1999 – Say It Again

Knock Knock Who’s There?

Precious were a five-girl vocal group ostensibly recruited for the 1999 UK Eurovision preselection and comprised Kalli Clark-Sternberg, Sophie McDonnell, Jenny Frost, Anya Lahiri and Louise Rose.

Making Your Mind Up

1999 kept to the same format as the previous year. However the winning song’s margin of victory this year was much smaller. as “Say It Again” finished less than eight hundred votes ahead of the runner-up, “So Strange” by Alberta (yes the same Alberta that was runner-up to Imaani the year before).

I Love The Little Things

Drawn 5thh of 23 in the first contest of the modern era without language restriction and the first without an orchestra.

14 of the 23 songs were sung all or partly in English.

That Sounds Good To Me

Result: 12th of 23

Say It Again got votes from ten of the other twenty-two countries. Its top vote was eight from Malta.

The song made #6 in the UK singles chart

Where Are You Now?

Unusally for a recent(ish) UK Eurovision act, Precious racked up three more chart singles in the eighteen months after Eurovision, “Rewind” #11, “It’s Gonna Be My Way” #27 and “New Beginning” #50. Sadly the last title wasn’t prophetic as at the end of 2000 the quintet went their separate ways.

Within months Jenny Frost had replaced Kerry Katona in Atomic Kitten. Sophie McDonnell went on to be a regular presenter on childrens channel CBBC. Anya Lahiri went on to a successful modelling career that she now combines with acting and working as a fitness instructor to the stars.

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Flying The Flag

In a momentous contest won by the sparkly retro “Take Me To Your Heaven”, the rather lower-key contemporary R&B-lite of “Say It Again” was always going to be up against it. Suddenly performing in English had ceased to be and advantage, and the early draw didn’t help.  Nor, let’s be honest did the rather, shall we say, uneven vocals.  At the time 12th was the second worst result in UK Eurovision history; yet only entries since then have done better, which encapsulates in a couple of stats the drastic demise of Le Royaume-Uni. Precious ability to achieve a few more hits and the later success of their constituent singers surely suggests we should remember them fondly.