In Review

Who is SuRie? All about this year’s UK Eurovision entry

Singer-songwriter has already appeared in two Eurovision Song Contests - but not for the UK

At this year’s Eurovision: You Decide, singer-songwriter SuRie was the surprise victor, beating out heavy favourite Asanda to become the UK’s entry in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon.

So who is SuRie, and can she beat the odds again in Saturday’s grand final?

Who is SuRie?

Susanna Marie Cork, now better known as SuRie, grew up in the Herefordshire market town of Bishop’s Stortford and started writing her own songs at the age of 12.

While Eurovision might carry a reputation of low-brow kitsch, SuRie has a highbrow musical pedigree. The 29-year-old is “a classically trained pianist and oboist, who studied at the Royal Academy of Music” and has held several residencies in London jazz clubs, says The Daily Telegraph.

That said, she’s no stranger to Eurovision: on the contrary, she has featured in the contest twice already. In 2015, she was a backing singer on Loic Nottet’s Belgian entry, Rhythm Inside, while last year she returned to Team Belgium as musical director for 2017 entry City Lights by Blanche. Both acts came fourth on the night.

Does she have a chance of winning?

On paper, not so much. Most bookmakers are offering odds between 100/1 and 200/1 on a UK win in Lisbon, far below the 2/1 odds on current favourite Cyprus.

If you’re a cock-eyed optimist, however, you can take heart from a less scientific sign that SuRie might win over audiences on the night in Lisbon.

According to Metro, the singer’s performance of the UK entry at the Eurovision Preview Party in Madrid achieved the coveted “Maria Effect”, the Eurovision insiders’ term for a performance that prompts such a raucous reaction that the singer can hardly be heard.

Video footage shows the audience at the event in Madrid singing along to every line, in front of a visibly moved SuRie, who broke off mid-way through to tell spectators: “You sound so good!”.

Named after 2008 Norwegian contestant Maria Haukass Storeng, provoking the Maria Effect at the pre-party is considered a good omen for the grand final.

“The same thing has happened to Mans Zelmerlow and Conchita Wurst, both of whom went on to win Eurovision,” Metro adds, hopefully.

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