Hit Me Baby One More Time, ITV1

by | May 7, 2005 | All, Reviews

Debuted Saturday 2 April 2005

Vernon Kay-hosted show in which hasbeen hitmakers are plucked from obscurity to sing their biggest sellers and perform a cover of something more recent – with viewers voting to send one act into the grand final.

Week one

Tiffany (I Think We’re Alone Now/Girls Aloud’s Love Machine)

beat Gloria Gaynor (I Will Survive/Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful), Howard Jones (What is Love/Dido’s White Flag), Limahl (Too Shy/Maroon 5’s This Love), The Honeyz (Finally Found/Nickelback’s You Remind Me)

Top 5 highlights

1 – Tiffany’s well deserved victory. “The Britney of her day” is no longer that brat who trekked round US shopping malls in bad hair and braces. She’s now a stylish, beautiful woman and has a great voice, put to good use on her classic I Think We’re Alone Now and a decent version of the excruciating Girls Aloud song Love Machine.

2 – The Honeyz’ version of Nickelback’s You Remind Me. Which made up for a truly awful rendition of their big hit. You know the one. Of course, you can name all the Honeyz hits. What do you mean, you can’t even remember the Honeyz?

3 – The clip of Mike Smith on Breakfast Time interviewing Limahl. We truly hate Dermot and Natasha – but this reminder showed things were even worse back then.

4 – The “life after top pop” segments showing Gloria Gaynor getting all Goddy, Limahl on a bike, Howard Jones meditating, the Honeyz being rubbish at darts.

5 – Limahl camping it up during Too Shy before treating us to his version of Maroon 5’s This Love (the fave tune of people who don’t really like music).

Bottom 5 lowlights

1 – Vernon Kay being so full of himself. Most men wearing a poloneck-blazer combination should do the decent thing and stay well away from primetime TV.

2 – The amazingly incredible hyperbole: “Gloria Gaynor – global superstar”, “an amazing nine Top 20 singles”, “a staggering 120 pairs of shoes”, “the world’s greatest fantasy jukebox”, “sizzling sex factor”, “overnight R&B sensation”, “Wigan has given us three musical giants: George Formby, Richard Ashcroft and Limahl”. (that last statement, by the way, is inaccurate, as Kym Marsh is missing from the list)

3 – Gloria Gaynor’s doing I Will Survive, that annoying anthem loved by housewives who’ve been allowed by their husbands to go to karaoke so he can watch the football in peace. Gloria’s discofied version of Beautiful was a bit better.

4 – The ravages of time that have reduced Howard Jones to a Mitchell Brother and Limahl to a crinkly peach.

5 – The scheduling which means we’ll now be terribly torn between this and Strictly Dance Fever

Week two

Shakin’ Stevens (This Ole House/Pink’s Trouble)

beat Belinda Carlisle (Heaven is Place on Earth/Coldplay’s The Scientist), Doctor and the Medics (Spirit in the Sky/Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain You), Haddaway (What Is Love/Britney’s Toxic), Jaki Graham (Set Me Free/ Will Young’ Your Game)

Top 5 highlights

1 – The victory for Shakin’ Stevens. “The Welsh Elvis” has always been one of our favourite ironical icons – the sort of singer you say you love just to see the horrified faces of your friends. He was rather lazy during This Ole House, though, letting his backing singers and the audience do most of the work, but we did like his countrified version of Pink’s Trouble.

2 – Belinda Carlisle looking great and sounding good as she performed Heaven Is A Place On Earth. Alas her version of Coldplay’s The Scientist was so shaky she was never going to win. (By the way, surely the claim that the GoGos were “the first all-girl group to top the album chart” was erroneous)

3 – Archive footage of Shaky beating up Richard Madeley, plus glimpses of the beloved Russell Harty, unloved Selina Scott (the 1980s equivalent of Nitwit Natasha K) and some bad hair moments, most of them featuring Belinda Carlisle but also including Pompous David Grant when he had a pathetic ponytail

4 – Jakki Graham (“Sold out Tokyo”) raunching up Will Young’s Your Game, making amends for a rather poor version of her own hit Set Me Free, performed while her body cried out for release for her tight leather mini skirt.

5 – Haddaway’s rousing version of Britney’s Toxic

Bottom 5 lowlights

1 – Doctor And The Medics. We were reminded that they kept Wham! off the number one spot, which is a pretty grave offence. But worse is the fact that they’re now 40 plus and they are acting like complete twats. The self-styled “fully qualified eccentrics” are an embarrassment to themselves, their families, their friends, the world.

2 – The grinning, grey-haired idiots in the studio audience who voted Doctor And The Medics as their favourite act.

3 – The usual irritating things about Vernon Kay – his shadow boxing with the camera, inane grin, shiny suit, manhandling Belinda Carlisle when he’s not worthy of being anywhere near her etc.

4 – Wasting time ringing our seven friends to verify the statistic that one in seven people has a Shakin’ Stevens record. No-one confessed, so now we’re trying to work out which of our friends is a liar.

5 – Haddaway acting like he’s a superstar and claiming: “I want to get back to the status where I was.” What status? You never had any, mate.

Week three

Carol Decker (China In Your Hand/Jamelia’s Superstar);

beat Baccara (Yes Sir I Can Boogie/Enrique Iglesias’ Hero); Mica Paris (My One Temptation/Robbie Williams’ Angels); Nick Heyward (Fantastic Day/Busted’s Crashed The Wedding); The Pasadenas (Tribute/Will Young’s Leave Right Now)

Top 5 highlights

1 – Nick Heyward’s magnificent versions of Haircut 100’s Fantastic Day and Busted’s Crashed The Wedding – and we love it that he still blinks non-stop as he sings. He should have won. Stupid voters.

2 – Baccara’s Yes Sir I Can Boogie, even though they couldn’t achieve the winsome innocence of the original. Our all-time favourite lyric remains: “Yes sir, already told you in the first verse and in the chorus.”

3 – Carol Decker’s show-winning performance of China In Your Hand (which is on 150 compilations, apparently). Not so keen on her rocked-up version of Jamelia’s Superstar.

4 – Mica Paris (real name is Michelle, apparently) whose My One Temptation was the best vocal performance of the night. We hated her version of Robbie’s Angels, though, and were amused when she said “I wanted to be the first British female singer to sing great songs.” Tough luck, love. Mary Hopkin, Dusty Springfield, Sheena Easton and Tina Charles beat you ti it.

5 – The clip of Phillip Schofield before the grey set in.

Bottom 5 lowlights

1 – Vernon again committing punching-the-camera and polo neck offences. We’re also fed up with his wide-eyed shouting when he announces the name of the “legends” about to enter through a puff of dry ice.

2 – Baccara’s rubbish version of Enrique’s Hero. It may have been good enough for their fans in Kazakhstan (they’re big there, apparently) but not for primetime British audiences. And their lusting after Vernon was sickening.

3 – Clips of DLT and Mike Smith, two unworthy successors to Tony Blackburn as Radio 1 breakfast show host. Even Sara Cox was better than those two.

4 – The Pasadenas. We always found their sweet soul music boring. And still do.

5 – The misappropriation of the words “huge”, “legendary” and “amazing”.

Week four

Hue & Cry (Labour of Love/Beyoncé’s Crazy In Love)

beat Sinitta (So Macho/Natasha Bedingfield’s Single); The Real Thing (You To Me Are Everything/Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River); China Black (Searching/The Darkness’s I Believe In A Thing Called Love), Hazel O’Connor (Will You/Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head)

Top 5 highlights

1 – The Wham-like cover by China Black of The Darkness’s I Believe In A Thing Called Love. This was so good that any record company exec worth his salary (okay, so that’s a contradiction in terms) will release it as a single sharpish. We even enjoyed the barely-remembered duo’s rendition of their only big hit, Searching.

2 – Sinitta’s figure (she’s kept it well) and her rendition of So Macho, a song we have always loved, being possessors of “big blue eyes” and being “able to satisfy.” Didn’t think much of her version of Single by Natasha Bedingfield – her ex Simon Cowell would certainly have described that performance as “too cabaret”.

3 – Hue & Cry’s joyous performances of Labour Of Love and Crazy In Love, which earned them a victory. We’d have preferred them to have done Looking For Lynda, though, because we always found that song strangely poignant.

4 – Sinitta’s stripping dancers.

5 – Clips of TV legend Mike Mansfield cueing in an act on Supersonic

Bottom 5 lowlights

1 – Sometimes it’s better not to see heroes after they’ve gone to seed a bit. We loved Hazel O’Connor and loved the reminders of when she was a star, but she croaked her way trough Will You and Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and it was all a little embarrassing.

2 – The tedious version of Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River by The Real Thing, who had opted to wear wrinkle-hiding shades rather than their trademark ostentatious clothes.

3 – Appearances by Mike Smith and Richard Skinner on Top Of The Pops, Bruno Brooks as a pundit and the long-forgotten Kevin Sharkey on The Roxy (it was ITV’s rival to TOTP – lasted five minutes).

4 – The chronicling of the sad decline in Sinitta’s love life. She started of with Brad Pitt but then descended into dating hell by having liaisons with John Fashanu and Simon Cowell.

5 – Vernon Kay’s Nazi salute and shiny suit

Week five

Shalamar (Night To Remember/Outkast’s Hey Ya)

beat Jordan Knight (Give It To You/Mario’s Let Me Love You), Sabrina (Boys Boys Boys/Sugababes’ Hole In Your Head), Rozalla (Everybody’s Free/Blue’s Fly By), Junior (Mama Used To Say/Daniel Bedingfield’s Gotta Get Through This)

Top 5 highlights

1 – Rozalla’s Everybody’s Free, a reminder of those ravin’ days when we could get on to a nightclub podium without assistance.

2 – Buxom Sabrina’s bouncy Boys Boys Boys.

3 – Shalamar’s victorious Night To Remember. The dancing is more body ploddin’ than body poppin’ these days, but they sang the disco sensation well

4 – The clip of The Hitman & Her. How we loved that show! For all the wrong reasons.

5 – The clip of Cannon & Ball introducing Sabrina, proving that however bad Saturday Night Light Entertainment Hell may be now, it was often just as hideous in the past

Bottom 5 lowlights

1 – Jordan Knight lauded as a sex symbol even though he’s turned into an unattractive square performing a flaccid attempt at sexy dancing while “singing” his forgotten hit Give It To You and a dreary cover of Mario’s Let Me Love You.

2 – Vernon Kay’s moonwalking, body popping and punching – the worst display of Saturday Night Light Entertainment Hell tosserishness since Noel’s House Party petered out.

3 – The use of statistics such as “13 weeks in the UK chart” and the quoting of ridiculous reviews (“the British Stevie Wonder”) to introduce Junior. We quite liked his Mama Used To Say but hated the fact that he pronounced Through as Frew during Gotta Get Through This.

4 – Reminders of the woeful hairstyles of the past that graced the heads of Jordan Knight and Rozalla. Plus Jeffrey Daniels’ pathetic ponytails of the present.

5 – Sabrina’s minging sailorboy dancers

Week six

Chesney Hawkes (The One And Only/Robbie Williams’ She’s The One)

beat Kelly Marie (Feels Like I’m In Love/Britney Spears’ Oops I Did It Again), Cleopatra (Comin’ Atcha/Girls Aloud’s No Good Advice), Cutting Crew’s Nick Van Eede (I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight/Macy Gray’s I Try), Sybil (When I’m Good And Ready/Shania Twain’s Gonna Get You)

Top 5 highlights

1 – Kelly Marie. She should have won even though she now looks like a tubby Paula Ratcliffe and the backing track used on Feels Like I’m In Love was too Butlins, not enough G-A-Y. We loved the way she stamped her personality on Oops I Did It Again.

2 – Clips of Kelly in her heyday, having to whore herself around TV shows presented by Basil Brush, Frank Carson and DLT.

3 – Nick from Cutting Crew’s I Just Died In Your Arms. If you are going to have one of those bland, radio friendly songs in your collection, this is the one to have. He also did a unique (in a good way) take on Macy Gray’s I Try

4 – Cleopatra coming at us in quite an appealing way and covering Girls Aloud’s No Good Advice so much better than the original

5 – Vernon Kay didn’t do any saluting or punching and was a lot less cheesy than usual. Maybe he’ll become a tolerable telly star after all.

Bottom 5 lowlights

1 – Chesney Hawkes’ victory. Anyone who covers a Robbie Williams song (in this case the soppy She’s The One) should be disqualified. And even Chesney’s rendition of The One And Only (a fave of ours) lacked any rabble rousing feeling.

2 – The fascinating facts: Chesney was in the Chinese charts continuously for 12 years; Chesney penned a hit for Caprice (we must have missed that one. Can you remember it?) and Kelly’s Feels Like I’m In Love was written for Elvis Presley.

3 – Nick from Cutting Crew now looks like Big Brother tosspot Jason Cowan

4 – A rather disappointing When I’m Good And Ready from Sybil. We used to go mad for that song.

5 – Kelly Marie’s interior design (featuring an Ancient Egyptian theme) and her 56 pets. We didn’t realise we’d been idolising a slighting batty lady all these years.

Week seven

911 (Bodyshakin’/covering S Club 7’s Don’t Stop Movin’)

beat Kenny Thomas (Thinking About Your Love/Nora Jones’ Don’t Know Why), Princess (Say I’m Your Number One/Kylie Minogue’s Slow), Brother Beyond’s Nathan Moore (The Harder I Try/Elton John’s Are You Ready For Love?), Ultra Nate (Free/Rachel Stevens’ Some Girls)

Top 5 highlights

1 – The victory for the best, and titchiest, boyband of the late 1990s, 911. Lee, Spike and Jimmy delivered energetic versions of Bodyshakin’ and S Club 7’s Don’t Stop Movin’.

2 – Nathan Moore’s bulging biceps. Pity he now looks like a suntanned Michael Portillo

3 – Kenny Thomas’s quality vocal on Nora Jones’ Don’t Know Why.

4 – The Mel B-style horror hairdo of Ultra Naté (it is her real name)

5 – Laughing at pitiful Pete Waterman’s dancing on The Hitman And Her.

Bottom 5 lowlights

1 – Poor little Lee’s broken leg from playing football

2 – Nathan Moore being saddled with a dodgy voice (he hasn’t sung for five years – aren’t his friends and family lucky?) and, in his role as a music manager, being saddled with Andy Scott Lee and Hayley Evetts as clients. They’ll never make him rich.

3 – Ultra Naté’s version of Some Girls. “We preferred the Rachel Stevens version,” were words we expected to go to our graves without uttering.

4 – Princess causing us pain with her singing – and her earnest, serious nature

5 – A reminder of Sarah Greene’s 1980s bad hair decade

Final Shakin’ Stevens (This Ole House)

beat Tiffany (I Think We’re Alone Now)

Carol Decker (China In Your Hand)

Hue & Cry (Labour of Love)

Shalamar (Night To Remember)

Chesney Hawkes (The One And Only)

911 (Bodyshakin’)

Top 5 highlights

1 – Shakin’ Stevens won. We’d have preferred Tiffany or 911 or Chesney Hawkes or Hue & Cry or Carol Decker – but at least he made sure Americans Shalamar (the favourites among the audience) didn’t win so at least the UK had something to celebrate on another night of Eurovision disappointment.

2 – 911 are such nice lads and should never have split up. Come back, boys.

3 – Slaphead sensations Hue & Cry, who have already promised to give the music biz another bash after receiving applause in Glasgow supermarkets

4 – Tiffany performing I Think We’re Alone Now brilliantly, and apologising for her fashion faux pas of the past. “Now I look back, all that hair and the jumpers. I am so sorry.”

5 – Carol Decker, a younger (and talented) version of Geri Halliwell

Bottom 5 lowlights

1 – Shalamar. We loved A Night To Remember but this trio are just too cheesy for our tastes.

2 – Vernon Kay attempting to make “elevate and celebrate” into a catchphrase

3 – Another reminder of the horrendous The Hitman And Her when Wiggy from the show turned up to lend his support to 911

4 – Shakin’ Stevens (is that hair dyed by any chance?) being called a “true rock’n’roller” by his bandmates because of his “danger, edge and attitude”. And we always thought he was just a slightly naff MoR entertainer who’d never done anything more dangerous than squeezing into a pair of denims that were a tad too tight.

5 – Chesney Hawkes only raising two quid from busking in Covent Garden.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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