Sam Ryder: who the UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022?

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Sam Ryder garnered a following on social media platform TikTok when he started posting videos of himself singing during lockdown

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The initial phase of the competition has started with the first Eurovision semi-final taking place today, Tuesday 10 May at 8pm.

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Britain’s entry into the Song Contest was officially announced earlier this year as Sam Ryder – and following our participation in 2021, James Newman scored the dreaded zero points for his song emberscould Sam Ryder be what we need to avoid finishing last?

That’s all you need to know.

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Who is Sam Ryder?

Ryder is a musician who has garnered a massive following on social media — particularly TikTok. With over 12 million followers, he’s one of the biggest names on the app.

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During lockdown, he caught the attention of the likes of Alicia Keys, Sia and Justin Bieber when he started posting his covers of songs.

Sam Ryder has been announced as the UK’s official Eurovision Song Contest entrant (Photo: Parlophone)

By the end of 2020, Ryder was the most followed artist on TikTok, which gave him an opportunity to sign a deal with record label Parlophone and launch his own solo career.

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Ryder has released a number of singles between 2019 and 2021 including Set you Free, Whirlwind, Tiny Riot, July and More, as well as his 2021 EP The sun will rise.

When was it chosen – and how are Eurovision contestants chosen?

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The UK entries to the Eurovision Song Contest used to be selected via a public vote – but in order to improve the UK’s historically low placing in the song contest, the BBC (which governs the UK’s participation in the competition) decided in 2020 to change it the way the entries were selected.

Instead of a public vote, the entry will now be selected internally by the record label BBC and BMG.

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Ryder was chosen to represent the UK in a collaboration between the BBC and global music management company TaP Music, which counts Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding among its clients.

Sam Ryder has been selected by the BBC and TaP Music to represent the UK in the competition (Photo: @samhairwolfryder/@edwardcooke)

Ben Mawson, co-founder of TaP Music, said: “The search has taken many months and has presented us with many dilemmas and difficult decisions as to which direction to take with our act.

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“We’ve had incredible interest from across the music industry, from unsigned talent to established artists with #1 albums, but we chose Sam for his combination of exceptional vocals and a wonderful song that references so much classical British music influences .”

Ryder said: “I’ve been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest since I was a child and I’m so honored to have been offered the opportunity to sing at an event alongside some of Europe’s most talented creators, artists and songwriters.

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“I hope to be able to sing in a way that the UK can be proud of and to present a song I wrote with my friends last summer makes the whole experience even more special. See you in the legends of Turin!”

Which song will he sing at the Eurovision Song Contest?

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Ryder will sing his song spacemanwhich he co-wrote with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge, best known for her collaborations with Ed Sheeran and Max Wolfgang.

spaceman was named Tune of the Week on BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills Afternoon Show in early March.

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Sharing his excitement on Instagram at the time, he wrote: “MILESTONE ALERT! SO fueled that spaceman @bbcradio1 is tune of the week!! This is absolutely WILD!!

“Thank you @realscottmills & @chrisstark and the legends of @bbcradio1!”

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The lyrics are:

If I were an astronaut, I would float in the air

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And a broken heart would just belong to someone else down there

I would be the center of my lonely universe

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But I’m only human and I’m falling to earth

If I were an astronaut, I would have a bird’s eye view

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I would circle the world and always come back to you

In my floating castle I would measure myself against the stars

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But I’m only human and drifting in the dark

I’ve searched all over the universe

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I’ve been in some black holes

There’s nothing but space, man

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If I were an astronaut, I would talk to satellites

My navigation systems would search for other life

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But I would be up here thinking about what I left behind

‘Cause I’m just a human with the real world on my mind

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I’ve searched all over the universe

I’ve been in some black holes

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There’s nothing but space, man

Gravity keeps pulling me down

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As long as you’re down, I’m staying here

I’ve searched all over the universe

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I’ve been in some black holes

There’s nothing but space, man, no

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Oh I’m in the wrong place, man

Nothing but, nothing but, nothing but space, man

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Nothing but, nothing but, nothing but space, man

I’ve searched all over the universe

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I’ve been in some black holes

What did ex-winner Conchita Wurst tell him?

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Ryder met 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst during an interview with BBC Breakfast.

He asked the former winner what her attitude was when they took the stage in 2014.

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Wurst said, “I couldn’t wait to get on that stage. You’ve done it over and over again and it’s so good because you know every step, every person you’ll meet on your way to the stage. It was really comfortable for me.”

During the exchange, Wurst told Ryder he had “tough competition” if he wanted to bag Britain’s first Eurovision win since 1997.

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Wurst said: “You have tough competition. The buzz in the Eurovisions community is ‘oh the UK is back in attendance’.

“You know, no offense to all the other artists that have come before, they’re all brilliant, but this year it feels like, ‘They mean business. OK. OK”.”

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When is Eurovision 202 – will he sing in the semifinals?

The Eurovision 2022 final will take place later this month, with the first semi-final on May 10, the second semi-final on May 12 and the grand final on May 14, 2022.

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Britain is part of the so-called ‘Big Five’ which means we automatically qualify for the finals without having to go through the semi-finals first, allowing Ryder to focus all his energies on his performance on the big night.

Måneskin of Italy won the grand final of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam Ahoy (Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The Big Five form the group of countries that make the largest financial contribution to the European Broadcasting Union and in 2000 the rule was created that these countries were allowed to directly participate in the finals of the Song Contest.

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In addition to Great Britain, the Big Five include France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

You can watch the competition semi-finals on Tuesday 10th and Thursday 12th May at 8pm on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.

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The grand finale will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Saturday 14 May from 8pm.

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