Doncaster singer Raya misses out in UK Eurovision bid
Doncaster singer Raya has missed out in her bid to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in a live TV spectacular tonight.
She was beaten to top spot and a place in Lisbon by singer-songwriter SuRie who triumphed with her number Storm.
The winner was crowned through a 50-50 combination of public votes and votes from music industry professionals.
Backed by a troupe of male dancers and sporting a black trouser suit, Raya, whose real name is Rachel Clark, opened the show to rapturous applause from the flag-waving audience in the BBC2 show live from Brighton Dome, where Abba triumphed with Waterloo in 1974.
She was one of six acts bidding to reach this year's final in Lisbon, Portugal to represent the UK.
In an introductory video, the former Doncaster Rovers' Vikette and one-time Hungerhill School pupil, described herself as a "short, northern firecracker with a heart of gold."
The 27-year-old, who comes from Barnby Dun said: "I'm going to smash it and give it what for."
Her upbeat dance song Crazy, about love infatuation, was described by host Mel Giedroyc as "a cracking start" and was delivered with some energetic dance routines and light shows.
A celebrity judging panel gave their verdicts after her performance, which was cheered on by mum Joan and friend Fauve, who were in the audience.
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McFly star Tom Fletcher said: "This is a perfect example of how a live performance makes a song. I thought you really smashed it."
Saturdays singer Rochelle Humes told her: "Incredible. Fair play - you were first up with all that energy. A great job."
Presenter Rylan Clark Neal said: "Honestly babe, your voice was great. It's a really catchy song. What a way to open the show. Loved it."
Ahead of the show, she said she wanted her performance to be the ultimate tribute to her dad Andy who died last year from cancer at the age of 62.
She said: "My dad was my biggest fan and of course it's sad that he's not here for the biggest thing I've ever done. I hope he'll be looking down on me and I hope I can do him proud.
Raya, who has lived and worked in London as a singer, dancer and DJ for several years, has performed all over the world, provided backing vocals for Hurts, danced for Little Mix and has appeared in ITV drama Mr Selfridge.
This year's final will be screened live on BBC1 on May 12.
the winner crowned through a combination of public votes and music industry professionals -