Entertainment Music

Sunday 19 November 2017

Eurovision blow for Engelbert Humperdinck as single reaches 76 in charts

Singer Engelbert Humperdinck will compete in the Eurovision final on Satuday
Singer Engelbert Humperdinck will compete in the Eurovision final on Satuday

Hannah Furness

VETERAN singer Engelbert Humperdinck has suffered a blow to his Eurovision hopes, as his entry reached just number 76 in the singles charts.

The 76-year-old singer has sold 3,442 copies of his song Love Will Set You Free so far, as digital download sales fell far below younger rival artists.

The news will be a disappointment for Eurovision fans in Britain, who hoped the singer could reignite Britain’s chances in the annual contest.

His entry has been offered odds of 14/1 to win the competition, with strong entries from other European nations.

Humperdinck, who is the second-oldest artist to perform at Eurovision this year, has sold 1,911 physical copies of his single, which has been out for two weeks.

The figure is far higher than any other artist and saw him reach number 64 last week, with the remainder of the Top 200 single selling just 88 copies in total according to the Independent newspaper.

But, in times when digital downloads are said to account for 99.7 per cent of all sales, it was not enough to bring him into the top 75.

Last week, Humperdinck said he believed he had a “great chance” at Eurovision, which has not been won by Great Britain since 1997.

He is now in Baku, Azerbaijan, in preparation for Saturday’s performance.

The singer, best known for his number one hits Release Me and The Last Waltz, said: “It's not a talent competition, it's a song contest and because of my experience of travelling around the world and being an ambassador for my country, I think it stands a good chance.”

Speaking of the potential for a ballad to win the contest, he said: "Well, obviously a great melody, a great storyline, and the song has to have a longevity and I think this one really has it.

"It's a Viennese waltz and waltzes have a romantic feel and people usually dance slow to it. I think this has a great, great chance."

He is already automatically qualified for the final, along with France, Italy, Azerbaijan, Spain and Germany.

Last night, Irish act Jedward secured their place alongside him after sailing through their semi final.

Another semi will be held on Thursday, for each country’s “professional juries” and

public vote to decide which 10 competitors will go through.

As of yesterday, Sweden were the clear favourites at 7/4 with Italy's Nina Zilli next in the betting at 6/1. Russia rank in third at 7/1 but Serbia (14/1) are proving to be the next popular pick with punters after Engelbert.

The final is on Saturday, from 8pm.

Don’t miss Aidan Coughlan’s Live Blog here at independent.ie


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