Scooch were the outsiders on Making Your Mind Up (MYMU), but their camp, all-frills song Flying the Flag (For You) struck a chord with the public. Scooch’s Natalie Powers tells us how they’re feeling about their chances in the Eurovision Song Contest Final on May 12.

Life’s been a whirl since Scooch won MYMU on March 17. Its been constant public appearances, interviews, performances and TV spots. So we asked Natalie exactly what they’ve been up to…
“Oh everything, GMTV, Breakfast, Blue Peter, the National Lottery. We’ve actually just done this crazy thing where we had to put on blindfolds and guess countries by smelling things – the European Pong Contest! But it’s been brilliant… Since March 17 it’s just been non-stop”

You were a big group in the Nineties. Is this like having a second bite at the cherry?
“Completely. Only this time round we’re that little bit wiser…”

So how have you been preparing for Eurovision?
“Lots of rehearsing. We’ve also come up with a new costume design, so we’re taking some alternatives with us. That way we can bring an element of surprise. We’re going to be performing with our backing singers and band on stage, so there’s a lot to be organised. But the great thing is, we actually get three full dress rehearsals. So for fans who couldn’t get tickets for the final, they’ll be able to see all the acts pretty much as they’ll be on the big night… Another thing in our favour is we’re 19th on the list of performers. Plenty of time to get used to it all.”

You’ll be well and truly warmed up…
“The thing is when we got together for Making Your Mind Up we weren’t really in shape. It takes a lot out of you trying to do that routine, the dancing and singing live at the same time. So I’ve had to get back into shape; I’ve been out every day going for big walks with the dog.”

How did you feel about the controversy over using hidden backing singers (which was, in fact, allowed by the rules)?
“Oh, we got on the cover of the Daily Mirror, the ‘European Song Con-test’. [Laughs] We thought it was brilliant. I mean we never thought it was going to go like this when we got back together. The cover of the Daily Mirror! The whole thing’s been amazing. No one expected us to win, but everything’s seems to be going our way. Even the way Terry Wogan announced the wrong winner on the night, it all seems to be going right for us.”

There were some sour grapes about your win, especially from Justin Hawkins and Brian Harvey. Have you managed to put that behind you?
“We never heard it. Everyone was great with each other before the show. Brian Harvey and Justin Hawkins were both really nervous about singing live, and it helps when you also see performers like that getting worked up. The thing is, the British public voted for us, so we feel like we won it. The BBC wouldn’t run anything that wasn’t completely above board, so we feel like we’ve got the public behind us.”

Everyone is obviously willing you to win it…
“The level of support has just been incredible. I think people were just ready for something different. The thing about the song is it’s just a fun song, like Bucks Fizz (back in 1981). We’ve come along and it’s like fresh air. I mean, it’s not that we’re not serious about it – we’re representing our country! But we want to bring back some of the fun to Eurovision.”

What do you think of the competition?
“I’ve seen some of it. I think the Denmark song, ‘Drama Queen’ is really, really strong. But I haven’t seen all the entries. The other three have. But we’re hoping that we’re offering something different. Something that will appeal to everyone.”

Are you concerned about the UK’s usual handicap – our neighbouring nations voting us down. How will you cope with that?
“Oh that’s just the way it is. We can’t really get too preoccupied by that. But with our song we really think we’re doing something different, something that people haven’t seen from the UK in a while. We’re hoping that our style will appeal to everyone [around Europe].”

What would it mean for Scooch to win?
“To be honest, we already feel like we’ve won. In some ways, winning MYMU was harder for us because no one expected us to have a chance.”

How are the nerves going be just before you go on?
“We’re going to be excited and nervous, but really, probably not as nervous as we were before MYMU. We feel like performing in front of the British public on live TV, that was so difficult. It’s almost like it’s not going to be so bad in front of a huge European audience. We’ve already won in one respect, so this is just something extra.”

Something extra that might just turn into something magical. Natalie, we wish you the best of British luck…