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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK
UK act hits Eurovision low
Gemma Abbey and Chris Cromby from pop due Jemini arrive back at London Heathrow
Jemini say the result is 'laughable'
Pop duo Jemini are back in the UK after receiving the worst ever results for a UK act in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Following an off-key rendition of their song Cry Baby, Chris Cromby, 21, and Gemma Abbey failed to collect a single point from judges and finished last in the 26-nation competition held in Latvia.

The competition, held in the Latvian capital Riga, was won by Turkey's Sertab Erener, with the song Every Way That I Can.

Belgium took second place while the favourites, Russian act Tatu, came third.

Jemini had the support of Sir Paul McCartney
Jemini suffered a further setback after their dressing room was vandalised as they gave interviews following their defeat in Latvia.

"The door was kicked in. Then the walls were smashed - I think it was specifically targeted," said the duo's representative Martin O'Shea.

Cromby said on Sunday that despite still being "in shock" at the result, they still felt "fantastic".

The singer added that it was possible that the result could have been influenced by the UK's role in the recent war with Iraq.

"With the countries across Europe something has rocked the boat in a way. We don't think it was fair we came last because we gave the performance of our lifetime," he said.

Some pundits believe politics played a part in the vote
Abbey said during the contest they were treated "really well".

And Cromby added the result was "laughable", and said "It was one of the best performances we have ever done. Hopefully Britain will realise that."

Mike Cockayne, who manages the Liverpudlian duo, said they had tried their hardest.

But he added: "It's a big, big, big pressure event - there's 600 million people watching and things can go wrong and I certainly wouldn't want to put any blame on anybody.

"It's not an ideal result by any stretch of the imagination, but hey, life goes on."

Jemini's Chris Crosbey
Jemini's Chris Cromby suffered as the votes came in
On paper things had looked good for Jemini, with composer Martin Isherwood - head of music at Sir Paul McCartney's fame school, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts - writing their song.

Earlier this week, Sir Paul sent a good luck message to the duo and said he would be "rooting" for them.

As the results came in Terry Wogan, who provided the BBC's commentary for the show, offered the consoling thought: "I think the UK is suffering from post-Iraq backlash."

Later, Mr Isherwood echoed this in an interview with BBC Radio Five Live's Up All Night programme, saying the competition was "extremely political".

"I think politically we are out on a limb at the moment. As a country I think we paid the price last night, " he said.

But former Eurovision winner Cheryl Baker said the UK scored nothing because it had "the wrong song".

She was a member of Bucks Fizz, who triumphed in 1981 with Making Your Mind Up.

"There's always politics involved. In every single Eurovision there is and there always has been so perhaps there was an element involved of whether we should have gone into the Iraq war." she said.

It was the wrong choice of song
Cheryl Baker

"But even so, we wouldn't have won. Despite the politics, despite the euro, we wouldn't have won last night.

"The nerves do affect your voice and they (Jemini) did sing out of tune, not completely, but they did on occasion.

"The song is a chart-worthy song, perhaps not in the top 10, but it's just not a Euro song. It was the wrong choice of song."

Before Jemini took to the stage, the UK's worst Eurovision placing was in 2000, when Nicki French took 16th place with a tune ironically called Don't Play That Song Again.

While Sertab Erener's victory was not widely predicted, it will come as less of a surprise in Turkey where she is already an established star with album sales of four million.

Turkey's Sertab Erener
Turkey's Sertab Erener won the contest

Tatu had been the favourites to win the competition all week.

They sang Don't Believe, Don't Fear, Don't Ask, a Russian language song, to boos from the 6,000-strong crowd at Riga's Skonto Hall.

Despite threats they might take to the stage naked, the pair - Lena Katina and Julia Volkova - sang their song dressed in jeans and white t-shirts.

The BBC's Mike Sergeant
"The UK's song was judged a bit of a turkey"

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