Rita Ora auditioning for Your Country Needs You

Could Rita have won Eurovision for us?!

Rita Ora is a worldwide superstar, with freshly-vacated seats on both The Voice and X Factor judging panel and over 5.6million Twitter followers. But Miss Ora wasn’t always a global icon, and this video proves it.

In a clip from the BBC show Eurovision: Your Country Needs You, Rita pulls out all the stops to try and represent the UK in the singing competition, way back in 2009. Singing in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rita belted out Oleta Adams’ Get Here with that voice, saying “It was scary, but hopefully I can blow them away, so we’ll see how it goes”.

Rita was actually offered the chance to take to the Eurovision stage, but decided to ditch the show. She later said “Right from the start I was, like, “What am I doing here?” I did my song and walked out. No-one knew what to do. They started looking for me, calling my agent. Imagine if I’d stayed! It would probably have been all over for me. At best, I’d be a contestant on that diving show, Splash!”.

Rita Ora auditioning for Your Country Needs You

Ouch, is that a dig at Sugababe Jade Ewen, who went on to take fifth place at Eurovision in Rita’s place? Well, it can’t be coincidence that Jade did indeed take part in Splash… She wasn’t too pleased with Rita’s comments, Tweeting “Easy to mock when you are enjoying success. Eurovision and Splash? Proud of both. Some manage to sleep their way to success some have morals”. Awkward. 

Rita, then 18, looks a lot different to how we’re used to seeing her – this is no custom  Moschino. Instead, she’s working a Fred Perry polo and gold hoops (the uniform of teenage girls in the Amy Winehouse generation). Now? It’s leather shorts and geometric hairstyles. You can see Rita Ora’s style transformation in full here.