Shropshire Star

I don't think I can win – but I'm up for the challenge, says UK's Eurovision entrant Olly Alexander

Enjoy Eurovision – but don't expect Britain to break its 27-year losing run.


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That is the warning from UK Eurovision Song Contest entrant Olly Alexander, who has admitted his odds of winning look "low" ahead of his first performance tonight.

Betting companies have placed the Years and Years singer and It's A Sin actor, 33, among the top 10 contestants in with a chance of lifting the trophy at the competition in Malmo, Sweden, on Saturday.

Eurovision audiences will first see him deliver a live rendition of his catchy dance track, Dizzy, during tonight's semi-final.

Alexander is already through to the final competition as the UK is one of the "big five" countries along with Germany, France, Spain and Italy, which are automatically through to the last bout.

The competition culminates with the grand final on Saturday, which will be marked by many Eurovision parties and get-togethers.

The singer said: "I saw that one of my odds said that I had like a one per cent chance of winning so I like those odds – It's better than zero!"

Eurovision Song Contest Olly Alexander rehearsing Dizzy at Malmo Arena in Sweden

Alexander also said, as a Eurovision fan, he he has been "drawn" to looking at the betting odds as "you just never know what's gonna happen".

"I think it's all kind of part of the drama, kind of quite like the sort of the drama of the odds," he added. "My odds are low, but don't count ... me out just yet."

He has been given 60/1 odds to win Eurovision by Paddy Power along with Greece as Croatia, Switzerland and Ukraine have been classed as the favourites.

And Italy, Netherlands, France, Ireland and Israel have all been touted as having more chance of storming the competition ahead of the UK.

Alexander also said "there's not like a clear, clear, clear front runner" this year so that is "quite exciting".

Eurovision Song Contest Olly Alexander on stage in Sweden

"I'm just like not going to focus on where I place in the final because as long as I just do a performance that I'm proud of, do my best, then, like that's all that matters," he also said.

"Hopefully, it's already a good result for the UK, just the fact that I'm doing it."

He also said: "I definitely have nerves ... I'm always a bit nervous, and something like this with so many people watching as TV is live, there's all these elements that are out of your control.

"And like, that does bring nerves and it's very exposing to be in a competition because you're literally being pitched against all these other people. That's part of the fun of it."

Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil representing Ukraine

The rehearsals have already teased that Alexander will be in locker room-themed staging, which sees cameras rotated to give a spinning feel to him and the dancers. He will be wearing a white singlet, red trousers, with boots which all look a little distressed.

"I think if you're going to take a song to Eurovision last thing you should do is be safe," he said.

"And, as an artist, like, I love to kind of provoke a little bit and to just cause a little bit of discussion and intrigue.

"And of course, I said right at the beginning of this process, I plan to be as gay as possible. And what's gayer than a locker room?

Marina Satti representing Greece

"And I just want, mainly, to entertain people and to give a really fab performance and, of course, like, not everyone's gonna love it, but I think that's a sign of a strong performance really."

Alexander also said that he has an "ambivalent relationship with the Union Jack" as it can feel "divisive" and "nationalist".

"I hope to like reclaim like the Union Jack, in a positive way," he added. "When I'm going to be out there waving my flag ... at the parade, like it's for all the good things that have come from growing up in the UK and being British."

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