The big night is nearly here folks. It’s time for banging tunes, glitzy costumes and the biggest collection of talent ever seen in a concentrated area of Europe.
No, not a Saturday night in Grimsby… we’re talking about the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest!
Yep, that’s right. Just when you thought it was done and dusted for another year, Europe’s most prestigious singing contest (err?) is back on our TV screens this weekend.
What time is Eurovision 2016 on TV?
The grand final is this Saturday, May 14, and BBC One will be broadcasting the cheese-fest live from 8pm, with commentary from presenter Graham Norton.
Marathonbet has all this year’s entrants priced up. Here’s all you need to know about the main players and their prices, which are correct as of 9am Friday morning (May 13) and may change.
RUSSIA – 6/11
Our friends from Russia love this competition and that’s why they’re favourites to take another Eurovision crown.
Their entry – ‘Thunder and Lightning, it’s getting exciting!’ by Sergey Lazarev – is even money with Marathonbet to fend off all competitors in Stockholm this weekend. Russian supporters will be hoping the techno ballad has enough oomph to make amends for last year’s near-miss, when they finished second to Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow.
Russia’s Sergey Lazarev, who hails from Sochi, is a big pop star in his homeland and started his music career with teen-pop group Neposedy alongside Julia Volkova and Lena Katina – the ladies from t.A.T.u (all the things she said, all the things she said, running through my head through my head, na na na na).
He subsequently joined the boyband Smash!! before going solo in 2004. His Eurovision appearance follows the release of a greatest hits album last year. Busy boy.
UKRAINE – 7/1
Eurovision is always riddled with political bias – and this year’s no different.
Ukraine’s controversial entry by Jamala – 1944 – discusses Stalin’s enforced wartime deportation of the Tatar people – one of whom was Jamala’s great-grandmother.
It’s a very serious and soulful track that marks the country’s return to the competition after withdrawing last year because of financial and political reasons.
It’s also one of the most backed in the betting markets, having opened at around 33/1.
FRANCE – 11/1
It’s unclear how the rest of Europe will take to Ukraine’s politically-charged entry, which could leave the door open for France to mount a title charge.
Their entry from Amir, a contestant on the French version of Pop Idol and The Voice, has been well-backed in recent days following decent performances in the preliminary stages. Expect Avicii-style dancefloor vibes with a mix of French and English lyrics – and a decent light show.
J’Ai Cherche is not a bad track but France backers beware. Our friends across the Channel have a naff Eurovision record having last won it way back in 1977.
SWEDEN – 14/1
The Swedes have won Eurovision twice in the last four years and are competition experts. They know how to win, which is why their 14/1 tag this year could be overpriced.
They can make it two wins on the trot if they find success this time round with their entry Frans and his ballad If I Were Sorry. The track did well in the pre-selection stages of the competition but will the 17-year-old have the bottle to give a pitch-perfect performance this weekend?
AUSTRALIA – 4/1
So apparently this is the Eurovision Song Contest – a singing competition for European states – but Australia are allowed to join the party too.
The Ozzies competed for the first time last year on the basis they love the show and organisers reckoned they deserved to be in it. Makes sense, right?
They did well and came fifth – so have been invited back again. Their contestant, Dami Im, won the Australian X Factor and will perform a ballad called Sound Of Silence.
It boasts the lyrics: “trying to feel your love through FaceTime”.
UNITED KINGDOM – 150/1
Us Brits are good at lots of things. Tea, moaning, saying sorry. Eurovision is not on that list, however.
We’re unlikely to win this time out but we can be backed at 150/1 with Marathonbet to cause an upset with our boys Joe and Jake.
The pair met on TV show The Voice and their song, You’re Not Alone, is a catchy track that should do better than previous years. But don’t expect fireworks.
Do us proud, lads.
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