“we took the best of British” James Newman on Eurovision defeat

James Newman spoke to today’s Lorraine in his first interview following the UK’s nil points result at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 that took place last weekend in Rotterdam.

Speaking about the moment the results were revealed, and the UK coming last in the grand finale, James said:

“What can you do? We went there and we tried our hardest. I think we took the best of British. I was really happy with the song, really happy with the performance. But the best thing for me was how the crowd just went absolutely crazy when they said ‘nil points’ but the audience was cheering me, everyone was cheering me.”

When asked whether he had any indication that he would place last in the competition, James said: “I couldn’t really tell. I was being really positive. I was trying to just visualise winning so that I could put a positive vibe on it all. You just can’t tell. Writing songs and singing to people, you can’t guarantee it’s going to connect with an audience. I think, for me, I just wanted to go and try my best and we definitely did. My whole team was so amazing. It was such a great time. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Despite placing last in Eurovision 2021, James’ single ‘Embers‘ has climbed the music charts. James said:

“It’s amazing. The whole reason I got into doing this is so I could sing music to people and get my song out to the world. So, it’s definitely done that job. Coming home and seeing my song was Number 1 on iTunes in the UK. I was like ‘Oh my God, that is amazing’ so everything has a silver lining.”

Touching upon the restrictions in place at this year’s event, James said: “The restrictions there, there were loads… We got tested every day, we had to keep our distance and wear masks. We were in a bubble with our team… Me and my team had loads of drinks and I had drinks in the arena, obviously!”

Speaking about his love of cold water swimming and how it calms his nerves, James said:

“It totally calms me down. I think once your body has been in freezing cold water in the morning, it can’t go through anything worse. I’ve been going to the lido at Parliament Hill. I’ve got a few swimming friends. When we were in Rotterdam, we couldn’t leave the hotel. I went to reception and was like ‘I know this is a crazy question, is there any chance you could bring ice to my room in the morning?’ They said ‘Yeah, how much do you need? And I said ‘A bath full!’ Every morning someone knocked on my door and brought trays of ice into the bath, it was great.”

On whether he has any regrets following Saturday’s result, he said: “None at all. Saturday was one of the best nights of my life. I sang in front of 200 million people and I got into music because I wanted to sing on stage to people and that was what I was doing. I got to work with all these amazing, talented people. No regrets at all.”

“…The support I’ve had from the UK has been amazing. I was so proud that everyone was behind me.”


ITV’s Lorraine, weekdays from 9 am on ITV and STV. Catch up on the ITV Hub.
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