UK’s Eurovision entry Sam Ryder received an outpouring of support from previous contestants of the competition, including James Newman and Cheryl Baker, who claimed he had been the ‘best in years’.
The TikTok star, 32, impressively came second in the competition – the nation’s highest place for more than two decades following years of ‘nul points’ – after being beaten by Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra amid the country’s invasion by Russia.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also thanked the singer for ‘brilliantly’ representing the nation, adding that it was a ‘clear reflection’ of his talent.
‘The best in years!’ Sam Ryder received an outpouring of support from previous Eurovision contestants including James Newman and Cheryl Baker, after being awarded second place
Only last year, James achieved zero points for his song My Last Breath, on behalf of the UK in Rotterdam.
After watching from home, John Newman’s brother tweeted: ‘Massive congrats to The legend that is @SamRyderMusic that was amazing!’
He had earlier written on Instagram: ‘Wishing my mate @samhairwolfryder all the luck in the world tonight for his @eurovision performance!
‘He’s an all round lovely man and so talented! Friends around the world here’s how to vote for him, if you feel that way inclined, we would really appreciate the love. Congrats to the legends that are @maxwolfganguk and @wadge1975 for writing the song with him! Letssss gooooooo! #teamspaceman @bbceurovision xx.’
Tragic: Only last year, James achieved zero points for his song My Last Breath, on behalf of the UK in Rotterdam (pictured in 2021)
Kind: Bucks Fizz’ Cheryl tweeted: ‘Wasn’t this the best @Eurovision for years? Not just because the brilliant @SamRyderMusic came 2nd, but it was a show of love, joy, inclusivity and no animosity’ (pictured in May 2022)
Bucks Fizz’ Cheryl – who won in 1981 – also tweeted: ‘Wasn’t this the best @Eurovision for years? Not just because the brilliant @SamRyderMusic came 2nd, but it was a show of love, joy, inclusivity and no animosity.
‘If only the world acted like the #ESC. It would be a kinder, happier, safer place.’
Boris penned: ‘Congratulations to Ukraine for winning the @Eurovision Song Contest 2022.
‘It is a clear reflection of not just your talent, but of the unwavering support for your fight for freedom.
Support: Prime Minister Boris Johnson also thanked the singer for ‘brilliantly’ representing the nation, adding that it was a ‘clear reflection’ of his talent
‘Incredibly proud of @SamRyderMusic and how he brilliantly represented the UK tonight.’
Led by rapper Oleh Psiuk, Kalush Orchestra – completed by Ihor Didenchuk, Vlad Kurochka, Tymofii Muzychuk and Oleksandr Slobodianyk – were victorious at the grand final, scoring 631 points.
After wowing with their performance, which merged rap with folk and featured breakdancing, flutes and bold ensembles, they thanked everyone supporting their country amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
After they were revealed as the champions and performed the song for a second time, they said: ‘Thank you, thank you so much.’
Talented: Cheryl won the contest as part of Bucks Fizz in 1981 alongside her bandmates Jay Aston, Bobby G and Mike Nolan
They had been given special permission to travel to Italy, as men their age are currently fighting for their country back home.
The band said of the song, which is a tribute to mothers: ‘We’re showing off our roots, and we’re showing how to take something from the past and make it work for the present.
‘That’s why we’ve found success at home, and we hope that we can find that sort of reception internationally, as well. We take something old, and we make it sound modern.’
The UK came second – the highest place for the nation in more than two decades – with Sam’s Space Man scoring a whopping 466 points.
Having shot to fame with his lockdown covers on the video-sharing platform, he has changed the UK’s run of bad luck after scoring nil points for the past two years.
Sam said in the green room: ‘Honestly, this is amazing. It’s wicked.
‘We signed up here to come and sing we enjoy music, and I know that every single artist involved this year absolutely smashed it. Everyone was a credit to themselves and a credit to what Eurovision is all about; unity peace, love, togetherness, inclusivity and expression. Thank you for having us, appreciate [it].’
Impressive: Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra – made up of rapper Oleh Psiuk, Ihor Didenchuk, Vlad Kurochka, Tymofii Muzychuk and Oleksandr Slobodianyk – wowed with their performance