London, May 25 (Reuters): The British, so often dismissive of pop music from elsewhere in Europe, were left chastened and defeated today after scoring “nil points” in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever.
Pop duo Jemini failed to impress a single judge at the annual kitsch-fest in the Latvian capital Riga yesterday and finished last in the 26-nation contest with their single Cry Baby.
Never before in the 47-year history of the competition had a British entry finished in the bottom three. It was the only challenger in this year’s contest not to get a single vote.
The dismal showing prompted allegations of political bias against the British, who broke ranks with their European allies earlier this year by going to war with Iraq.
Broadcaster Terry Wogan, who has hosted the show for BBC Television for over 20 years, said the British were “suffering from post-Iraq backlash”.
“They didn’t deserve to get zip points,” he told viewers. “But there is a lot of political voting.”
Jemini’s song was written by the head of music at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, a fame academy set up by former Beatle Paul McCartney.
Earlier this week, McCartney sent a good luck message to Jemini — fellow Liverpudlians Gemma Abbey and Chris Cromby. But the pair looked nervous on stage and sang poorly, sounding out of key. They finished a full 167 points behind winner Turkey.
The British, fiercely proud of a musical heritage which has given the world The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and countless other world-conquering bands, have usually scored well at the Eurovision Song Contest.