Ukraine and the UK are the favourites as the ultimate countdown begins to tonight’s annual Eurovision extravaganza, going down in Italy.
Tons of of tens of millions are set to tune in for one of many world’s most-watched TV occasions, with a music about Meghan Markle and a monitor referred to as Give That Wolf a Banana among the many 25 finalists.
TikTok star Sam Ryder is representing the UK and needs to be assured of avoiding the unfair nil-points debacle of James Newman’s entry final yr.
His music, House Man, has put him among the many frontrunners and he is going fourth from final – which is generally a great factor.
Ryder may even be hoping a few of his 12 million followers get on board with the general public vote.
The Essex singer-songwriter – who’s 6/1 second-favourite at Ladbrokes – stated the music was written 18 months in the past and he by no means meant it for use within the contest.
He is additionally not fearful about his rank on the Eurovision leaderboard.
“I get to sing in a room and join with folks and never take into consideration the place I come on a scoreboard,” he informed Sky Information.
“It is for the love and the enjoyment of singing. That is one thing that celebrates inclusivity, expression, love, peace, pleasure, togetherness…” added the singer.
Ryder is up towards a Ukraine entry that might nicely surge to victory in a present of assist for the war-torn nation – with the chances tipping them to vacuum up the massive factors.
Hip hop outfit Kalush Orchestra carry out Stefania, a monitor that mixes conventional Ukrainian people devices with trendy sounds, and is a tribute to the mom of one among its members.
Talking forward of the massive day, lead singer Oleg Psyuk told Sky News the group felt “a big responsibility” and was “speaking on behalf of our nation and being heard on behalf of our nation”.
The Ukrainian TV commentator for the competition, Timur Miroshnychenko, was even forced to broadcast from a bomb shelter during the semi-final.
If the nation does win, the suggestion is the UK can be the popular candidate to host subsequent yr – if the struggle continues to be happening.
Different notable hopefuls embrace Serbian artist Konstrakta, whose peculiar music references Meghan Markle and begins with the lyrics (translated to English): “What might be the key of Meghan Markle’s wholesome hair?
“What might it’s? I feel it is all concerning the deep hydration.”
Eurovision followers looking for extra bizarre Europop must also look out for the yellow “alien” heads of Norway’s Subwoolfer and their music Give That Wolf A Banana.
Others tipped to do nicely embrace Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs and defending Eurovision champions Italy.
The house nation is pinning its hopes on two of its hottest younger stars, Mahmood and Blanco.
Mahmood, from Italy’s X Issue, was second at Eurovision three years in the past, whereas singer and rapper Blanco topped the charts for eight weeks final yr.
Spain might additionally end excessive within the rankings courtesy of Chanel Terrero, a Cuban-born dancer and actress, who performs up-tempo Shakira-esque dance monitor SloMo.
Italy’s northern metropolis of Turin is internet hosting the present after Italian rockers Maneskin stole the present in Rotterdam final yr.
Eurovision’s grand remaining is hosted by Graham Norton and begins on BBC One on Saturday at 8pm.