Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, as Eurovision was cancelled and James’s dreams were dashed.
But it might not be over just yet, as James hopes he might get the chance to resolve ‘unfinished business’ by representing his country with a different song in 2021.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com he told us he was keen to re-enter, but the decision falls to the BBC.
“I would love to do it, I feel I need to finish what I’ve started, I want to get on that stage,” says James. “The EBU, which is the Eurovision committee, said that local broadcasters can re-enter their acts so I could go back next year as long as it’s with a different song, but nothing has been decided yet. It’s up to the BBC, my fate lies in their hands.”
James, who will appear on both Eurovision: Come Together and Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light on Saturday night, also told us how it felt when he heard the contest was cancelled. “I was absolutely gutted to miss out on the opportunity to represent my country and sing in front of 200 million people. I’d launched the song, I was meant to be going to Tel Aviv and Paris to promote it, we’d got halfway through the staging ideas and then it went from 100 to zero pretty quickly.
“It’s pretty crazy, I’m meant to be in Rotterdam standing on stage right now, but I’m in my kitchen chatting instead! But the main thing is obviously people’s health and keeping everyone safe. I kind of knew it was going to happen but when I saw it in writing then it definitely wasn’t happening. It’s cool how they’re still honouring the songs with the Europe Shine A Light show though – it’s sad that My Last Breath will never have its moment on the stage but it’s still getting a night out on the town!”
Whether he’s on stage in 2021 or watching from the sofa, James is confident that Eurovision will be back, bigger and better than ever before.
“Hopefully by this time next year we’ll be in a totally different place, so I think it will be even more of a party than it already is – people will be celebrating all sorts of things, not just the song contest.”
James Newman’s new single, Enough, is out on Friday 14th May.
The BBC’s night of alternative Eurovision coverage begins on Saturday at 6.25pm with Eurovision: Come Together, followed by Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light. To see what else is on TV this week, check out our TV Guide.