British singer James Newman has said he wants to “focus on the positives” after scoring nil points in the Eurovision Song Contest, and said the experience will hopefully make him stronger.
The star, who represented the UK at the event with his self-penned dance track Embers, was the only contestant to score zero points from the jury vote and from the public vote, while winners Maneskin, a rock band from Italy, scored 524.
Newman has now thanked fans who supported his Eurovision effort, writing in a statement posted to Twitter: “I want to focus on the positives of this amazing experience. I stood on a stage and sang to hundreds of millions of people with a song that I wrote and love.
“I’ve learnt so much from the amazing people who gave everything to help me live my dream, the dancers, my choreographer, my vocal coach, everyone from my label, my manager and the BBC, and all the people behind the scenes at Eurovision and the arena.
“All these people are the best in the business and I got the chance to work with them and share this crazy experience that I’m so lucky to have the chance to do.”
On the night, Newman took his defeat in good humour, drinking beer and standing up to applause from the live audience at the show, which was held in the Netherlands.
In his statement, the star went on to say he would learn from the experience.
“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,” he wrote.
“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 x.”
This year’s Eurovision was hit by controversy after footage started circulating online showing Maneskin singer Damiano David bending down at a table, leading to speculation that he was using cocaine.
The band have strongly denied claims that David was using drugs during the show – and he has volunteered to be tested on his return to Italy.