As the countdown to tonight’s Eurovision extravaganza in Italy begins, Ukraine and the UK are the favorites.
One of the most watched TV events in the world, hundreds of millions will tune in to watch the final 25.
TikTok star Sam Ryder is representing the UK and should be assured of avoiding the unfair nil-points debacle of James Newman’s entry last year.
Space Man, his song, has placed him among the top-ranking artists and he’s currently fourth from last, which is usually a good sign.
Ryder will also hope that some of his 12,000,000 followers will get on board for the public vote.
The song was composed 18 months ago by the Essex singer-songwriter, who is 6/1 second-favourite with Ladbrokes. He said that he didn’t intend to use it in the contest.
He is also not concerned about his position on the Eurovision leaderboard.
Sky News: “I get to sing and connect in a room with people, and not think about my scoreboard.”
It’s about the love and joy of singing. This song celebrates inclusion, expression, love , and joy .
Ryder will be up against a Ukraine entry, which could well surge to victory as a show support for war-torn Ukraine – with the odds tipping their favor to win the big points.
Kalush Orchestra, hip hop group, performs Stefania. This track combines traditional Ukrainian folk instruments and modern sounds. It is a tribute for the mother of one its members.
Oleg Psyuk , the lead singer of the group, spoke out ahead of the big event to Sky News. He said that the group felt “a great responsibility”. The group was “talking on behalf our country and being heard on our behalf”.
Timur Miroshnychenko (Ukraine TV Commentator) was even forced to broadcast from a bomb shelter during semi-final.
If the country wins, it is suggested that the UK would be the preferred host for next year’s event – provided the war is not over.
Another notable hopeful is Konstrakta from Serbia, who’s song refers to Meghan Markle. It begins with the lyrics (translated into English): “What could possibly be Meghan Markle’s secret to her healthy hair?”
“What could it possibly be?” It’s all about deep hydration.
Eurovision fans looking for more bizarre and beautiful Europop should look out also for the yellow heads of Norway’s Subwoolfer, and their song Give That Wolf A Banana.
Other potential winners include Cornelia Jakobs from Sweden and Italy, the defending Eurovision champions.
Two of the most popular and well-known young stars in the country are Blanco and Mahmood.
Three years ago, Mahmood from Italy’s X Factor was second at Eurovision. Blanco, a singer and rapper, topped the charts for eight consecutive weeks last year.
Spain may also be ranked high thanks to Chanel Terrero (a Cuban-born actress and dancer who performs a fast Shakira-esque dance song SloMo).
After Maneskin, an Italian rock band, stole the show from Rotterdam last season’s show, Turin in northern Italy is now hosting it.
Eurovision’s grand finale is hosted by Graham Norton. It starts on BBC One at 8pm on Saturday.