In a week’s time, James Newman will be flying off to Rotterdam for his Eurovision 2021 rehearsals in the Ahoy arena. Before he goes, the British singer has taken the opportunity to perform his entry “Embers” live on CBBC morning TV show Saturday Mash-Up!.

This is the first full live performance of “Embers” that James has given on a British TV show.

James Newman performs “Embers” live on Saturday Mash-Up!

Saturday Mash-Up! is a children’s morning entertainment programme that features a mixture of games, quizzes, cartoons and more. Each week there are a few special guests on the show, which this Saturday included James Newman as well as Chelcee Grimes, who will commentate on the Eurovision 2021 semi-finals on BBC4 this year.

Towards the end of the show, James took to the microphone in order to perform his Eurovision 2021 entry “Embers”. James was joined by two backing singers and all three were separated in line with social distancing measures.

James largely stood in place for the performance, which gave him chance to deliver a solid vocal presentation. The energy and life of the song was still showcased through the camera cuts and with James bouncing along to the beat. The other guests and hosts of the show can also be seen dancing along at various points.

Visibly smiling throughout, James clearly has fun performing “Embers”. In a post on Instagram after the show, the British singer said: “Thank you for a really fun morning performing my single #embers on #saturdaymashup @cbbc loved it!”.

There are natural limitations with performing in a TV studio while maintaining social distancing, so not too much should be read into the staging aspect per se. Lee Smithurst, part of the UK’s delegation team, previously revealed that James’ stage show for Rotterdam will be directed by Jerry Reeve and Tom Denning – they’ve previously worked with artists such as John Legend, Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift. So no doubt bigger things are to come.

Before the performance, James Newman also had a quick conversation with the show’s host Joe Tasker. James announced that he’ll be releasing a new single after Eurovision and then a full album later on in the year.

Meanwhile, Chelcee Grimes also got involved with segments of Saturday Mash-Up!. She was voted by the audience at home to be put under questioning and slimed for every wrong answer she gave. If you’d like to get to know the UK’s new Eurovision commentator a bit more, while watching her get increasingly covered with slime, you can watch here.

What do you make of James Newman’s live performance of “Embers”? Do you think it’s a good sign of things to come in Rotterdam? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more United Kingdom Eurovision news here

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wonder
wonder
1 month ago

His voice is incredible! I like the song! cute guy! top 20 even top 15..

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

He is amazing and talented but i agree that he lacks of stage charisma and i’d prefer him to be just the writer and not the artist.

I think the UK hasn’t sent a talented performer/artist with the exception of Blue and Lucie Jones.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Fair play but I wonder if this is an element of “vanity project” for him. Probably losing out on a Top 10 hit if recorded by say his brother, James Arthur, Becky Hill for example.

Ted
Ted
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Blue, Lucie, Molly, Jade. just 4 near decent entrants from the past 20 years. Surie too but her song was so basic and bland.

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago

I mean it’s fairly reflective of British music so I can’t really fault them in that regard!

canada_piano
canada_piano
1 month ago

this is a song juries will really appreciate. televoters may give them 30-50 points, so not much. top 15 is within quite easy reach though i believe

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
1 month ago
Reply to  canada_piano

I would be quite happy with that as it doesn’t deserve to finish beneath that, I would take 15th but, I do think that a Top 10 isn’t laughably unachievable, Top 5 however now, that’s a reach. It won’t win but, given how’s behind the staging this year this will finish better than the UK has finished in recent years

Jake
Jake
1 month ago

This song will hinge on the staging for sure…I actually can’t wait for the rehearsals given that so many internally selected songs and slick music videos will finally make way for real on stage performances

WannaEatMySpaghetti
WannaEatMySpaghetti
1 month ago

He was a bit off key at the very beginning but then it was nice. Tbh I like this song, it is 10th in my top and I think it is perfect to close the final. Hope he will finish in the top 15 but it will need a very strong staging. The song is nothing without the right atmosphere.

Melania
Melania
1 month ago

No chance tho, the competition this year is too good. It may finish around 16 if lucky but I would guess 18-20

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

I loved it!

raylee
raylee
1 month ago

Thanks to The Netherlands and Germany , he won’t get the last place.. His place will be 24th or 23th lucky him

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  raylee

Why do you think the Netherlands will place that low?

raylee
raylee
1 month ago
Reply to  James

i don’t think many people will vote for it

ESCLightworker
ESCLightworker
1 month ago

He is soooo likeable. Hope he will do well and i think, with the right staging, it can do top 12.

Una
Una
1 month ago

OMG I am not giving up on James but I am beginning to become slightly worried. I am trying to convince myself that this is a mere promotional presentation and that Rotterdam will be different. This Sat mash up performance was beyond *awful*.

Cameron
Cameron
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

It’s a kids tv show, you shouldn’t expect to much

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Cameron

Yeah I know. Thing is there was no “spark” so to speak. Staging and choreo can only do that much when the delivery is not convincing. That applies to all entries, so I am not pinpointing at the UK.
Maybe a morning children’s entertainment show is not the best avenue to promote the song. It’s not like the kids (British audience) will vote, right?
Anyways, TeamUK must be practicing on hours on end. Sorry I got so underwhelmed. I still have hope for a good result for the UK.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
1 month ago

I liked this! The main thing here for me was that James looked like he was having fun, and the backing singers (particularly the guy) looked joyful too. He has lovely tones in his voice, I hope he can work on his breathing though because he sounded breathless while he was moving.

The song’s imagery is ripe for fiery magical staging with performers alongside James. Fire jugglers that get close ups every time he says ‘embers’ maybe? The staging is key, he deserves something awesome—and maybe then he wouldn’t need to move, he can focus on singing.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
1 month ago

The host is quite cute…reminds me of Priyanka

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago

The song got top-10 potential, question is if he can let loose and dance more etc…

Ted
Ted
1 month ago

I was so pumped after seeing James on the Spain pre party with his acoustic version. That was amazing! And then this. OMG what a let down. Dressed badly – a sack of spuds dressed in my Grandad’s shirt. Still dad dancing but with a few choreographed  mic leans thrown in for good measure. Not good! Worst of all, his eyes are squinted through most of the performance. That means there was no connection with the camera or to the audience watching at home. If felt disconected, got board so easily watching him. James is a decent song writer. His… Read more »

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

i love his voice, so good live and he is very likeable. I am rooting for UK!!

However, isn’t it disappointing that his first live performance is on a children’s morning entertainment programme??

I mean cmon BBC, you can do better! Book him some slots on major TV shows to promote the entry.

Fatima
Fatima
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Italy have San Remo. Sweden have Melodifestivalen. The UK have Saturday Mash-Up! And we wonder why we’re 23rd.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Fatima

At least he has escaped This Time with Alan Partridge! The song is OK, however, James…..

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Fatima

Exactly. Then, they blame Brexit and not their lack of effort to promote the song within the country and make it a hit there before they ask Europe to vote for it!

Kosey
Kosey
1 month ago

Needs lots of dancers and lots of flashing lights – this is a party track, it needs to feel like a party. James can stand still and focus on his singing but lots of other people on stage need to be moving around a lot.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kosey
Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Kosey

i heard that he has a strong team for staging (a team behind Dua Lipa and other british stars), fingers crossed!

Fatima
Fatima
1 month ago

Was that a completely live main vocal?

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago
Reply to  Fatima

There is clearly backing track.

Campbell Grace
Campbell Grace
1 month ago

If the staging is of the breath-taking 2017 Lucie Jones level then I’d expect this to really surprise and do well, another top 15