By HILARY FOX
LONDON (AP) — There’s nothing like nearly winning to wake people up. And the U.K.’s second-place position at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest helped to kickstart widespread enthusiasm for 2023’s edition. Sam Ryder’s “Space Man” restored the nation’s interest with his smiling enthusiasm, soaring vocals and great song especially after a long series of dismal results for the country. The U.K. is hosting this year’s event in Liverpool in lieu of last year’s winner, Ukraine, given the ongoing Russian invasion. One of this year’s hosts, Julia Sánina, is Ukrainian and said she felt a warm welcome in Liverpool. The semifinals begin May 9 and the final is May 13.