Welsh singer Lucie Jones is being tipped to produce an improved performance for the UK at Eurovision

Eurovision fans dreaming of a UK victory are quietly hoping former X Factor contestant Lucie Jones can surprise at the annual song contest tonight.

She will be hoping her song Never Give Up On You goes down better than last year’s entry, Joe and Jake, who came 24th out of 26 in the contest with their track You’re Not Alone.

This year’s showdown, in Kiev, Ukraine, looks to be tougher than ever following this week’s semi-finals – which saw Ireland knocked out, and is the first since the UK voted to leave the EU.

Lucie Jones.
Lucie Jones (Isabel Infantes/PA)


But Lucie is keeping Brexit and European politics firmly out of her mind.

“It’s out of my hands so there is no point in worrying or thinking about it, I am just letting it pass me by,” she told the Press Association.

Lucie’s performances in rehearsals for tonight’s final have been drawing praise from Eurovision pundits, defying the criticisms of the UK’s entries in recent years.

Portugal and Italy lead the betting to become Eurovision champions at 6/4 and 7/4, while the United Kingdom is around 33/1 to win.

politics are still clouding the event. Russia pulled out of the contest, following a move by Ukrainian authorities to ban entrant Julia Samoylova because of her previous tour in Crimea.

Lucie Jones will be the UK's entry to the competition this year.
Lucie Jones (Matt Burlem/PA)

 

Last year, Ukraine’s Jamala won Eurovision with her political number, 1944, about Stalin’s mass deportation of Crimean Tatars.

The last time the UK triumphed at the show was 20 years ago when Katrina And The Waves won with Love Shine A Light.

Singer Katrina Leskanich will appear on the BBC coverage of the show tonight, reading out the UK’s votes.

The BBC defended its broadcast of the competition’s semi-finals after not airing one contestant’s big romantic moment.

Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017 (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

 

Some viewers voiced their anger when they discovered that the boyfriend of Macedonia’s Jana Burceska got down on one knee and asked her to marry him live on air.

The BBC said it could not have foreseen the proposal because it was a surprise.

Just before the proposal, to which she said ‘yes’, Burceska, 23, had revealed that she was pregnant.

The Eurovision Song Contest is on BBC1 tonight at 8pm.