James Newman addresses unfortunate choice of Eurovision song title as pandemic took hold

Eurovision: James Newman debuts UK entry for 2020

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British songwriter James Newman is the UK’s entry for The Eurovision Song Contest 2021. The 35-year-old singer was due to take part in last year’s competition but the annual event was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of this year’s grand final in Rotterdam tonight, James spoke out about the whole experience and the two tracks he recorded for the singing competition.

Although the planned concert was cancelled in May 2020, a televised version aired instead.

This led to lots of TV interviews for James, who said he tried to remain upbeat during the very difficult period.

“I had to find the positives of it, in a time when loads of people were dying of a respiratory disease,” he said.

The singer went on to admit it was uncomfortable to talk about his music as his song for the event had an unfortunate title.

The track – My Last Breath – was released for digital download in February 2020 ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is a song about undying love.

“It was just such bad luck that we wrote a song with that title right before the pandemic,” he told this week’s Radio Times.

The theme for the 65th Eurovision Song Contest is Open Up.

The event, which takes place at the Rotterdam Ahoy arena, will feature many elements from the originally planned production.

Edsilia Rombley, Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit and Nikkie de Jager will host as they did for the Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light in May.

26 of the 39 countries in the contest have resubmitted their entry from last year.

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“As soon as it was cancelled, I wanted to do it again,” James told Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“I was having such a good time last year and my end game was always getting on that stage in front of all those people.”

James will finally get to take to the stage tonight with his brand new track – Embers.

He said it was a positive track and a celebration of coming back together again.

In order to make the competition as safe as possible, contestants and their teams are being tested every 48 hours.

Some missed the opening ceremony after testing positive for COVID-19, while others, who were staying at the same hotel, skipped the event as a precaution.

Subsequently, Iceland’s entry had to pull out of the live shows altogether, after a member of the band tested positive.

The Eurovision Song Contest final will air tonight at 8pm on BBC one.

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

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