Jemini

From Academic Kids

Jemini is a British pop band, best known for scoring "nul points" and finishing in last place with their song Cry Baby at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest in Latvia. It was the first time a UK entry had suffered that particular indignity, most associated in the popular imagination with Norway.

Chris Cromby and Gemma Abbey met in 1995 at Liverpool’s Starlight stage school and formed Jemini, their first duo act. They spent the next two and a half years touring pubs and clubs in the UK performing Stevie Wonder, Randy Crawford, Motown covers and ABBA medleys, as well as their own compositions. Gemma and Chris say they have loved Eurovision since childhood and count previous Eurovision entrants such as Sonia, Precious and Dana International amongst their favourites.

Jemini and the song Cry Baby were selected to take part in Eurovision by a public phone poll in the BBC's Song For Europe competition. However, given the novel voting procedure used in the selection that year, some people questioned whether they really were the popular choice in any meaningful sense, a question which obviously loomed larger after the outcome in Latvia. The new system was essentially a synthesis of the familiar popular vote, and the points system that had existed before telephone voting was first deemed feasible in 1988. Votes were tallied separately in the nations of Scotland and Wales, the province of Northern Ireland, and three regions of England (North, South and the Midlands), and were then converted into points. What to many seemed the unsatisfactory nature of this arrangement was exacerbated by the fact that, due to a clash with football coverage, the competition was only televised in Scotland on minority channel BBC2, leading to the possibility of a very low number of votes from there. Jemini won by netting maximum points from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the North of England, but "Help Me" sung by Emily Reed topped the poll in the South of England and the Midlands. Given that the majority of the UK's population live in these two regions, and given that disproportionately few votes were likely to have been cast in Scotland in any case, it is perfectly possible that "Help Me" did in fact carry the popular vote. The BBC did nothing to dispel this suspicion by keeping those figures under wraps. The significant point here is that, in Latvia, Jemini's song arguably suffered from a built-in handicap by being surrounded by songs of a very similar type, whereas as a ballad, "Help Me" might have leapt out at the television audience more.

The Eurovision failure prompted a great deal of mirth and consternation in the British media. The BBC Eurovision commentator Terry Wogan speculated that the 2003 Iraq war and the political disagreements between European countries had swung the popular vote against Jemini. However, Jemini subsequently admitted that their performance was off-key, and claimed they were unable to hear the backing track due to a technical fault. The exposure the duo received after the contest at least gave them a No. 15 hit with the single.

nl:Jemini

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