Jessica Mauboy returns to Eurovision for the first time since her highly acclaimed 2014 appearance that paved the way for Australia’s inclusion in the annual song contest.
Taking place in Portugal on May 12, the final shapes as the biggest in the competition’s history with over 100 million people expected to tune in worldwide.
Here we take a quick look at Aussie Jess’ chances and that of her main rivals including early favourite Netta Barzilai from Israel.
WILL MAUBOY’S GIRL POWER WIN IT?
In Australia’s three appearances at Eurovision, the country has never finished outside the Top 10. Guy Sebastian’s well-received 2015 performance of “Tonight Again” finished 5th in voting, Dani Im’s “Sound of Silence” claimed 2nd in 2016, and Isaiah Firebrace came home in 9th with “Don’t Come Easy” last year.
To that end, a high benchmark has been set for Mauboy, however, it appears pundits and punters alike believe she is every chance of reaching, or even bettering, that mark in a few weeks’ time.
Currently at $1.49 to finish Top 10 and $2.26 to finish Top 5, the songstress is expected to have Lisbon rocking with her tune “We Got Love”. Although a win appears beyond her at this stage, the $16.00 odds will tempt plenty given the high praise the former Australian Idol runner-up has received from the European press in the event’s lead up.
Importantly, the song has also been a hit with audiences on her April/May tour of the UK and the continent. Whipping up a storm of excitement on social media, it was said that Mauboy’s performance at the official Eurovision Preview Party in London was one of the highlights of the night.
Will Barzilai net a big win?
This year’s undoubted favourite for the time-honoured song crown is Israel’s Netta Barzilai. A powerful vocalist, the 25-year old has been the standout performer in lead-up shows and her odds to take out the event have come in to $2.77.
Entering the event with “Toy”, the song has already reached 20m views on YouTube and achieved a high position on iTunes across several countries.
Although Israel hasn’t won Eurovision since 1998 it is believed Barzilai’s anthem will rate highly enough with audiences to see her across the line. Touching on issues including the #metoo movement, the song is expected to resonate with the key voting group of young females.
On that note, the current odds of $1.49 on Netta finishing Top 4 is our best bet of the contest.
WILL THE NORDIC COUNTRIES LIGHT IT UP?
For those on the hunt for value at this year’s Eurovision, it may be worth opting for a Nordic entry. In four of the past nine contents, a winner has hailed from the Scandinavian trio of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Add Finland to that mix, and the four countries have won the title six times since 2000.
Amongst the Nordic entries, the Norwegian entry in Alexander Rybak is perhaps the best chance given the European voting public is very familiar with the now 31-year old. A landslide winner of the count in 2009, the singer/songwriter is currently hovering around the $18 mark to take out the vote with his track “That’s How You Write a Song”.
Sweden’s Benjamin Ingrosso is also bound to be a popular pick given his country’s high success rate at the annual show. Although his odds to take out the title are drifting out beyond the $20 mark, his track “Dance You Off” was launched very successfully at home (It has already gone Gold and reached number #2 in the Swedish charts) and he may be a savvy bet to finish Top 5 ($3.20).
Winner: Netta Barzilai (Israel)
Top 4: Netta Barzilai (Israel)
Top 5: Jessica Mauboy(Australia) / Alexander Rybak (Norway)
Top 10: Benjamin Ingrosso (Sweden)