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Eurovision hopeful Sam Ryder: My enthusiasm is greater than my fear

The TikTok star will perform song Space Man at the final in Turin in May.

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Sam Ryder (BBC)

Sam Ryder (BBC)

Sam Ryder (BBC)

Eurovision contender Sam Ryder has said his enthusiasm for the competition is “so much greater than my fear”.

The singer-songwriter will perform the track Space Man at the grand final in Turin, Italy, in May.

Ryder found fame covering songs on TikTok during lockdown, amassing 12 million followers, and is hoping to translate his online fan base to support in the singing competition, despite the UK’s poor recent record.

Asked if he was concerned by the fact the UK has scored so poorly in recent years, with last year’s entry James Newman gaining zero points, he told ITV’s This Morning: “I get what you’re saying and believe me, it’s something I considered so much before saying yes to this opportunity.

“But for all of that, I love it so much. I’ve been watching it since I was a kid and my enthusiasm is just so much greater than my fear, because I love singing and singing is about connecting with people.

“It’s connecting with those people that have been supporting you, and for me over the last two years, so many amazing, lovely people around Europe have been watching my videos on social media and rooting for me and to be able to go over there and go to Turin on May 14 and sing for some of those people.

“I can’t think of the boxes right now that I’m not ticking as a singer or as an artist and a performer.

“If I let fear of where I come on a scoreboard define what I want to do with it in any aspect of my life right now… It’s Eurovision, but I’m sure there’s going to be things later on in my life that I don’t want fear to define, I want to go there and sing my head off.”

Ryder said he is relying on people at home also rallying behind him in the run-up to the competition, saying: “We could talk about staging and the song itself, the performance on the night, but ultimately I think we need to focus on the positivity at home.

“Think about it in this way: if you were going on TV for the first time ever, and your friends and family are like: ‘Yeah, no-one really likes that TV show, I don’t know if you’re going to do well. but good luck anyway.’

“You’re going to walk onto that show and feel a bit like you’re not going to be yourself, you’re not going to be in the flow.

“I think we have a lot to answer for in just rallying and getting behind and radiating.”

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Ryder co-wrote the song Space Man with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge, who has previously worked with Ed Sheeran, and Max Wolfgang.

When the world went into lockdown in March 2020, Ryder began uploading covers to TikTok which caught the attention of global stars including Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys.

He later signed to the Parlophone record label, part of Warner Music Group, and released his debut EP The Sun’s Gonna Rise in 2021.

The Eurovision grand final will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer and on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds on May 14 from 8pm.

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