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With the Eurovision kicking off this week, we thought we'd do the hard work so you don't have to. We rounded up the bookies top ten early favourites and found out what you need to know about them and their home country.

 Photo credit: Albin Olsson

 

1 - Sweden

Sweden have won the Eurovision song contest an impressive five times, most recently in 2012 with the dance summer smash Euphoria, which Europeans up and down the continent couldn't get out of their heads for months.

The Scandinavian country is the early favourite to take the trophy on Saturday with their catchy almost country-meets-light-rock Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw.

We quite like this tune, but we like Sweden's interior design savvy more.

 

 Photo credit: Armigo

 

2 - Italy

Italy have turned down the tempo and cranked the drama up with their almost operatic boy band Il Volo, for the 2015 contest.

In the year following the win of Bond-like 'Rise Like A Pheonix' sung by 'drag act' Conchita Wurst, we can see why they've gone for the winning combination of drama and well-trimmed beards.

'Great Love' is actually a pretty good song, so hopefully it'll improve Italy's track record. They've only won the contest twice in the past - but then again that's probably because they're busy keeping the thousands of tourists and travellers who flock there happy. If you don't have time to read East Pray Love, see what all the fuss about Italy is here.

 

 Photo credit: Bjoertvedt

 

3 - Australia (yes, you heard us right)

Some of you might be scratching your heads at this one, and we don't blame you. Australia is of course not in Europe. In fact, it's not even really near Europe - so what's going on?

Before you start booking your ticket's for 2016's competition in Sydney - this is just a one-off and in the event they win, another country will take their host duties for the 2016 competition.

However, as avid fans of the competition, the Australian's have been given a one-off pass to the Eurovision finals for 2015. Australia have been watching the contest on their TVs for more than 30 years and has a higher a viewership than some participating countries.

For their one-time entry they've gone in all guns blazing too. Guy Sebastian is an 'Idol' winner, ex X-factor judge and has made more than 4.5 million single sales. His entry is pretty catchy, so don't rule the Aussie's out just yet.

If you fancy a trip to Australia anyway (who need's Eurovision as an excuse?) you can get some inspiration from the Australian's themselves with their most Instagrammed attractions.

 

 Guy Sebastian promo picture

 

4 - Estonia

Estonia may have only won Eurovision once in the past, but with no 'nil points' on record, they're better at not totally failing than the UK at least.

Their entry this year is the broody 'Goodbye to Yesterday' by Elina Born & Stig Rästa.

It's not bad, but it doesn't sound like a winner to us. However the ballad is still one of the firm favourites for this year's winner, as, much like it's home country, it does stand out.

Estonia is a unique and rich mixture of Eastern-European charm, European modernisation and Scandinavian linguistic roots. The UNESCO-protected Old Town in Tallinn is one of Estonia's most treasured travel spots, which might see even more traffic if Estonia wins.

 

 Photo credit: Ailura

 

5 - Russia

Russia's entry - 'a million voices', Polina Gagarina, might be a little cheesy, but it's also a bit brilliant.

Their entry this year is thoroughly Eurovision and spreads a message of unity - a message likely to be welcomed after Russia came under scrutiny after last year's competition, when some among the nation reacted unfavourably to 'drag' winner Conchita Wurst.

As cheesy as it is, we still think this is probably a better musical direction for Russia than politician Gorbachev's album of romantic Russian ballads (2009) - although we'll hold out judgement until we've listened to it.

 

 Photo credit: Ailura

 

6 - Finland

Scandinavia are fairing well with bookies for this year's contest, with Finland also placing in the top ten most likely to take the prize.

They're staying true to their own tried and tested method, with rock tune Aina Mun Pitää (or I Always Have To) by Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät.

Finland found success with Euro-Rock after heavy-metal (and heavily made-up) band Lordi took the top spot in 2006 with Hard Rock Hallelujah.

We're still making up our mind which act is more bizarre...

 

 Photo credit: Cecil

 

7 - Azerbaijan

Another ballad breaks the top ten, thanks to Azerbaijan's Elnur Huseynov and 'Hour of the Wolf'.

Azerbaijan, if you want to split hairs, is in Asia and is largely considered a middle-eastern country. As they're responsible for one of the catchiest songs in Eurovision history, we think most people are more than happy to overlook this, though.

'Running Scared' won 2006's contest and is a classic Eurovision tune. Don't believe us? Listen to it here.

We also think Azerbaijan (which is even smaller than the UK) is great proof that Love Home Swap really does have listings practically everywhere.

 

 Photo credit: Daniel Aragay

 

8 - Slovenia

Don't be fooled by the decoy slow start to 'Here for you'. Slovenian pop duo Maraaya actually make dance music - not classical.

These guys have been in the iTunes music charts and everything, so they might be one to watch. Then again, we said the same thing about Blue and Bonnie Tyler, and look where they got us...

Central European Slovenia is enjoying the rush of tourism to more Eastern regions of Europe, lead by countries like Croatia. Sat on the Adriatic coastline, it's easy to see why it's becoming more popular.

 

 Photo credit: Žiga Culiberg

 

9 - Norway

'A Monster Like Me' is a classic dramatic Eurovision duet - so we can see why pundits think it could score well.

Although breaking the top 10, Norway's chances with Mørland & Debrah Scarlett don't look too great. Fortunately for them Norway doesn't really need the tourism rush Eurovision will bring anyway. Did you know that flight search to Norway have increased by 153% increase since the release of Disney's Frozen?

Besides, Norway has already won three times, and their most recent win in 2009, Fairytale, is still in a lot of people's heads.

 

 Photo credit: NRK/Kim Erlandsen

 

10 - Iceland

Our final favourite is Iceland's 2015 entry, Unbroken by María Ólafsdóttir, which could be the dark horse of the competition. This pop-power-ballad is quite catchy and fairly inoffensive, so who knows? Maybe Iceland could sneak into the top spot.

It would be about time too. Iceland have yet to take the prize. Who knows, maybe this could be their year?

If you fancy their chances, why not get searching for your swap for Reykjavik 2016?

 

 Photo credit: Jonatan Gretarsson

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