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SAM Ryder ended decades of humiliation for the UK at Eurovision last night - but fans were left heartbroken by a last-minute loss.

The 31-year-old TikTok star turned a typical 'nil points' event into an evening for the history books.

Sam Ryder finished in second place for the UKCredit: BBC
He couldn't stop beaming with prideCredit: BBC
Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra won EurovisionCredit: BBC
Sam was a gracious winnerCredit: BBC

Eurovision fans heaped praise on UK contender Sam for "achieving the impossible" by finishing as a runner-up to Ukraine.

Viewers hoped he'd go all the way after an exciting night saw the UK fly up the table.

But a huge public vote for Ukraine ended Sam and the rest of his country's dreams of taking home the crown.

Reacting to Sam's near-win, one viewer said: "Congratulations Ukraine, I can’t say I’m not heartbroken but I also can’t say I didn’t see this coming.



National hero Sam Ryder praises 'glorious Ukraine' for Eurovision success

"Thanks for bringing us to the podium for the first time in years, Sam! Your performance was magical."

Another said: "Heartbroken for Sam. Delighted for Ukraine."

Someone else said: "Super super proud of Sam Ryder!!! So heartbroken for him, but to make it on the left hand side of the leaderboard but also make SECOND PLACE!!! Awesome."

Sam's song Space Man proved a huge hit with viewers around Europe.

He finished in second place after going up against Ukraine and Sweden in the final three.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent his congratulations to the singer-songwriter. He said: "Congratulations to Ukraine for winning the @Eurovision Song Contest 2022.

"It is a clear reflection of not just your talent, but of the unwavering support for your fight for freedom. Incredibly proud of @SamRyderMusic and how he brilliantly represented the UK tonight."

The UK was awarded a top points from countries including Ukraine, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria and Czech Republic.

Host Graham Norton said the "unbelievable had happened" after the Uk finished top of the table with 283 points from the jury vote after Sam's "stellar performance".

Then when the television audience's votes were totalled up, Sam was overtaken by Ukraine and finished with 466 points.

The UK last triumphed at Eurovision in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves - formed of Katrina Leskanich, Kimberley Rew, Vince de la Cruz and Alex Cooper.

Their song was called Love Shine a Light and it received a whopping 227 points.

The UK's first ever winner was Sandie Shaw with the track Puppet on a String in 1967, which was hosted that year in Vienna.

Two years after Sandie's win, Lulu triumphed in 1969 in Madrid with Boom Bang-a-Bang.

In 1976 Brotherhood of Man triumphed with the song Save Your Kisses For Me.

The UK were crowned victors again in the 1980s when Bucks Fizz received the most points in 1981.

Sam's song Space Man proved a huge hit with viewers around Europe.
Sam put on a spectacular show for his countryCredit: BBC
The UK contender shocked viewers by finishing in second placeCredit: BBC

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Sam, 31, began working in the music industry as a singer and guitarist in 2009.

He worked as a session player for the groups The Morning After, Blessed by a Broken Heart and Close Your Eyes.

But after a huge success at Eurovision, Sam's career is set to soar even further.

Speaking in the green room half way through the voting process, humble Sam said: "Shout out to mum, dad and granddad. This is amazing, it's wicked.

"We enjoy music and I know that every other single artist involved absolutely smashed it, they were credit to themselves and to Eurovision and what it's all about - unity, peace, love, togetherness.

"Thank you for having us, I appreciate it."

Around 200 million viewers are expected to have watched the final held in Turin, Italy, at the Pala Olympic Arena.

According to Ladbrokes, the UK's Sam moved into THIRD favourite at 17/2 to go all the way with Space Man, with Sweden and Ukraine slightly in front.

He got a huge reaction from the Eurovision crowdCredit: BBC