Singer James Newman has said he has no regrets after the Eurovision Song Contest, which he described as “one of the best nights of my life”.
He was the only entry to score zero points from the jury and the public vote, coming bottom on the leaderboard during the singing competition held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands at the weekend.
Newman, the brother of singer John Newman, told ITV’s Lorraine: “Saturday was one of the best nights of my life. I sang in front of 100 or 200 million people or whatever it was. I got into music because I want to sing on stage to people and that was literally what I was doing. And I got to work with all these amazingly talented people and just have such a great time so, no regrets at all.”
The British musician said of the moment the results were revealed during the competition: “What can you do? We went there and we tried our hardest. I think we took the best of British.
“I was really happy with the song, really happy with the performance. But the best thing for me was how the crowd just went absolutely crazy when they said ‘nil points’ but the audience was cheering me, everyone was cheering me.”
The UK has featured at the bottom of the Eurovision leaderboard previously, coming in last place in 2019 with Michael Rice’s Bigger Than Us.
Newman, whose Eurovision song Embers is climbing up the UK iTunes music chart, also spoke about next year’s Eurovision Song Contest and how the UK could do better.
He said: “I think, keep trying and keep putting in your best efforts. Putting in the best of British and showing Europe that we care about the Eurovision Song Contest.
“I think in other countries, it’s a huge thing and we’ve lost touch a little bit. Everyone was so behind me, I felt. The support I’ve had from the UK has been amazing. I was so proud that everyone was behind me.”
This year’s winners, Italian rock group Maneskin, made headlines after they were forced to deny that their lead singer, Damiano David, had taken drugs during the finale.
The band, who won with their song Zitti E Buoni, “strongly refuted the allegations of drug use” that emerged on social media after David appeared to bend over a table in the contest’s green room while on camera.
An inquiry then concluded that he did not take drugs during the grand final, after he had returned a negative result in a test since the event on Saturday.
A statement from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said: “Following allegations of drug use in the green room of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final on Saturday May 22, the EBU, as requested by the Italian delegation, has conducted a thorough review of the facts, including checking all available footage.
“A drug test was also voluntarily undertaken earlier today by the lead singer of the band Maneskin which has returned a negative result seen by the EBU. No drug use took place in the green room and we consider the matter closed.”
The EBU said it was “alarmed that inaccurate speculation leading to fake news has overshadowed the spirit and the outcome of the event and unfairly affected the band”.
During a press conference following Maneskin’s win, David denied that he used drugs and said he bent over because another band member had broken a glass at their feet.