UK hopeful James Newman delivers upbeat Eurovision performance

He took to the stage in Rotterdam during the live final.

The UK’s Eurovision hopeful, James Newman, has taken to the stage with an energetic performance of his song Embers.

The 35-year-old singer-songwriter is one of 26 acts vying for the top prize during the climax of the week-long contest in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

He took to the stage in a long leather coat decorated with zips, accompanied by dancing brass players in white ensembles.

Newman was the ninth act to perform in the grand final, when the BBC’s coverage typically pays tribute to former commentator Sir Terry Wogan.

Graham Norton, who is once again anchoring the contest on BBC One, encouraged fans “to raise a glass to Sir Terry Wogan, who was and always will be the voice of Eurovision”.

Newman, who is the older brother of pop star John Newman, had been ready to perform the ballad My Last Breath at the 2020 contest before it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

His upbeat dance-pop offering was inspired by the end of lockdown.

He performed in front of a crowd of 3,500 fans at the Ahoy arena.

Footage of a rehearsal performance from Iceland’s Eurovision entry was shown during the final after group Daoi og Gagnamagnio pulled out of performing live after a positive Covid-19 test.

They had been due to take to the stage with their song 10 Years but instead a rehearsal performance, recorded on the stage on May 13, was shown during the broadcast.

The Icelandic delegation had already been in quarantine after a positive Covid-19 test on Sunday and had undergone PCR testing.

At the 2019 contest the UK came in last place with Michael Rice’s Bigger Than Us, continuing a run of poor results, while the Netherlands came top with Duncan Laurence’s Arcade.

The final features the 20 successful nations from the week’s two semi-finals, as well as the so-called big five of the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The contest has been disrupted by a number of positive Covid-19 tests among the delegations.

Reigning Eurovision Song Contest champion Laurence was also due to perform but pulled out after testing positive and developing mild symptoms.

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