Eurovision: James Newman debuts UK entry for 2020

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After cancelling last year’s competition because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Eurovision Song Contest will be back with a bang on Saturday. The event will take place in The Netherlands following Duncan Laurence’s victory in Israel in 2019. However, the UK’s bad luck in the contest looks set to continue when James Newman takes to the stage this weekend on BBC One.

Malta has emerged as one of this year’s early favourites ahead of their semi-final battle on Tuesday. 

The country’s entrant, Destiny is odds-on at 8/13 to win the first semi-final with bookmakers Ladbrokes.

She’s also been given an 11/2 chance of being crowned the winner of Eurovision 2021. 

Italy is currently the 9/4 favourite to win while France is next in line at 3/1.

Read more: Australia Eurovision 2021 song: Who is Montaigne? 

Meanwhile, the UK’s James Newman has been ranked a 100/1 outsider. 

The Brit Award winner could be set for a disastrous night as Ladbrokes have given him odds of just 10/11 to finish in last place in Rotterdam. 

Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “It’s tight at the top of the betting between Italy and France, with Malta, Cyprus and Iceland all close behind. 

“However, it looks like it’s going to be another disappointing night in Europe for the UK.”

The so-called ‘Big Five’ – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – and the host country have all pre-qualified for the Grand Final.

On Tuesday and Thursday, 16 and 17 countries will take place in the first and second semi-final respectively.

Each semi-final will result in 10 countries securing their spots in the Grand Final, making a total of 26 participants. 

Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit, Edsilia Rombley and Nikkie de Jager will host the final from The Ahoy in Rotterdam.

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Graham Norton admitted he was “thrilled” to commentate on the singing competition yet again. 

He shared: “I’m so thrilled that Eurovision is back this year. Even if people can’t travel to the venue to celebrate the contest, I think the return of the show will be a real highlight for all the fans of the song contest.

“It’s strange to think back to last year and how frightened and uncertain we all were.”

“Although the contest didn’t happen in 2020, I took great comfort in the show that the Eurovision team put together,” he continued. 

“It was emotional, comforting and optimistic, which are really the qualities of the best Eurovisions.”

Sharing his thoughts on the UK entry, he added: “James Newman has done a great job with the UK entry this year. 

“Embers is such a striking image for where we are. All the friends and family we haven’t seen but the embers are still glowing ready to catch alight once again. 

“Hopefully the Eurovision audience will embrace that idea and the song and we’ll do well!

The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final airs on BBC One on Saturday at 8pm.

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