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A WINNER IN OUR EYES: James Newman on Eurovision 2021


For the United Kingdom, it ‘twas not the year to take the title at the Eurovision Song Content. 

But for James, that didn’t ruin the experience, who said that competing at the Eurovision Song Contest has been "life-changing" - despite his entry Embers getting zero points.

It's only the second time in history the UK has failed to get a single point at the event.

Italy won this year's contest in Rotterdam with rock band Måneskin's anthemic Zitti E Buoni.

Asked if he'd do anything differently, James said he "wouldn't change a thing" about his performance.

But clearly something didn't work for the United Kingdom. Was it the song? The staging? Did politics come into it?

"Maybe people just didn't like my music," says James.

"We tried as hard as we could. I need time to process what it is that we could have done better."

The result means the UK has now come bottom in the last two contests (2019 and 2021).

On the night, the points are revealed in two halves.

The national juries are the first to give their scores and because James got zero from them, he became the first act to receive the public's scores.

With pauses for dramatic effect, host Jan Smit announced: "The United Kingdom… gets… from the public… zero points."

The news was met by a huge cheer in the arena.

"I genuinely had the best night of my life. I loved the crowd's reaction because I got a standing ovation and everyone was cheering," says James.

Spain, the Netherlands and Germany also received 'nil points' from the public, but James came bottom because they'd at least got a few points from the juries.

From all of us at Local TV, although you didn’t take the Eurovision crown - you’re a winner in our eyes, James!

To find out more about James’ song, check out our previous interview with him earlier this year. 

Or to watch James’ full performance at the ceremony, have a look here. 

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