Inside Sam Ryder’s romance with the stunning hippie girl who helped him go from construction worker to Eurovision star

WHILE the nation was biting its nails as the final Eurovision votes came in, our hero contestant Sam Ryder was laughing and joking with his girlfriend.

Even the fact that he was on the verge of becoming the first Brit to win the contest in a quarter of a century didn’t deter this Essex hippie during Saturday night’s memorable contest.

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Sam Ryder came close to winning Eurovision on Saturday night with his song Space Man.1 credit
Sam vacations with his girlfriend Lois

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Sam vacations with his girlfriend Lois1 credit

Numerous setbacks have not quenched the 32-year-old singer’s 20-year drive to succeed in the music industry.

And he believes Saturday night’s second place behind favorites Ukraine will be the springboard for chart success.

A few years ago, it seemed that Sam’s dreams of fame had come to an end. He worked as a construction worker and then ran a juice bar with his girlfriend Lois Gaskin-Barber.

But then he posted videos of himself singing Britney Spears songs in his mom Geraldine’s kitchen during lockdown, and it became a viral sensation.

Girlfriend Jewel

Next to him in the Eurovision Green Room in Turin, Italy, offering hugs and support on Saturday night was his girlfriend Lois.

The couple support each other in all their endeavours, and Lois posts pictures of them together in Turin on her Lone Wolves Creative Instagram page, where she sells her own jewelry.

The couple have owned the Lone Wolves organic juicer in Coggshall, Essex since 2017 before shutting it down two years later.

Lucy Long, who now runs the cafe that replaced it, said: “They were a couple of hippies.

“With Sam, you always feel like you’re among friends. He’s horizontal, this man, he’s so cold.”

This is reflected in the lives of Lois and Sam. They enjoy snowboarding and surfing and are reported to hang a sign in the shop that says “Stop Surfing”.

A star is born

Ahead of the competition, Sam said, “I didn’t get involved with this with any expectations. I started singing Britney Spears in my mom’s kitchen as high as I could, I had no idea it was going to snowball.”

His powerful voice impressed stars like Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys, who loved the clips Sam posted on TikTok.

Sam now has 12.7 million followers on the platform, more than any other British musician.

He signed to the Parlophone record label and released his debut EP last year called Kristen Bell Tattoos’s Gonna Rise.

But it was the Eurovision entry Space Man, which he co-wrote with Grammy winner Amy Wedge, that turned him into a European sensation.

Before the weekend the goal was to score more than zero points, like the previous participant from the UK, James Newman.

Fully energized

Sam Ryder

Therefore, when Sam took first place in the leaderboard according to the results of the jury voting, the hopes of victory became quite possible.

Smirking and showing signs of peace when the final public vote came in, Sam said, “We were sitting there in the green room and were completely taken in by the energy of this arena, it was like we were in church because there was so much joy.”

Fans enjoyed long-haired Sam’s cold, cheerful demeanor during Eurovision.

He wore a sparkly, flared ’70s-inspired suit for his big show and landed at London’s Heathrow Airport wearing a pink hat, a nod to the Ukrainian band that overtook him in first place.

Taking second place, he said: “Everyone has done himself an honor and has done an honor to Eurovision – unity, peace, love, unity, inclusiveness and self-expression.”

Heavy metal school days

Born Sam Robinson from Maldon, Essex, he wanted to be a rock star since he was 11 years old.

Listening to the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden and then watching the rock band Sum 41 live gave him a passion for singing.

He said, “My friends and I went to see Sum 41 when we were 7 years old and we got very excited about it.

“We wrote a ’10-step plan to get a contract’ at the end of our science books and everything else.”

Even then he developed into a great showman

Former teacher Gemma Coleman

Gemma Coleman, Sam’s former teacher at St. John Payne Catholic School, said: “A colleague and I helped organize school talent shows and music events, and we remember him also from his band The Morning After, although not all of the members were from our school.

“Already then he turned into a great showman.”

When This Morning After disbanded, Sam joined several North American bands that didn’t make it.

He then went solo and began making covers while working in construction, sometimes with his construction father Keith.

However, he never lost hope and said, “I was in the corner of my barn singing into my phone all day, every day, and the people who shared these videos brought me here.”

On Saturday, his song Space Man received 283 points from the jury and 183 points from the public.

It was enough to secure the UK’s second-place finish in over two decades. Now Sam wants to be number one.

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He told Zoe Ball on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show about his plans: “Lots of festivals this year, European tour dates have just been set, I’m sure there will be more news from the UK very soon.

“The single is also working on mixing right now. There are tons of things.”

Sam in the Green Room at Eurovision

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Sam in the Green Room at Eurovision1 credit
Sam and Lois together in Italy before Eurovision

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Sam and Lois together in Italy before Eurovision1 credit
Friends described the couple as a

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Friends described the couple as a “hippie couple”.1 credit
Heroes of Ukraine, Eurovision winners, the Kalush Orchestra performed a surprise post-win concert before heading off to war.

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