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A duck egg for Easter: Nil points at the Eurovision Song Contest

Post-Iraq backlash or a disgrace?

When you’re discussing nil pointers at the Eurovision Song Contest, you simply can’t ignore Jemini. The United Kingdom were the stars and steady performers of the contest between 1960 and 2002. The changes of the late 1990s – televoting and a free language rule – harmed the United Kingdom at the contest. However, Imaani and Jessica Garlick still managed to finish top three, so the BBC were hopeful.

That hope was not justified. At all. Jemini went to the contest in 2003 but delivered their performance in an… original key. At least not the one they were supposed to use. It resulted in the first ever last place for the United Kingdom – and to top that, it didn’t receive a single point. Critics such as Louis Walsh called the song ‘a disgrace’, with other sparking a debate about the political background of the worst finish the BBC had ever had. Commentator Terry Wogan blamed the result on a ‘post-Iraq backlash’, referring to the involvement of the United Kingdom in the Iraq War.

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Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of ESCXTRA.com. Seven years after the start, I'm proud that I am now the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids...

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