The United Kingdom’s Sam Ryder achieved yet another once-in-a-generation milestone today, with his Eurovision 2022 runner-up entry “Space Man” becoming the highest charting Eurovision entry on the British Official Singles Charts in 26 years.

This week, “Space Man” was involved in a battle with Harry Styles’s “As It Was” for chart domination, but ultimately the former One Direction singer pipped the Eurovision sensation’s chart debut to the top spot, with “Space Man” ultimately landing at Number 2.

But Ryder is not the only Eurovision 2022 entrant to launch onto the British Official Singles Chart – Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” debuted at Number 38.

“Space Man” is the highest charting British entrant at Eurovision since Gina G’s “Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit” hit Number 1 in 1996. Though the Australian only came in 8th for the United Kingdom at Eurovision 1996, her entry was a dance sensation that even peaked at Number 12 on the United States’s Billboard Hot 100.

Ryder even topped Eurovision 1997 winner Katrina & the Waves’s performance on the UK charts, with “Love Shine a Light” coming in at Number 3.

Additionally, Ryder is in legendary company when it comes to UK Eurovision entries hitting Number 2. Other silver medalists includes Eurovision 1969 co-winner Lulu’s “Boom Bang-a-Bang”, The Allisons’ Eurovision 1961 runner-up “Are You Sure?,” Mary Hopkin’s Eurovision 1970 runner-up “Knock Knock, Who’s There?”, The New Seekers’ Eurovision 1972 runner-up “Beg, Steal or Borrow,” and Bardo’s Eurovision 1982 7th-placed “One Step Further.”

Ryder’s success comes off a relentlessly positive charm offensive, where he hit every press conference with his manically positive persona.

“We wanted to take on this negative Eurovision stigma in the UK – this habitual loop of cynicism and telling ourselves Europe doesn’t like the UK,” Ryder told Official Charts yesterday.

“That was absolutely not the case, we don’t subscribe to that narrative whatsoever. The result gives strength to that idea. We’ve stripped away at the negativity and shone a bit of light in its place. Eurovision is my favourite thing in the world – I’m so stoked that I got to be a part of this story with my friends and my team.”

Ryder’s 2nd place at Eurovision 2022 is the best performance by the United Kingdom in the 2000s, and the best since Imaani’s “Where Are You?” came in 2nd at Eurovision 1998. The United Kingdom, historically, is a Eurovision powerhouse having won five times and come in second a record sixteen times, though until “Space Man,” its record in the 2000s has been abysmal, with Jemini’s Eurovision 2003 “Cry Baby” and James Newman’s Eurovision 2021 last placed “Embers” being zero-point bookends for a horrible decade.

Though Ryder was expected to do better than average, even the delegation itself was surprised as jury after jury began awarding points, with audible “we’ve got points!” being heard yelled.

And though “Space Man” is starting to see chart success, perhaps Ryder’s biggest accomplishment is giving fans of the contest’s biggest sleeping giant hope that it can be a competitive force at the contest again.

What do #YOU think of Ryder’s success? Do #YOU think he could go even farther and higher with “Space Man”? Let us know in the comments below, on social media, or in our forum and Discord.

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  1. […] of Sam, his success for the United Kingdom this year has seen him reach the highest chart position for a UK Eurovision entry since 1996’s “Ooh… Ahh.. Just a Little Bit”. His track has also been […]

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