UK group Scooch have laughed off their Eurovision result, saying they were "happy" to be joint 22nd out of 24, but newspapers were not quite so forgiving.
The Sunday Mirror said the "cheesy quartet" made the UK "the laughing stock of Europe" at the song contest, won by Marija Serifovic of Serbia.
"Scouch," added The People, which described Britain as having only just "escaped a 'nul points' humiliation".
And "Scooch nosedive at Eurovision" was the headline in the Sunday Times.
"It wasn't a disaster - more of a crash landing," the paper added.
"At least it wasn't nul points again," said the Mail on Sunday. "Scooch, far from Flying the Flag as their song proclaimed, were heading nowhere."
And, referring to Britain's Eurovision winners of 1981, it added: "Even a bottle of Bucks Fizz on stage during Scooch's bright performance could not add the sparkle needed to recapture Cheryl Baker's past glories."
Scooch singer Caroline Barnes described the Eurovision experience as being "one in a million".
"I have to say I laughed so much [that] I cried at the voting," she added after the group received 19 points, compared with Serbia's winning total of 268.
"I'm not gutted. I don't want to say it was expected, but you know what Eurovision is like."
Overnight estimates suggest that 10.8m viewers saw the result announced on BBC One.
Former BBC Radio 1 breakfast presenter Mike Read said Flying the Flag was "such a weak song" and described the choreography as "appalling".
"If that is the best that this country, full of great songwriters, can come up with then heaven help us," he told BBC One's Breakfast.
He believed there was a need to "reconstruct" the UK's approach to the annual contest, which began in 1956.
"I've suggested that we do [something] like an X Factor here, a showcase every week on TV for British songwriters.
"There are some great songwriters in this country who would all have sat there last night and said: 'If I couldn't write a better song than that, I'd give up.'"
However, there was praise for Scooch from author Tim Moore, whose book Nul Points tracked down Eurovision acts which had failed to score any points.
"It's supposed to have a bop-along camp kitsch, which I have to say I thought our entry did pretty well," he told BBC Radio Five Live.
Marija Serifovic (centre) won for Serbia with her ballad Molitva
"I listened to Scooch - it was silly and they had all of their slightly odd innuendo... but that should have been worth a few points at least, in the Eurovision tradition."
Mr Read claimed that the political nature of the voting process was spoiling the magic of Eurovision.
"This voting for the neighbours is just a nonsense now. You could sit there last night and you knew who they were going to give the 12 points to, every single time," he said.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes said the UK was twice as likely to score zero points in the 2008 contest, to be held in Belgrade, than to win it.
It has offered odds of 10/1 for "nul points" next year, compared with 20/1 for a British victory.