Today was MYMU [pronounced as my-moo with the emphasis on moo] night. For anyone who might not be currently up to speed with the intricacies of the Eurovision Song Contest MYMU [Making Your Mind Up] Night is when the great British public choose the bright-eyed hopeful who is going to be representing us come the middle of May when all the mainland European countries will vote for each other and no-one will vote for us because i) we sent our soldiers into Iraq [I know, the logic on this one is somewhat odd, given that Tony Blair has no involvement in Eurovision, at least to my knowledge] and ii)we're an island nation and they don't have to bump into us that often. But still we persist in believing that we can win. Indeed I still vividly remember us winning in 1997. The ceremony was in Dublin, Ronan Keating was the nominal co-host, I'd arrived home from France that morning, Tony Blair had been swept to power earlier in the week. Ah, the heady days of being 14, obsessed with Ronan, loving everything kitsch and being swept up in the beginnings of so-called Cool Britannia. But that was then, and this is now. 2005. Two years after we recorded our first ever 'nul points', more than two years since the events of 1997 became somewhat tarnished. Now, I know that we're not going to win. You know that we're not going to win. But still we put this aside and put rather a lot of effort into the pretence that we might. So we nod and smile, pour over the contestants arguing whether Katie Price's pregnancy is going to be a deterrent or if Andy Scott Lee is going to be able to pull off a performance on the night. And then we pick up those phones and make our voices heard, chosing which of the contestants will get to sing whilst being showered with lots of sparkly confetti style stuff at the end of the show.
For me MYMU has a special connection because last year, against all my better judgement, I had a tiny piece of me believe that we might actually win. And I believed this because when you start supporting someone you have to have a little piece of you that genuinely believes that, in the words of Will Young, anything is possible [I've stolen the Will Young joke off of someone and I can't remember who - so apologies, I'm shameless]. The reality can come later, but at the start you need to have that little piece of idealism that gives you the push, gets you wedged in. It's the bit that will always sustain you whatever happens. Thus there was a point when I genuinely believed that Griffin would win the tortuous-reality-tv-show, there was a tiny piece of me that thought that he might sell more than Senorita Beckham, and a bigger piece of me that thought that he might shift enough units of his album to keep UMTV happy. For each of those my brain could see the counter argument, but I'd taken my leap of faith. I believed. And last year I believed that Fox might win.
Up until MYMU time I hadn't particularly paid much attention to Fox. He'd made me laugh during the tortuous-reality-tv-show, I'd been almost as upset as Griffin when he'd been voted out [though if I'm honest it was probably because Griffin was so visably devastated, and on national television at that, that was the cause of a large part of my emotion] and he'd been in on radar courtesy of him and Griffin having moved in together during the later part of 2003. In the same way as I'd probably have gone out and bought his album, had there been one, getting behind him in MYMU was something that was never in question. And this was made somewhat easier by the fact that he was far and away the best performer on the night. So I voted. Twice - once for myself and once in honour of Griffin. As the results came in the winner was never in doubt - Fox had done it. And so he got showered in the confetti:
And it really was a wonderful time to be on the Fox/Griffin bandwagon. Griffin was about to release his second single, Fox was about to go and rip up the rest of the competition in Istanbul. And, if that wasn't enough, Fox had won an incredibly tacky trophy, which he still seems somewhat fond of and which remains the butt of many jokes:
Can you see the look of love in that photo? [That would be Fox and the trophy rather than anything emanating from Griffin's direction, though the fact that on the BBC3 aftershow thing it was Mummy Fox and Griffin who were pulled out as supporters has not been lost on me. And since I'm here if you're wondering about Griffin's sitting position, yes he is incapable of sitting without his legs wide apart. There are times on daytime tv when it's almost been obscene.] And since on the dodgy screen caps which sum up the night, it would be wrong of me not to include this:
I'm just including that as proof that I'm not the only person who has a particularly virulent form of the 'talk with your hands' disease [though Griffin was impeded by the fact that he was interviewed after he'd been plying himself with some of the free alcohol and so he had a beer bottle in his other hand] and, anyway, what would a Eurovision discussion be like without a photo of one of the house band from Jonathon Ross's show [Four Poofs and a Piano] wearing a Bucks Fizz outfit?
So for two months we got to genuinely believe that Fox would romp back home with whatever tacky trophy they give out in the actual Eurovision thing. Of course that didn't happen and Eurovision week unfortunately also became intimately connected to a particular dip in Griffin's career, but Fox performed better than anyone could have expected of him [wearing a dodgy blue suit aside] and I will forever have incredibly happy memories of the experience. Of listening to 'Hold On To Our Love' on repeat in Cat's spare room until I'd learnt the words, of singing it at Griffin two days after MYMU and him snowballing us, of singing it outside - and inside - of York Barbican on the day that I first met Fox, of squealing during a Eurovision documentary when it showed Fox and Griffin's flat and we saw some of our tat, of waving Welsh flags and Irish dancing during the actual Eurovision night. And that little bit of belief that MYMU 2004 inspired will never truly be lost. So what I guess I'm trying to say is - thank you Fox. The last year's been a bit of a rollercoaster, but like those extras in Miracle on 34th Street I still believe. And, as many reservations as I do have about his going to audition for a musical in America, I genuinely wish him all the luck in the world.
Don't get too caught up with all those bright lights of Broadway and break a leg. How could they not love you?