After Gunvor's defeat, it took another five years before anyone had to face the grim reality of ending with nul points in the protocol. But in Riga, one of the giants of the contest was to recieve a most concrete slap on the face by a united Euroland.
Arguably, the UK is the strongest competitor ever through eurovision history. They won five times, they were runner-up no less than fifteen times, and they produced more commercial hit singles than any other country in the running.
In the mid-90's, the BBC made a brave effort to keep the ESC alive by upscaling the national final, sending more modern and chart-friendly songs into a contest rapidly running out of steam. After hosting the 1998 contest however, the BBC commitment ebbed away and the UK entries became less and less spectacular.
And in 2003 it happened - what I had seen as completely unthinkable before - the UK ends in last place without a single point. The UK always used to attract some votes and attention and somehow managed to ride on their own reputation as the sole real pop nation of Europe.
With an entry like Jemini the last pieces of that reputation crumbled to dust. If the UK is such a pop nation, how can they cough up something like this? How can the nation of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Oasis and Dusty Springfield have themselves represented by people like these?
Yes. It was not the weakest song on offer in Riga (I still find this chorus pretty catchy) but there are different standards for different countries and Europe could no longer turn a blind eye to how the UK was treating their pop heritage.
In a way it stands out as the perfect end of an era. This was the last year of the old formula with no semi finals, new countries were emerging and the old giants had to struggle.
To have the biggest giant score zero looks almost like a monument and a farewell to the old times of Eurovision.
Jemini - Cry Baby (United Kingdom 2003)