Eurovision 2015 favourites: The three songs likely to win the song contest in Vienna

The Independent speaks to a Eurovision expert to get the details on this year's favourites

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The Independent Culture

After weeks of campaigning, months of bickering and years of talk about who will get the most votes, the big night is finally almost here: Eurovision 2015.

For those viewers slightly unfamiliar with how Eurovision works these days, the contest is no longer at the mercy of tactical voting: take note disgruntled Ukipers, Europe knows how to reform its voting system to ensure greater fairness. Bring it on, referendum.

So what countries have the best chance of being crowned Eurovision champion as the contest celebrates its 60th anniversary? The Independent spoke with Daniel Gould, professional gambler and co-founder of sofabet.com, to get the low down on the hottest bets for Eurovision 2015:

Sweden - Måns Zelmerlöw (2/1)

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Sweden: Mans Zelmerlow

Daniel Gould: "The hot favourites this year are Sweden, who have a fine tradition in Eurovision. They won in 2012 with Loreen's Euphoria, one of the most popular recent winners. They have one of their biggest pop stars this year, Måns Zelmerlöw. He is singing a song called Heroes. It's got a country-feel to the verse and there's a kind of dance beat to the chorus. It's a very strong song, well-produced, and very well performed by a good-looking male. It ticks every box.

"There's a clever animation stage show that goes with the act, which means that there is interaction on stage which I think is important for a Eurovision act: it creates a sense that there's a story. There’s good movement on stage too, which is vital for an uptempo song. If you have an uptempo song and you’re static on stage, you somehow lose the interest of viewers. It’s a very deserving favourite."

Italy - Il Volo (3/1)

italy_db_il_volo_location-35.jpg "The second favourite is an Italian trio called Il Volo. They are kind of a Collabro, Il Divo type popera (operatic pop) act. They are very popular in Italy and USA. In fact, they have been nominated for Grammys and they have performed on American Idol. They are a world class act. They are three good-looking young men singing a good popera song."

Australia - Guy Sebastian (7/1)

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Australia's Eurovision contestant and former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian

"The third favourite that has been well backed recently is Australia. Australia have been invited as a one-off wild card to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the show and to reflect the huge popularity of Eurovision in Australia. The Aussies are sending one of their biggest pop stars (Guy Sebastian) to the contest with an excellent, credible song.

"You need a song that you can imagine charting in the top ten in the UK. Both the Swedish and the Australian songs would not sound out of place in the British top ten; they could easily be top five the week after the competition. They are the strongest box-ticking entries. The Italian one is interesting because it is a different genre; I can't find so many equivalents that have done well before. That uncertainty leaves me sceptical, but I would not rule them out."

 

Wildcards

"Estonia have a very good duet that will be knocking on the top ten in the UK charts. Another country that has a strong song, which is a bit more 'Eurovision-y' and will add a certain frisson to proceedings, is Russia. Russia are going to do very well. They are very probable top-five candidates.

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Will Russia get booed again this year?

"In 2014, every time Russia scored points they were loads of boos, for various political reasons. I think we will see a repeat of that this year and that will add some interesting tension to proceedings."

‘The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final’ will be broadcast on BBC1 and BBC Radio 2 on Saturday

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