As the last day of individual semifinalist rehearsals ends, Portugal has begun to pull away from the pack behind a still distant Italy.
Portugal managed to edge past challengers Sweden and Bulgaria only in the last few days. Today, odds have shortened further to put Portugal more securely ahead of the pair. Odds on Salvador Sobral taking the prize are now as low as 6/1.
The singer still has some way to go to catch up leader Italy. A solid first rehearsal from Francesco Gabbani ensures the perennial frontrunner remains on extremely short odds as the runaway favourite.
Bulgaria has drifted somewhat, sinking below Sweden, now third favourite again. Armenia, Romania, Azerbaijan and Finland hang on to their favourable positions just below them.
The most dramatic movement today has been from the Netherlands, which breaks into the top ten for the first time. Neighbouring Belgium is right behind them, too, bubbling back into tenth position, forcing Australia’s Isaiah out of the top ten for the first time. Australia has been drifting almost imperceptibly for the whole week, and now attracts odds as long as 80/1 (Stan James).
France, however, is one of today’s biggest losers with the bookies. After holding on to the bottom of the top ten for some time, yesterday’s rehearsal seems to have done the song’s chances down a little, as it sinks below the UK, still riding high after Lucie’s first outing on stage. The UK is now the second highest automatic qualifier amongst the favourites, after Italy.
Those automatic qualifiers rehearse for the second time tomorrow, and with exclusive TV impression clips expected from the official YouTube channel, anything can happen. Sunday is also the last day of individual rehearsals, after which the shows are rehearsed in their entirety.
Will new favourites emerge? Or will we have another two days of stability before the first batch of songs is knocked out on Tuesday evening?