ entry this year. Sometimes being a star isn’t quite enough – just ask Flo Rida!


Rejected them – Mika

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The “Grace Kelly” singer has appeared as a judge on X Factor Italia and The Voice France, but allegedly turned down the offer to represent the UK four times. He will, however, be co-hosting the contest this year, and performing alongside co-host Laura Pausini at the second semi-finals on Thursday.

Did any of these people surprise you? Are you excited for Eurovision 2022? Let us know in the comments!

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