The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 40 competing songs in Eurovision 2022. Next we review the United Kingdom, who have chosen Sam Ryder with “SPACE MAN”.
Are we ready to blast off? Read on to find out!
Sam Ryder – “SPACE MAN” (UK Eurovision 2022)
Review: Sam Ryder – “SPACE MAN”
Pablo: It’s very weird for a song to make me emotional, and this really did me in. Combining a vintage Elton John-esque quality with a youthfully artistic Glass Animals-energy, “SPACE MAN” is an amalgamation of all things that make British music special. The instrumental brilliantly conveys that Jetsons-like “70s peek into the future” aspect, and the build-up is effortlessly impressive, with rich vocals that do exactly what they need to do, not more, not less. The UK has cracked the code, and they can, and should, aspire for way more than a single-digit score in the final.
Renske: After we have said how incredibly smart it is to send a large TikTok star to Eurovision, somehow this does not feel very different from the United Kingdom’s entries of recent years. Sam Ryder is among the stronger vocalists this year, but there are other singers that could overshadow his power. “SPACE MAN” is on the repetitive side, but is annoyingly one of the most catchy tunes of this contest.
Lucy: I am Team Wiwi’s resident delusional Brit stan, admittedly. I tend to get over-excited, so this year now the UK has a genuine shout at top ten, I’m a bit terrified! Sam Ryder’s vocals are INSANE, and the song is giving off Mercury/Bowie vibes. His whole presence really reflects that, Sam is worthy of the comparison. A TikTok star with over 12m followers, he has bags of appeal, and is deservedly an absolute icon of the platform. His performances show the vulnerability in the lyrics of broken-heartedness and loneliness, whilst he is engaging and exciting to watch. Come on, Sam. The UK is so behind you!
Sebastian: “SPACE MAN” is objectively a solid vocal performance and a good, solid song. I hate to say it, however, but “SPACE MAN” doesn’t take me anywhere ethereal or other-worldly. Sam Ryder has a great smile and good singing voice, but with notes that almost mimic a mosquito, I can’t help but feel irritated by what is, in essence, an OK track. I know my opinion sits within the minority, but Sam’s Freddie Mercury tones and soft-rock song leaves me damp and uninspired. While some say this might achieve the UK’s best performance of the last couple of decades, I say don’t count on it.
Tom: Well, well, well… the UK has a song they can be proud of! It feels like the BBC are really trying this year. They have chosen an artist with the most incredible voice (it is extraordinary) and given him a very good song. “SPACE MAN” is a memorable, current track that screams of Britishness, which is a wonderful thing. That being said, I still think Sam is better than the song. He could have perhaps showed off more of his endless qualities in another track, but perhaps I am just being greedy. Juries will really respect this and if there were any justice, this would finish on the left-hand side of the leaderboard. Fingers crossed!
UK Eurovision 2022 ranking
In the Eurovision 2022 Wiwi Jury, we have 18 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3.5 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.25/10
What do you think of the UK’s Eurovision 2022 entry? Share your own score and review for Sam Ryder’s “SPACE MAN” below!
Will not win. Not even close.
It’s not all about winning the contest that’s a bad attitude to have when 39 countries won’t win. He’s passionate about music and performing his song in front of 200 million people is a win in itself for him.
Finally the UK are sending a singer that isn’t a wet lettuce
For once the UK is not sending a generic love love peace peace song to Eurovision (Lucie Jones, Michael Rice and Surie, etc). Space Man is a top drawer British modern power ballad and one of the biggest things that makes it a dark horse is Sam Ryder.
This is a song that could be in the soundtrack of Toy Story or the new Buzz Lightyear movie. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing.
This may sound a weird comment but this isn’t always a contest. Sure, we all want to win but only one can. Will this win? No, but at least it’s an entry that the UK can be proud of. It’s not always a contest, but it’s
always a celebration of good music and UK have come to the party.
That’s literally my entire ESC mindset – I don’t care who wins, as long as I add at least one song to my playlist.
Hello. Elton John is one of greatest in UK but he’s getting old 🙂 I see criticism but Space Man is very British and we love British music that’s why foreigners enjoy it very much more than you. Sam Ryder is the modern embodiment of some of the greatest singers in the UK (Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Beatles and more) but his talent is very unique as his own person. He’s very endearing and I love his passion and attitude. You cannot compare this song to anything the UK have sent before. I predict he will do very well. Go… Read more »
This and Italy…
The song is fine. But UK has sent decent songs in the past, only to make questionable staging choices. This is top 10 if staged correctly.
It has an authentic British sound with great production that makes it authentic. He’s got a great voice, he’s charismatic and has appeal. Unlike past 10 years this wasn’t written for Eurovision and it doesn’t feel amateurish.
I am picturing it starting off with him standing in a sort of living room, then the screen and floor is going to movie the room into space while hes singing, then bring us back down again. I think that would look so humbling and emotional. I have high hopes for this.
Wow. I’M IN LOVE WITH SEBASTIAN!!!
There are thing I like about it and things that I don’t. Overall, I’m not feeling it in the position it currently holds with bookmakers. Every time I come back to the song, I end up moving it down a little more in my ranking. Firstly, I don’t like anything about it lyrically. It’s a very UK Eurovision approach to lyric-writing where they take one metaphor and absolutely beat it into the ground. A lot of the lines are not that creative and it does bring to mind the UK’s 2020 entry in that regard. I find a lot of… Read more »
I’m I the only one who doesn’t find this song any special at all? I mean, sure, he has a great voice, but for me, it is just the typical song the UK sends to Eurovision, nothing different, and I can’t find any reason why it is so high in the betting odds or in fan rankings. Idk, that’s just my opinion
I feel this way with Swedens song, I cant see the appeal for it as much as its being bigger up. I can rhyme off a number of songs very similar in style and context. Sams is no different either.
There were a number of jurers here who wanted to drag Sam down. Regardless of how well he does, he’s a lovely guy and geuinely deserves to do well! I want him to give us a top 5 result and it might become a reality now that the song is gaining support AGAIN. The fact that some of the harshest critics out there have praised his voice shows he’s one to watch and hopefully his TikTok followers will translate into votes too. So! You know what to do! If you think this is the UK’s best attempt in years, vote… Read more »
Wait, people have been complaining for years that the UK “doesn’t take eurovision seriously” but as soon as they send a good entry, y’all are like “OvErRaTeD”. Well done UK, you can be proud of this entry!
100 percent agree, they send a decent song with an amazing singer and now its, ‘omg so bland, so overrated’. Sweden enter a normal radio friendly song and its ‘revolutionary, omg her voice the lyrics etc’. Talk about giving certain countries brownie points. I can guarantee if Sweden entered ‘That’s Rich’ it would be favourite to win.
Zero to hero? Is it possible? He is my #1 this year. I hope they don’t miscalculate with the stage and CGI preparation.
Guys, with my utmost respect, Sebastian’s opinion is not just a negative one (which is valid) but a bunch of toxic words floating in the air, meaningless. Please check that—it’s okay to have an opinion, but rudeness is unnecessary. This is Eurovision, not the conversation before a presidential debate.
this wiwi jury is really embarrassing and ridiculous. sam behind portugal, ireland and cyprus?? nobody can take that seriously.
I’m glad that esc will soon only be available exclusively on tiktok.
And how do you compare those songs? Portugal is like the UK a possible- if unlikely- winner. Cyprus is a nice melody, if a bit too unoriginal. It’ll probably finish 11th to 16th. And Ireland is a borderline qualifier… Why do you choose to bundle all these 3, who have not much in common, all together?
Portugal is quality,
even if you don’t like it.
I do agree about overrated Ireland though
Party is over. Call a taxi for 2 guys in your team. They’ve had a bit extra. And close the door behind.
Sam seems like a sweetheart and he’s got a fantastic voice (especially for rock), but he’s much better than Space Man. I’m expecting him to pull a Chanel and elevate the song more than it deserves on stage, but I have no clue how he’ll be received. Could be top 5, could be top 20, but for sure a considerable improvement over last year’s result.
I am positively surprised with the UK. It’s not a masterpiece but it’s definitely a step forward. Sam is also a very capable performer and very charismatic. I hope the UK gets it right with the staging and ends up in the top 10. I don’t think it is a winner and it may have been given too much attention, but they don’t deserve another flop like in 2014. I do still like “Children of the Universe”. It was a fan fav just as “Space Man” is.
The UK enters my top 10.
It is winning me over, but I do worry about the staging. Space / the moon / earth / astronauts have already been done to death on the Eurovision stage, with none of them bringing much success. And he doesn’t look like he’s singing in space.
Examples, please. Apart from Australia 2019, not even one comes to mind.
Spain 2021 (the moon), Austria 2018 (Dreamworks moon), Moldova 2016 (Astronaut), Ireland 2016 (called “Sunlight”), Ukraine 2011 (a moon in the sand), everything in 1999 (set design with the sun). There are probably others.
1999 was not the best year song-wise, but that stage design was really lovely, and easily elevated half of the songs visually.
Sam’s doing the staging partially this year in terms of ideas, so if its bad blame him!
Typical that the UK comes up with a good solid entry, but it’s a song I can’t stand to listen to. I’m really sorry! I love Sam, I just don’t love “Space Man.” But best of luck to Sam and the UK (and possibly to a floating chair).
I don’t understand what’s so repulsive of it.
I think I’m with you on this one, Purple. Also finding it solid whilst not really enjoying the actual listening to it.
And also, wishing the UK the best of luck of course…and yes, floating chair!
If the UK doesn’t manage to snatch a left end placing, they’ll definitely be robbed!
Is not a winner but deserve top 10 ,like it
It’s always dangerous to put too much faith in the UK when they already seem to always find a way to go lower than my expectations. To call them a potential winner a year after they achieved the worst result in contest history should, in theory, sound totally delusional. And yet…here I am, calling the UK, as of now, the song that gives me the biggest winner vibes of any of this year’s entries. This is beyond just a rebound. If they play their cards right, the UK are bare minimum finishing on the left-hand side of the board, and… Read more »
I don’t think last year’s results have anything to do with this year. Every year the contest is different and that’s the beauty of it. I’m sure this will score high.
From I don’t like it tö one of my favorites….This time The UK has tö be in the Top 10 , it just can’t be otherwise…
The UK is still playing safe, but it’s nice to see they haven’t forgotten to add charm to the mix this time. There’s something profoundly engaging about Sam and his vocals are among the most interesting of 2022’s class. The song itself is quite simple, but in a warm way. I’m not a fan of the wordplay on the chorus and the rocket sound effect gets on my nerves, but the lyrics are sweet enough to disarm my cynicism. I personally don’t see it a winner, but I can see Sam pulling a Michael Schulte and mending the ESC/UK relations.… Read more »
Oh I completely forgot about those rocket noises. Are they going to have them in the actual Eurovision-performed version of the track? I could definitely do without.
I think juries are going to reward this to a fairly decent extent so yes, I do think the UK is going to have a more positive view of the contest after this year than they did so beforehand.
Okay, actually a BASED opinion this time…
Oh, HELL, YES!
Somehow Brooke from Ireland still scored higher than Space, Man. This song is so much better.
Bore off with the Ireland comments already. Deal with it!
This is jury winner alert.
I don’t want anyone to take this negatively, but I would say that the UK should not have high expectations. Space Man is a decent song. But Bigger Than Us was a decent song, and Embers was a decent song too. We all know what what happened with both these entries. I really doubt that Space Man will finish last, but I am not that confident that it will set the scoreboard on fire. If the staging is good it could have an impact, and maybe the juries will support it but I am not that sure about the public.… Read more »
Are you really comparing Space man with Embers?
Space Man is better, but they are both decent songs. I highly doubt that Space Man will end last, but for now (without knowing how it will look on Eurovision stage) I do not see the winning factor that many people are talking about and I am just saying that it would be more wise not to set our expecations too high. Maybe Space Man will do really well in the end, but I am just not that certain yet
The song in 2019 was boring and forgettable along with the performer and bad staging.
The main difference between Embers and Space Man is Sam can sing the song! James Newman was out of breath on stage after the first chorus. The German songcheck from earlier today said they still remember the trumpets for all the wrong reasons. Sam finished 2nd in that by the way.
Is it so bad that I really liked Embers? :3
You cannot compare spaceman to bigger than us. BTU was sung by someone that looked totally lost on stage. And as for Embers, James is a song writer, not a natural performer. Both songs were staged very badly and fronted by two performers that had zero stage presence. Nice lads but nothing extra special.
Sam is star quality in every way and I LOVE the song.
For me the song is bland and forgettable and purely written to enable some rather show offy vocals. I think the juries will go for it moderately well as they like pretentious wailing songs (ie Gijon Tears) but like that song it will slump in the popular vote. I would guess around 10th to 15th overall. No doubt will get vilified for saying that by all.those who convince themselves every year the UK are in with a shot. This song (and it is a song contest not a singer contest) is just mediocre. And will anyone be surprised when his… Read more »
Yes your right in saying this a “song” contest and not a “vocal” contest but having said that would you more likely vote for an “ok” song with a great live vocal or an “excellent” song with a poor live vocal because a ok song performed by a great singer will in most peoples minds elevate that song but a really good song that is performed poorly will just drag in down. In my opinion Spaceman is an ok song but performed by excellent singer which to me elevates it into the top 10. It might be a song contest… Read more »
Gjon’s tears did not really slump in the popular vote, he was 6th, and 3rd overall and that would be a realistic really for Sam as well…
The best UK entry for 25 years !
This is a real underdog I guess.
I feel the UK will get their top-10 placement after so many years!!
8.5/10 The UK could win the jury vote… I can’t believe I get to type those words and actually mean them haha! Seriously though this is just such a strong entry, the lyrics are great and we all know how amazing Sam’s voice is! Hopefully the staging will stand out, but not be too cliché…
Have you all just ranked UK below potential non qualifier Ireland???? G
You are drunk.
Honestly, I wouldn’t mind London 2023. 😉
It’d probably be Salford 2023!
Brighton 2023! With 50 years minus 1 since the biggest ESC moment ever 🙂
But I guess there’s not an arena big enough to host a contemporary formated ESC in Brighton, though…
Harrogate 2023 boys! 🙂
12.United Kingdom – It’s a really nice song. I feel it shouldn’t come last (lol), but it will depend on his live vocal performance. I don’t know how his TikTok fame affects the reception, but it’s enjoyable.
Personally I think Sam sings the song better live and both Milena (Madrid pre-party) and Corrie (Eurovision in Concert, Amsterdam) said Sam Ryder’s delivered a great memorable performance and his charisma and stage presence made him stand out as one of their favourites at each event. He’s also won the 3rd German Songcheck of 2022 with the highest jury score so far (9.9/10). There’s no reason he shouldn’t do well in Turin. He’s been making friends all over Europe over the past month. He wrote the song and you can tell it’s personal to him from the joy that radiates… Read more »
This is so good. Its topp 2 for me.
It reminds me of Lukas Graham. It’s a style UK doesn’t send so often and the lyrics are full of feelings so I can see why there’s hype behind it. I still prefer other songs (Netherlands, Czech Republic, Austria and Georgia) but I’m glad UK is doing well for once. May this continue for years to come.
15. United Kingdom: The song is very pleasant and Sam has a voice full of potential. The lyrics are also creative and the music video is well-made. I like the verses perhaps even more than the chorus as they have a jazz feel and a touching delivery. At the same time the climax is impactful and showcases Sam’s vocal range. The UK seems to finally be taking ESC seriously again and seem to be in the right direction finally even if they are not exactly there yet in terms of originality. But in order for us to be perfectly sure… Read more »
I’m glad that you like it. The UK is currently my 9th, so we are close enough. Even if the idea of them actually winning feels groundbreaking due to their recent results, I have hopes for Space Man nabbing *at least* a top 15 position, perhaps even top 10. It would be a welcome inspiration for the UK to take the whole contest more seriously. That includes originality. Perhaps they could bring us something unexpected in 2023?
I think that finishing inside the top 15 is realistic and well-deserved for Space Man. The UK has an amazing music industry so it’s really about time they start investing in Eurovision as well. If they take the contest seriously they can send from mainstream but well-constructed pop songs to heavily experimental and creative music. I hope this year is a step towards that direction for the BBC.
If the UK did actually win, would this be a problem for the BBC?
I’ve been reading about Boris freezing the license fee and selling off other publicly-owned broadcasters. A big bill for 2023 is probably not what they need now. I know the BBC don’t do ads, would they even get the Moroccanoil money?
It would be nice for them to win in their 100th anniversary year, though.
he’s famous for being broke even as PM
A link here for you about BBC editorial guidelines in terms of sponsorship:
In brief, the bbc can seek sponsorship to help with the costs of mounting events but not use sponsorship for the use of broadcasting the event. So EV would be fine.
Probably exclusive sponsorship deals such as the tik tok sponsorship would not be allowed. (hooray!)
Your other points that you raise: The uk government are in the middle of a two year freeze on the licence fee whist they conduct a review about the future of the tv licence. It is the UK governments wish to scrap the tv licence all together by 2027. What will replace it is still unclear as we are dealing with a shambolic make it up as you go along government. One alternative would be a tax on broadband connection with some of this revenue given to the BBC. The commercial tv stations are dead against the BBC showing adverts… Read more »
I remember being really shocked how much a single episode of strictly and a single episode of casualty costs to make, so I wonder what the comparison would be for the bbc to produce Eurovision (add in the sponsorship, the usual fee per country entering) compared to an average Saturday nights programming.
We could host the after-party in Downing Street, we all know how much Boris loves his parties
He might be out of politics by then. You’re joking, but I think he would actually do it if asked.
BEST MALE VOCALIST OF THE ENTIRE CONTEST! Finally, UK, the glorious land of music and where countless legendary bands and iconic singers from the ’60s up to the 2020s thrived from, decided to send something of exquisite quality back to Eurovision! Sam Ryder’s vocal techniques are some of the most complicated I’ve seen in my life (considering I’m not a huge fan of pop in general), hitting perfectly both the high and the low notes without losing his rhythm and breath! HE GIVES ME INCREDIBLE ELTON JOHN AND FREDDIE MERCURY VIBES! AND HIS ENTRY IS SO LEGENDARY! :’) It’s… Read more »
*Forgot to add that it’s SO experimental but just because Sam has captured the theme of his entry perfectly through the music (almost space-y, “out of this world”), it works just fine! ANOTHER ENTRY THAT CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF THE SOUND OF BEAUTY (FOR UK) THIS EUROVISION SEASON!
UNITED KINGDOM – I like most of the recent British entries. There, I said it! It’s just that most often they don’t feel as striking or as competitive on a larger scale. This time, the tides really might be changing for them. Space Man is very charming and Sam, besides being an incredible singer, feels very relatable. His personality and the ability to belt well should pay off. The song hits just the right spot between being artistic and being fun. It feels like a polished product of a professional music industry, but also like a passion project of an… Read more »
The UK at Eurovision in recent years has been quite mixed for me. I did enjoy their entry last year a lot before the contest (it was in my top five) but it struggles with its live presentation. 2020 was a little better than average but the years between 2015 and 2019 were all pretty negative UK experiences for my ears. I think, even though the UK is amongst my favourites this year, that this is definitely (at least) their second best song in that period of time and definitely the first of their entries where there’s a clear path… Read more »
A very potential Top10 or even Top5 for UK after years. We do have a solid production and an angelic voice but lyrics could have been better. Even tho it’s not very high in my top, I want UK to be Top10 cause UK and BBC might understand that the rest of Europe weren’t voting for them cause they had the most bland and generic songs and not cause they hated them.
Rating: 7/10 (23nd)
7 Points from Suzanne. Thats crazy 😀
I give Sam 8.5/10.
i really like the Song.
Most of the final scores so far are understandable at least, even if there’s plenty I wouldn’t agree with, but Ireland somehow being above all of France, Lithuania, Serbia and the UK is still mystifying to me. Spain and Albania will probably do very well too, since that’s clearly the type of entry Wiwi still falls for so easily…