13th place could prove lucky for frontrunner Dawn
IRELAND may be trailing Britain in the official betting on tonight's Eurovision song contest, but word behind the scenes is that Dawn Martin is considered a frontrunner by journalists covering the event.
And with televoting being introduced for the first time, the show's 100 million viewers will have the chance to register their winning choice, which gives English language songs a keen edge on the competition.
Paddy Power last night put the Dundalk hairdresser's chances at 10 to one with her song ``Is Always Over Now'', behind the UK entry at 9/4 and second favourites Belgium at five to one.
Dana's Israeli namesake, Dana International is also tipped for success at six to one. The sultry female who started life as a man, is living proof the Eurovision will accommodate all kinds of everything.
Twenty five countries will participate in the show which will be beamed live from the massive national indoor arena in a regenerated area beside Birmingham's Grand Union Canal.
Korea, Canada and Australia will join the 33 European countries tuning into the 43rd annual spectacle.
Dawn Martin (21) said yesterday she had been overwhelmed by well-wishers sending her cards, putting letters under the door and phoning her to spur her on.
Ireland has drawn 13th place in the running order.
Supporters of German entrant Guildo Horn have been rumoured to be especially zealous in support of their entrant. His manager was forced to issue a denial yesterday that groups of them had been travelling to neighbouring countries to try and rig the televoting.
However, fans of the outrageous singer who will be backed tonight by the Orthopaedic Stockings have slashed his odds from 25/1 down to 12/1 in this country.
If you want to cast your vote in tonight's contest, the number to ring is 1530 3030 with the following final two numbers for your choice:
Croatia 01; Greece 02; France 03; Spain 04; Switzerland 05; Slovakia 06; Poland 07; Israel 08; Germany 09; Malta 10; Hungary 11; Slovenia 12; Ireland 13 (no voting by Irish voters); Portugal 14; Romania 15; UK 16; Cyprus 17; Netherlands 18; Sweden 19; Belgium 20; Finland 21; Norway 22; Estonia 23; Turkey 24; Macedonia 25.