The Big Five continue their first rehearsals at Eurovision 2021. Next up to the Rotterdam stage for his first run-through is United Kingdom’s James Newman with “Embers”. Has the UK upped its staging game? Let’s see…
United Kingdom’s James Newman “Embers” — Eurovision 2021 first rehearsal
Oliver: The bisexual red and blue lighting returns! The British star begins his performance of “Embers” stood on a circular platform in centre stage with two gigantic — and rather comical — white trumpets either side of him, shining red and blue lights from their bells. Very camp. Fortunately, that is offset by the stylish fashion choices — James is wearing a black coat and he’s joined by four dancers in white, wielding trumpets and trombones. The United Kingdom’s light show is also very dynamic with lots of colour shifts throughout. As the second verse builds, the stage is lit in warm shades of orange. Then during the bridge, James steps back onto the round platform surrounded by laser lights from above. And by the time the final chorus rolls around, there are bright and punchy flashes of red, blue and white. We’re yet to see a run with pyro, but some fuego would certainly make this run much more impactful. Right now, this fades into the background in a lineup of big pop bangers.
Padraig: The UK’s staging is certainly a departure from what we’re used to from them. James begins the performance standing on a black circular plinth, slap bang in the middle of two ginormous trumpets. They’re probably the biggest props on stage this year. Romania’s canons from 2017 don’t come close. James is dressed all in black, including a long leather trench coat with gold trimming. He’s joined by four backing dancers. They’re all in white and each of them has a regular-sized trumpet of their own. Two have white trumpets, the other two have white ones. James’ delivery is competent, but this lacks a spark compared to much of the other acts we’ve seen. It’s definitely a respectable effort from Britain, but it’s unlikely to trouble the higher end of the scoreboard.
Reaction to United Kingdom’s first rehearsal at Eurovision 2021
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What do you think? Did James Newman live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: EBU / THOMAS HANSES