My name is Aaron Goodall and I’m a Programmatic Team Lead at William Hill. I’m a huge Eurovision fan so I’m giving my thoughts on this year’s contest.

Can the UK bring home the Eurovision Song Contest this year?

The year is 1997. Tiger Woods has just won his first major at Augusta and New Zealand-bred Lord Gyllene has romped home in the infamous ‘Monday Grand National’.

It was also the last time the United Kingdom tasted victory in the Eurovision Song Contest, when Katrina and the Waves won with “Love Shine A Light” in Dublin, Ireland.

25 years of hurt

The quartet from Cambridgeshire received twelve points from 10 nations, recorded at least one point with every voting nation and were 70 points clear of nearest rivals Ireland, in second.

Now, 25 years later, the United Kingdom are yet to repeat the success from 1997. And, more often than not, have found themselves near the bottom of the leaderboord.

Since Katrina and the Waves had the nation walking on sunshine, the UK has finished last four times. When looking at recent history, the results have been even worse, with no top-10 finishes in the last 10 entries, with Blue, Bonnie Tyler and Engelbert Humperdinck all struggling to find success on the European Stage.

Blue’s rendition of “I Can” was the United Kingdom’s best performance in the last 10 years, finishing eleventh and receiving maximum points from Bulgaria.

Step forward Sam Ryder…

The United Kingdom’s hopes of success in 2022 rest on British singer-songwriter, Sam Ryder.

Sam rose to fame on TikTok during the pandemic with his sensational cover of “If I Ain’t Got You” which caught the attention of Alicia Keys. The Essex-born singer has amassed a whopping 12.3 million followers, and 100.8 million likes on TikTok (at the time of writing). He’s has also been putting in the airmiles in preparation, performing on hit Bulgarian TV show ‘The Nikolaos Tsitiridis Show’ to help to grow his following across Europe.

Sam’s entry, “Space Man”, has 2.3 million views on YouTube, and many experts are backing the United Kingdom to end 25 years of hurt. Even the OGAE, (an organisation of over forty Eurovision Song contest fan clubs across Europe) have classified Sam Ryder as their fifth favourite song of the year, behind Sweden, Italy, Spain and Netherlands.

If Sam is to bring home the Eurovision Song Contest, he will have to beat some tough competition. Italy’s entry this year is coming from Mahmood & Blanco, whose National Final Performance has racked up 3.5 million views on YouTube (at the time of writing).

Mahmood has previous experience in the music industry, competing on the Italian X Factor, as well as finishing second in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest with his song “Soldi” – which has now amassed a staggering 26 million views on YouTube.

Can the United Kingdom bring it home?

Will Sam Ryder be able to end 25 years of hurt for the United Kingdom? We will find out on Saturday 14th May – where 26 nations will battle it out to win the coveted prize and the rights to host the 2023 contest.

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This article was written by an employee of William Hill but doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of William Hill LTD