Eurovision heartache for North East singer Michael Rice as his losing entry is docked another five points

North East star Michael Rice has had five points taken off his Eurovision Song Contest score.

By Kevin Clark
Thursday, 23 May, 2019, 08:33

The 21-year-old came rock bottom in Saturday night's show, with his song Bigger Than Us picking up just 16 points.

But now the UK entry has had its score lowered by five points after organisers admitted they had made an error while calculating the totals.

Organisers said Michael's song picked up a mere 11 points from Saturday's finale, rather than 16 as originally stated.

The error came about when an incorrect calculation was used to create a substitute score after the Belarussian jury was dismissed, the Eurovision Broadcasting Union said.

Eurovision's top four - including winner Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - remained unchanged.

Michael received a hero's welcome on return to Hartlepool

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Laurence's song Arcade gained six points, bringing it to a total of 498 points. Norway had points deducted and dropped to sixth from fifth.

Belarus' jury was dismissed after its semi-final votes were publicly revealed, breaking contest rules.

Despite finishing in 26th place,Michael has spoken of how much he enjoyed the experience and said he had given it his best shot on the night.

"I know we smashed the performance and the whole team around me did incredible.

"I sang my heart out and that's all I can do," he said.

And he as he posed for pictures with family, friends and fans after returning home on Monday, he expressed his gratitude for the support he had received from his home town and the wider region: "The support from Hartlepool and the North East is incredible," he said.

"It means the absolute world to me. Everyone here is just so supportive, the community has really come together."