Eurovision 2023 final LIVE: Liverpool welcomes song contest

Eurovision 2023 final LIVE: Mae Muller represents UK with Sweden¿s Loreen favourite to win as Liverpool comes to life for song contest

Follow all the latest news, updates and insights in the build-up to the Eurovision final on Saturday evening. 

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UK entrant Mae Muller will need to beat the odds to win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest – with the bookies backing Sweden’s Loreen to claim victory for a second time.

Muller, 25, will perform I Wrote A Song at the final in Liverpool on Saturday, but is an outsider, according to the bookies.

Betfair has the UK at 66/1 to win the contest, while Ladbrokes has Muller at 40/1 – the 10th most likely act to take the Eurovision crown.

Alex Apati, of Ladbrokes, said: ‘Mae Muller should look away now… her odds of finishing top of the Eurovision pile have taken a massive hit with just over 24 hours to go until the show gets under way.’

Loreen, who won in 2012 with the song Euphoria, is competing again with power ballad Tattoo.

Ladbrokes has her at 1/2 to win, with Betfair putting Sweden as 4/9 favourites.

Finland, whose entrant Kaarija will perform Cha Cha Cha, is ranked as second favourite at 5/2 by both bookies.

Ukraine, which won with Stefania by Kalush Orchestra last year, is also tipped to do well, with odds of 12/1.

The UK’s Mae Muller is set to compete last on Saturday night, a slot generally seen as a disadvantage.

Meanwhile Ukraine is in 19th position and favourites Sweden will perform ninth. 

Finland, also considered a favourite to take the title, will go in the middle in the 13th spot.

The UK’s Mae Muller has said she is ‘ready to get this show on the road’ ahead of Saturday’s Eurovision final, after it emerged Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky had been barred from addressing the event.

After months of preparation, the 25-year-old singer from north London will finally perform her track, I Wrote A Song, for the international voting public.

Muller is hoping to continue the success of last year’s UK entry Sam Ryder, who finished second behind Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine.

Twenty-six acts will perform at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool to an expected global audience of 160 million viewers, according to the BBC, after the UK agreed to host the contest on behalf of war-torn Ukraine.

Austria will open the show with Teya and Salena’s quirky dance-pop tune Who The Hell Is Edgar?, about being possessed by the ghost of 19th century Gothic author Edgar Allan Poe.

Muller will close the show with I Wrote A Song – a slot generally considered a disadvantage.

‘It’s impossible to get to Eurovision!’: Music fans blast rail union bosses

Music fans have been left heartbroken in the UK today as they face missing out on attending the first Eurovision Song Contest in Britain in 25 years due to rail strikes, meaning they are unable to travel to Liverpool in time.

Thousands are expected to travel to Liverpool for Saturday’s grand final, which is being staged in the UK on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine – who are fighting a Russian invasion – after Sam Ryder came second for Britain in 2022.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) have walked out at 14 train operators across England in an escalation of a long-running dispute over pay.

Early on Saturday morning Britons slammed the unions for choosing Eurovision weekend, when the UK is hosting thousands of extra visitors, to stage the strike.

One fan, who faced two changes to her flight and a delay of two-and-a-half hours at Newquay airport this morning, said online: ‘I give up.’

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Huge mystery guest expected to perform at grand final

Eurovision fans are convinced a huge Liverpool star will make a surprise appearance on stage during the final of the competition on Saturday.

It has been suggested former Beatles musician Sir Paul McCartney, 80, and Spice Girl Mel C, 49, could perform at the M&S Bank Arena, with both stars being from the city.

MailOnline understands a closed set took place during rehearsals, with nobody allowed in, sparking speculation backstage that a huge star is set to make a guest performance during the final. 

It comes after it was revealed Sam Ryder would perform alongside Queen drummer Roger Taylor during the Eurovision Song Contest grand final, with host Alesha Dixon joining Sam on stage in Liverpool for rehearsals on Friday.

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The UK agreed to host Eurovision after last year’s act Sam Ryder achieved second place behind the winners, Ukraine, with his performance of Spaceman.

Usually the winning country will host the competition the following year. 

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it was agreed by the organisers that the country would not be able to host the competition this year due to security concerns. 

As the UK came second, is agreed to hold the contest in a collaboration with Ukraine.

But the decision is controversial. This week, Ukraine’s President Zelensky questioned why the competition was not held nearer to Ukraine instead, such as in Poland. 

Everything you need to know about this year’s Eurovision

For 67 years, Eurovision has been delighting – and horrifying – music fans across Europe – and also, somewhat unaccountably, Australia.

The event has been running since 1956, and has become synonymous with eccentricity, catchy pop tunes and ‘nul points’.

This year is no different – with Saturday seeing the nation gear up for the final, which is being held in Liverpool on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine.

Hosted by Alesha Dixon and Graham Norton, the event will see 26 countries compete for the prize, with Sweden being the bookies’ favourite.

 A win would put them level with Ireland – who this year failed to qualify – at the top of the all-time winners’ list with seven triumphs.

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Good morning and welcome to our live blog covering all things Eurovision throughout today and this evening, when the grand final in Liverpool gets underway.

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