Fans gush with pride after ‘legend’ Sam Ryder smashed Eurovision for UK and made history
Sam Ryder ended decades of humiliation for the UK as he finished second in the 66th Eurovision Song Contest – and fans were as stunned as they were happy.
For 20 years, the UK has had to get used to two things: being on the right side of the leader board and the sound of many, many people saying: “Nul points.”
But Saturday night (14 May) changed all of that. Ryder, the long-haired TikTok rock singer, came in second place with “Space Man” all but shocking Brits – “what is happening” began to trend as the jury results were announced.
Second place was the UK’s best result in 24 years. A stunning display considering that only the year before the UK ranked at the bottom of the board with zero points.
As much as the public overwhelmingly backed Ukraine at the end, with rap and folk band Kalush Orchestra winning with a thumping 621 points, the UK landed right below with 466 points.
The competition averaged nearly nine million viewers before peaking at 10.8 million during the voting segment – and countless people, from politicians to LGBTQ+ folk, praised Ryder, 31, for rising like a phoenix through the leaderboard.
“Wasn’t this the best Eurovision for years?” tweeted Cheryl Baker, a British singer who won Eurovision in 1981 as part of Bucks Fizz.
“Not just because the brilliant [Ryder] came second, but it was a shot of low, joy, inclusivity and animosity. If only the world acted like [Eurovision].
“It would be a kinder, happier and safer place.”
Lorraine Kelly, living national tresure, wrote: “Congrats to UKRAINE – get it right up you Putin – and our [Ryder] did us proud.”
Pansexual Liberal Democrat Layla Moran praised Clark for thriving in Eurovision, something which is an “amazing turnaround for fortunes for the UK”.
And fans agreed. Many beamed with pride as they praised Ryder for bringing the nation together.
When the United Kingdom needed lifting up, he came and he took us to Space. Forever a legend! That was fan-bloody-tastic! Thank you so much for your positivity! @SamRyderMusic 👨🚀🇬🇧💛#Eurovision 🇬🇧 #UnitedKingdom #teamSPACEMAN pic.twitter.com/OpN7er0UxE
— Duke of Preston 👨🚀 #teamSPACEMAN (@DOPreston) May 14, 2022
As far as I’m concerned, if Sam Ryder can get the UK onto the left side of the board then he should be knighted. #Eurovision
— John Arnold (@floyduk) May 14, 2022
Sam Ryder doing more for GB than our politicians have managed in a decade. At last people actually like us #Eurovision
— Otto English (@Otto_English) May 14, 2022
— Sooz Kempner (@SoozUK) May 14, 2022
12 points from GERMANY? Oh my GOD Sam Ryder has done more for UKs international relations than any home sec in the last 100 years #Eurovision
— Helen (@helerrrn) May 14, 2022
Sam coming second should speak volumes that if we actually take #Eurovision seriously, we can do SO well. Sam Ryder did so well, and should be a national icon for his commitment
— Michael King (@MiichaelKing) May 14, 2022
OK first time I've ever seen Sam Ryder's song and that was SICK. What a vocal and what a performance. He's done us proud regardless. #Eurovision
— Jack Duncan 🔻 (@JackDunc1) May 14, 2022
“Every single other artist involved this year absolutely smashed it,” Ryder told The Daily Mirror.
“Everyone was a credit to themselves and a credit to what [Eurovision] is all about: unity, peace, love, togetherness, inclusivity and expression.”