Blue and Jedward prepare for Eurovision battle

Boy band Blue and X Factor twosome Jedward are set to go head to head in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final in Dusseldorf on Saturday night.

Blue are hoping to bring victory back to the UK with their song I Can, which is tipped to give the nation its best result on the Eurovision stage in years.

However they may face some stiff competition from the wacky Grimes twins – who are currently second favourites to win the contest for Ireland with their upbeat track Lipstick.

The song was one of 10 to win a place in the final following the second Eurovision semi-final on Thursday night.

Jedward – who will take to the stage in sparkly red jackets with giant shoulder-pads – told The Sun that they want to be as famous as Eurovision’s best-known winners Abba.

“When Abba was on the contest it was all about the outfits,” said Edward, “and we want to do the same. We can’t wait to be really successful all around the world.”

Meanwhile, Blue have revealed that their participation in the contest has already had a positive effect, as they have just signed new record deals in Italy and Germany.

And although the song failed to make the top ten in last weekend’s UK charts, entering at number 16, the bookies are still tipping the lads for success with Ladbrokes currently offering odds of 11-1 on them taking top honours.

Blue – who said they would emigrate if they failed to win the contest – also admitted this week they are behaving themselves in Dusseldorf, cutting out cigarettes and alcohol to make sure their voices are in good order for tonight.

“After the performance, we will have a celebration,” band member Lee Ryan told The Sun, while Antony Costa added, “Win or lose, we will have some booze!”

Graham Norton – who will be commentating for the UK – also said he was optimistic about their chances.

“I’m genuinely excited,” he said. “We have a great chance with Blue.”

France, however, remain favourites to win with odds of 17-10 according to Ladbrokes, followed by Ireland at 7-2. Azerbaijan have now leapt up to third favourites in the betting at 7-1 following a strong performance of their song Running Scared in Tuesday night’s semi-final.

Other countries who made it through this week’s semis included Estonia, Russia, Finland, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

Also returning this year are Switzerland, who are in the final for the first time since 2006, Austria – who are in their first final since 2003 – and Italy – who are back in the contest after a 14-year absence.

Two countries who will not be present however are Turkey and Armenia, both of whom were voted out in the semi-finals for the first time ever on Tuesday night.

The news came as a particular shock for Turkey, who finished second in the 2010 contest and had been tipped for similar success this year.

Former winner Dana International, who represented Israel again this year, will also not be present after being voted out on Thursday night. However last year’s winner Lena will once again take to the stage for Germany hoping for a second consecutive win with her song Taken By A Stranger.

The final kicks off on BBC1 from 8pm.

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