THE BBC has defended the Eurovision Song Contest after viewers complained to the broadcaster it had become "too political and a waste of the licence fee."
This year's competition, held in Rotterdam last week, saw Italy band Måneskin emerge victorious with their track Zitti E Buoni, with France and Malta not far behind.
However, after UK entrant James Newman failed to score a single point for his track Embers, fans of the show have blasted the voting system, saying that it was a political move.
In response to the complaints, the BBC said in a statement: "Ever since the Eurovision Song Contest first burst onto our television screens in 1956, the competition has continued to be staple springtime viewing for BBC audiences.
"The accusation that the contest’s voting is ‘political’ is nothing new. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is strongly committed to secure the fairness of the Eurovision Song Contest and has implemented a wide range of measures to ensure this."
"Eurovision is the most watched, live non-sporting event in the world and the 2021 Contest provided BBC viewers with over eight hours of content in three shows," they continued.
"The Grand Final on BBC One attracted an average of 7.4 million viewers. It is extremely cost-effective for a popular prime-time entertainment programme."
Viewers including Phillip Schofield spoke out in defence of James Newman on his landmark loss – but the musician seemed to take it in his stride.
Schofield wrote: "Well f you then! Well done @jamesnewman we love you. It was an amazing show but honestly why do we bother?"
Graham Norton – who commentated on the show – agreed the results were "unfair" on the night.
He said: "Oh poor James. That isn't, I mean, I say this often, but it really isn't fair. That is not the worst song in the competition by a long shot."
James has since joked that he'll be up for appearing on Naked Attraction in the wake of his loss.
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