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Eurovision 2022: Sam Ryder is 'ignoring the hype' as the UK's odds improve

Ryder appeared at last night's Eurovision semi-final in Turin, but he did not have to compete to secure his spot in Saturday's final. Free passes are given to the "big five" - France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK - who pay the most towards keeping the contest going, along with the host nation. A former construction worker, the 32-year-old was already a huge sensation on TikTok before the contest, with stars like Alicia Keys, Sia and Justin Bieber reposting his videos. He was then selected for Eurovision by TAP Management, the management company behind Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding, who helped the BBC choose this year's entry. Since then, he's been on a whirlwind tour of Europe, building up support for his song - which was co-written by Amy Wadge, whose other credits include Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud and Camila Cabello's First Man. It's a long way from his childhood in the countryside, near Malden in Essex. "It was proper Huckleberry Finn vibes," he recalls, "swimming in rivers and building dens." Before Saturday night's grand final, we grabbed him to chat about his chances in the competition, his favourite Eurovision memory, and the injury that nearly ruled him out of the competition.


Sam Ryder at Eurovision rehearsals