Michael Rice has blamed his last place position at Eurovision Song Contest on Brexit – despite claiming a month ago that he wasn’t worried about politics affecting the competition.
The 21-year-old received just 16 points for his song Bigger Than Us in Saturday night’s grand final in Tel Aviv, landing him at the bottom of the leaderboard and 476 points behind winner Duncan Laurence of The Netherlands.
And Michael has now claimed even ‘Gary Barlow or Elton John’ couldn’t have avoided the outcome.
He told The Sun: ‘I always knew I was going to come in this position because of Brexit. Do you know what? If it was Gary Barlow or Elton John, they still probably would have come last too.’
However, just a month before Eurovision, Michael said he didn’t think Brexit would affect proceedings, telling Metro.co.uk: ‘What’s going on is going on in terms of Brexit, but it’s a music competition that brings people together. It’s all a way to bring people together.’
On the night, Michael’s grandfather Alan, who was watching Eurovision from Hartlepool, told the Hartlepool Mail: ‘We expected it but he should have got more than that.
‘I think it is all political. But it is not everybody who gets to do something like that and he has done us proud.’
And BBC commentator Graham Norton echoed these sentiments, saying: ‘Michael really does not deserve to be in last place. That is so unfair.’
However, considering the UK landed in either 24th or 25th place five times in the decade before the EU referendum, we reckon the result in Tel Aviv was more to do with the UK’s efforts and the song itself rather than Brexit.
Despite believing Theresa May’s adventures in Brussels ruined his chances, Michael looked pretty upbeat as he landed in London after leaving Israel.
After having a singalong with fans in Tel Aviv’s airport, Michael beamed at the cameras as he landed back home following the contest.
While we reckon Michael can hold his head high, some people aren’t so sure, with Piers Morgan today slating the singer’s vocals, and Lorraine Kelly suggesting the UK drop out of Eurovision all together.
Michael received just three points in the public vote, all from Ireland, while Belarus, Hungary, Norway, Armenia, Georgia and Switzerland’s juries bumping up the UK’s total to 16.
Duncan Laurence came out on top with his ballad Arcade, racking up 492 points.
Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Norway rounded out the top five, with the Norwegian entry KEiiNO winning the popular vote.
Eurovision 2019 leaderboard
North Macedonia: 295
Czech Republic: 157
San Marino: 81
United Kingdom: 16
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