Bookies’ favourites Ukraine picked up a massive 631 points – largely from the public vote – to overhaul the UK, who were winning after the jury votes.
In the wake of the second placed finish, fans online have been hailing Sam Ryder and sharing their confused delight at the result.
“SECOND PLACE! This is an incredible moment, no time to be too disappointed,” one wrote. Sam Ryder did himself and everyone SO damn proud. Look what can happen when the UK gets it right! Onto 2023!! Congratulations Sam.”
SECOND PLACE! This is an incredible moment, no time to be too disappointed. @SamRyderMusic did himself and everyone SO damn proud. Look what can happen when the UK gets it right! Onto 2023!! Congratulations Sam 💜 #Eurovision
— Ryan Love (@RyanJL74) May 14, 2022
“Three cheers for Sam Ryder what a fantastic result for UK,” Katrina Leskanich – a former Eurovision winner and leader of Katrina And The Waves – tweeted, while others praised the UK’s turnaround from last year’s pointless finish.
— Katrina from Katrina & The Waves (@KatrinasWeb) May 14, 2022
The UK went from receiving the worst score in #Eurovision history to finishing 2nd. Spain went from receiving 0 televote points to finishing 3rd. Spanish and British fans should be nothing short of ecstatic. #ESC2022
— William Carter (@EscAerial) May 14, 2022
“OMG IS THIS WHAT DOING WELL IN FOOTBALL FEELS LIKE?!” another fan tweeted. See a range of reactions to the UK’s superb showing at Eurovision 2022 below.
— Derek du Preez 🏳️🌈 (@Derek_duPreez) May 14, 2022
Wtaf is happening #Eurovision
— Judy in da Richmond (@Judyinrichmond) May 14, 2022
I love the fact that WHAT IS HAPPENING is trending because the whole of the UK is collectively losing their minds about us not being complete pariahs in #Eurovision
— The Rock Fairy 🤘🏻🧚🏻♀️ (@TheRockFairyHQ) May 14, 2022
i cannot believe this
we came second
the best result for the uk since 1998. the first top 3 since 2002. the first left hand side since 2011.
sam ryder, thank you SO much!
— liv (@liv_liv_liv__) May 14, 2022
— chawner laughs (@appehmichael) May 14, 2022
— BBC Eurovision🇬🇧 | 👩🚀#teamSPACEMAN (@bbceurovision) May 14, 2022
UK at the top of the leader board and France has just given us douze points. What’s happening?! #Eurovision
— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) May 14, 2022
— Scott Mills | #teamSPACEMAN 🧑🚀 (@scott_mills) May 14, 2022
In Ukraine meanwhile, the win has brought “incredible happiness” to a country under invasion by Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Instagram that the courage of Ukraine “impresses the world” and congratulated Kalush Orchestra on their win.
He then went on to promise to host Eurovision in the future in a “free, peaceful and rebuilt” Mariupol, a city currently largely under Russian control.At the end of their performance at the show’s finale, Kalush Orchestra said: “I ask all of you, please help Ukraine, help Mariupol, help Azovstal right now.”
“To represent Ukraine in the international arena is always a responsibility, but to represent it during the war is just the highest responsibility possible,” he said.
“The song [‘Stefania’] was composed and dedicated to my mother, but after the war the song has acquired lots of nuances because a lot of people are perceiving it as if Ukraine is my mother,” said Psiuk. “That’s why the song has become so close to the Ukrainian people, and it is in the Ukrainian hearts.”
Watch NME‘s full video interview with Kalush Orchestra’s Oleh Psiuk below:
Reviewing last night’s Eurovision, NME wrote: “Eurovision 2022 was all about looking forward: Sam Ryder reminding us that the UK can actually win this thing, and Ukraine showing the world just how much agency it has. Yes, the contest can be silly – hello, ‘Give That Wolf A Banana’ – but it’s also strangely and fundamentally profound.”