26 countries will compete to claim victory tonight at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is the third time the Contest has been held in Israel after Netta won the country's fourth victory last year in Lisbon. But who is in the running to claim victory this time? The fans and the bookmakers have each settled on their tip for glory tonight, but in the end, any one of the 26 countries could win it.
The best track record
Ireland holds the record for the most Eurovision Song Contest victories, with seven titles to their name, though they haven't added to that number since 1996. Sweden is second on the all-time list of winners with 6, including 2 in the last 7 years (Loreen in 2012 and Måns Zelmerlöw in 2015). If Sweden claims victory tonight, they'll hit the front of the all time leaderboard.
If France or the United Kingdom take the crown, on the other hand, they would join Sweden in second place on the leaderboard. It would be a sixth victory for either of them. The United Kingdom's last victory came in 1997 when Katrina and the Waves won with Love Shine A Light. Before that, Bucks Fizz were the United Kingdom's fourth winner with Making Your Mind Up way back in 1981. This year, Michael Rice carries the hopes of the United Kingdom with Bigger Than Us. France's last win came even further back, in 1977, when Marie Myriam sang L'oiseau et l'enfant, but many believe that Bilal Hassani can end their 42 year wait with Roi this year.
Do the bookies know?
Many people don't just back their favourite song by voting for them, they also place bets on who they think will win the competition.
Ever since Dutch delegate Duncan Laurence's Arcade was released, he has led the way with the bookmakers. But bookies don't always get it right. In fact, the favourite hasn't won for three years. That would change if The Netherlands takes the title tonight; it would be their first win since Teach-In in 1975, and would end a 44 year wait for a country that won twice in 1957 and 1959.
Australia are second favourites according to the bookies. Their odds dropped sharply after their staging was revealed in the first Semi-Final. It's hard to come up with something that's never been done on the Eurovision stage before, but the Australian delegation have managed it, and Zero Gravity is floating up the betting charts.
Sweden and Switzerland are third and fourth in the betting. Both countries have high hopes with male solo artists, as do Italy (5th), Azerbijan (6th) and Russia (7th). In fact, with the exception of Australia, the top 7 in the betting are all male solo artists. Iceland are the highest ranked band with Hatari (8th), just ahead of Norway's KEiiNO (9th).
What the Eurovision fans are saying.
The international Eurovision Song Contest fan club, with branches in many of the participating countries, each voted for their favourites using the traditional 12, 10, 8, 7, 6 etc. points system. According to them, victory will go to Italy. If Mahmood does take the crown, he will be Italy's third winner, following Gigliola Cinquetti's victory in 1964 with Non ho l'età and Toto Cutugno's Insieme, 1992 which won the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest.
The fan club poll places Switzerland second, The Netherlands third, Norway fourth and Cyprus fifth. Switzerland's last of two victories came in 1988 when Céline Dion beat the United Kingdom's Scott Fitzgerald by a single point with her power ballad Ne partez pas sans moi. She went on to become one of the most successful recording artists of all time. Lys Assia was Switzerland's first winner, when Refrain won the first ever Eurovision Song Contest back in 1956.
Could it be a first time victory?
10 countries competing in tonight's final have never won the Eurovision Song Contest. Cyprus just missed out on a first-ever victory when Eleni Foureira took second last year. Along with Cyprus, Malta, Albania, Czech Republic (the first three songs in the Grand Final), North Macedonia, San Marino, Slovenia, Iceland, Belarus and Australia are all hoping to land their first trophy this year.