UK Eurovision hopeful Sam Ryder says 'cliquey scoreboard' nearly put him off competition
The UK’s hopeful for the Eurovision Song Contest this year has opened up about his decision-making when taking on this year's competition in Italy after our dismal performance in the past.
Sam Ryder appeared on Wednesday’s instalment of This Morning to chat about the singing contest, which was won by Italian rock group Måneskin in Rotterdam last year.
The ITV daytime show played a clip of Sam’s song Space Man, which he will perform at May's grand final.
James Newman met the cruel fate of being awarded nul points in 2021’s Eurovision, while the last time the UK made the top ten in a final at Eurovision was in 2009 with Jade Ewen.
ITV’s Phillip Schofield touched on the scoring at Eurovision and said he struggles to watch it, as some viewers have pointed to the post-Brexit relationship with Europe as a cause of dire scores at the competition.
Phillip said: “I can watch the show, I love the show. I can’t watch the scoring. It drives me crazy.
“When you look at all the individual blocks and all the cliques, you think ‘they don’t like us’.”
Sam agreed the scoring can be “scary” to watch and “can hurt”, particularly as a long-time fan of the competition.
He said: “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 so much greater than my fear, because I love singing and singing is about connecting with people and it’s connecting with those people that have been supporting it.”
Sam is one of the UK's most followed singers on TikTok, with 12 million fans on the app and said he hopes his followers will get behind him during the grand final.
He said: “So many people have been watching my videos on social media and rooting for me, so to be able to go over there to Turin and seeing some of those people, I can’t think of the boxes I’m not ticking as a singer, artist and performer.
“If I let fear of where I come on a scoreboard define what I want to do in any aspect of my life - right now it’s Eurovision - I don’t want fear to define me. I want to go there and sing my head off.”
Due to its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been banned from this year's contest by the show's producers, the European Broadcast Union.
Releasing a statement on their decision, the EBU wrote: “The European Broadcasting Union has announced that no Russian act will participate in this year's Eurovision Song Contest.
“The Executive Board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation earlier today by the Eurovision Song Contest's governing body, the Reference Group, based on the rules of the event and the values of the EBU.”
It continued: “The Reference Group recommendation was also supported by the EBU's Television Committee. The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year's Contest would bring the competition into disrepute.
Before making this decision the EBU took time to consult widely among its membership The EBU is an apolitical member organisation of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service.”