Eurovision 2019: 'We smashed it' says Hartlepool singer Michael Rice, despite finishing last
Hartlepool singer Michael Rice is still upbeat after his 'amazing' Eurovision 2019 experience, despite finishing in last place.
The 21-year-old scored just 16 points between the public vote and international jury vote on a night when The Netherlands' Duncan Laurence won the crown with his song Arcade, scoring 492 points.
The public votes made up 50% of the total vote, with the other half determined by the professional jury in each participating country.
Michael sang Bigger Than Us at the Expo Tel Aviv venue in Israel against a backdrop of a starry night sky and racing comets.
But his performance failed to soar and did not connect with the international crowd, which resulted in the UK finishing last for the first time since 2010.
Despite the disappointment on the night, he remained upbeat and said he had enjoyed his Eurovision experience.
"The main thing I wanted to do was come and sing my heart out and make my country proud.
"I'm so thankful to the fans who have supported me and the song, as well as my whole team who have supported me throughout this whole amazing journey.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
"I've been able to travel and meet amazing artists from across Europe and beyond.
"I can't wait to see what's next for me and get back into the studio and bring you some new music soon. And of course congratulations to Duncan - he was amazing!"
Michael, who rose to fame after winning the singing show All Together Now last year, said previously that he hoped to improve the UK's reputation at the contest.
The UK has not won Eurovision in 22 years or finished in the top 10 in the past decade, and both Coral and Ladbrokes gave Michael a 150/1 chance of taking the title.
Today he Tweeted to his 11,000 followers: "We absolutely ******* smashed it last night, regardless of the result!
"I’m so happy, I’ve made memories for a lifetime that I will treasure & made some really good friendships from this!
"Let’s keep climbing that chart. We are number 16! This has honestly been a dream come true."