Justin Hawkins, who failed to qualify for the Making Your Mind Up super-final after what was considered a horrendous performance by many, has suggested that the British public are either racists or stupid for not voting for Big Brovas or Beverlei Brown – whom he just happened to be duetting with. He stormed off stage with a foul mouthed rant that can only remind Eurovision fans of Silvia Night's outburst after failing to qualify for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest final in Athens. Brian Harvey, also concerned about failed plans to revive his career, has accused the winning band of 'duping the public' by failing to show their two backing singers on stage.
The media frenzy in the UK about Scooch and the Making Your Mind Up show is growing daily, and today hit the front pages of some papers, we believe only for the second time since 1981. Whilst the reasons for the publicity seems to be sour grapes of artists that risk losing their record deals, the publicity is likely to prove positive in the end for both Scooch and the Eurovision Song Contest.
To clarify that Scooch acted within the rules of Making Your Mind Up and the Eurovision Song Contest, the BBC Head of entertainment released a statement saying that the show "followed EBU rules to the letter – all vocals were live, and having off-camera supporting singers occurs regularly in tv shows and especially the Eurovision". esctoday.com can confirm that there were two off-camera backing singers, making a total of six performers, in line with EBU rules. The option of having backing singers on or off stage was offered to all six acts in the final.
This is a common Eurovision practice and has been done many times, in 2006 and over recent years. Precious performed at the Eurovision Song Contest with an additional unseen singer behind the set. Carola finished in 5th place last year for Sweden, with backing singers that did not appear on stage until the second half of the song, but still sang before they appeared and many acts have additional singers that are unseen by the cameras. The rule is that a maximum number of six singers/performers can perform, but there is no rule to say that they must all be shown on stage.
Scooch reformed to do the show but had little expectations of victory with their song, Flying the flag (for you). They had less exposure in the build-up than any other artists and no record company supporting them. Artists such as Brian Harvey and Justin Hawkins were hoping to use the show to kickstart their musical careers, and seem to have found their plans were not supported by the British public, who were won over on the night by the Scooch routine and brand of pop.
Justin Hawkins' outburst can quite simply be compared to Silvia Night. Having been undone by the voting public in a heavily scrutinised televote, he accused the British public of either being rascist or stupid for not voting for Big Brovas or his duetting partner, Beverlei Brown. The same public that voted for Precious, Imaani and Javine in the last ten years. It should also be pointed out that the view of many inside the studio was that had Beverlei Brown performed without Hawkins, she would have won the ticket to Helsinki.
He then falsely claimed that the BBC 'stiched up' the show, which is highly unlikely in a period where watchdogs are paying very close attention to televised public votes after recent scandals with televoting charges and distortions. He then accused Scooch of cheating and duping the public when they did nothing that is outside of the well known rules or different to many Eurovision artists in recent years.
United Kingdom semi final commentator Paddy O'Connell spoke to esctoday.com this morning and stated:
"The best way to think about it is the rule of six. It came to our attention already with the Israeli entry because they had seven members and one had to drop out. This is just the same thing from the other side. I don't feel that this is a problem, many countries have additional off-camera singers. They certainly were not miming, but I don't think it would have done them any harm to have them in view. Now that they are picked, we want them to do the best that they can".
Speaking about Cyndi and the show, he said: "There were six million people watching and every time something like this comes up it just adds to the fascination. I think Cyndi's career will be aided by the show and she was very gracious. It's raised the knowledge of some good singers".