Eurovision Ukraine already favorite to win according to latest odds but who else is in with a chance and who is the Ukrainian entry?

Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra have qualified for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final with a very meaningful song choice....

Eurovision Ukraine entry tipped to win, seen here performing during the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022
(Image credit: Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Eurovision Ukraine entry has emerged as the odds-on favorite ahead of this year's contest in Turin with several other nations following close behind.

For anyone wondering how to watch the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 there are only a few more days until the grand finale is broadcast live from Turin, Italy. The host nation hadn’t been victors of Eurovision for 31 years until Måneskin won Eurovision 2021 with their rock anthem Zitti E Buoni. Now Europe is ready and waiting to see the Eurovision 2022 winner crowned. And if the latest odds are anything to go by, it’s the Eurovision Ukraine entry who will succeed Måneskin to become this year’s victors. 

But who are Kalush Orchestra, what is the Eurovision Ukraine song this year and who else do the latest odds suggest is in with a chance?

Members of Ukraine's band "Kalush Orchestra" celebrate their qualification during the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song contest 2022

(Image credit: Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

Eurovision 2022: The latest odds and favorites to win 

Betfair Exchange odds for Eurovision 2022 winner:

  • Ukraine: 4/6
  • United Kingdom: 8/1
  • Italy: 17/2
  • Sweden: 9/1
  • Spain: 41/1
  • Portugal: 74/1
  • Greece: 74/1

As we’ve seen in everything from the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 winner to the I’m A Celebrity 2021 winner, the bookmakers have frequently got it right when it comes to predicting the victors for some of the biggest TV moments. And there’s nothing quite like the Eurovision Song Contest to inspire fans across Europe to tune in for an evening of vibrant costumes, power ballads and extraordinary dancing as they vote for their next winner. 

Last year ahead of the contest, Eurovision Italy entry Måneskin had already caught the eye of both fans and bookmakers, riding high in the odds before eventually singing their way to victory. Now the latest odds from Betfair have suggested that it’s the Eurovision Ukraine entry, Kalush Orchestra, who are most likely to become Eurovision 2022 winners with odds of 4/6 for a victory.  

But this might not necessarily be the case as the United Kingdom has substantially better odds than they often have in past years. Following them with odds of 8/1 they are currently second favorites with host nation Italy in third with 17/2 and frequent winners Sweden fourth with 9/1. Other countries in the top 7 according to these odds are Spain with 41/1 and Portugal and Greece tied with 74/1. 

Discussing these enlightening predictions, Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said, “Historical data on Betfair Exchange has revealed the average odds of the last 10 Eurovision winners have had pre-tournament odds of 4/1”. 

He added, “The UK are second favorites to win at 8/1, but will take solace with the fact that only five of the last 10 pre-tournament favorites have gone on to claim the Eurovision prize. It means Ukraine, who are the 4/6 odds-on favorites, might not have it all their own way in Turin.

Eurovision Ukraine tipped to win, seen here are the UK entry and presenters

(Image credit: BBC)

“Sam Ryder has been backed by the punters to go all the way ever since our Eurovision market first opened. The UK were a whopping 69/1 to win the competition, but are now second favorites at 8/1 and it looks as though Ryder could be set to overturn last year’s disappointment of nul points.”

Though the last time the UK has won the Eurovision Song Contest was in 1997, this suggests that Sam Ryder might well see the UK sing their way to a much higher position on the Eurovision 2022 scoreboard than in the past. Whilst Italy could potentially be in the running to make it a successive victory and Sweden, who have won six times, are also up there.

But it seems Ukraine are still ahead of the pack when it comes to the likely winners this year according to these latest odds.

Who is Ukraine's Eurovision entry, Kalush Orchestra?  

The Eurovision entry for Ukraine in 2022 is Kalush Orchestra, a Ukrainian hip-hop group that, according to the Eurovision Song Contest website, incorporates both modern sounds and folk instruments into their work. They named themselves after the city of Kalush in Ukraine which is the hometown of band member Oleh Psuik, who is joined by Tymofii Muzychuk, Ihor Didenchuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, Oleksandr Slobodianyk and Vlad Kurochka.

Already the band have made it through the semi-finals to reach the Grand Final on May 14th.Though they have regularly entered over the years, Kalush Orchestra’s appearance at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is perhaps even more meaningful given the horrifying and heartbreaking situation at home in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion. 

Members of Ukraine's band "Kalush Orchestra" celebrate their qualification during the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song contest 2022

(Image credit: Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

As reported by Sky News, this is something Oleh told them via a translator as he reflected on what it means to him to represent his country. 

“Right now, there is a war in our country, [Eurovision's] even more relevant because people are looking for something that is purely Ukrainian, something that contains the ethnic code. It's so important to keep Ukrainian culture popular... and Eurovision is a very good platform for that”, he powerfully declared. 

Oleh went on to add, “We are now talking on behalf of our country and being heard on behalf of our country. And music is a very good way to reach this goal and the attention is quite big at the moment.”

Members of the band "Kalush Orchestra" perform on behalf of Ukraine during the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song contest 2022

(Image credit: Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

He remarked upon the intense sense of “responsibility” he and his bandmates feel as they strive to be of “use” to Ukraine via their performance.

"We feel it as a big responsibility because this is the way that we can be of use to our country, and that's why it's so important for us to be here right now,” the singer added.

This year Russia will not be participating in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time since the country made their Eurovision debut in 1992. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) banned Russia from the competition in response to their invasion of Ukraine. 

“The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute,” the EBU said in a statement at the time, according to The Independent.

They continued, “We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage.”

What is Ukraine's Eurovision 2022 song? Plus, meaning of the lyrics 

This year’s Eurovision Ukraine song is called Stefania and is sung in Ukrainian and is in tribute to Oleh Psuik’s mother. As revealed by the Eurovision website, she only heard the song for the first time when she heard her son and his fellow band members compete at the selection contest for the Ukrainian Eurovision entry, Vidbir. 

In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the choice to honor his mother and celebrate such a deeply personal relationship and connection through a song that will be heard across the world is all the more meaningful. Singing about her caring and protective nature, the song appears to reflect on her wisdom and how much their bond means as they grow older.

There is a definite sense of nostalgia and immense love coming through in their lyrics which the Eurovision website shared in translation, from the line, “She was rocking me as a baby, she gave me a rhythm” as well as the plea, “Mother, sing me the lullaby”.

“I‘m not a kid anymore, but she keeps worrying about me, anytime I‘m out”, the song continues, describing something that parents everywhere will likely be able to relate to.

However, there is also determination too and a fierce affirmation of independence coming through as they affirm, “And you can‘t take willpower from me, as I got it from her”. 

“I‘ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed”, the song continues, which could perhaps be seen to reflect the band’s pride to be Ukrainian and the homeland that so many have been forced to flee in light of the conflict.

As so many across the world wonder how to help the people of Ukraine and how to help Ukrainian refugees more specifically, their powerful lyrics will no doubt speak to huge numbers of people.

Has Ukraine won Eurovision before?  

If Kalush Orchestra do go on to become the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 winners then this will be a hugely significant victory, though it won’t be the first time Ukraine has won Eurovision. The country has a history of being one of the most successful Eurovision competitors in terms of top tier placings. 

The first time Ukraine won was in 2004 with Ruslana and the last time they secured victory was in 2016. Here Jamala brought the win home for Ukraine and they hosted the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in the capital, Kyiv once again. 

The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will air in the UK on Saturday May 14th on BBC One at 8pm BST.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!