The United Kingdom languished at the bottom of the leaderboard as Italy romped to victory during Saturday’s Song Contest.
Rock band Måneskin won with their song Zitti E Buoni, which scored them 521 points.
James scored zero points from the jury vote and from the public vote – the only entry to do so poorly.
However, he took the defeat in good humour, drinking a beer and standing up to applause from the live audience in the arena.
It is only the second time ever the UK has scored nul points.
The last was in 2003, when Jemini infamously picked up nothing for their rendition of Cry Baby.
We have also finished in last place on three previous occasions – in 2008, 2010 and 2019.
James, who is the older brother of singer John Newman, had hoped to win over viewers with his rendition of Embers, which was inspired by the end of lockdown.
Prior to the competition, James told HuffPost UK of his hopes of winning the competition, or failing that, at least landing on the left-hand side of the leaderboard.
“I’m a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. So I’m like, ‘why can’t I win the Eurovision Song Contest?’” he said.
“Obviously I would love to win. When I started doing this, the idea was to get onto the “left-hand side of the board”. I’d love to come top 10 – but I’m also visualising winning. So who knows? If I nail it on the night, anything could happen.”
He still won lots of support on social media, though...
Italy achieved a landslide result after the results of the public vote transformed the leaderboard.
Måneskin actually sat in third place after the jury vote, on 208 points. At the time, they trailed the entrants from France and Switzerland, but their fortunes turned around when they were handed 318 extra points from the public.
After their win, frontman Damiano David shouted: “We just wanted to say to the whole of Europe, to the whole world, rock and roll never dies.”
They are the first group to win the competition since 2006 and the third Italian entrant to triumph.
The competition was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands, after the show was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s event was held with an audience of some 3,500 people – around 20 percent of the Ahoy arena’s capacity – as part of the Dutch governments live events test scheme.
The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Italy.
Listen to the winning entry below...