Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent
Reviewing Eurovision 2022Our Eurovision Song Contest 2022 fan and arts correspondent, Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, had a good, albeit nail-biting night in on Saturday.
The United Kingdom's Sam Ryder — EBU / CORINNE CUMMING
Approaching the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 as a resident of the United Kingdom certainly felt different in tone to previous years. With the last win for the UK having been quarter of a century ago, the announcement that the BBC were teaming up with TaP Music, musical home of Dua Lipa, it became clear that there was a change of attitude within the UK team in terms of approach. While the wait to find out that it was Tik Tok sensation Sam Ryder felt like an eternity, the reveal of Space Man
was met with an unusual excitement for the contest in Turin.
As the juries delivered their results, jaws dropped across the nation as the promise of a good result arrived for Sam Ryder.
As the semi-finals whittled out some of the fan favourites and the majority of the big bops, the countdown to the contest saw the anticipation of Sam Ryder's chances at actually succeeding at the contest reach fever pitch.
Mika, Laura Pausini, Alessandro Cattelan presenting at the first semi final — EBU / CORINNE CUMMING
With the final in Turin opened flawlessly by Rockin' 1000 and Laura Pausini, the shows hosts Mika, Alessandro Cattelan and Laura Pausini hosted the night in a suitably cheesy manner, albeit with a rather questionable selection of outfits for the hosts.
As the first contestants,Czech Republich's We Are Dom
i opened the competition with a spectacular anthem and epic light show. While their performance was not rewarded by the public vote, it was a memorable opener. It was followed quickly by another up-tempo moment, Romania's wrs, who stole hearts with his sexy routine and Latin-tinged bop.
While the contest opened up-beat, it moved to a more melancholic tone that set the pace for the majority of the evening. Though some of those more downbeat moments shone, notably Portugal's Maro and Netherlands' S10, the overall show lacked the real Eurovision pop power that has dominated in previous years.
That being said, there were some clear classic moments. The first arrived nearly a quarter of the way through the show, when Subwoolfer brought the first typical Eurovision moment with the well-produced pop anthem Give That Wolf A Banana.
After another short while, Chanel brought the sex-factor to the night with the epic Jennifer Lopez-driven Slo-Mo,
followed shortly afterwards by the clear winner Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra. Taking the lead from last year's Ukrainian entry, they delivered hypnotic hip hop meets trad folk with a powerful push. Joining these three in the key moments were Serbia's quirky Konstrakta, Moldova's Zdob și Zdub and Advahov Brothers and of course, the UK's Sam Ryder.
While the entries themselves may not have been peak Eurovision, the stand out performances meant that as the audience were treated to a sensational performance by Mika, the excitement and anticipation grew for the big reveal.
As the juries delivered their results, jaws dropped across the nation as the promise of a good result arrived for Sam Ryder, who stole hearts and topped the leader board, while the hotly tipped Kalush Orchestra found themselves straggling lower down the leader board. With the tension high, the public votes justly rewarded Ukraine with a Maneskin-esque share of the public vote and in tense final moments, scores for Spain's Chanel, Sweden's Cornelia Jakobs and the UK's Sam Ryder saw the trio graciously celebrate Ukraine's win.
While the performances may have seen Eurovision at it's lowest point in a good few years, the high drama of the results made it a very exciting Saturday night watch.