She was replaced almost immediately by hopeful popstar Jade Ewen, who was last seen representing the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, and, if rumours are to be believed, was waiting in the wings long before Keisha knew she was being sacked.
But still, the new line up battled on through the storm, Jade getting hard at work rerecording Keisha’s vocals from the already fully completed album, and recording their new video, leaking pictures to the press that showed their ruthless work ethic and just how well the new member blended in. However, a shambolic appearance on Radio 1, which was meant to introduce the new line up officially, did nothing to help them. During the interview, the girls didn’t appear to know Jade at all, and Heidi sounded audibly upset at points, which merely sent the Sugababes further on a downward spiral.
Planned ‘comeback’ gigs kept getting cancelled, often being blamed on legal issues to do with the new member, and Amelle was later admitted to a clinic in Europe, suffering from “a severe bout of nervous exhaustion”- just as they were about to start promotion for About A Girl. Shortly after, the original Sweet 7 album sampler was leaked onto the internet – including 6 tracks that feature vocals from Keisha, which may prove to be the final nail in the coffin for version 4.0.
It is likely that these tracks were never meant to see the light of day after their management made the decision to fire Keisha, and fans will undoubtedly be unfairly comparing Jade to Keisha on the songs, it doing nothing to help Jade fit in as a Sugababe.
It was revealed this week that the album has been pushed back to February 2010, posing the question – will we ever get to see the official unveiling of Jade as a Sugababe? We’ve seen the video for the single, we’ve seen the paparazzi shots, but we are yet to hear something original with her vocals on it, only rehashes of old songs. While Amelle is recovering, the Sugababes will do what they have always done when one member has gone AWOL – they will promote to the best of their ability as a duo, but is this enough? About A Girl rightly deserves to be a hit, though it is looking unlikely with the currrent state of affairs, but it goes without saying that the Sugababes really need a hit single right about now in the wake of all this drama.