TES In Depth: United Kingdom’s James Newman with “Embers”

TES In Depth: United Kingdom’s James Newman with “Embers”

Our final entry from the Big Five this year has us turn to Jazzi and Rosie’s home country (and, actually, home county!), and Rory’s second home, the UK. James Newman will once again compete in Rotterdam, following last year’s My Last Breath with upbeat banger Embers. Will this song light up the room when it competes? Take a listen to our thoughts below!

A look into James Newman’s career so far.

James Newman’s career so far has perhaps been more prolific as a songwriter rather than the one behind the microphone. His catalogue features collaborations with singers including Kesha, Armin Van Buren, Rudimental, Ella Eyre, Calvin Harris and his brother, John Newman. He won the Brit award for British Single of the Year in 2014 for Waiting All Night. In 2020, James released his first EP, The Things We Do. He was the UK’s proposed representative for the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, where he would have performed My Last Breath.

Our opinions on “Embers”


Opinion: I really like this. I think this is a huge step up from previous years for the United Kingdom. While I don’t see this song as a Eurovision winner, I do see it getting us out of the bottom 5. It feels like the BBC are putting all the effort in to improve our results and also to celebrate the contest this year. I hope this does decently as to not set us back again like I fear.

Overall Ranking: 10th

Prediction: 20th-15th.


Opinion: This is by far and away one of the most contemporary British songs to be in the Contest since Blue. However, the genre of this song and its reflection of the British music scene just don’t hit me in the right way. I appreciate the song for sure and I am so happy that the BBC have handed control over the song to a company that has its ear to the ground, but I would not be surprised if this is the beginning of a fantastic upswing in British results at the Contest, and then we can get over the whole “everyone hates us” mentality.

Overall Ranking: 25th

Prediction: 13th-17th.


Opinion: Embers is certainly an entry that I can feel proud of coming from my own country. It’s catchy, with a fantastic hook, a fun brass section and tune that puts a smile on your face. James has said that he set out to write a banger with this song, and a banger he wrote. It’s a bit too shallow and lacking depth to hit the heights of my personal rankings, and it’s a song that could live or die by its staging and whether they successfully capture the energy of the song live, but it’s still a good entry from the UK, and one that makes me happy.

Overall Ranking: 23rd

Prediction: I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a mid-table result as a matter of national pride. I could see this hitting the left hand side of the scoreboard, and I could also see it in the bottom five, depending on staging and who else makes it through to the final.

Let us know your thoughts!

It’s not just about what we think, we want to know what you guys make of the UK’s entry this year. To voice your opinion on “Embers” please vote in our poll below:

What do you think of Embers? Have a more detailed opinion? Let us know in the comments below or at social media. Don’t forget to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ over at FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Photo Credit: James Newman

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