Eurovision 2022: UK To Be Represented By TikTok Star Sam Ryder, BBC Confirms

After finishing in last place in 2021, this year's UK act has been unveiled.

The BBC has confirmed that singer Sam Ryder is to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest later this year.

Sam will perform at the live final in Turin with his original song Space Man, which was actually released earlier this month, and was recently named Song Of The Week by Scott Mills on his Radio 1 show.

Sam already has a loyal following, amassing 12 million followers on TikTok thanks to his covers of Adele, Sia and Lady Gaga.

This makes the Essex-born musician the most-followed UK artist on the social media platform right now.

Take a listen to his entry Space Man below:

Sam said: “Having been a fan of Eurovision since I was a kid l am so honoured to have been presented with the opportunity to sing at an event alongside some of Europe’s most talented creatives, performers and songwriters.

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

It’s safe to say that the UK has had a shaky few years at Eurovision, particularly after the final in 2021, where we finished at the bottom of the leaderboard with “nul points” for only the second time in history.

To counteract this, the BBC announced in October that they’d be taking a markedly different approach when it came to selecting its next Eurovision representative.

For this year’s Eurovision, organisers teamed up with Tap Music Management – whose roster includes Lana Del Rey, Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Ellie Goulding – to help find an act.

Tap was also instrumental in launching the international pop career of chart-topping star Dua Lipa, with whom they reportedly parted ways last month.

Ben Mawson, the company’s co-founder, said at the time of the announcement: “We’re really excited to be teaming up with the BBC for this event and will use Eurovision to authentically reflect and celebrate the rich, diverse and world-class musical talent the UK is globally renowned for.”

Dua Lipa celebrating her Grammys win with her former manager Ben Mawson last year
Dua Lipa celebrating her Grammys win with her former manager Ben Mawson last year
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

Many Eurovision fans had already pieced Sam’s involvement together, with the news finally being confirmed on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show on Thursday morning.

“This year is different. It has to be,” presenter Scott Mills said. “Across Europe at Eurovision, countries get behind their act. Italy got behind Måneskin last year and look happened there. They are now global superstars. That’s what Eurovision did.

“The Dutch got behind Duncan Laurence. Now that song Arcade is a TikTok phenomenon. Eurovision now makes global superstars, and it’s the biggest music show on the planet.

“If your default is to think, ‘it’s a bit cheesy’ – yeah, some of it is, but some of it is really good. And Europe doesn’t see it in the same way we see it, and it’s got to change.”

He continued: “The UK act comes on and we go, ‘oh that was a bit rubbish’, and then we forget it about it until the next year. Yes, we haven’t done well recently, but that is partly because here in the UK we don’t get behind the act.

“And we need to, because everyone else does. We need to be proud, and stop sneering a little bit, even if you don’t really like it, let’s be a bit more positive.”

“The more we follow this person, and we grow them together, all of us, like we’d get behind England or Scotland or Wales in the World Cup, the more we can impact how popular they are abroad.”

Eurovision is set to be held in Turin in May, following rock group Måneskin’s victory in 2021.

Måneskin
Måneskin
Vyacheslav Prokofyev via Getty Images

Since their win, the band have gone from strength to strength, racking up a string of chart hits in the UK and bagging two nominations at this year’s Brit Awards – an impressive feat for a Eurovision act.

Måneskin’s triumph marked Italy’s first win in over 30 years (and kickstarted something of a winning streak for the country in 2021), while their predecessor Duncan Laurence was The Netherlands’ first Eurovision champion since 1980.

The UK last won Eurovision in 1997 with Katrina And The Waves’ Love Shine A Light. In the 21st century, our highest-placing acts have been Jessica Garlick in 2002 and Jade Ewen in 2009, finishing in third and fifth place, respectively.

However, we have finished in last place for the past two events, with last year’s representative James Newman receiving the dreaded “nul points”.

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