Europe

‘Europeans don’t like us!’ Majority in poll blame ‘political reasons’ for Eurovision farce

Eurovision: Bill Bailey reveals BBC labelled his entry as ‘silly’

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Many theories have been put forward by disappointed viewers who watched in amazement last weekend as singer James Newman finished at the bottom of the leader board. While some have blamed the performer and his song for the dismal result, the majority of Britons questioned in a survey cited political reasons.

Asked what they thought was the most likely reason for Britain finishing last among the pack, 45 percent of respondents said they believe it was because “Europeans don’t like the UK”.

Only 14 percent said it was because “the song or singer wasn’t good enough”.

A quarter of those who took part said it may have a been a combination of both of the above while 15 percent said they didn’t know.

Some seven million people across the UK tuned in to watch Mr Newman represent the country on stage in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

After being humiliated at the international song contest some Britons questioned if European judges and voters had punished their act for Brexit.

The idea was dismissed by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss who called for a reformed system for how the UK chooses its future entrants.

Ms Truss told LBC’s Nick Ferrari: “I think there’s a fundamental problem with the way that we are choosing our performances and singers for the Eurovision Song Contest, because I don’t think it’s a post-Brexit snub.

“I think we need to have more competition to get the right entrant, I think they need to be more tested with the public.

“I’m here today at LBC responding to questions from listeners, that’s the kind of testing that we need our song contest entrant to go through.

“So maybe it should be LBC that’s running it, not the BBC.”

In 2019 the BBC scrapped the public vote used to select the UK’s entry.

Instead, the public service broadcaster opted to give a record label the final say.

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In February the Beeb announced that Mr Newman would once again represent the UK.

He had been set to appear at last year’s contest before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said last year’s songs would not be eligible for the 2021 competition he co-wrote a new one, titled Embers.

After the final results of the competition were declared, Mr Newman took the defeat in good humour.

He was seen drinking a beer and standing up to applause from the live audience in the arena.

He later thanked fans and said he wants to “focus on the positives of this amazing experience”.

In posts on Twitter and Instagram, he wrote: “I want to focus on the positives of this amazing experience. I stood on a stage and sang to hundreds of millions of people with a song that I wrote and love.

“I’ve learnt so much from the amazing people who gave everything to help me live my dream, the dancers, my choreographer, my vocal coach, everyone from my label, my manager and the BBC, and all the people behind the scenes at Eurovision and the arena.

“All these people are the best in the business and I got the chance to work with them and share this crazy experience that I’m so lucky to have the chance to do.

“The thing about writing songs is that there is no guarantee that a song you think will connect with people, will connect with an audience.”

The poll was conducted on Tuesday May 25, with a total of 3,133 British adults surveyed.

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