The music video: “The six-pack stomach was a marketing ploy. The old saying ‘sex sells’ is true”
Deciding the best thing to do would be to fly out to Thailand to record a new music video, Andre was wise to the fact that his body was his secret weapon. Filming a steamy new promo in a lagoon with director Claudia Castle in early 1996, Andre appeared shirtless and showcased his well-toned abs, larking around in a nearby waterfall and using his gym-bunny physique to his advantage. Andre even reportedly took a proactive role in the video’s creative process, editing the footage himself to amp up the summer “beach body” vibes.
Re-released in the UK on 28 May 1996, Mysterious Girl was picked up by the music TV channel The Box, which put the song’s promo video on heavy rotation. Rocketing back up the charts, the single would peak at No.2 in Andre’s target market, going on to became one of the best-selling hits of the summer. “The six-pack stomach was a marketing ploy,” Andre admitted in an interview with News Of The World. “The old saying ‘sex sells’ is true.” Coasting along to an insatiable pop-reggae groove, Mysterious Girl finally made Andre an international sensation, though he later admitted his body image caused him more problems than he let on.
Speaking on the ITV chat show Loose Women in 2022, Andre recalled that, at the time the video was shot, he was on a strict diet and fitness regime, aiming for zero body fat. “I was doing everything you’re told you’re supposed to do,” he said, “but I was getting sick a lot and getting colds all the time. My brothers would say, ‘What, you’re sick again?’” Though he’d become one of the year’s most recognisable pop stars, Andre had put his body on the line.
The legacy: “You can imagine how proud I was to call my mum”
Shifting over 900,000 copies and staying in the UK Top 40 for 15 weeks, Mysterious Girl was one of the biggest-selling singles of 1996, and it saw Andre receive a hero’s welcome in the country of his birth when he performed the song on Top Of The Pops. “You can imagine how proud I was to call my Mum and tell her that her little boy was making it big back in Britain,” the singer later said. In an interview with The People in 1996, Andre expressed pride that he was able to translate his Australian success to the UK. “I always wanted to succeed here,” he said. “I consider it my home and it’s one of the hardest markets to crack.”