Ooh ah just a little bit of Gina G to win Eurovision, but ooh ah where is she now?!
by Christopher Smith
Gina Mary Gardiner (born in Australia in 1970) belongs to an exclusive club of artists who have represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest. as ‘Gina G’, she went to Oslo in 1996 with her cracking mid-90’s pop/dance anthem and was expected to win hands down. Sadly this did not happen, but Gina can hold her head high with her stunning performance of “Ooh Ah Just A Little Bit” that she would ultimately take to the top of the charts and take her place in Eurovision history.
She began her career as a singer in Australian dance group Bass Culture, who’s biggest hit was “Love The Life” in May 1992, a song which Gina co-wrote. She moved to the UK at the beginning of 1995 to further her career and eventually auditioned for A Song For Europe competition in early 1996. She won and was selected to perform the UK’s entry “Ooh Ah Just A Little Bit”. The song was a surefire winner, after many years of coming second, the UK had a strong, energetic tune to blast all others out of its way. For whatever reason, it was not to happen and the song came eighth on the night. She did, however, take the song to the top of the UK singles chart that weekend, the first UK Eurovision song to top the chart since “Making Your Mind Up” in 1981.
“Ooh Ah Just A Little Bit” also charted well across the rest of the world, reaching No.12 in the US and No.4 on the US dance chart, No.5 in Australia and reaching the top ten in a further twelve countries! It was the sixth biggest selling single in the UK in 1996 as a whole! Gina was now assured of a bright and sparkling career ahead. She followed this with “I Belong To You” in October that year which peaked at No.6 in the UK and made the top 40 in Australia, Canada, Sweden and Iceland.
1997 would bring more success with the singles “Fresh”, which also peaked at No.6 in the UK and No.23 in Australia, “Ti Amo” which made No.11 in the UK and “Gimme Some Love” (UK No.25, US No.46, US dance chart No.18). Gina released her debut album “Fresh” in March that year which made No.12 in the UK and received a Silver certification for sales of over 60,000 copies. The album also charted in Australia and Norway and on the US Heatseekers chart (No.27). A sixth single “Everytime I Fall” was released in late 1997 but this stopped at No.52 in the UK.
Gina disappeared following a lawsuit with her former manager that also prevented a second album (which had been recorded) from being released. She wouldn’t resurface until 2000 when she released her version of Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 hit “These Boots Are Made For Walkin”, which failed to gain any promotion and subsequently bombed. She starred along with Sonia, Tony Hadley, Elkie Brooks and many others in the 2003 TV show Reborn In The USA. She won the first round of the contest, but was eliminated two shows later. In 2005 she applied to represent the UK a second time at Eurovision but came fifth in the selection process, with singer Javine going on to represent her country in Kiev that year.
Gina finally released her second album “Get Up And Dance” later that year, which included the singles “Flashback” and “Tonight’s The Night” (UK No.57). The album was only made available digitally and neither of the singles made much impact in any region. Her next foray into the music world came in 2011 with the track “Next 2 U“. A follow up “Set The Night On Fire” was scheduled for release in early 2012 but this was shelved.
Since then not a peep has been heard from her. She married in 2003 and lives in California with her two children and has set up her own record label, Stunt Girl. Perhaps one day soon she will grace our ears with delightful music just as she did over twenty years ago when she should of taken The United Kingdom to Eurovision glory.
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