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United Kingdom First Rehearsal – Eurovision 2021: James Newman – Embers

By David Clues

Welcome back to ESCBubble’s coverage for Eurovision 2021! After a marathon day yesterday and this morning of second rehearsals, we’re back with some more first rehearsals! Join us this evening as we check out the first rehearsals of the six automatic qualifiers.


As always, you can check out our ongoing coverage through both our Live Rehearsal Blog and also rolling daily updates on our Twitter Account.

If you are avoiding potential rehearsal spoilers then don’t read any further! The final will take place at 21.00 CET on Saturday 22nd May 2021 where we’ll find out the winner of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.


Penultimate country up of the night is… United Kingdom!

Image Credit: EBU / Thomas Hanses



First Rehearsal

There was a big question pre-contest over how “Embers” was going to be staged, and the answer is … TRUMPETS! There are two giant trumpets either side of the stage which have lights inside of them flashing white/red/blue. James is wearing black but joined on stage with four backing dancers in white, they also have brass instruments in hand which are welcomed!

The backdrop are mostly reds & blues, however there are lots of flashing lights and James is getting into the groove. For the first runthrough that we were able to see, the vocal mix was off. However this seemed to have been fixed for the second. There was also a disappointing lack of pyro/fireworks which would seemingly work quite well with a song titled ‘Embers’ … but after a day of watching polished second rehearsals we need to remember this is just the technical first rehearsal. Fingers crossed that all the issues are weeded out.

Before Eurovision

James Newman was internally selected for the United Kingdom back in January 2020 after a new selection partnership was arranged between broadcaster BBC and recording group BMG. James has had a lot of big successes as a songwriter in the past so now it is time for him to work on the stage as the lead singer instead! Last year he was set to perform “My Last Breath” which was a pop midtempo with a pretty epic video recorded out on set in a snowy forest with an ice diver!

This year, the BBC confirmed James Newman would be back but this time with a ‘summer banger’. The result was “Embers”, the most daring entry the UK has entered in a long time! Radio-friendly and commercial, but how will that translate to the Eurovision stage? Check out the official music video here: