Sam Ryder sings about being up in space. But this week the UK’s Eurovision 2022 artist has very much been on the ground in Sofia, Bulgaria.
He had two important items on his agenda. The first was recording his live-on-tape performance — the back-up recording to be used in case he can’t compete at Eurovision or the show can’t take place.
The other was a live performance on the highly-rated Nikolaos Tsitiridis Show, where he once again proved that his vocals aren’t of this Earth.
Sam Ryder sings “SPACE MAN” on Bulgarian TV
Completely unfazed by the experience, Sam nailed his vocals and conveyed the tenderness and sincerity of his song to the Bulgarian public.
The host, seen sitting on a desk at the back of the stage, couldn’t help but sway along as Sam guided us through his song, which is all about loving the things you already have around you.
As fans have noted, Sam had to trim more than a minute from the original version of the song so that it would comply with the three-minute rule at Eurovision. He’s chosen to get rid of the high-impact “nothing but nothing but nothing” line from the original.
Visually, the Essex-born beauty played to his strengths, sticking to the off-duty model look that has helped endure him to the masses — particularly his TikTok audience, which values authenticity.
Sam slipped into his signature oversized trousers, which had an abstract pattern, and wore white and grey sneakers, which surely would have let him transition from studio to street without creating any fashion headache.
He finished his look with a white shirt hidden partly by a dark bomber jacket.
As we’ve grown accustomed to seeing on social media, he pulled his hair up into a man bun, freeing the cameras to zoom in and capture all the emotion beaming from his face.
Besides a bit of powder to banish any stage-light-induced shine, Sam went make-up free, which also feeds into his organic, down-to-earth style.
UK live on tape for Eurovision done ??— Lee Smithurst (@LeeSmithurst) March 22, 2022
Sam was OUT OF THIS WORLD each and every take. Insane vocals ?? ? ? pic.twitter.com/yu7d1CMMqT
Sam Ryder’s live-on-tape recording in Sofia
The UK’s Assistant Head of Delegation Lee Smithurst seems very pleased with the live-on-tape recording. In a tweet he sat next to Austrian stage director Marvin Dietmann with a big grin on his face.
“UK live on tape for Eurovision done,” he wrote, punctuating the senence with a check mark. “Sam was OUT OF THIS WORLD each and every take. Insane vocals.”
Perhaps eyeing victory, he finished the post with three emojis: The UK flag, fingers crossed and a trophy.”
What do you think of this three-minute version of “SPACE MAN”? What do you make of Sam’s live vocal? Let us know down below.
Such a pity that such a great vocalist is going to represent the UK with such a bland song.
He could have done so much better. His vocal abilities are impressing, but I am not getting any vibes / chills as it is sounds like a song from PIXAR film. Hopefully his vocals will be appreciated and he wont end up being as low as James Newman.
Great vocals and hes very cute but he should be careful with all those facial expressions, reminds me of Lucie Jones. Remember watching that final with my friends and saying to them: Listen to that song, Uk sends a beautiful one for once! But they couldnt because they were laughing HARD at her facial expressions. He should be careful with all those facial expressions, reminds me of Lucie Jones. Remember watching that final with my friends and saying to them: Listen to that song, Uk sends a beautiful one for once! But they couldnt because they were laughing HARD at… Read more »
yes…and you’re on loop…!
Sorry for that
Sorry for that
Exactly what I was thinking Adnama. He, like she, doesn’t have the experience of performing in front of cameras.
I love the studio version of this song, and I like Sam as a performer. But live something doesn’t work. The One Show performance was clearly altered vocally. This Bulgarian performance shows the potential weaknesses. I expect the UK to have its best result in a while, but I think the hype may end up making this feel really awks when it’s 12 to 17 on the night.
Tv microphones aren’t the best for singers, especially on chat shows such as the one show or the Bulgarian performance. Plus I guess he would have only had one tech rehearsal before hand with a sound guy that is more used to balancing the spoken voice compared with a singer with a awesome range throughout his song.
I’m expecting the mics at eurovision will be the latest tech with a few bells and whistles thrown in for good measure, such as reverb to bring out the very best vocals in all the artists competing.
Sam sounds weak on the falsettos, he should drop them.
These week falsettos will drag him further down to bottom five..
He deserves to win but he won’t as this is not a Song Contest anymore
Fantastic performance, authentic singer. Great job UK! Cheers from The Netherlands! 🙂
The U.K’s Brexit is still fresh in the memory of many Europeans. This will no doubt affect Sam’s result.
Oh dear God, here we go again. You think Europeans are thinking about Brexit right now? The basic rule of thumb is: whatever Brits think Europeans are concerned with, they’re not.
Here we go with a crap troll attempt!
It’s no wonder Europe views us British as arrogant, if at a time one of our European neighbours and Eurovision friends Ukraine is being utterly obliterated by war we think Brexit is still important enough for other countries down vote us at Eurovision ?????
You really think that will at the forefront of peoples mind ffs. I’m sure many understand why UK left considering the undemocratic state of EU and how they dealt with Covid etc. Other countries will be following them.
I think other countries will look at Britain and think ‘nah, we’re fine’.
Get yourself on youtube.
Search “sam ryder reaction”
Watch them all.
Be amazed at the amount of non brits praising the song.
Come back and report your findings when you’ve viewed them all.
Get over yourself
What a weird argument. What has Brexit to do with Eurovision? It never affected UK results. Eurovision people really don’t care if UK is in or out the EU…
My absolute favourite!
Btw, I saw Ronnie Romero and his fiancee on Romanian tv channel Antena 1.
He was obviously miming. The song gets more dull with each listen
Please GO AWAY. Miserable git
Question? After saying we have great song and artist we’ve involved TAP music why isn’t this song added to either Radio 1 or 2 playlists now. Get the song in the public domain now not just before the contest.
Cause it is dull and formulaic?
Patrick we get it, ur a miserable sod
Get lost , Patrick
Good performance which can only be elevated by the grand stage of eurovision. Personally, I’d ditch the band that are obviously miming along to the backing track. It just distracts from the performance. Lets face it, Sam is the star. He needs to shine. His voice, his personality, his charisma; They’re the reason this song works so well. He is the package. I have some reservations about the 3 min edit. Such a difficult choice what part to leave out. I love that every verse, every chorus adds something new and I personally love the “nothing but nothing” ad-libs. I’m… Read more »
Sam will win the jury vote, unsure of the televote but a top 3 contender.
I feel like the very very loose coalition of Ireland, UK, Australia and Malta all do worse w the televote than the jury
I dont know about that. Cornelia is a huge contender to win both jury and televoters. Sam won’t get a disappointing placement, but top 3… Nevertheless, if this gets 0 points again, UK should just boycott the contest like Italy did.
I don’t understand why she is considered such a contender, her singing is weak and usual Swedish entry with the usual overhype because it’s Sweden. Remember the last few years they have not done so well with the tele vote. So much negativity when it’s the UK. If this song was any other country it would not get the same level of criticism. I think a lot of the negativity is from UK fans because it’s expected we will be in the bottom 5 as usual. This year is different. The song stands out, is catchy, I feel he has… Read more »
That would be great for the UK, but there are at least a handful better songs with great artists like Italy, Ukraine, Sweden, Portugal, Netherlands and som joke entries like Norway that people tend to vote for. I also think Spain will get votes because of her sassy dancing. There are some more like France, Poland, Albania and Greece that might do well. I am not so sure about them. So no – UK will not reach top five if not something really special is taking place on stage. I think more like top 10. And the reason is that… Read more »
Sam is a really good performer and his voice is incredible. He might win the jury vote. But the song is missing something. It is good- but not fantastic. It doesn’t have a wow factor. Only his voice. If the staging is something really special it might help. In any case I think he will be in top ten. The competition is however really fierce in the male ballads . Many have really good live vocals . Australia, Azerbaijan, Poland and Italy. All have amazing vocals. The best one according to me is Italy. The least liked by me is… Read more »
Space man is different from the other ballads because its mood is happy or at least optimistic. That tonal difference will help it stand out.
Please do not mess up the staging, Marvin! This song has a lot of potential. But I’m sad that my favorite part of the song had to be removed. Anyway, I’m glad that the UK finally chose an entry worthy of top five. But I do have my doubts whether they will place atleast top ten. Hope they do 🙂
Juries’ winner this year.
Wow! His impromtu “I Wanna Break Free” was spot on perfect. True talent.
How could I have ignored this masterpiece by only placing it 5th on my list? :’)
As much as I love Sweden this year, my heart and support goes to United Kingdom for this year, for the incredible effort they’re finally showing to the contest. Sam Ryder is an absolute proffesional. His voice is blessed. And his song is phenomenal, with a message that its importance goes among everything else this year.
Sam looks very comfortable on stage and his voice sounds amazing, hitting those high notes like it’s no big deal. What a gem and a lovely human being from what I’ve seen in interviews.
They need to keep Lee S away from this, this is same man that reassured everyone that the staging for Embers last year was out of this world and in great hands… yeah out of this world crap more like.
Anyway Sam smashed his performance again! Really wish him luck come May and pray for a top ten because he and song deserve it.
What was he supposed to say? That it was crap? He’s supposed to hype people up regardless of the actual product!
That’s Boozyfloozy99‘s point Joe. The UK entry is already too hype-heavy. Sam is a super singer but I fear much of Europe will simply think “they went with a TikTok guy” and move on.
If they nail the staging (and I pray to the gods they do!!), this has winner potential.
Looks like the director couldn’t care less about what was going on onstage. But dammit, Sam sure is charismatic. And his vocals couldn’t have been better. I’d only recommend him to wear his hair openly instead of sporting a man bun. That way, he’d appear a little bit more outlandish, which would surely help him being remembered and standing out in the Grand Final. After all those years the few British fans on here proclaimed UK would always finish within the bottom 5 just because they’re the UK, I’m ‘up in space’ to finally see the Brits live up to… Read more »
The UK and Ireland are the sleeping giants of Eurovision. Wake ‘em up and the earth shakes.
Why? That just does more harm than good. Like when somebody from Ireland accidentally mentioned Euphoria in the same sentence as Lesley Roy’s 2020 song.
Getting people to support your song locally is important. False hope is better than no hope, says I.
Oops, that was meant for what you said about Lee S.
He also sang on the One Show and Virgin Radio. He sang well!
Stunning vocals but the song personally doesn’t grab me Great to see that the UK is back in ESC business though.
Does this mean we’ll actually get to see the UK’s live-on-tape this year, Lee?
The song itself might only be a 7/10 to me – but with every interview and appearance Sam Ryder is looking more and more like a 10/10, he is a superstar in the making. I dunno if he’ll win, but he’s got such a natural likeability, charisma, and an ease when singing that he’s hard not to like. Even if he doesn’t win I think he’s got a long career ahead of him. Go and listen to Tiny Riot or Whirlwind, he’s the real deal. I’m getting real dark horse vibes from the UK. And not from the song, but… Read more »
Where are the days of “Flying the Flag”. This is actually a good song with Elton Johnish kind of vibes. The Bulgarian video shows how strong Sam Ryder’s live performance is. Will end up somewhere around 3-5, right after the Ukraine and Italy.
This is definitely my favourite entry this year, so talented and so authentic.
Been following Sam for a couple of years and saw him live in Manchester in January. I must admit I’m totally obsessed with his voice, his confidence and he lifts me every day!
I liked it from the start and it keeps growing on me. The message moves and in the end it is quite uplifting. It has this anthemic vibe (without being to pompous) and I guess most of people can relate to it. I really hope for a good staging, but just the fact that he actually performs in other countries is a very good sign. UK often does not seem to care about promotion. I’ve read some comments about his performances and some people complain that he is too much “into it” and it scares people off. I personally don’t… Read more »
Doesn’t the BBC have the infrastructure and means necessary to record a live-on-tape and they resort to using premises in Bulgaria?
That’s because the EBU are there and a number of countries used the same location for efficiency
Bulgaria has been scoring higher than UK in Eurovision for a while now so maybe the location will bring him good luck.
He’s now proven multiple times that he can nail this song live and the staging director is a good choice (he did do Rise Like a Phoenix, after all). I’m starting to let myself actually be open to the idea that the UK could go and win it this year.
Oh boy … I didn’t even know it was Marvin Dietmann. But, yeah … this will be a blow: He (Dietmann) also staged Levina’s ‘Perfect Life’. And if that was memorable in any way, it surely was for all the wrong reasons.
Hope he does it right this time. Conchita’s staging was a blast, so he appears to know his share of things. Let’s just hope he spares up his best ideas for this gem of a song.
The dude goes 50-50. He did a ton of songs last year, some of which looked great (Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus), others less so (Czech Republic). He’s like Hans Pannecouke, who can give us Calm After the Storm and Arcade on a good day and Do It for Your Lover and Outlaw in ‘Em on a bad one.
The only staging director I can think of whose work I’ve always liked, more or less, is SJB. There’s a reason so many recent podium/top-five finishers can credit her. Heck, two of the jury’s top three last year (Switzerland and Malta) were her doing.
I can not forgive her for Australia 2018.
Nothing was gonna save that song
He looks so good on camera. Excellent performance too. I do wish they’d keep that bit in at the end though.
Yeah like I’d even take away the second “up in space… maaaannn” parts in the chorus to fit in that “nothing but nothing but nothing but” part. It’s really powerful!
I think even with the Turin stage this will be magical
ESPECIALLY with the Turin stage.
Great voice. Good stage presence. I love his Tiny riot song live. But I have to say when I listen to this song, which is good, I find too many references and similarities to Rocket man by Elton John, Space Oddity by Bowie and other songs. That’s why I won’t place as winner. Anyway this year there are many great ballads.
I’m guessing Dan Shipton and Marvin Dietmann are doing the UK’s staging then?
And I’m glad that our act is doing a seperate promotional tour around Europe, must be the first time since 2009 surely. It’s so pleasing to see an all round positive response, which is rare…
Winner. The 1st UK winner for 25 years. Deservedly so, my only concern is the staging, I have a feeling that TaP Music is handling the staging, but I cannot be certain. But if it is I have minimal worries for the staging as if the music video is anything to go by, we’ll be in for a show in Turin.
If the staging is on point for Sam, forget the overhyped, Ukraine, Italy & Sweden. The UK will win.
It’s great too that the song lends itself to interpretation and the lyrics have a bit depth to them. In the last 20 years of UK entries, I’d say Space Man is probably only one of three or four songs that really offer that to listeners. I agree with you the staging of the performance will make or break it’s Top 5 chances.
The UK is in with a serious shot this year. Marvin Dietmann is doing the staging, I believe – all the acts filming in Bulgaria except Greece are working either with him or Sacha-Jean Baptiste.
Marvin isnt that consistent, didnt he put a giant plastic balloon moon on the poor spanish guy last year? lol
Woah this Eurovision version has even more impact! I got goosebumps and tears in my eyes!
He is really good! I think the UK will get a very good result this year! And well deserved.
Does it bug anyone else that there is no comma in this song’s title? I can’t get it out of my head every time I see it!
I understand why there’s no comma, to give it two meanings. I don’t understand why it’s in capital letters, though.
Is there such a thing as a “Space Man”? There is a Spaceman for sure. I think he’s trying to say he is the “man of space” and yes that can have lots of meanings but does the sentence “I’m up in space man” actually make any sense without the comma? Is he up himself? Is that what he is trying to say? I don’t think so as that means something different which I don’t think he is trying to say.
And all this time I am supposed to be listening to the song….
The comma is there in the lyrics, just not in the name of the song. That might make it easier for you. I think Sam himself is the Space Man.
If it’s in the lyrics, then it bugs me that it is not in the title. I don’t believe anywhere in the lyrics he refers to himself as the Space Man. It’s like Chanel calling her song Slo Mo. It completely changes the context of the song, as if she were singing about her neighbour Maurice and his Robin Reliant.
The name of the song doesn’t necessarily need to come from the lyrics, though. 1944. Probably more.
Obviously. But you get my point. If in the “1944” song there were all sorts of lyrics referring to 1943, it would be considered odd to call the song 1944.
Yes but that second meaning is that he is in [a] space man. I don’t expect to see that depicted in the staging!
Kate Miller-Heidke might lend him her pole.
For the UK to be in contention for the first time in ages feels like a dream. We are promoting the song around Europe and getting positive feedback for the singer and the song. Whatever the result in May I hope TAP music stays on for the future.
Strong voice and vocal performance. Who wrote the song?
Amy Wadge (who wrote Thinking Out Loud for Ed Sheeran and won a Grammy for.) & Max Wolfgang, alongside Sam
There are three things that bother me:
-he waltzes through the song without any build up or change of feeling
-he is constantly moving his arm when he hits cerrain notes as if this is some achievement he is very proud of
-these two factors give him a bit of a conceited air, and any hint of arrogance is something that a UK entry must avoid at all costs
But I’m curious what others think.
Calm down, it’s not like their entire delegation erupted into a massive “It’s coming home” chant after his performance or something…
Agree about everything.
I completely agree. I love the song and his voice is indeed out of this world, but for me it feels a bit ‘awkward’ watching him (I also had the same watching him perform on BBC the day of the release). I just can’t put my finger on what makes it awkward… In addition, what a non-article around a video on Youtube: describing how the host is sitting in the back (like that is important), describing his clothing choice like it’s an piece of art with a very abstract & deep meaning… Quite clear Wiwibloggs can say anything about their… Read more »
Good points Berta, I think he over-sings it at some moments, like Lucie Jones. I don’t think he’s experienced enough for the Eurovision stage, but I hope I’m proved wrong. His actual vocal is better than I expected.
His voice is out of this world!!
I like the song. I like his voice. But my concern is that the song and Sam falls a bit flat here. It really needs to be elevated by some creative staging to go far imo.
Great song, great voice and great performance! Love it!
Okay now what’s the meaning of the song?
Just an interpretation, but I feel like it’s a statement on how we so often think what we need or want is somewhere distant and far away, when in reality it’s already with us. He conveys that with the idea of space (where multi-billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are keen to send wealthy space tourists). You go up there searching…but then you really just want to go back home.
In the interview following this performance which is also on YouTube, he said that the meaning is pretty much as you describe about having already what you need.
Space Man is about being a dreamer and feeling lost and wanting to be somewhere other than where you are.
When you’re up in that “space, man” you realise it’s little things that you had at home like family and friends that were important.
My interpretation is not that the song is about physical space and place – but more of a metaphor for headspace. When he’s “up in space”, he’s in his own head. When he’s going “down some black holes”, he’s stuck in those negative thoughts and those ‘inner saboteur’ feelings that most of us have from time to time. When he’s “been around the universe”, he’s overthinking and overstressing in his head – he just wants to come back down to earth and get out of his head. He’s stuck on this relationship that’s obviously got him feeling and thinking really… Read more »
It’s the small things in life that matter. Stop dreaming about being rich, famous, an Oscar winner, a Eurovision winner. Those things aren’t necessary to be content.
This song makes me feel like a proud earthling, lol. Some time ago, I watched a few videos about Voyager Golden Record which contains images and sounds that are basically meant to explain life on Earth to aliens (if there happen to be any) – it shows our diversity, music, nature, languages, cultures etc. People in the comments were often saying that they never thought about it that way and the thought that there may be other civilizations, much different than ours, makes them actually appreciate the beauty of life on Earth. And this song kind of makes me think… Read more »
Nikolaos Tsitiridis is a Greek name so I assume he is greek
It was definitely a Bulgarian show.
I hadn’t heard of Nikolaos and his show before. He sounds Bulgarian when he talks at the end of the video.
Funny, the Greek entry this year is by Amanda Tenfjord which is not a Greek sounding name at all.
Small world, open borders, people move around and fall in love, then their kids get on Eurovision. 😀
O checked it he is definitely greek but based in Bulgaria
Great that Sam is getting out there and building his experience. The performance definitely needs some fine-tuning but there’s a lot to work with. The main positive for me is how well he carries the song, he has some lovely tones to his voice.