World of Chig   

Non-story keeps the MYMU flag flying

Can it really be Tuesday? Astonishingly, Saturday's Making Your Mind Up is still making the news. I was gobsmacked to see this on the front page of the Daily Mirror today. It's not as if yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, or Gordon Brown has a budget to deliver tomorrow. Oh no, this is far more important. Now I don't expect Daily Mirror journalists to subscribe to Eurovision messageboards, or even to have read this on Schlagerblog last Thursday, but here's a response to the Mirror's 'revelation' that Scooch had backing singers:

We already knew!

The reason we knew is that Chig's showbiz wife, Nicki French, was reportedly going to be one of those singers, until she told the Schlagerboys on Friday that she wasn't. She was apparently dumped in favour of backing singers who could dance as well. (Not that we're saying the lovely Nicki can't dance, but you know what they mean; people picked for their dancing, rather than their lungs.) On Saturday, when Scooch appeared on screen, I told my Mum and sister this little story, then surveyed the stage, realised that we couldn't see the backing singers and said that the BBC must have changed their minds and stuck them in the wings after all. These things happen. It's what rehearsals are for. If the backing singers detract from the look of the act, shove them out of the way. It seems fair enough to me. We then forgot about it, until today's story broke.

There's a related story to this from Eurovision history. When Dana International won in Birmingham in 1998, she had three fairly slim women doing backing vocals just behind her, stage left, but what you could hardly see on TV was the fourth backing singer, who was rather larger, stage right, with a mic stand all on her own. She's not even lit at the start of the song and there's not a single close-up of her. It's quite possible she was the best singer on that stage, but she was judged not to be so telegenic. Perhaps she couldn't dance. Perhaps the Israeli delegation just thought she was too fat. Who knows? (Watch it here.)

Today's cover story is here on the Mirror's website. It's pathetic, instigated by the sour grapes of Justin Hawkins and Brian Harvey. (Either of them could have had backing singers if they'd wanted, hidden or visible. In both cases, they might have been a welcome distraction.) Scooch performed with two backing singers, just as they will be able to do at Eurovision. It will sound the same. The performance we saw will be the performance they can give in Helsinki (although I hope the Union flags will be gone, as we don't want it to look like 'British Imperialism all over the world'). No one was conned. Let's move on.

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