Eurovision 2015: A preview and prediction for tonight’s Grand Final

23 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Eurovision casts net wide for 60th year.

Bearded ladies – and men dressed like bearded ladies – popped up all over downtown Vienna as fans of the cross-dressing Austrian diva celebrated ahead of Saturday night’s Eurovision Song Contest by paying homage to her and her victory last year. Sudden showers and cool temperatures failed to stop the extravaganza from taking over the Austrian capital, as die-hard Eurovision fans draped in their country’s flags roamed the city’s streets. While viewers are often puzzled by the inclusion of countries outside Europe – such as Israel, which qualifies thanks to membership of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) – this year the net has been cast even wider. To mark 60 years since the first Eurovision in 1955, Australia has been given a wild card entry and singer Guy Sebastian and his up-tempo song “Tonight Again” is one of the favourites.

While none of this year’s acts are emulating Wurst in pushing the frontiers of gender tolerance, the festival could make history in a different way. Australia faces tough competition from Italy and Sweden, which is among the most successful countries with five wins, including Abba with “Waterloo” in 1974 and the most recent in 2012 with “Euphoria” by Loreen. Sweden is represented this time by 28-year-old Mans Zelmerlow, whose electro song “Heroes” has accompanying on-stage animation, while Italy’s pop opera trio Il Volo are hoping to emulate the 1958 winner “Nel blu dipinto di blu”, better known as “Volare”. Bookmakers Paddy Power, which expect to take £500 000 in bets by Saturday night have Sweden as 15/8 favourites, with a quarter of all bets being placed on the country. “It’s a very big cultural landmark event, it needs to remain Europe-based,” EBU head of media Jean Philip de Tender told Reuters ahead of the final. But de Tender said it was possible to host it for 11 million euros, allowing the host nation to breakeven, meaning even small or cash-strapped countries have a chance.

She spoke enthusiastically of her encounter earlier in the day with Serbian entry Bojana Stamenov, who has captured many Austrian hearts with impromptu bursts of yodeling while being interviewed. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. If Australians want to watch the contest live, it will be aired by Australian broadcaster SBS at 5am Sunday morning Australian Eastern Standard Time, and repeated later at 7.30pm Sunday night. It’s a massive advantage that Sweden uses to good effect and countries like Norway and Denmark have started to follow, creating a sharp rise in their Eurovision results in recent years.

In this afternoon’s dress rehearsal, Mans’ microphone pack fell off but like a professional cricketer, he caught it and continued his performance to a full arena without skipping a note. The Malaysian-born singer-songwriter was the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003, and signalled his intent by penning a whole slew of potential songs in just three days.

For those who may have woken up from a deep sleep, This is Uptown Funk: The rest of the odds are as follows: 7/4 Sweden; 11/4 Italy; 5/1 Australia; 8/1 Estonia; 10/1 Russia; 16/1 Finland; 33/1 Azerbaijan; 33/1 Israel; 33/1 Norway; 33/1 Slovenia; 33/1 United Kingdom; 40/1 Cyprus; 50/1 France; 50/1 Iceland; 50/1 Latvia; 50/1 Spain; 66/1 Belgium; 66/1 Georgia; 80/1 Albania; 100/1 Armenia; 100/1 Austria; 100/1 Belarus; 100/1 Czech; 100/1 Denmark; 100/1 FYR Macedonia; 100/1 Germany; 100/1 Greece; 100/1 Holland; 100/1 Hungary; 100/1 Ireland; 100/1 Lithuania;’ 100/1 Malta; 100/1 Moldova; 100/1 Montenegro; 100/1 Poland; 100/1 Portugal; 100/1 Romania; 100/1 San Marino; 100/1 Serbia; 100/1 Switzerland Now here’s an interesting one. Traditionally the winning country is the host of next year’s contest so if Australia takes the prize will the whole of Europe have to traipse over to Oz in a sea of sequins and glitter?

Organisers have said that Australia can’t host the competition, but their broadcaster SBS could co-organise the event with another European country where the contest would take place. It is our way of saying ‘let’s celebrate this party together’.” Alexander Wrabetz director general of host broadcasters ORF, said: “The song contest has developed in its history to become the biggest TV entertainment event in the world. “With the participation of Australia, together with our partners at the EBU and SBS, we have succeeded to lift it to a new global level and to build another bridge for the 60th anniversary – a bridge that spans the globe, starting from the heart of Europe.” Whatever the outcome for Mans Zerlmerlow and Sweden tonight, he has done enough to ensure he remains a superstar and much loved Swedish icon and develop a Scandinavian market, but Europe might decide that like Abba before him, he belongs to Europe now.

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