Think About Things (Results Edition) – United Kingdom

It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!

United Kingdom

Predictions, Personal Scores and Results


Prediction: Auto-Finalist

Personal Score: 6


Prediction: Auto-Finalist

Personal Score: 6

Results: 26th, Final

Did the United Kingdom live up to expectations? 

A: Unfortunately, yes. I don’t necessarily think that Embers was the worst song of the night, but the performance just ticked all the boxes for a last place finish. I personally think that double zero was a bit rough, but that also leads to the question, who would have voted? Virtually no jury appeal with the mediocre vocals, and there was also no spark for viewers at home to feel inspired to vote. 

D: James Newman was a top candidate for the last place finish. This became even more clear when we saw the rather uninspired live performance during the rehearsals. A double zero in the current era with some points up for grabs? I understand it, but it was still a shocker of course to actually see that happening. I think no one ‘expected’ James to throw a double zero on the big night.

How do you personally feel about the song for the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2021?

D: When I compare this to ‘Bigger than us’ for instance, I think the song wasn’t as bad as we have heard from the United Kingdom in recent years. But the overall performance was very, very weak. And the song was okay, which doesn’t make it good enough for the level of quality you need at Eurovision. When will the country with arguably the richest music industry learn they need to play their A-game to do well at Eurovision?

A: Our friendship might end over this, but I think I marginally preferred Bigger Than Us. There, I said it. I mean it’s picking from a bad bunch, for sure, but Embers never caught my attention. I thought the brass was dated, the melodies were a bit bland, and it just didn’t really go anywhere. I wouldn’t choose to listen to this again.

D: ‘Embers’ was very uninspired and I get why it didn’t get your attention. It caught no one’s attention, hence the zero points. I had more sympathy for James Newman though, since Michael Rice walked around like he was the new superstar, but in the end delivered a very poor performance as well, I still rate that as being worse.  

A: That’s true, and James did show great sportsmanship. Receiving a double zero, knowing that the UK hasn’t fared all that well lately must have been a horrible feeling, but he handled it so well. I actually think that was one of the nicest moments of this year’s contest.

Could the United Kingdom have done anything different?

D: Yes, they could start by sending in a big name. And no, BBC, with that I don’t mean Paul McCartney. I mean a big name in the current music scene. It only takes one big national name to step up and do well, to open the doors for others. We have seen this with other nations as well. 

A: I didn’t hate the staging, but it also wasn’t fantastic. Vocals didn’t hit the mark, and to me, and from what I know about James Newman, he spends more time writing songs rather than singing them. I don’t think he gave a super confident performance, and while there were some charming moments but really nothing stood out.

What can the United Kingdom do to ensure success in future years?

D: I accidently already answered this question above haha. Makes sense, since we keep on repeating ourselves every year. Hopefully, one day, the United Kingdom will learn their lesson and look at their own actions as a reason for the failure, instead of putting the blame on other factors. As long as they do that, it’s a hopeless cause. 

A: This really is an annual discussion. A broken record. I feel like in previous years we always try to grab onto something and say ‘the UK is trying this year’ but I think if they were really trying, they would have delivered better results. 

National Finals are just a no-go for the UK at the moment. Recent history shows they can’t be trusted with a national final. Internal selections, and work with record companies to try deliver a bigger name, and not a dated name. It doesn’t have to be the most famous person in the UK, and I think Lucie Jones proved that the UK could gain better results even without a huge name. 

There’s a lot of work to be done here, and I think another important step is owning mistakes. There is always that air of ‘Europe hates us and that’s why we don’t succeed’ but I think once the team looks inwards and focuses on themselves, they can come up with something better. Look at the Netherlands, that should be inspiration enough.

Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?

D: The United Kingdom decided not to release their live-on-tape performance, so we cannot compare.

A: Bit of a shame really. It would have been nice to see what they had planned, but odds are that the Rotterdam performance was better, even with the double zero!