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Ooh Aah Just a Little Bit - Thumb

Gina Gardiner, who was born in Brisbane on 3 August 1970, moved to Melbourne in 1987 and began DJing in the local nightclubs, which in turn led to her joining a dance act called Bass Culture. In 1992 they released their debut single Love The Life, written by Gina. In 1994 she decided to emigrate to the UK where she met Simon Tauber at the Warner Brothers’ offices. He and former Motiv 8 producer and keyboard player, Steve Rodway had written a song together which they had just submitted to Warners. Rodway had previously charted as the co-writer of Russ Abbott’s 1984 Top 10 hit Atmosphere. Gina found the demo discarded in a cardboard box and asked to hear it. Once she’d heard it she wanted to record it and completely transformed it into a dance anthem, retaining only the first line of the chorus, the phrase Ooh aah just a little bit.

It had an energetic Euro intro that was instantly recognisable and immediately got toes tapping and heads nodding. Once it was recorded, a copy found its way into the hands of Jonathan King, who at the time had taken over the organisation of A Song For Europe. He renamed it The Great British Song Contest and usually having a good eye (and ear) for spotting talent, it was his suggestion that Ooh Aah…Just A Little Bit be put forward for the contest. It was performed and recorded at the BBC Television Centre and previewed on Top Of The Pops, followed by the Live And Kicking show the following Saturday morning. It was the public who voted and Gina won with 113,000 votes, nearly 72,000 ahead of Code Red’s ‘I Gave You Everything’, who came second. When Code Red released that single later that year it faltered at number 50.

The contest was held at The Spektrum in Oslo in May and Gina only came seventh, but the song made the Top 10 across Europe, Top 20 in the US and thus she became the first overseas singer to represent the UK in the Eurovision

Gina had further UK hits with I Belong To You, Fresh!, Ti Amo, which made number one in The Lebannon, Gimme Some Love and Every Time I Fall. She had fallen…out of favour with the record buying public. In 1998 Gina and the song’s co-writer, Simon Tauber, claimed that they had earned no money from the hit and pursued a legal battle to obtain their share of the royalties. The high court judge agreed that Tauber was entitled to £350,000 in unpaid royalties. But at this time FX Music, the production company who held the royalties, went into liquidation and its boss, Steve Rodway, was declared bankrupt.  In 1998 Jonathan King invited Gina to be one of the judges for the preliminary stage of the contest to choose the final eight.

In 1999 Gina moved to America and signed with Warner Brothers there. Two singles and an album were issued within a year, but none of them troubled the UK nor US charts. In 2001 the public were reminded of the song when Burger King started using it in their latest ad campaign.

Two years later Gina was invited to appear on a British reality TV show called Reborn In The USA. The programme also featured various fading pop stars: Sonia, Tony Hadley, Elkie Brooks, Go West’s Peter Cox, Michelle Gayle, Imagination’s Leee John, Dollar and Ultimate Kaos’ Hayden Eshun. They toured the US and were voted off one by one by the British public. The show’s reviews weren’t favourable and Gina’s voice seemed to have no range. The eventual winner was Tony Hadley.

In 2004 Gina returned to Australia and signed a deal with Dinky Records. Her first single in seven years was Heaven, a dance tune credited to Elemental featuring Gina G. She currently lives in Los Angeles and has two children.