United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022

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Eurovision Song Contest 2022
Country United Kingdom
National selection
Selection processInternal selection
Selection date(s)10 March 2022
Selected entrantSam Ryder
Selected song"Space Man"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Final result2nd, 466 points
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2021 2022

The United Kingdom participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin, Italy. British singer and songwriter Sam Ryder represented the country with his song "Space Man", co-written with Max Wolfgang and Amy Wadge.[1][2][3] He was selected as the 2022 UK entrant by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in collaboration with TaP Music record label and their management company.

As part of the "Big Five", the United Kingdom directly qualifies to compete in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Ryder performed in the second half of the final, in 22nd position.[4] Ryder finished in second place with 466 points, winning the jury vote, scoring the third highest jury votes by a contestant with 283 points.[5] He also became the highest scoring UK Eurovision entrant and scored the UK its best result since 1998 and its first top three result since 2002.[6][7][8] It also marked the sixteenth time that the UK has finished in second place in the contest.

An average of 8.9 million people tuned in to watch the competition on BBC One, with a peak viewing figure later reaching 10.6 million, marking some of the highest UK viewing figures for the contest in recent years.[9] The song peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the highest-charting UK Eurovision entry since Gina G's "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" in 1996.[10]

Background

Prior to the 2022 contest, the United Kingdom has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest sixty-three times. Thus far, the United Kingdom has won the contest five times: in 1967 with the song "Puppet on a String" performed by Sandie Shaw, in 1969 with the song "Boom Bang-a-Bang" performed by Lulu, in 1976 with "Save Your Kisses for Me" performed by Brotherhood of Man, in 1981 with the song "Making Your Mind Up" performed by Bucks Fizz and in 1997 with the song "Love Shine a Light" performed by Katrina and the Waves. To this point, the nation is noted for having finished as the runner-up in a record sixteen contests. Up to and including 1998, the UK had only twice finished outside the top 10, in 1978 and 1987. Since 1999, the year in which the rule was abandoned that songs must be performed in one of the official languages of the country participating, the UK has had less success, thus far only finishing within the top ten three times in 2002 with the song "Come Back" performed by Jessica Garlick, in 2009 with the song "It's My Time" performed by Jade Ewen, and in 2022 with the song "Space Man" performed by Sam Ryder. In 2021, the United Kingdom finished in last place with the song "Embers" performed by James Newman, notably scoring a total of 0 points from both the juries and the televoting.

The British national broadcaster, the BBC, broadcasts the event within the United Kingdom and organises the selection process for the nation's entry. Between 2011 and 2015, the BBC opted to internally select the British entry. For their 2016 entry, the broadcaster announced that a national final would be organised featuring a competition among several artists and songs to choose the British entry for the contest. The same process was used in 2017 and 2018, and changes were brought in for 2019. In 2020 and 2021, the BBC opted to return to an internal selection, in collaboration with record label BMG.

Before Eurovision

Internal selection

On 21 October 2021, the day after the official list of participants in Eurovision 2022 was released, the BBC announced its plans for the British national selection, opting for an internal process no longer in collaboration with record label BMG, but with TaP Music instead. The management company's leading artists include Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding and Lana Del Rey. Kate Phillips (BBC commissioning editor) stated that the new collaboration "will enable the BBC to tap into some great music talent" and that the broadcaster has "big ambitions for the 2022 contest".[11] On 25 January 2022, TaP revealed that they had started shortlisting potential acts for the contest – with both established, emerging and brand new artists having approached them for the Eurovision project – and that they had worked with BBC Radio 1 and Scott Mills in order to choose the British representative.[12]

Early rumours

In November 2021, Glasgow-based electropop duo HYYTS revealed they were in the running to represent the United Kingdom;[13] this was confirmed during an interview with BBC Scotland's TV channel programme The Edit which was later broadcast on 29 January 2022.[14] On 3 February 2022, Jenni Falconer unofficially announced Chelcee Grimes as the chosen UK representative during her morning show on Smooth London.[15] Grimes herself later denied this on Twitter the same day.[16][17]

Artist and song selection

Sam Ryder was announced as the chosen entrant with the song "Space Man" on 10 March 2022.[18][19] The entry was revealed by Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1's breakfast show with Greg James, with "Space Man" having previously featured as 'Tune of the Week' on Mills' afternoon show on Radio 1.[20]

Having been a fan of Eurovision since I was a kid, I am so honoured to have been presented with the opportunity to sing at an event alongside some of Europe’s most talented creatives, performers and songwriters. I hope to sing my head off in a way the United Kingdom can be proud of, and to showcase a song I wrote with my friends last summer makes the whole experience even more special.

— Sam Ryder[20]

Promotion

In order to promote "Space Man" as the British entry for the 2022 contest, Sam Ryder embarked on a promotion tour throughout Europe. Having already made several appearances on British TV, Ryder also promoted the song in Bulgaria on 21 March after filming the UK 'live-on-tape' backup performance in Sofia, alongside entrants from Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece.[21][22] Ryder also performed at the London Eurovision Party at London's Hard Rock Hotel venue on 3 April, the Eurovision in Concert 2022 at Amsterdam's AFAS Live on 9 April, and at the PrePartyES in Madrid's Sala La Riviera on 16 April. He also made appearances on Dutch radio stations on 7 April.[23][24] On 14 April, he travelled to Belgrade, Serbia in order to promote his entry on Serbian radio and on the Vece sa Ivanom Ivanovicem show. He then travelled to Madrid the day after for the PrePartyES.[25] Ryder also made further promotional appearances in Greece, San Marino and Germany.[26]

At Eurovision

Orta San Giulio in the Province of Novara was the location of Sam Ryder's postcard.
A video postcard introduced Sam Ryder's performance in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. The postcard was filmed in the small Italian town of Orta San Giulio on the San Giulio Island in the Province of Novara
and featured virtual projections of Ryder across the location.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 took place at PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy, and consisted of two semi-finals held on 10 and 12 May, and the final on 14 May 2022. As the United Kingdom is a member of the "Big Five", their entry directly qualifies for the final, along with France, Germany, Spain, and Italy (also the host country in 2022).[27] The United Kingdom performed in the second half of the final in position number 22.[28] In addition to their participation in the final, the United Kingdom also required to broadcast and vote in one of the two semi-finals. This was decided via a draw held during the semi-final allocation draw on 25 January 2022, when it was announced that the United Kingdom would vote in the second semi-final.[29]

Both semi-finals were broadcast on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer, with the commentary team consisting of Scott Mills and Rylan Clark. This marked the return of the Eurovision semi-finals to BBC Three for the first time since 2015, after four years of broadcasting the shows on BBC Four during BBC Three's tenure as an online channel.[30] The final was broadcast on BBC One's regional variations across the UK with commentary by Graham Norton, and on BBC Radio 2 with commentary by Ken Bruce. The BBC also broadcast a Eurovision after-party on BBC Radio 2, which was presented by OJ Borg.[31][32][33] The UK spokesperson, who announced the top 12-point score awarded by the British jury during the final, was AJ Odudu.[34]

On 20 January 2022, it was announced that the BBC would move their coverage of the contest from London to Salford, meaning that the UK spokesperson in 2022, AJ Odudu, was the first in the history of the contest to announce the points of UK the national jury live from Salford.[35][36] It was later announced that the consultancy fees would be donated to the charitable organization Migrant Offshore Aid Station, in order to support individuals who were affected by the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[37]

Final

Sam Ryder took part in technical rehearsals on 5 and 7 May, followed by dress rehearsals on 11, 12 and 13 May. This included semi-final jury show on 13 May where an extended clip of the British performance was filmed for broadcast during the live show on 12 May and the jury final on 13 May where the professional juries of each country watched and voted on the competing entries. After technical rehearsals, the "Big Five" countries held a press conference. As part of this press conference, the artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. The United Kingdom was drawn to compete in the second half. Following the conclusion of the second semi-final, the shows' producers decided upon the running order of the final. The running order for the semi-finals and final was decided by the shows' producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. The United Kingdom was subsequently placed to perform in position 22, following the entry from Australia and before the entry from Poland.

The British performance featured Sam Ryder performing on a predominately black and white stage theme and smoke effects on the floor. Sam Ryder was wearing a trainers and a skydiver jumpsuit with intricate patterns with an astronomical theme linking back to the meaning of "Space Man". The United Kingdom brought the largest prop of the contest, which was formed of three metal wings, while Ryder performed on a circular plinth in the centre. The prop moved during the course of the performance and gradually lighted up and opened. The performance also featured a guitar solo by Sam Ryder, an adaptation of the studio cut of "Space Man".[38] The United Kingdom placed second in the final, only behind champions Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine. Ryder received a total of 466 points, finishing in first place with the juries and fifth place with the public: 183 points from the televoting and 283 points from the juries. This marked the highest amount of points ever scored by the UK at the contest, the sixteenth time the UK finished second, and the country's best result since last hosting the event in 1998.

Voting

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to the United Kingdom in the final. Voting during the three shows involved each country awarding two sets of points from 1-8, 10 and 12: one from their professional jury and the other from televoting.[39] The exact composition of the professional jury, and the results of each country's jury and televoting were released after the final; the individual results from each jury member were also released in an anonymised form.[40][41] The British jury consisted of Adam Hunter, Denise Pearson, Eliot Kennedy, Matthew Xia (Excalibah), and Helen George.[40][41] In the final, the United Kingdom placed 2nd with 466 points. This was the best British result achieved since 1998 and the most points ever attained at the contest by the United Kingdom. The final saw eight juries award top twelve points to the United Kingdom: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Georgia and Ukraine. The United Kingdom also received top twelve points in the public televote from Malta. Over the course of the contest, the UK awarded its 12 points to Sweden (jury) and Ireland (televote) in the second semi-final, and to Sweden (jury) and Ukraine (televote) in the final.[42][43]

Points awarded to the United Kingdom

Points awarded to the United Kingdom (Final)[43]
Score Televote Jury
12 points  Malta
10 points  Israel
8 points
7 points  Iceland
6 points
5 points  Montenegro
4 points
3 points
2 points  Slovenia
1 point  Armenia  Serbia

Points awarded by the United Kingdom

Detailed voting results

The following members comprised the British jury:[41][40]

  • Adam Hunter – songwriter, music producer, member of HYYTS
  • Denise Pearson – singer-songwriter, music producer
  • Eliot Kennedy – singer-songwriter
  • Matthew Xia (Excalibah) – theatre director, DJ, composer, broadcaster, journalist
  • Helen George – actress, TV host
Detailed voting results from the United Kingdom (Semi-final 2)[42]
Draw Country Jury Televote
Juror 1 Juror 2 Juror 3 Juror 4 Juror 5 Average Rank Points Rank Points
01  Finland 12 14 13 9 16 17 7 4
02  Israel 5 3 12 13 11 10 1 14
03  Serbia 10 10 15 2 3 6 5 5 6
04  Azerbaijan 1 6 3 15 14 3 8 17
05  Georgia 2 11 14 12 17 12 12
06  Malta 17 15 6 18 13 16 13
07  San Marino 15 12 18 5 12 13 8 3
08  Australia 4 1 10 16 18 8 3 11
09  Cyprus 14 17 16 8 15 18 10 1
10  Ireland 9 16 7 4 10 11 1 12
11  North Macedonia 8 4 17 7 2 4 7 16
12  Estonia 18 5 2 6 9 7 4 9 2
13  Romania 13 13 11 10 8 14 4 7
14  Poland 3 9 5 14 4 5 6 2 10
15  Montenegro 16 18 9 17 6 15 18
16  Belgium 6 7 4 11 7 9 2 15
17  Sweden 11 2 1 1 5 1 12 6 5
18  Czech Republic 7 8 8 3 1 2 10 3 8
Detailed voting results from the United Kingdom (Final)[43]
Draw Country Jury Televote
Juror 1 Juror 2 Juror 3 Juror 4 Juror 5 Average Rank Points Rank Points
01  Czech Republic 10 16 10 7 11 12 18
02  Romania 11 17 12 13 15 17 8 3
03  Portugal 8 10 9 21 2 8 3 14
04  Finland 4 22 19 12 19 14 11
05   Switzerland 14 9 3 6 21 9 2 24
06  France 23 23 24 24 22 24 17
07  Norway 7 12 18 20 13 16 5 6
08  Armenia 19 21 15 15 23 22 20
09  Italy 21 8 4 16 16 11 12
10  Spain 1 7 7 5 3 2 10 6 5
11  Netherlands 22 20 11 10 18 20 16
12  Ukraine 20 11 16 14 7 15 1 12
13  Germany 15 19 17 23 24 23 15
14  Lithuania 13 18 20 17 4 13 4 7
15  Azerbaijan 18 5 1 4 9 4 7 22
16  Belgium 17 14 13 22 17 21 21
17  Greece 5 13 8 8 5 7 4 13
18  Iceland 9 24 22 18 10 18 23
19  Moldova 16 15 23 11 12 19 3 8
20  Sweden 3 1 5 1 1 1 12 7 4
21  Australia 2 3 6 9 20 5 6 19
22  United Kingdom
23  Poland 6 4 2 3 14 3 8 2 10
24  Serbia 24 2 21 19 6 10 1 10 1
25  Estonia 12 6 14 2 8 6 5 9 2

After Eurovision

The long-awaited success of the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 was greeted with tremendous reception across the UK, with commentators Graham Norton stating that the result was a "fairytale ending to an incredible evening" and Ken Bruce proclaiming that "the feeling is that the UK has broken the taboo of bad results".[44] An average of 8.9 million viewers watched the final, with a peak of 10.6 million during the voting sequence. This equalled a 55% share of the market over the four hours of the final, equalling record viewing figures achieved in 2011. Shortly after the final, the UK head of delegation Andrew Cartmell verbally confirmed the country's participation in the 2023 contest, stating that the UK aims to maintain the success of 2022 for the following year. Sam Ryder stated that he was "delighted with the result" and that "the UK will be a force to be reckoned with in the future of Eurovision".[45] On 16 May 2022, Ryder was greeted by a crowd at London's Heathrow Airport to celebrate his success.

Awards and nominations

Ryder won the Marcel Bezençon Press Award, and became the first UK act to win a Bezençon Award.[46]

Year Award ceremony Category Nominee(s)/work(s) Result Ref.
2022 Marcel Bezençon Awards Press Award Himself Won [47]

References

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External links