The United Kingdom selected their representative for the Eurovision Song Contest from a field of six candidates tonight. After six outstanding performances, televoters selected Cyndi's ballad and Scooch's disco pop for the super final. After a second round of voting Terry Wogan announced that Cyndi was the winner. However the correct winner was actually Scooch who will take the song “Flying the flag” to Helsinki.
esctoday.comcaught up with Scooch immediately after the programme for their first video interview. They talk about how surprised they were to win andhow disappointed they were for Cyndi who thought shehad after he name was announced.Theinterviewwill be on-lineby early Sunday.
Tonight's running order
- (Don't It Make You) Happy! by Liz McClarnon
- I Can by Brian Harvey
- Big Bro Thang by Big Brovaz
- I'll Leave My Heart by Cyndi
- Flying The Flag (For You) by Scooch
- They Don't Make 'Em They Like They Used To by Hawkins and Brown
Calls cost 25p from BT phones. All profits, about 12.5p per call, will be donated to Children in Need. The BBC warned that provisions were made to prevent any attempt to alter the result by block voting.
There was no information about a webcast for this show. However, the esctoday.com ground team was in the studio and from the (very) remote commentary booth esctoday.com also provided a continuously updated live re-cap of the show beginning shortly before 20:30.
LIVE COVERAGE (complete)
Our on-the-spot team in Maidenstone reports that- much to the disappointment of their fans- Bucks Fizz will not be performing after all tonight. Mike, Cheryl and Jay are present alright but Bobby G is not as he has a previous engagement in Ireland which he would not cancel.
In the studios the fans who were lucky enough to get tickets are finding their way to their seats. On the telly it's WAL 24-18 ENG. Making Your Mind Up will begin directly after the rugby match.
Wales came away with the victory 27-18, and the whole stadium is singing. If it weren't for the six person rule they should go to Helsinki.
"It's that time of year again to pick the song to represent the UK to the Eurovision song contest … ", and the Te Deum plays.
Terry Wogan reviews the last 10 years of UK disappointments and then the announcer brings him and his co-host Fearne Cotton to the stage.
"It's been 12 months since the British public sent the cock-eyed optimist Daz Sampson," Terry entones. Fearne reminds everyone that it's the public's "privilege – even their duty" to select the next act. Terry questions if the public can be trusted.
The contestants are announced and come out on to the impressive stage. Boy, Hawkins and Brown are really tall and skinny.
"Gone are the days when lyrics and a flash of the thigh is enough to win," Fearne explains. "Spectacle, costumes and traditional dance help,"she continues."The gimmick is best when it works as a surprisewith the song," Fearne tells us in an effort to create informed voters while clips from various performances are shown. "Since it is a song contest sometimes a good voice is what counts," she finishes while the viewers are treated to clips of Chiara and Hari Mata Hari.
Terry questions Fearne's enthusiasm and suggests she may have been promoted to the post of host too soon.
Liz McClarnon–(Don't It Make You) Happy!
Liz McClarnon takes the stage and really belts out a rousing version of her song (Don't It Make You) Happy! The song is fresh, and she performs it powerfully despite confessing afterwards that the first draw is a very nerve-wracking place to perform.
Next Liz is subjected to a bit of X-Factor style judging as the celebrity judging panel critique her performance for the viewers even though it will be the viewer's sole decision who wins. And! The first celebrity judge is none other then the suave, time traveling Capt. Jack Harkness! … I mean John Barrowman star of the BBC's cult SciFi programmes Doctor Who and Torchwood. See what happens when two very dedicated fan worlds collide? Well, this and the Big Finish Audio Production Bang-Bang-A-Boom that features the Doctor at the "Intergalactic Song Contest" is what happens.We're not making that up, check it out on Google.
Anyway John says Liz can sing, but he's not sure it's a "Eurovision song" -though when Terry asks it's not clear that John has seen Eurovision in recent years.
Is ex-Spice Girl Mel B the other celebrity judge? We're embarrassed to say we aren't quite sure. At any rate Melis on the money when shecalls Liz "Gina G. with a bit of funk." This is a fun jury.
Brian Harvey – I Can
Brian Harvey sings I Can next. He stands on stage behind his mike with a piano (and player) and a troupe of back-up singers on either side. It seems like Brian wants to show us what Israel would have been like last year if they wore black.
Over to the judges: John says the song might dowell on radio, but he thinks it's not for Eurovision. He thinks it might not do good on final night, and he seems concerned the song might not be suited to Brian's voice. Mel likes the song. She's the nice one.
Big Brovaz–Big bro thang
One of the fan favorites come next. They are just out theirdoing their Big Bro Thang. The costumes are all over the place – in a good way. The song is solid and on target. In their intro they call themselves the "Black Abba". The crowd in the studiogoes wild and gives them a standing ovation.
To the jury: John is beside himself declaring, "They were fresh. Young. Modern. Let's send them to Eurovision!" John can't stop saying the word "Awesome". He just likes the way "they pour fun and happiness" into their performance.
The other judge must not be Mel B (unless she's being uncharacteristically self-critical) cause she says she "can't sing for toffee", but she says the girls' voices in Big Brovas are "awesome". That word is contagious.
The UK takes advantage of having their final after all the others and reviews their competition in the contest. They focus on the controversies and the cross dressers. They also mention the draw to help the televoterschoose a song that fits well in the UK's slot between Ukraine and Romania.
Mel refers to the "Euroviszh" a lot. It's endearing. And it seems like she does love her "Euroviszh".
Cyndi–I'll leave my heart
Cyndi is next. She stands alone on stage in a simple blue dress and sings a song that brings tears to the eyes. Even Terry who has been typically dismissive of the whole proceeding since the show began is impressed. In the judging seats, John is also clearly impressed. Hethinks the song "could do the UK good at Eurovision." Mel was seeing "rolling hills, gushing water … side boards full of bread and cheese" for some reason. But that's good, becuase she says Cyndi reminds her of Eimaer Quinn or Celine Dion, and shebelieve it's about time for that after the "randomness of last year".
Scooch–Flying the flag (for you)
Now it's Scooch. They say they want to bring pop back to Eurovision. (Did it leave?) They take the stage and do their thing, which is – of course – a full "trolly dolly" flight attendant thing. The judges are on their feet clapping along. This song works on stage; it really, really does. Mel points out that they made great use of their song's "schtick" (pointing out the studio's emergencey exits as she does) and their Bucks Fizz reminiscent line-up. Terry reminds her that she just said to Cyndi that it was time for Eurovision to move away from that. She snaps, "I know. I did. Forget that."
John points out that everyone in the studio is smiling. And as for the song's pro-Britain message? He throws out, "So what about Nationalism. I'm Proud to be British. Take that to Eurovision."
Hawkins and Brown – They don't make'em like they used to
Hawkins and Brown are last – and "oh.no.they.didn't" – in their preview clip they're dressed up like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. That might be worth a vote right there. Now dressed in sexy gold evening wear, they own the stage as they sing "They Don't Make 'Em They Like They Used To". Their back-up singers are sexy Beefeaters (male and female) and by the end of the number (which is decidedly more Elton John and Kiki Dee then Dolly and Kenny) the Beefearters are in various stages of undress.
Now John and Mel say, "SendTHIS group to Eurovision." Mel likes the Beefeaters. She wants more.
The voting is now open until 21:00 (LDN)/22:00 CET!
In a nice touch there is a jury of representatives from all over Europe who vote on their choice. This is of course a telling exercise because UK viewers can't vote for themselves in May. Big Brovas win the international jury vote.
Do the judges agree? John says the question is really whetherthe UK wants to send a "pop" or a "Eurovision Song". You know it seems they really are gunning for Scooch.
And now it's the interval act which is:
The National Lottery … and a very special episode of Casualty.
Making You Mind Up is taking a break. The results show will start in one hour.
Keep reading. We hope to bring you news from our team in the studio during the interval.
Barry Viniker just phoned in from the Maidenstone studio. While we were talking someone walked by in a bobby-socks skirt, so maybe there will be some kind of Bucks Fizz appearance. And, Lordi has already taped their act in the studio which will be shown after the break. The fans in the studio are predicting a three-way split on the vote. Andwith that, he ran off with the esctoday.com video camera, so be hoping for video in the next days.
Oh someone also just informed us that Mel is fromthis year's UK Fame Academy.She looks like she could have been aSpice Girl. But MelC and not Mel B. We used to be able to tell all the Spice Girls apart. And we knew all their dance steps too.But that was several year's ago.
Now that MYMU has started again, there is another replay of the six contestants. Andwe realize Liz McClarnon is the new Joy Fleming, Big Brovazare the new love child of Destiny's Child and the Scissor Sisters, and Scooch … well they'rethe revenge of Alcazarwho never made it to the contest proper.
Ok. They are announcing the acts going home (in no particular order). Going home are: Brian andLiz.
And the two going to the super final: Cyndi and Scooch
(Big Brovaz and Hawkins & Brown just kind of disappear from sight. What an upset for then)
Mel and John are holding hands over in their chairs. Terry asks if they are shocked. They say they are because they really didn't expect Big Brovaz to go home so home. But you know what?We think they just like each. As they say it will be interesting: "At one end we have the nice ballad", and at the complete other end of the spectrum, "swinging pop".
Cyndi has the luck of the draw to sing first. Of course the ballad is a classic hands in the air anthem that deserves to make it this far. Unfortunately, now that Cyndi knows how close she is to the golden ticket to Helsinki she seems nervous, and we're afraid that she's singing the song well, but she's not nailingis as well as she did the first time.
Fearne takes the camera man out into the audience, where he stumbles over three Bucks Fizz. They quickly talk to Cheryl who says she has, "fabulous memories." But, she says she doesn't ever remember such a strong line up of singers hoping to go to Eurovision in years. And … Well no and. That was it for the Bucks Fizz.
Scooch make their attempt for the golden ticket. It seems coming this close has affected them a bit too. They have a bit of nervous energy in their performance, andthat comes close to throwing it for thema few times. But who can blame Cyndi or Scooch after coming so far?
Now the super-final call in lines are open. This will be a hard decision and a close call.
You've seen Lordi's performance before. As if Lordi's performance isn't enough though, the BBC has sent "hard rock chicks" to writhe in steel cages – and a few shirtless himbos too.
The voting is closed. The public has spoken.
Cyndi and Scooch are on stage.
And the act to represent the UK in Helsinki will be ….
(Ok here's the weird bit.)
Terry grins and yells "CYNDI" … while Fearne says "Scooch".
Cyndi is so excited.
Scooch look like they genuinly expected Cyndi to win, and they clap graciously for her. ThenTerry says, "No, the winner really is Scooch."
Fearne: "I'm sorry Cyndi." Talk about the disappointment on Cyndi's face.
But I guess Terry was telling the truth – the second time – because he hands Scooch the tickets to Helsinki. And if there was any doubt Scooch is performing the winning encore of "Flying the flag".
The show is over. And impressive show it was. Except for that mix up at the end … or was that supposed to be comedy … this national final a offered a few great hours of entertainment.