|Country United Kingdom|
Lyricist(s) Martin Isherwood
Composer(s) Martin Isherwood
|Artist(s) Chris Cromby Gemma Abbey|
"Cry Baby", written and composed by Martin Isherwood, was the United Kingdom's entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 2003, and was performed by the duo Jemini. To date, it is the only song ever entered by the United Kingdom to earn no points ("nul points") from any other countries. It was also the first ever English language song to receive no points.
The song is a simple pop ditty about a woman telling her lover that their relationship is over because he does not love her anymore. He sings back saying she is being unfair, prolonging the relationship and he has his own life to live.
Jemini were selected to take part in Eurovision by a public phone poll in the BBC's A 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 Scotland, Wales and 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 BBC Two, leading to the possibility of a very low number of votes from there. However, this was not the case, with over 100,000 votes cast in total for the duo.
For their Eurovision appearance, Chris Cromby and Gemma Abbey were accompanied on stage by three female backing singers, and a guitarist named Kirk.
The Eurovision failure prompted a great deal of mirth and consternation in the British and European media. Jemini admitted that their performance was off-key, and claimed they were unable to hear the backing track due to a technical fault. Terry Wogan, long-time commentator on the contest for the BBC, said that the UK was suffering from "post-Iraq backlash". although the majority of the media blamed the result on the poor quality of the song and that it was sung out of tune with Louis Walsh branding the song 'a disgrace' and 'so out of tune they deserved to be last'. Following the show their dressing room was broken into and vandalised.
Author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor notes in The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History that with a record field of 26 entries, this made the UK's failure the most spectacular in the history of the contest.
The exposure the duo received after the contest gave them a No. 15 hit in the UK Singles Chart with the single "Cry Baby".