Sam Ryder said he was concentrating on not getting “nervous overwhelmed” in the “frantic” run-up to the Eurovision Song Contest grand final.
The 32-year-old TikTok star will represent the UK with his uplifting pop song Space Man on Saturday in Turin, Italy.
He co-wrote the track with Grammy winner Amy Wadge, who previously worked with Ed Sheeran and Max Wolfgang.
Ryder rose to fame covering songs on TikTok during lockdown, amassing 12 million followers and attracting the attention of global stars like Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys.
Ahead of the finale, Ryder said: “I’m excited, I’m trying to focus on that and just get nice and practiced on the singing front and find the right headspace for it.
“It’s very hectic up front, so I think it’s important to just try to find that focus and that balance and remember that it’s all about the singing, three minutes of singing.”
The singer-songwriter also revealed he took advice from previous British contestants ahead of the final.
“They gave me some tips and pointers and the main thing that keeps coming back is to just enjoy every moment of it because it’s such a wonderful circus to be a part of Eurovision and it’s unlike anything else in the world , what can be done.”
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“So I’m trying my best, like I said at the beginning, to stay focused and present and not let the nervousness get the better of me too much. So I can breathe in at any moment,” Ryder added.
The first semi-final of the competition will take place on Tuesday at the Arena Pala Olimpico, in which 17 countries will take part – including the Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine, who are the favorites with their song Stefania.
Countries like Switzerland, Portugal and Greece will battle Croatia, Iceland and Armenia for the top 10 spots, qualifying them for Saturday’s final.
The Big Five countries – Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom – do not have to qualify via the semi-finals and will automatically gain access to the final.
Singer Laura Pausini, moderator Alessandro Cattelan and pop star Mika share the moderation tasks at the final on Saturday.
Italian rock band Maneskin, who triumphed at last year’s competition, will also perform their new single Supermodel at the event.
The 2021 competition took place in Rotterdam, Netherlands after the 2020 show was canceled due to the pandemic.
Graham Norton, who is returning as live commentator for his 13th Eurovision Song Contest on BBC One, said: “I’ve always loved the Eurovision Song Contest but somehow it’s become even more special in recent years.
“I find the idea of fans and families coming together in dark times to celebrate music across the continent extremely moving.
“Eurovision is really unique, as stupid as it is deadly serious. I call it utter nonsense and wouldn’t change a thing.”
Ken Bruce, who will also be commentating live from Turin on BBC Radio Two, said he thinks people love Eurovision because it’s “so decidedly frivolous”.
He added: “We need more fun and pure escapism in our lives.
“It’s a glorious mishmash of nations, musical styles and skills. It’s a moment of brightness, joy and dazzling excess.
“Above all, it’s always unpredictable.”
– The Eurovision final will be broadcast on BBC One, BBC Radio 2 and BBC iPlayer on Saturday at 8pm.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/uks-sam-ryder-staying-focused-ahead-of-nerve-racking-eurovision-grand-final-41632847.html Britain’s Sam Ryder ‘stays focused’ ahead of nerve-wracking Eurovision grand finale