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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Sam Ryder is ‘ignoring the hype’ as the UK’s odds improve

UNITED KINGDOM – After two years of finishing in last place, and more than a decade since we made the top 10, Sam Ryder is second favourite to win with his uplifting power ballad Space Man.

But Ryder is trying to ignore the mounting excitement.

“I don’t want to get to a point where I start believing the hype,” he says. “I just want to do everyone proud, and do the best job I possibly can.”

Former winner Conchita Wurst is more willing to speculate on his chances. “The buzz in the Eurovision community is, ‘Oh, the UK is participating again,'” she told the BBC last month.

“No offence to all the other artists who have come before… but this year it feels like, ‘They mean business.'”

Ryder appeared at last night’s Eurovision semi-final in Turin, but he did not have to compete to secure his spot in Saturday’s final. Free passes are given to the “big five” – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – who pay the most towards keeping the contest going, along with the host nation.

A former construction worker, the 32-year-old was already a huge sensation on TikTok before the contest, with stars like Alicia Keys, Sia and Justin Bieber reposting his videos.

He was then snapped up by TAP Management, the company behind Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding, who helped the BBC choose this year’s Eurovision entry.

Since then, he’s been on a whirlwind tour of Europe, building up support for his song – which was co-written by Amy Wadge, whose other credits include Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud and Camila Cabello’s First Man.

It’s a long way from his childhood in the countryside, near Malden in Essex. “It was proper Huckleberry Finn vibes,” he recalls, “swimming in rivers and building dens.”

Before Saturday night’s grand finale, we grabbed him to chat about his chances in the competition, his favourite Eurovision memory, and the injury that nearly ruled him out of the competition.

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