Eurovision odds: UK’s Sam Ryder third favourite, but Ukraine runaway leaders to win in Turin
Sam Ryder third favourite in Eurovision odds
Eurovision’s Grand Final takes place in Italy on Saturday night when Sam Ryder is trying to end 25 years of hurt by winning the song contest for the United Kingdom.
We can now reveal the #Eurovision 2022 Grand Final Running Order!
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 13, 2022
Twenty acts qualified from the semi-finals on Tuesday and Thursday, joining the big five of the UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany for the final in Turin.
Ryder is the 11/2 third favourite behind runaway leaders Ukraine, who are 1/3 in the Eurovision odds, so let’s look at the main contenders and which countries may cause a surprise.
Ukraine (Kalush Orchestra – Stefania)
The Kalush Orchestra were given special dispensation to leave war-torn Ukraine and battle it out with 24 other countries to win the Eurovision Song Contest instead of fighting Russian soldiers.
Support for the traditional folk-rap collective has grown since Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered a brutal invasion of their neighbours which has resulted in an estimated 12 million people fleeing the country.
The band waved the Ukrainian flag after qualifying for the final on Tuesday and they are sure to capture the hearts of voters and jury alike come the big night.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 10, 2022
This ode to mothers has certainly taken on new meaning in light of the horrific events that have unfolded in Ukraine where mums and their children have had to leave the country under heavy bombardment.
It’s an incredible story under such dire circumstances and the song is bound to gain massive international support even if the song isn’t that great.
Sweden (Cornelia Jakobs – Hold Me Closer)
Sweden have won Eurovision six times – the second most behind Ireland – and last year was the first time in seven appearances they failed to finish in the top 10, but Cornelia Jakobs’ ‘Hold Me Closer’ looks like a return to form.
After launching a successful solo career in 2018, Sweden's Cornelia Jakobs has gone from strength to strength. She'll bring the raw and powerful Hold Me Closer to #Eurovision next month.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) April 21, 2022
It’s third time lucky for Jakobs, who tried to qualify for Eurovision with girl group Love Generation in 2011 and 2012, but enters as a solo artist with this emotional track which starts off with low strings before picking up. Decent tune and sure to be up there at 5/1.
United Kingdom (Sam Ryder – Spaceman)
The UK have finished last in the previous two competitions and 12 months ago James Newman scored the dreaded ‘nil points’, but that is surely about to change in Turin where Ryder is the second favourite in the Eurovision odds.
After two years of finishing in last place at Eurovision could it finally be the UK's year?!
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) May 13, 2022
The long-haired thirty-something from Maldon rose to prominence on TikTok during lockdown and became the most streamed artist on the platform with his cover versions.
Ryder’s falsetto voice is now aiming for the stars with Space Man, a song with plenty of references to the universe, astronauts, satellites, gravity, black holes etc…with a powerful chorus and a ‘no place like home’ message.
It’s 25 years since Katrina and the Waves last won it for the UK with ‘Love Shine a Light’ and Ryder’s performance in rehearsals means excitement is growing.
Italy (Mahmood and Blanco – Brividi)
Hosts Italy had been second favourites for the last couple of months but their price has drifted in the week before the competition.
Mahmood returns to Eurovision having finished runner-up to Netherlands in 2019 with his song ‘Soldi’.
This time, the Italian is back in a duet with Blanco with whom he won this year’s Sanremo Music Festival.
Soulful harmonies, great production and an uplifting chorus with an LGBTQ message to match makes this one of the deserved favourites, although their price has doubled from 6/1 to 12/1 in the Eurovision odds.
Best of the rest
Spain won Eurovision in 1968 and were controversially one of four joint winners in Madrid a year later, but it’s been slim pickings since then, although that could change with Chanel’s SloMo which is priced at 16/1.
The Cuban-born singer, dancer and actress uses a mixture of Spanish and English with her debut single composed by a team of songwriters that have worked with Britney Spears, Black Eyes Peas, Madonna and Nicki Minaj.
The influence of reggaeton is pretty apparent and the choreography certainly catches the eye, so it has a chance.
The intro to Poland’s entry ‘River’ owes a bit to Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ but this rousing number has a decent chance at 50/1.
Twelve months ago, Gjon’s Tears finished third for Switzerland with a similar track called ‘Tout l’univers’ and this can also persuade the judges and public alike to vote for Ochman.
Where: Turin, Italy
When: Final: May 14
How to watch: BBC 1
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication