After yet another “annual humiliation” — Lorraine Kelly’s words — in Tel Aviv, the UK is hoping to get back on track with acclaimed singer-songwriter James Newman and “My Last Breath”. Social media is awash with fan opinions, but what about those outside the bubble?

The first reviews are out in the notoriously merciless British press. And it seems that the mainstream media is just as divided as the fanbase.

None seem to be ecstatic, but many see it as a step in the right direction. Others are considerably less positive.

And then one report was just downright bizarre.

James Newman “My Last Breath” — Media reactions

The Guardian

“It’s a serviceable song that nods to the earnest post-Ed Sheeran acoustic troubadours exemplified by Lewis Capaldi and to the tub-thumping folksiness of Mumford & Sons’ debut album; the chorus throws in some Coldplay-ish massed “woah-oh”ing. You can see the logic: these artists represent three of Britain’s most successful musical exports of recent years. My Last Breath wouldn’t sound out of place on the Radio 2 playlist – but nor would it stand out on the Radio 2 playlist. The hook is OK, rather than indelible”.

BBC Newsbeat

“There was a weird moment when Greg James played the UK’s Eurovision song on BBC Radio 1. There it was, sandwiched between tracks by Harry Styles and Dua Lipa and… it didn’t sound like his show had been hacked. That’s down to the pedigree of James Newman and his co-writers, who have written hits for some of the UK’s biggest pop exports of the last decade. My Last Breath ticks all the Eurovision boxes: It’s a mid-tempo banger with a Coldplay-style “woah-oh” hook and a lyric about undying love. Granted, the central metaphor is weirdly macabre (it concerns two scuba divers running out of air) but somehow that makes it more memorable. It doesn’t feel like a winner but nor does it feel like an embarrassment. And that, at least, is progress”.

Digital Spy

“As a song, it’s a perfectly solid radio-friendly tune to launch a solo career with. As a Eurovision song, it remains to be seen if it’s got the drama to really stand out in the competition – but who knows how it will play out on the night. At the very least, it’ll probably do better than Jemini”.

Evening Standard

“My Last Breath is a by-the-numbers slog of woah-oh balladry. Opening with a few bars of muted acoustic guitars, the lyrics — delivered in pleasant, husky tones — are clichéd and non-descript from the off. “Some people let go/ Some people let love slip away/ But I’m gonna hold on/ When no one believes, I’ll keep the faith.” Is this about a fading relationship? Or the government’s post-Brexit negotiations with the EU? Possibly both? Who knows. The chorus is a bit of a singalong, and the hook is fairly catchy — you can tell that Newman has experience in the songwriting game . As an album track on his own release, it would be fine. As a Eurovision entry, it’s surely going to fall flat. At just over two-and-a-half minutes, at least it all goes by rather quickly. If we were serious about winning, surely we’d have chosen something more contest-friendly — something camp, fun and Europop-ish. This is anything but. Nil points”.

The Independent

“This feels like a long-term project and is exactly how the Netherlands began to approach the contest when they selected alt-rock singer/songwriter Anouk in 2013 after a decade of not qualifying. Three top-10 finishes later and they’re hosting for the first time in 40 years. We live in a post-Loreen Eurovision epoch of sad-boi ballads and ferocious bangers backed by record label big bucks, and “My Last Breath” is the most competitive track we’ve sent for a long time. Douze points for effort”.

Radio Times

“It’s pleasant enough, but that’s probably about the best thing you can say about it. Nice lyrics, a strong vocal from Newman, but nothing we haven’t heard before. Look at previous winners, like Israel’s Netta and Conchita Wurst’s Rise Like A Phoenix in Austria, who put on very different performances but were united by their effort and ambition. The UK on the other hand have found a particular talent at landing bottom of the results board with their same, old predictable format – and realistically we’ll be back there with minimal points yet again”.

The Sun

‘TASTELESS’ Eurovision fans outraged the UK’s entry is called ‘My Last Breath’ amid coronavirus outbreak”

Do you agree with any of the reviews? What’s your opinion? Let us know in the comments.

Follow all of our United Kingdom Eurovision 2020 news.

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Jake
Jake
7 months ago

I agree with the Evening Standard if our country was serious about winning it would have gone with something much more contest-friendly. Having said that, Rotterdam is a place where I would welcome this sort of song.

I know that comment sounds a bit arrogant but come on, I’m either going to be very disappointed or highly enthusiastic about the Uk’s act because I expected us to better last years entry. This mid-tempo banger doesn’t seem like progress on that.

Colin
Colin
7 months ago

Me with this song:
First listening (on the radio): It’s quite okay.
Second listening (with the video): Actually, it’s good.
Third listening: I’m *really* falling for it! Thanks, UK! 🙂 I hope it scores high in May!

Mr X
Mr X
7 months ago

Italy 9/10
Spain 7/10
United Kingdom 6/10
Germany 2/10
France 1/10

Kim
Kim
7 months ago

I listened to this song just after the music video was posted. After the first 10 seconds I thought finally UK you’ve got my attention this sounds good then the next 20 seconds happened and I started to feel a little disappointed. The next 30seconds the UK lost me the song became a little meh but overall this is the best the UK has sent in quite some time. A winner – no but in no way should this song be savaged by the press and the UK haters . So far there seems to be some clever songs –… Read more »

Safiya
Safiya
7 months ago

Surprsingly, I kind of like this song. It’s definitely not my favourite but it’s not that bad and it actually got stuck in my head. I like the beginning but the chorus is a bit disappointing. However, I like the part when he says “my last… breath” with a pause. Well I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it and I feel that it can grow on me.

Metalvision Song Contest

Outraged? ^^ This song would genuinely profit from some Hatari-level outrage! At least that would make it stand out and give it some publicity.
While I did point out the curious coincidence with the Corona Virus, I was rather congratulating the UK for their dark and cynical humor. At least that is something that can be considered typically-British about this otherwise rather generic, international song.

In practice, this whole process probably took so long that the song had already been finished way before the first patient was even diagnosed in China.

Ezzz
Ezzz
7 months ago

Fair enough you can be entitled to an opinion, but the reviews especially The awful Sun really are completely downgrading, and quite harsh to James as an artist. Will it win, well tbh there’s been quite some plain songs “France” so even if it might not win, it definitely won’t come last. But the more you listen to it, the more it’s not last place material.. but why can’t UK media actually be more encouraging then downgrading is something I won’t ever understand.

Moonstar
Moonstar
7 months ago
Reply to  Ezzz

“the more you listen to it, the more it’s not last place material”. People who will vote on the Eurovision final will only hear the song once. ONCE. So, yeah, papa, it is last place material! Innit? 🙂

Anna G
Anna G
7 months ago
Reply to  Moonstar

Nope, the people who vote will have been checking out the songs weeks in advance on YouTube, where the video is trending and has had over half a million hits in 24 hrs. Song is also highest entry into U.K. iTunes Chart at #6. It’s not a winner but it’s by far the best we’ve sent in years.

Anni
Anni
7 months ago

Thank you for collecting all the reviews, interesting read!

Marseille
Marseille
7 months ago

Some of these “journalists” descriptions of Eurovision and what makes a good Eurovision song… It’s like they stopped watching in 2008 and never bothered again lmao.

AndersP
AndersP
7 months ago
Reply to  Marseille

They’ve probably never watched – it’s the same tired cliches each year

Danny
Danny
7 months ago

Don’t read The Sun

Leydan95
Leydan95
7 months ago
Reply to  Danny

Lol they’re losing huge amounts of readers and just recorded profit margins in the gutter. No one reads that rag anymore, unless you’re over 65. Typical they’d just come out with blatant sensationalised lie. XD I dread to think what the Express has put.

Error 404
Error 404
7 months ago

It’s not a bad song and it is a step in the right direction but I’m hoping next year we might try another genre.
I hope we finally begin exploring R&B, Grime, Alternative/Experimental, Art-Pop or songs with a British-Asian sound.

Lise
Lise
7 months ago

Wiwibloggs, why would you even quote The Sun?

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
7 months ago
Reply to  Lise

Come on. That quote was SO ridiculous that it needed to be included, regardless of source. 😉

sangfreudx
sangfreudx
7 months ago

One factor that seems to get overlooked is the commitment that the singer brings to the song. A good example is Cesar Sampson and “Nobody But You.” The song was solid but kind of generic – I’d say comparable to “My Last Breath.” But Cesar was a co-writer on the song, he’s a very skilled singer, and most important he showed that he really understood and FELT the meaning of the song (not quite sure I did, though I liked it a lot). That’s a big reason it scored better than most of us expected, based on the song alone… Read more »

Timi
Timi
7 months ago
Reply to  sangfreudx

Absolutely agree! You gave words to all my thoughts, thank you.

Tibor
Tibor
7 months ago

Comparing him to Anouk won’t do him any favours. Anouk was a complete oddity in 2013. James Newman is nothing of the sort.

Vlad F
Vlad F
7 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Anouk succedeed to put Netherlands on the top 10, which wasn’t something people expected…. Will Newman be able to crack the left scorebord ceilling ?

Tibor
Tibor
7 months ago
Reply to  Vlad F

If you ask me, no, he won’t, his song is too ordinary.

Gabi
Gabi
7 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Maybe you should represent the uk or maybe the world next year, Mister non-ordinary.

Tibor
Tibor
7 months ago
Reply to  Gabi

What a convincing argument. Maybe I should.

Fatima
Fatima
7 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Hang on, she was a top 10 finisher. So isn’t it good (for him) that a comparison was made?

Tibor
Tibor
7 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

See above. Anouk was a complete standout in 2013. JN isn’t. So comparing these two will ultimately lead to disappointment, again.

Ohi
Ohi
7 months ago

The British media need to wind their necks in. They assassinate the act every year and it’s really discouraging to watch.

As for the Evening Standard man, I don’t know whether he has seen the contest in recent years but I doubt he much knows what he’s talking about!

Boozyfloozy86
Boozyfloozy86
7 months ago

Of course “The Sun” a dirty filthy rag of a paper would have comments about “woke” people angered that the title mocks the coronavirus. What a load of tripe!

Adriana
Adriana
7 months ago

Romania Global Production one singer Roxen = 5 Songs, UK BMG Production one singer James Newman =1 song. I rest my case.

AndersP
AndersP
7 months ago
Reply to  Adriana

You’ve not made any case. There was never going to be a national final, so they only need to choose one song.

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  AndersP

There is a “national final” in Romania this year!! Few a reader of this blog must have noticed that the event is called “finala nationala” instead of “selectia nationala” on the very calendar tab of wiwibloggs. So there is a national final (“finala nationala”) where the public and the jury will choose a song for Rotterdam. “Select” or “choose” – almost same thing. No time to get too deep into linguistics.

AndersP
AndersP
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Umm, obviously I was talking about the UK.

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  AndersP

Ermmm, I was mistaken then. Thanks for clarifying that point.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
7 months ago

This article actually tells you more about the standards of journalism in the UK mass media than anything else. 😉
Edit: Top rated comment on the Dailymail’s article about it:
“They could send Adele and we would still come last thanks to tactical voting (oh and they hate us) . Good luck to him though.”
Tells you everything you need to know really. *Sigh*

Pierre
Pierre
7 months ago

Best uk entry in many years

Timi
Timi
7 months ago
Reply to  Pierre

Probably since Children of the Universe.

Tom
Tom
7 months ago

It is a good song and they deserve to be appreciated even if for trying only. It will end up in top 15 i am sure!

Moonstar
Moonstar
7 months ago

The first lines of the song remind me of Azerbaijan 2019…

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
7 months ago
Reply to  Moonstar

Really, don’t laugh when i say this but I’ve been getting George Michael Faith vibes, only in the opening 10 seconds though.

Héctor
Héctor
7 months ago

As I said, I consider this a step forward like The Netherlands did. Name + quality. The thing is The Netherlands placed in the top 10 with Anouk and they then kept the path, but I’m not sure about the UK’s final result this year. Unfortunately, I don’t see them in the top 10 or top 15 . Hope next year they keep improving and taking the contest seriously and the result doesn’t discourage them from trying harder.

John the Go
7 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

I feel really happy to see comparisons with the Netherlands. They should definitely be role models for us in changing perceptions of the contest and attracting talent!

Andrei
Andrei
7 months ago

Each year the UK media sees their representative as a top 10 contender. But in the end they wake up and UK is in the bottom 5 again, wahahahaha

Joseph Mendy
Joseph Mendy
7 months ago

The British Media have literally been so disrespectful and have shown a defeatist attitude towards Eurovision and that really annoys me as much as it annoys other avid Eurovision fans here in the UK. This is why I never buy newspapers.

Fun or ban?
Fun or ban?
7 months ago
Reply to  Joseph Mendy

And don’t forget the people who committed suicide because of their stupid Tv shows! RIP

Fatima
Fatima
7 months ago
Reply to  Fun or ban?

One of whom was also the target of a nasty joke by none other than Graham Norton
http://www.rte.ie/entertainment/2018/1208/1015999-flack-says-nortons-bafta-joke-was-her-lowest-point/

Thomas
Thomas
7 months ago

I think The Independent really summarized it really well “a step in the right direction”. While I don’t think he will hit 9th place like Anouk I do think he will score considerably well since the man can sing real well. Hopefully we continue this step up in quality. What I don’t like, is the Media continuously bringing up Jemini, well over 15 years ago an they came last in 2008 2010 an 2019 those all should sting just as bad. It not only shows how they think ESC is just frivolous and camp, but how they dont take the… Read more »

Moonstar
Moonstar
7 months ago
Reply to  Thomas

The fact that Jemini came up might actually mean there is a “null points” coming… last year the Israeli song got zero from the juri and the German song got zero from the televoting public… This year?…

Azaad
Azaad
7 months ago
Reply to  Moonstar

This is considerably better than Home or Sister. The UK complain a lot about ESC, but null points for this would be a legitimate complaint

James
James
7 months ago
Reply to  Thomas

It doesn’t help that the “Eurovision expert” that Greg James got for his show on BBC Radio One as well as Scott Mills kept saying on the air that the show is “camp”. While there’s a level of novelty that has always been a part of the DNA of ESC, it’s no longer the one thing that defined the contest in the 2000’s once the likes of “Euphoria” steered it to a new direction for the better in terms of quality songs and presentation.

AndersP
AndersP
7 months ago
Reply to  James

The whole Radio 1 bit was a bit shambolic, the fact that Greg James hadn’t even listened to it is mad – surely there were two and a half minutes in a meeting the week before to play it to him!? Scott Mills’ doesn’t help convince people that the contest has moved on either when he then repeats the same old stereotypes and plays Nanne Grönvall.

Alex
Alex
7 months ago

The song is very radio-friendly and catchy but I am not sure if it can stand out on the big Eurovision stage and face compatition from other 23-24 acts. They need to nail the stage performance and visuals. The best scenario would be UK to have the success of Sweden 2019 in juries and get some love (50-90 points) in televoting. Kudos to BMG/BBC for picking a successful and known artist with Radio 1 exposure. It’s a huge progress to the right direction. I hope the song becomes a hit before Eurovision. One thing i don’t like, is that UK… Read more »

Kosey
Kosey
7 months ago

How many times have scuba divers been referenced in Eurovision?

Jonas
Jonas
7 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Ryan O’Shaughnessy went scuba-diving in his postcard, maybe they can do that again for James…

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I do like the idea, but how it fits with The Netherlands, I have no idea.

Robert
Robert
7 months ago

Love the mentioning of Anouk.. The song is good, it’s quality..

Fans! Let’s not let the UK down, don’t listen to the negative people out there

James Philip Baldwin
James Philip Baldwin
7 months ago

Funny enough I said this on another page! Personally I think juries will respect this entry and give it plenty of points like it did with Cesar Sampson Nobody but you back in 2018. It definitely has huge potential with the jury vote.

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
7 months ago

My sentiments exactly, and given the rather sub-par quality of the songs this year (not bad, just based on the last 2-3 years, this years batch of songs have kind of led me wanting more) James, can be a British Cezar Sampson, who sneaks a surprise Jury result. I just hope that the BBC and BMG will collaborate throughout this process and deliver a excellent stage performance in Rotterdam, and if the music video is anything to go by, I am highly confident that this will pull through, this isn’t a winning song by any means but if all goes… Read more »

Fun or ban?
Fun or ban?
7 months ago

Usually I am not into this kind of Funeral songs, but he is a beautiful guy with a beautiful voice, and I respect that! Welcome back, UK! #cute

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
7 months ago
Reply to  Fun or ban?

Now, that’s just plain rude and weightshaming. There is no need for that.

Jo.
Jo.
7 months ago

at least it’s better than France…

p.s. don’t post anything about The Sun, that trash can doesn’t deserve any space in the spotlight…

Conor Wells
Conor Wells
7 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

Especially after what they done to Caroline Flack.

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
7 months ago
Reply to  Conor Wells

Bless Her, RIP

James
James
7 months ago

Guy has a good voice, but so did the last few years for UK. It just plods along.
I was really hoping for an uptempo, they missed an opportunity to stand out. If this gets drawn in the first few spots, this is going to sink.
Interested to hear Wiwibloggs reaction video on it.

Joe
Joe
7 months ago

I made that point about the Netherlands comparison too! Independent knows what’s up.

Fatima
Fatima
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

That’s Rob Holley. All the others have little idea about the modern contest. They really ought to be taking notice of the other NFs, but won’t.

Timi
Timi
7 months ago

Absolutely!

moramento22
moramento22
7 months ago

“At the very least, it’ll probably do better than Jemini” British positivity at its best! XD

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  moramento22

Well, it’s not possible to be any WORSE than Jemini, surely!

Colin
Colin
7 months ago
Reply to  Jon

IDK about Jemini (before my time on ESC), but Flying the Flag was the British rock bottom for me. Not even Electro Velvet could come close to that trainwreck.

Joe
Joe
7 months ago
Reply to  Colin

That song still managed to walk away with a 12. A protest 12 from Malta. Still can’t get over that.

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

The UK had Cyndi’s “I’ll Leave My Heart” in their NF, yet they opted for… whatever “Flying the Flag” was. At least the staging was pretty creative, the lyrics on the other hand…

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Scooch were pretty bad, I agree, but that song is something of a guilty pleasure of mine.

Colin
Colin
7 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I mean, it was *so bad* it was quotable and thus, funny in a ”I can’t believe this is real” way. 🙂

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I still don’t understand how the EBU allowed us to get away with it. 😛

Timi
Timi
7 months ago

It’s a good song. Really really good. The first thing about it it’s that it doesn’t feel artificial. It’s honest, it feels real, it’s not a song composed without meaning by a average Swedish producer or something; it’s an author song. And it’s good. It has feelings that people can feel. It has nice lyrics that are positive in times when we need to stay strong for all the things that are happening in the world. And James seems to be a real artist, a professional. He will give a meaningful live performance. He knows how to deliver. So, people… Read more »

Erik
Erik
7 months ago
Reply to  Timi

We have thousands of producers in Sweden. Thank you for generalising

Timi
Timi
7 months ago
Reply to  Erik

You’re welcome! It was a France reference, don’t get offended for a useless opinion of someone you will never know. Mua!

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 months ago

I really don’t understand it! This country has such great artists and then they come up with this…

Una
Una
7 months ago

James’ live voice is *amazing*!!!! But please UK, don’t stage this song as the one last year. Don’t pull an Ari or Michael, please. The song has grown on me and it’s somewhere in my top 10 pre-show.

Colin
Colin
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Same with me, Una! At first, on the radio, I was like ”okay, but…”. However, I realized I was just hoping The UK will send something more daring. After more than one listening, alongside the video, I really like it. It’s likely not my top 5 entry, but it will probably score well in my overall list. It’s cute and uplifting. 🙂

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  Colin

🙂 I can’t wait to see the live performance in Rotterdam! If they could keep (or improve for that matter) the same raspy and natural voice I would be so happy! That’s what caught my attention very instantly in the instagram clip. The sound engineering must be different tech-wise in Rotterdam as compared to the sound quality in that venue in London. The voice was more genuine and alive and intimate (as in the connection between the voice and me as a listener) in the instagram performance than the voice with a very carefully engineered sound for a song on… Read more »

Roo
Roo
7 months ago

The Sun. Oh my. Such a quality news paper

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  Roo

I haven’t even bothered clicking on the article – I refuse to give them any hits to their website.

Fun or ban?
Fun or ban?
7 months ago
Reply to  Roo

Toilet paper with pictures

mad-professor
mad-professor
7 months ago
Reply to  Fun or ban?

My arse is too good for The Sun.

Whisker
Whisker
7 months ago
Reply to  mad-professor

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD!

Conor Wells
Conor Wells
7 months ago
Reply to  Roo

Dont click on it, they are an awful paper.

Jon
Jon
7 months ago

Is anyone even remotely surprised at the S*n’s ridiculous overreaction that’s clearly been worded to make people hate it right away?

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
7 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Maybe he needs to write an updated version, where he’d give the other person his last N95 mask.

Whisker
Whisker
7 months ago

I am actually wondering about the staging. How about a pool and two divers, some laser/lights show? I am down for that.

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

Awesome idea! As long as he’s not accompanied by the backing vocalists I am fine with almost everything else.

Whisker
Whisker
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Good point: NO BACKING VOCALISTS ON DA STAGE!

Harlow
Harlow
7 months ago

Once again bland and non creative who ever sitts on the UK delegation needs to GO! Bye!

Sara
Sara
7 months ago
Reply to  Harlow

I feel like it’s better than what they’ve been sending these last years

Joseph Mendy
Joseph Mendy
7 months ago
Reply to  Harlow

SHUT UP

Azaad
Azaad
7 months ago
Reply to  Harlow

It’s at least better than France in every single respect this year. And they didn’t outsource the song to Sweden