On Saturday evening, James Newman took to the Eurovision stage in Rotterdam, The Netherlands to represent the UK with his entry, Embers. However, while performers from the likes of Italy, France and Switzerland racked up hundreds of points from the panel and voting public, Newman finished bottom of the pile with an overall score of zero. Ever since, some of the Eurovision fandom has claimed the harsh reception received from the UK’s European neighbours came as a consequence of Brexit, but Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss has emphatically hit back at the notion, insisting the problem lies with broadcaster BBC’s selection process.
Newman landed the spot as the UK’s Eurovision entry way back before last year’s contest was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic through the BBC’s voting process.
However, speaking on LBC with journalist and This Morning regular Nick Ferrari, Ms Truss claimed this rigmarole was more at fault for the nil-point score rather than post-Brexit attitudes.
The minister’s comments came after Mr Ferrari asked: “Is it time for a fresh Brexit? I speak of the Eurovision Song Contest, Lis Truss, I’ve no idea if you’re a fan.”
The LBC host then asked, while admitting he “wasn’t an expert”, if the results were a direct cause of a “post-Brexit snub”.
Taking to Instagram, the singer penned to his 34.7k followers: “I want to focus on the positives of this amazing experience. I stood on a stage and sang to hundreds of millions of people with a song that I wrote and love.
“I’ve learnt so much from the amazing people who gave everything to help me live my dream, the dancers, my choreographer, my vocal coach, everyone from my label, my manager and the BBC, and all the people behind the scenes at Eurovision and the arena.
“All these people are the best in the business and I got the chance to work with them and share this crazy experience that I’m so lucky to have the chance to do.”
The singer – who is the brother of chart-topper John Newman – continued: “The thing about writing songs is that there is no guarantee that a song you think will connect with people, will connect with an audience.
“Thank you to all the amazing dedicated fans who have supported me through the whole thing, made it all worth it. Because at the end of the day they are the people who you do this all for.
“I just want to say a huge massive thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has been on this journey with me, supported me, listened to my music and filled my life with positivity and love.
“The times when it doesn’t play out how you hoped it might, teach you how to pick yourself up and be stronger x.”
Despite the result, Newman has continued to receive swathes of positive messages from Eurovision fans and host Norton stood up for the performer on the night, admitting his disbelief at the result.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.
Published at Mon, 24 May 2021 14:47:00 +0000