Andy Abraham is gearing up to represent the UK in the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place in the Serbian capital Belgrade on Saturday night.
Abraham, 43, the former binman who came runner up on the X Factor 2005, is hoping that his song, Even If, does better than last year’s British entry. Scooch finished 22nd out of 24 with their song Flying The Flag in 2007.
Ireland’s rapping turkey puppet Dustin has failed to make the final, which will see British TV coverage hosted as usual by Sir Terry Wogan.
But Portugal were jubilant after qualifying in Thursday night’s semi-final in Belgrade, marking a return to the contest for the first time since 2003.
Sweden – who came top in the BBC’s Eurovision vote – also went through, along with fellow Scandinavian entrants Denmark and Iceland.
Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia, Croatia, Latvia and Albania also qualified.
The 25 finalists for Saturday’s main event are now in place, with the UK performing second in the running order.
But bookies have dubbed Abraham the UK’s worst ever entrant, with odds of 66-1 to win, which it says is its worst ever. Wogan recently said Abraham’s song was “the best UK entry for a while”.
But he added: “If we finish nowhere again, I worry that disenchantment might take hold. Eurovision is such silly fun, and I love doing it, but if the enthusiasm isn’t there…
“This year is pretty crucial for me. Eurovision without Royaume-Uni would be unfortunate.”