James Newman "Embers" United Kingdom Eurovision 2021
Photo: EBU / Thomas Hanses

Eurovision is serious business, with over 180 million people tuning in to watch Europe’s largest televised entertainment event. And yet every year some contestants tune out all the pressure and just show up and do their thing. This year, for his tremendous spirit, we take our hats off and salute the United Kingdom’s James Newman.

We’re pleased to announce James Newman as the winner of wiwibloggs’ Vision Music Award 2021 for Least Bothered by the Results.

This award was voted for by members of the Wiwi Jury.

James Newman wins Least Bothered by the Results at the Vision Music Awards 2021

James Newman is a name Eurovision fans will likely never forget.

At the Eurovision 2021 grand final in Rotterdam, James sang “Embers” starting from ninth position, following Serbia’s Hurricane with “Loco Loco” and preceding Greece’s Stefania with “Last Dance”. There, he hoped to bring the United Kingdom back to Eurovision glory.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

After the first portion of voting, “Embers” stood in 26th place with zero points from the professional juries. And when the televote points rolled in, James remained at the bottom of the scoreboard. This made the Settle-born star the first act ever to receive nil points from both the jury vote and televote since the introduction of the split result scoreboard.

But James Newman, being the good sport he is, didn’t let the results get to him. After the initial shock, the British representative rose to his feet, beer in hand, and jumped around with his delegation. The crowd inside the Rotterdam Ahoy arena matched his response with an uproar of applause.

And he was in good company. In the moments following, hosts Jan Smit and Chantal Janzen announced Germany’s Jendrik, Spain’s Blas Cantó and the Netherlands’ Jeangu Macrooy also received zero points from the public.

In the days following the contest, James cleared the air with a statement on social media:

“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.

Thank you to all the amazing dedicated fans who have supported me through the whole thing made it all worth it. Because at the end of the day they are the people who you do this all for.

I just want to say a huge massive thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has been on this journey with me, supported me, listened to my music and filled my life with positivity and love.

The times when it doesn’t play out how you hoped it might, teach you how to pick yourself up and be stronger.”

The results might not have gone in James Newman’s favour, but the United Kingdom should be proud of James’ good sportsmanship and song contest etiquette. He’s a class act!

Vision Music Awards 2021

This award is just one of 14 awards we have launched as part of the Vision Music Awards 2021 (VMAs).

Our 14 categories — from Best Dressed to Best Use of Social Media — identify the contestants who left the biggest impression on Eurovision fans, regardless of whether they won the contest or not.

Click here to see the remaining categories, and stay tuned to find out the remaining Vision Music Award winners!

Do you agree that James Newman was the act least bothered by the Eurovision results? Who else deserves an honourable mention? Let us know in the comments down below.

Read more Vision Music Awards news here

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Raussen
Raussen
1 month ago

Lol what, it’s a lie, him and Irish girl were so upset that they didn’t give promotion to show their back up performances, he took it awfully

AMAAN STORM
AMAAN STORM
1 month ago
Reply to  Raussen

Oh yeah, because you were physically there and he told you.
Stop being a troll. It was visible for all to see that he got up and responded with the response that was televised. One that came naturally to him. No dissapointment but a truly heartfelt and celebratory roar. Good for him.

Don’t kick someone when they’re already down. Its classless

Bird Lover
Bird Lover
1 month ago
Reply to  AMAAN STORM

its true. he complained quite a bit during the esc week. the trumpets, the covergae he got, even local coverage was very “we will see im trying though”

esc1234
esc1234
1 month ago

The award belongs to bbc, for almost 20 years they ridicule a country and destroy careers using tax payers money. What an achievement.

Ted
Ted
1 month ago

James had great energy and passion when the results were announced. Loved his reaction. A true good sport. Shame that he came across flat, out of breath and lackluster energy in his stage performance.
Deserved to come last.
His twitter account has been very very quiet since his ev statement.

Dolly
Dolly
1 month ago
Reply to  Ted

What do you know

Boozeboy99
Boozeboy99
1 month ago

Should be the BBC getting the award, Because they are NEVER bothered!

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
1 month ago

Perhaps my favourite reaction to 0/low points is Wilke Abertie, from 1994 (Netherlands). According to an interview with her conductor, when the points rolled in and they had nothing for so long, they rolled around “In uncontrollable laughter!”

That’s the way to do it!

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
1 month ago

While we’re (kinda) on the topic of nul points, can I suggest an idea I have for an alternate scoring system? In my ideal system, countries award 1 to 30 points to their top 20 songs, instead of 1 to 12 for their top 10. Basically, you give 30 points to your favourite, 28 points to your 2nd favourite, 26 to your 3rd, and so on until you get to 12 points for your 10th favourite. And then, 10 points for your 11th favourite, 9 points to your 12th favourite, and so on until 1 point for your 20th favourite.… Read more »

Leo
Leo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ethan1994

I think the Kid’s ESC system would be better even though: A) it could be a logistical nightmare, particularly given I’d like non-European viewers and fans, like Americans and Argentines, to vote . B) although James would have got points (unless he got 0.05% of televotes worldwide and I don’t think him and Jeangu were that low, probably 0.7-1%) he would still have been pinned to the bottom, with Jeangu – my fave of the 4 – faring similarly badly in this section (Jendrick would have fared better though) C) after a few decent campaigns, we could still have a… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Leo
Sot
Sot
1 month ago
Reply to  Ethan1994

Wow, that is so interesting! I’m not sure if I prefer this format but I see some interesting changes in the 2021 results, like Moldova dropping 7 places (what) and things that stayed the same like the whole top7 and obviously the uk in last place lol

Roo
Roo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ethan1994

Thanks for crunching those numbers. That would of been ages of work and it is good to see ideas thought out.

However the United Kingdom came last anyway you sliced it and the British media would of continued with its “Europe hates us” schtick as it does.

The last few years have seen many changes to make the voting fairer and/or more interesting but the UK aren’t going to benefit till they take a dare and send out there songs, not pleasant radio songs. And a singer who performs their heart out for the jury final and the big night.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Ethan1994

Great work!! I think the current system is OK. Broadcasteres should try harder at bringing better acts. Some do achieve consistant good to great results. Others manage once in a while. Others go backwards. Otheres stay the same no matter what change they bring or whatever super selection system they use. Why should Ebbu change the system around broadcasters that do not try enough? I’d say: let the scoring be as it is now. Broadcasters should always try for better if they have the money to do so; if they don’t have the monies that look for some. They can… Read more »

MyName
MyName
1 month ago

I think he had a great song. Modern and well produced. Very catchy. And I like his spirit. ESC is SO much more than results. To show what you stand for musically is actually more important I think. And the singers / band display their music for millions anyway. There are always some people who will like it. There are many good songs which have come last during the ESC-history. But the results don’t make them inferior

Last edited 1 month ago by MyName
Totorino
Totorino
1 month ago

The UK like Ireland had a good quality song this year, let down by a shabby performance and stageshow. However, nil points was totally undeserved (despite the UK sending atrocious songs and still managing to score).

Wasn’t helped by an incredibly strong final this year

Sot
Sot
1 month ago
Reply to  Totorino

This year’s semis were as strong as 2016 and 2018! Not so sure about the final…

Una
Una
1 month ago

James Newman the Great deserved more points for sure. From what I could see on tv I think he went through a whole range of emotions when the televote points were announced: from low-key expectation/ hope for at least 1 televote point to shock surprise to hyping himself and to seeking support from those around him and engaging people.

I still find the whole double 0 points for UK 2021 absolutely unfair for James and shameful for the broadcaster. At least James has the love of a lot of people whereas the BBC can hang on keeping quiet.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

Oh, he *was* bothered by the result, and big time.

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

How do you know?

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

Which is fair enough. He seems a decent guy and it must have been horrible for him

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

Yes that’s right, which is why it must have hurt so bad. He’s decent and talented.

Sot
Sot
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

I think the BBC was bothered (as it should), not James

AMAAN STORM
AMAAN STORM
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

I think you’re confusing James for Destiny.

I think his reaction was dignified and classy. He didn’t pull a face, just got up and cheered. And that’s the spirit of someone who, despite not getting any points, was going to make the most of the spectacular event where almost all artists only get to experience one (if lucky, twice).

Roo
Roo
1 month ago
Reply to  AMAAN STORM

Poor Destiny was hyped up for months only to have a disappointment. I am sure James knew deep down he wasn’t going to get a fantastic result. I mean the BBC goal seems to be getting on the bottom of the left hand side of the scoreboard. Gotta aim for the stars, then you reach the tree tops!

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Roo

Good point. James showed clearly – body language and spoken – that he was expecting or wishing for at least “One point”. Whereas D. practically gave herself 12 points when asked by Nikkie which acts would she award 12 points to. Her answer was probably one of the most embarrasing moments in Eurovision 2021.

Bird Lover
Bird Lover
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

theres no bigger embarrassment than being from the UK tho

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
1 month ago

It’s been an unusual year results wise, just where songs at the lower end received little to no points, and voters just preferring what came in the top ten. Whilst the current voting anncoment system is exciting, it is also very harsh, with each delagation having to hear how little points they received, one by one with a camera crew in their face. That’s just the way it is for better or worse, must feel like a real gut punch. In Tel Aviv many acts looked shocked or gutted (like Lake Malawi), but after a year like 2020 it feels… Read more »

Fionn
Fionn
1 month ago

lol i would’ve expected flo rida to win this

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
1 month ago
Reply to  Fionn

Has he said anything about the experience? Did it dent his ego?

fionn
fionn
1 month ago
Reply to  HarpyDarper

he doesn’t give a sh*t he barely mentioned anything about it on instagram during the whole build up and nothing afterwards. it didn’t dent his ego because barely any of his fans knew about it

Roo
Roo
1 month ago
Reply to  fionn

Flo Rida’s whole career is adding rap bits to other peoples songs. Or getting other singers to perform chorus on his song. So I can’t see this as any skin off his nose.

T.J.
T.J.
1 month ago

was there anybody else nominated? or is this award especially created for him so that at least he gets something? the latter I suppose….

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
1 month ago
Reply to  T.J.

They do this award every year.

Sot
Sot
1 month ago

Ayyy, at least the UK won at something! Absolutely agree with wiwi’s choice and actually I think Jendrik is a close second. Bravo to James anyway!

P.S. Senhit and Flo Rida deserved it. #Not