Australia’s Guy Sebastian has a chance for a podium finish at the Eurovision song contest, according to bookmakers.
In Australia’s debut at the pop spectacle the singer could take third place, if betting odds are a guide, behind favourites Sweden then Italy.
But the strong showing among bookies is not necessarily a guide. The contest is notoriously unpredictable, broadcast host Julia Zemiro told Fairfax Media.
“It will be fascinating to see who in Europe liked us, is it political or not, is it really about the song?” she said.
Australian Jessica Mauboy performed a song she penned called ‘Down Under’ at the 2014 Eurovision but her efforts were just for show, as she was not included in the competition.
Eurovision’s website profiled Sebastian, concluding “It must be a pretty cool thing to be a piece of history in the making!”
Mauboy’s performance featured an Aboriginal-flag waving astronaut and the words “That’s one small step for Europe and one giant leap for Australia”.
There appears to be little evidence that Sebastian’s jazzy ballad ‘Tonight Again’ will come with the same sort of fanfare.
“The big LED screen at the back shows a moving road, quickly transforming into a nighttime cityscape,” Eurovision’s website reports from rehearsals.
“Spotlights in red and orange colours dance along to the rhythm of the song, turning the arena into a disco.
“The overarching theme here is night with red, blue, yellow and orange shades dominating.
“The song finishes with the stage structure lighting up in golden colours.”
Sebastian will battle Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw with his club banger track Heroes.
Eurovision semis will be broadcast on SBS on Wednesday night. The finals will air on Friday and be rebroadcast Saturday.