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UK Eurovision act finally unveiled with James Newman returning to ‘finish what he started’

Maggie Baska February 19, 2021
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Eurovision 2021

The final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. The 2021 contest will be socially distanced (Getty)

The UK’s Eurovision Song Contest 2021 entry has been unveiled, with James Newman set to represent the nation in Rotterdam this spring.

The BRIT award-winning and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter was chosen last year to represent the UK, but the pandemic forced Eurovision to be cancelled for the first time in its history.

Newman will now get another chance to fight for victory when Eurovision returns to Rotterdam’s Ahoy! Venue from May 18-22.

He’ll join multiple competitors from last year’s contest line-up who will be returning in 2021, including Iceland‘s Daði Freyr and Bulgaria’s Victoria.

‘I need to finish what I started.’

In an interview with BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, Newman promised his new song will be “positive and upbeat”. He said: “I need to finish what I started.

“I was so gutted when it [Eurovision] got cancelled last year, and I didn’t get the opportunity to go to Rotterdam and sign on stage.

“I instantly wanted to take part again.”

Newman is a successful songwriter and has written acts for pop superstars including Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris and Jess Glynne.

James Newman Eurovision 2021
Singer-songwriter James Newman will represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 (Victor Frankowski)

James Newman will either perform in person in Rotterdam or remotely.

Eurovision bosses have a series of scenarios in place to make sure the contest goes ahead this year, despite the ongoing pandemic affecting the participating countries. This means James will compete, but he’ll either perform at the Eurovision stage or remotely from the UK.

Bosses have ruled out hosting Eurovision in its traditional form with a full audience in the theatres. Dependant on conditions, audience levels will be diminished to facilitate social distancing and participants may have to pre-record their performances.

But final details on what Eurovision 2021 will look like have yet to be confirmed.

Who’s coming back for Eurovision 2021?

Iceland’s Daði Freyr was a fan-favourite to win last year’s competition and is back to represent his country. His song “Think About Things” was played on Radio 1 and Radio 2 playlists and used in Strictly Come Dancing’s promotional campaign, however the contest’s rules mandate that returning acts from 2020 must bring fresh songs.

Alongside Freyr, Victoria from Bulgaria will return for 2021. The country announced last March that Victoria would represent them in the next Eurovision contest.

The Mamas will represent Sweden after winning last year’s Melodifestivalen (Melfest) – the country’s Eurovision selection show. The group started their careers as back-up singers.

Other acts will include Ireland’s Lesley Roy, Hooverphobia from Belgium, Spain’’s Blas Canto and Montaigne from Australia.

 

Related topics: Eurovision 2020, Eurovision 2021

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