Who is Sam Ryder? How TikTok star became the UK’s Eurovision 2022 singer with the new song ‘Space Man’
This year’s British Eurovision entry has their work cut out for them, after the UK placed last two years in a row.
Indeed, last year James Newman’s entry “Ember” scored the dreaded “nul points”.
The 66th Eurovision contest is due to be held in Turin in May, after rock act Maneskin claimed victory last year.
So who is taking on the challenge for the UK? Here’s everything you need to know.Who is the UK’s Eurovision 2022 entry?
This year the UK will be represented by musician Sam Ryder, who is extremely popular on social media, with 12 million followers on TikTok.
He captured the attention of big name stars such as Alicia Keys and Justin Bieber during lockdown and signed with record label Parlophone in 2021.
Ryder says he loves Eurovision, and is a fan of 2006 Finnish monster rock winners Lordi.
He told Radio 1’s Newsbeat: “I love Eurovision. I think it’s such a privilege to be able to do it.
“I don’t want to let the stigma or fear of coming at a certain place in a table stop me from doing something and being a part of something that I enjoy so much.
“As long as I can go to Eurovision and know in my heart of hearts I’m going to do the best job I can then everything else is out of my control.”What is Sam Ryder’s song?
Ryder will perform his song “Space Man”, which has been featured on Radio 1 as DJ Scott Mills’ track of the week.
The singer described it as “a little song about being an astronaut”. You can listen to the song here.
He told his followers on social media: “Hi, I’m Sam Ryder and I am the UK entry to Eurovsion 2022,” but burst into laughter before adding: “I am so, so excited. I’m deadly serious by the way!”
The last time the UK made the top ten was in 2009 with the song “It’s My Time” by Jade Ewen.
So British fans will be hoping that Ryder’s song represents a reversal of the UK’s fortunes.How is Eurovision 2022 going to be different?
Eurovision is going to be very different this year.
Russia has been barred from entering this year’s competition over fears its inclusion could bring the competition into “disrepute” following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s candidate also dropped out in February, before the invasion took place, after a dispute with the country’s broadcaster.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) issued a statement detailing the decision to ban Russia from this year’s competition following a recommendation by the Reference Group, Eurovision’s governing body, “based on the rules of the event and the values of EBU”.
The statement read: “The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, this inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s contest would bring the competition into disrepute.”
The competition, which is the most-watched live, non-sporting event in the world, has faced pressure to pull Russia from the list of entrants.
Finland said it would boycott the event if Russia was allowed to take part, while other European public broadcasters, including Ukraine’s, called for Russia to be expelled from the contest.
The EBU stressed that it is “an apolitical member organisation of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service”.
“We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together and celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage.”Who are the past Eurovision winners?
- 2021 – Italy
- 2016 – Ukraine
- 2012 – Sweden
- 2008 – Russia
- 2004 – Ukraine
- 2000 – Denmark
- 1996 – Ireland
- 1992 – Ireland
- 1988 – Israel
- 1984 – Sweden
- 1980 – Ireland
- 1976 – United Kingdom
- 1972 – Luxembourg
- 1968 – Spain
- 1964 – Italy
- 1960 – France