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Last Updated: Monday, 26 May, 2003, 08:43 GMT 09:43 UK
Eurovision flops blame equipment
Gemma Abbey and Chris Cromby from pop due Jemini arrive back at London Heathrow
Jemini have defended their performance
The pop duo Jemini have blamed their failure to score a single point in the Eurovision Song Contest on technical problems.

The pair, who made history by becoming the first British entry to score 'nul points', released their song Cry Baby as a single on Monday.

Singer Gemma Abbey, 20, insisted it was not her fault that she had sung off-key.

"What happened on the first bit was I couldn't hear what I was singing so I was just taking a guess.

"I just had to get on with it."

Chris Cromby, 21, the other half of the Liverpudlian act, even suggested the equipment may have been tampered with.

"The monitors were off. Maybe it was sabotage, but we couldn't hear anything.

We know we can do it, it's just a shame that this happened on the night
Gemma Abbey

"We used the floor monitors, the others used their own," he said.

Gemma also rejected suggestions that Cry Baby was the wrong song for Eurovision.

"That was the song which was chosen in a Song for Europe.

"People loved it and praised us and hundreds of thousands of people voted for it.

"People who know us know that we've been singing for years.

"We know we can do it, it's just a shame that this happened on the night."

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

'Nerves'

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

"The nerves do affect your voice and they 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."

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

Jemini
Jemini are the duo Chris Cromby and Jemma Abbey
Belgium took second place while the favourites, Russian act Tatu, came third.

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.

Mike Cockayne, who manages the 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.

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.




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



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