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May, 8

UK Eurovision's Sam Ryder gets huge running order boost as winning odds slashed again

The UK's hopes of doing well at the Eurovision Song Contest have been further boosted thanks to the running order draw for the final and an amazing second rehearsal from singer Sam Ryder.

Ever since TikTok sensation was confirmed by the as the UK's representative in March, there has been a growing swell of optimism around the UK's chances of doing well at , after the country's dismal showing in Rotterdam last year, when Embers singer James Newman failed to get a single point from either the juries or voting public. But, the tide definitely appears to be turning with , who is now over in this year's host city Turin, where he has now taken to the stage twice for rehearsals.

His first rehearsal on Thursday was enough to send plenty o fans into overdrive, as the contest's official account announced that Sam had the biggest prop of the competition - a huge lit up metallic structure which then came apart to look like wings at either side of him. And then, the excitement was raised even higher on Saturday morning when Sam returned to the arena stage to perform Spaceman once again, wearing a eye-catching spacesuit and doing a guitar solo for the final 20 seconds of the sing.

Eurovision odds already had Sam at fourth favourite to win this year before his second rehearsal, but he has now crept into third place in the betting, with odds as short of 7/1 of him wining in the Eurovision final on Saturday, May 14. And the growth of support behind him from bookies could also be down to the fact that he will perform in the second half of the show, which has traditionally boosted countries' chances of winning.

Ahead of the Eurovision semi finals, which will take place on Tuesday and Thursday, France, Spain and Germany have all been drawn in the first half of the event, which will see 26 countries perform, while host nation Italy are also in the first half, performing ninth.

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