Confusion still reigns over the eligibility of Antony Costa's entry in the UK's 3rd annual Making your mind up selection show for the Eurovision song contest. The song Beautiful thing, already seen as the early favourite to win the competition, is attracting publicity because it appears to be a copy of a previously released song by a singer called Michelle Lawson. Despite claims on other websites, her former record label Us and Them Records claim the song was never commercially released.
In the search to uncover the truth fuelling these rumours, esctoday took the trouble to contact Michelle Lawson's record company at the time of the alleged 'release' of Beautiful thing. Manager, Ian Brown explained to us that the song was originially recorded by Michelle Lawson as a demo and was prepared for release in the summer of 2004.
Under the label of Us and Them Records, and with Active Universal as distributor, 1000 copies of the single were produced. The release was then cancelled and the cds are still in the warehouse, having never sold a single retail copy. Mr. Banks also claims that at no point whilst the singer was under his label, did the song become available on the internet. We are awaiting a response from a number of websites to confirm when the song was first made available for download, as despite 'publication dates' there is also evidence to suggest that it was not in fact available until after the October 1st cut-off date.
The lyrics have changed between the two versions of the song, with the Antony Costa version having different words in the verses. Both were written by John McLaughlin. Should the song win Making your mind up, it is likely that the EBU would want to scrutinise the entry before deciding whether or not the song would be eligable to enter the 51st Eurovision song contest
We are hoping for a further comment from the BBC this afternoon.