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Eurovision 2022: final betting odds, are Ukraine favourites to win, how will UK’s Sam Ryder do - when is it?

Could 2022 finally be the year the UK doesn’t come dead last in the annual contest?

The Eurovision Song Contest returns this weekend (14 May), with over 40 countries competing to be the champion of the annual Europop spectacle.

The competition starts on 10 May and ends on 14 May in Turin, Italy, the home country of previous year's winner, Måneskin.

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But who will walk away with the crown, and will the UK get anything beyond hearing the dreaded phrase, “nil points”?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who is favourite to win Eurovision?

The country already tipped to reach the top spot is Ukraine, with the song ‘Stefani’, performed by rap group, Kalush Orchestra.

The contest’s infamous “bloc voting” systems sees geopolitical relationships play out across Europop, as friendly nations dump points on each other’s lacklustre performances, while worthy songs are trashed by rival countries.

For example, the UK has long been a Eurovision underachiever, but ever since Brexit, the continent has been even less generous in handing out points.

With the war in Ukraine uniting so many countries in support and aid for its people, it’s likely many Eurovision voters will splash sympathetic scores all over Kalush Orchestra, regardless of how good their performance is.

That’s not to discredit the song in the event of underwhelming rendition of course: the eyes of the world will be on the rap group, and though they are sure to receive a warm reception, the pressure is high.

Kalush Orchestra perform to Ukrainian Jewish refugees in Jerusalem

The song was written as a tribute to frontman Oleh Psiuk’s mother, but it has become an anthem to the nation’s war-ravaged motherland since the Russian invasion.

Some bookmakers and data analysts have pegged others to win, but Kalush Orchestra’s song is quickly becoming a sentimental favourite.

How is the UK predicted to do?

British Eurovision fans are used to seeing the UK languishing at the bottom of the table, as the phrase “nil points” is uttered in just about every European language.

But this year, the UK entry might just perform much better.

In a bid to do better at the Contest, the UK removed Eurovision entry voting rights from the hands of the public (who simply cannot be trusted) in recent years, and instead relied on industry insiders to choose the acts to represent it.

This year, that poisoned chalice has fallen to Sam Ryder - who was selected to compete for the UK in a collaboration between the BBC and global music management company TaP Music - and his song, ‘Spaceman’.

Ryder rose to stardom covering songs on TikTok during lockdown, and now has 12 million followers, making him the most followed UK music artist on the app.

At the time of writing, William Hill has the young musician tipped at coming second (!), with odds of 6/1. let’s dare to believe.

Eurovision 2022 odds

Other countries with a good shout of scooping musical gold (according to William Hill) include Italy (7/1), Sweden (7/1) and Spain (16/1).

But who are the rank outsiders? Which nation might be worth bunging a quid on for a surprise win?

  • Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra, “Stefania” – 2/5
  • United Kingdom: Sam Ryder, “Space Man” – 6/1
  • Italy: Mahmood and Blanco, “Brividi” – 7/1
  • Sweden: Cornelia Jakobs, “Hold Me Closer” – 7/1
  • Spain: Chanel, “SloMo” – 16/1
  • Greece: Amanda Tenfjord, “Die Together” – 40/1
  • Poland: Ochman, “River” – 40/1
  • Netherlands: S10, “De Diepte” – 40/1
  • Norway: Subwoolfer, “Give That Wolf a Banana” – 50

The full rundown of Eurovision 2022 odds can be found via William Hill.