‘The most important objective is to try and tackle that negative stigma’ – Sam Ryder

The UK’s Eurovision representative Sam Ryder has admitted that his biggest goal of participation is to change the negative stigma about the contest. 

Sam Ryder is representing the UK 12 months on from the country’s nul points performance by James Newman that added fuel to the fire of negative public opinion of Eurovision. 

Speaking on the latest episode of The Euro Trip, Ryder said: “This is a real team effort and you can’t do that without having a loving, kind, positive, energetic team with you; it’s just impossible. 

“But for me, being involved and saying yes to the opportunity of representing the UK at Eurovision was never about having an expectation of where we might end up on the scoreboard; low or high.I can’t express how little relevance that has to me and I mean it from the bottom of my heart. 

“I swear to god this is about remembering that intention with which I was singing over lockdown and being in the corner of that room singing to no-one in front of a little green lamp and singing for the joy of it and never having any expectation of where it might take me.  

“More importantly it’s about what we do with the platform that we’re blessed to have in the lead up to Eurovision. I know there are so many passionate fans of Eurovision in the UK and I want to make sure that myself and the team do the best possible job we can for those fans. We have a responsibility and they deserve it. 

“Also the most important objective is to try and tackle that negative stigma that exists. It’s not because people are malicious or that they’re sticks in the mud at all. All this is a result of looping a negative thought pattern until it becomes part and fabric of small talk. The people that feel hurt by Eurovision and negative about it I truly believe they get together with the people they love most in the world on Saturday night and sit in front of the TV and eat some good food and enjoy their time together they will relish the bonkersness and bask in its bombastic glow. That is the objective. That is the prize. That is the goal.” 

The UK are one of the bookmakers’ favourites to win Eurovision on Saturday night having risen from fifth to third in the odds after Ryder completed his second rehearsal at the weekend. 

Despite this, Ryder isn’t bothered about what the bookmakers think or what his placing is on the Eurovision scoreboard. 

“To do that it takes the magic and the wind out of the sails about what we’re trying to do. I couldn’t care less where we come because that means I put myself and the team’s worth into where we come which is out of our control. 

“I’m living and breathing this moment with the team and I can see that there’s nothing else we could’ve done. We are doing everything. There’s not a day off that we’ve had. Whatever happens, happens. 

“We still did everything that we could and we don’t need the scoreboard to give us validation. Even if we’re high up on the scoreboard still doesn’t matter, that wasn’t the reason that we’re validated. We’re validated already by loving every minute of this, respecting it and embracing the opportunity with open arms.” 

Sam Ryder will perform his song Space Man in the second half of the Eurovision Grand Final on Saturday (May 14).

Image credit – Corinne Cumming

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