Hosted in Turin in the PalaOlimpico stadium after last year’s event was won by the Italian Maneskin, this year’s Eurovision promises all the pomp and bombast we’ve come to expect from it. Eurovision is a huge occasion and is watched by an average of around 300 million people each year since its inception in 1957.
This year, the Eurovision finals will begin on May 14th, with coverage starting at 8pm GMT on BBC One. Voting for this year will be weighted 50/50 between “televoters” (people voting online and via phone) and selected national juries for each participating country.
Several big names from the UK have performed at Eurovision in the past, including Cliff Richard, Lulu and Katrina and the Waves (who were responsible for the UK’s last victory at the event). Scott Mills and Rylan Clark will be hosting the UK’s coverage of the event.
Who is this year’s UK entry?
This year, the United Kingdom will be represented by Sam Ryder, who is from Chelmsford in Essex. He began his music career in 2009 and has been part of several different bands and acts of several different genres. He will be performing a new song he released this year, entitled “Space Man”, which has received strong reviews from music critics.
He’s been part of bands such as Line in the Sand, Close Your Eyes and The Morning After (which he also founded). As well as this, he has also toured with Blessed by a Broken Heart, where he played rhythm guitar for them during a European tour. He is very popular on TikTok, having amassed 12 million followers on the platform.
Since the turn of the millennium, the UK has performed poorly at Eurovision, regardless of the quality of the song or the artist that is chosen. Much of Eurovision’s voting is rooted in political bias, which tends to not favour the UK.
Since 2003, the UK has finished last on five separate occasions, despite having a strong record before this. In addition to this, the UK hasn’t won Eurovision since 1997 and hasn’t finished inside the top three since 2002. Notably, the UK’s last two entries have both finished at the bottom of the table, with last year’s entry failing to gain a single point.
The UK is part of Eurovision’s “big five” – meaning they do not have to go through the qualification process to reach the finals. The other four countries in the big five are France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Who are the betting favourites?
Currently, the standout favourites are Ukraine, with the majority of countries across Europe extending support to them amidst the Ukraine/Russia conflict. Bet365 has given Ukraine odds of 8/13, with last year’s winners Italy in a distant second at 4/1.
Coming in at third is the UK with odds of 15/2, which is surprising, given the UK’s generally poor performances at Eurovision in modern times. Fourth in the betting is Sweden at 9/1, followed by Spain and Greece at 22/1 and 25/1, respectively.