EUROVISION: YOUR DECISION 2008
"I will give it 100%"
The then twenty-three-year-old Rob McVeigh hit our screens in 2007 as one of the final twelve Josephs in BBC TV's Any Dream Will Do. "Rob the Builder", as he became known, had no idea then that he was about to be launched into a full-time career as a singer – let alone be up for representing the United Kingdom in Eurovision.
Rob's interview was the first ever on this site at the time when he was one of the six contestants in Eurovision: Your Decision 2008. His song - the Paul Barry composition I Owe It All To You - was a big ballad that he hoped would show his vulnerable side by being in major contrast to the rock songs he sang in Any Dream Will Do. Rob believed that recent entries had lacked passion – something his had plenty of - for the song, his country and his love of performing.
Rob took time out on the eve of the contest to answer some questions.
songs4europe.com: Did the BBC approach you for Eurovision: Your Decision or did you approach them, how did it all come about?
Rob McVeigh: "The BBC approached me and I was delighted to be asked. It is a marvellous opportunity for me."
Have you been in touch with your fellow Any Dream Will Do contestants? What do they think of you entering Eurovision - Your Decision?
"Yes, I have been in touch with most of them, and they are all behind me and keeping their fingers crossed that I win!"
Have you heard any of the other entries from Eurovision - Your Decision, who do you consider to be your biggest competition?
"I consider them all to be competition in their own way, because there is such a different blend of music this year to choose from."
Initially you are facing 'Maria' contestant Simona Armstrong. How confident are you of getting through this first stage? What do you think of the 'elimination' format?
"It all depends on the performance on the night and if the panel decide they need a ballad to go through to face the public vote. Regarding the elimination process I think it is a good idea for the public, but nerve wracking for me as a contestant."
If someone had told you a year ago that you would be in the running to represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision. What would have been your reaction?
"I would have LAUGHED!"
Did you ever think you would have got as far as you did in Any Dream Will Do, prior to auditioning?
"Never in a million years"rob01
Would you still like to play Joseph at some time in the West End?
"No, I think that there are a lot of other exciting things happening which I am looking forward to doing more, including this."
Do you think that contest, live Saturday night television was good preparation for Eurovision - Your Decision?
"Yes most definitely."
"I just want to perform to be honest."
What do your friends and family think of you entering yet another competition that relies on a phone in vote? Are they fed up of phoning up to vote for you?!!
"They think I am a glutton for punishment, but of course they are happy to carry on voting".
Have you watched the Eurovision Song Contest in the past, and any favourite songs?
"Yes, Celine Dion with Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi."
How would you describe your own musical tastes? Any favourite artists?
"I love swing, so Michael Buble."
If you win on Saturday night, how seriously are you going to approach the contest, given that one of the acts you may be up against is a puppet from Ireland? Is it important to win the contest, or more important to give a good performance, regardless of result?
"I will approach it in a very positive fashion, and will give it 100%, as it is a great honour to represent your country at something you enjoy doing."
In recent years the United Kingdom hasn't done very well at the Eurovision, many blaming political voting. Are you worried that you may end up at the wrong end of the scoreboard, and that many United Kingdom entrants have disappeared into relative obscurity? In other words how much of a risk to your career do you think entering the contest is, or do you think it can only be a positive experience?
"I think it will enchance my career, as people will see I am in this business long term. I agree that it has been political, but feel that we, as a country, have not sent the right song for the last few years and need to change that."
If you don't win this Saturday night. What are your plans for the future? Would you release the song as a single anyway and any plans to do more songs or album, and further collaboration with Paul Barry?
"I am open to offers! Of course I would love to release the song as a single, and would love to work with Paul Barry again. He has done some great work with Enrique, and I would love to be part of that collaboration."
I realise its maybe too early to say yet...but would you consider entering Eurovision - Your Decision again in the future? Or is this a strictly one off experience, regardless of result?
"I would never say never!!"
Finally on behalf of everyone at songs4europe.com I'd like to wish you the very best of luck on Saturday night..and who knows maybe see you in Belgrade? Any message for the visitors to the site?
"Thank you. It is all about making the right, right choice this year. It is Eurovision: Your Decision, so decide right and choose the song you like the best...which will hopefully be mine!"
songs4europe.com would like to thank Rob for taking time out his busy schedule to do this interview.
Rob McVeigh at Eurovision: Your Decision 2008