Sunday 20 May 2018

Ireland now 3rd favourite to win Eurovision as Ryan backs EBU's China ban

Ryan O'Shaughnessy in Lisbon this morning. PIC: Andres Poveda
Ryan O'Shaughnessy in Lisbon this morning. PIC: Andres Poveda
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

Massive amounts of money are flooding in behind Ireland to claim an eighth Eurovision victory tomorrow.

Earlier this morning Ireland had shot up to 9th favourite, then 7th, then 5th, but continued backing has seen Ryan O'Shaughnessy's song push its way into the 3rd.

Prior to the contest, Ireland were ranked in the bottom ten of the 43 competing countries, with odds of 250/1 for a win. They are now 9/1.

Oddschecker, who compile odds from all the major bookmakers, has also revealed 34pc of all money bet on Eurovision in the last 24 hours has gone on Ireland - more than any other country.

Ryan O'Shaughnessy at the Altice Arena for the Eurovision second semi-final last night. PIC: Andres Poveda
Ryan O'Shaughnessy at the Altice Arena for the Eurovision second semi-final last night. PIC: Andres Poveda

Paddy Power, meanwhile, have Ireland sitting in sixth position in the betting, available at odds of 20/1 to win the competition. If Ireland wins it will be the biggest payout by Paddy Power in Eurovision history.

“An Irish win would be truly historic, but for all the wrong reasons as far as Paddy Power are concerned. If Ryan O’Shaughnessy pulls it off, it will trigger the biggest payout the company has ever witnessed in terms of the Eurovision,” said Paddy Power spokesperson Rachael Kane. 

Ryan O'Shaughnessy with Rylan Clark-Neal and Finland's Saara Aalto. PIC: Andres Poveda
Ryan O'Shaughnessy with Rylan Clark-Neal and Finland's Saara Aalto. PIC: Andres Poveda

Just a few days ago the Irish entry was available at odds of 200/1.  A Cork customer placed €200 on Ryan at odds of 50/1 to win outright, which could potentially cost Paddy Power €10,000.

“In short, our traders will be spending their Saturday night hiding under a desk saying a few Hail Mary’s,” added Ms Kane.

Ireland have been selected to perform third last in the final on Saturday, statistically the most likely position a country can win from.

A later slot also increases the possibility of picking up phone votes from around Europe.

Meanwhile singer Ryan O'Shaughnessy has backed the EBU's decision to terminate its contract with China's second largest broadcaster.

It emerged earlier this week that Mango TV, which has broadcast the Eurovision in China since 2015, removed the entire Irish performance from its broadcast over its depiction of a gay romance.

Read more: Eurovision terminates contract with Chinese broadcaster after failure to broadcast 'gay' Irish performance

Speaking to Independent.ie this morning in Lisbon, Ryan said: "Eurovision is all aboard, it's about celebrating diversity. What they did by censoring our performance was going completely against that.

"It was the correct decision by the EBU. We're all in this together, and people are really understanding what we're doing with this performance."

Ireland will perform for the juries tonight, which will determine half the overall score for tomorrow's final.

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