UK: Rock it, man

Sam Ryder performing SPACE MAN, representing United Kingdom in the second rehearsal
Sam Ryder performing SPACE MAN, representing United Kingdom in the second rehearsal

Opening and closing with Sam Ryder alone on a brightly lit white platform, this is as effective at the start as at the end.

What I saw was a musician enjoying his life, improvising vocals and displaying not one flutter of nerves. He wanted to be there, and he owned the stage. Vocally, he was spot-on – as you might expect, and he improvises and makes this sound live. Some songs this year don’t have that energy. It’s possibly the most engaging performance I’ve seen this year. His enthusiasm is massively catching.

Colour-wise it’s mostly blues and whites, though after the ‘rocket’ or dome open, there are oranges and reds, lending the last part of the song a warm glow. There’s a glorious wide shot when the rocket is pulled apart by stage hands.

And then, there’s the added rock-out rocket man guitar solo. It could have been cringe, but it works. He totally gets into it, miming for all he’s worth and turns it from what could have been kitsch into his final pop at extra points.

If I had to pick fault, I’m not a fan of the fancy jump suit. It’s too light entertainment for me. Like someone at the BBC said, ‘just give us this one thing’. That and tone down the slap.

The next thing to come is the running order – clearly Sam will need to happen near a break in the show as he has a huge on-stage prop.

This will score highly.

Image Credits: EBU / Corinne Cumming.

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