The confetti is still being swept up in Tel Aviv, the dry ice machines being put back into storage, and contestants and fans of the Eurovision Song Contest are all taking a well-earned breath.
However… For some the end of one Eurovision can only mean one thing: it’s time to look forward to the next one.
Bookmaker Coral already has odds available for anyone looking to place a bet on next year’s competition. Joint favourites right now are Russia and Sweden, both at 10/1. Though no songs or singers have been announced for 2020, these two countries have shown a remarkable pedigree in recent years. Since 2000, Russia has finished in the top five places a stunning 10 times, winning in 2008. This record is only topped by Sweden, which has finished 11 times in the top 5, winning in both 2012 and 2015.
Next in the running are Australia, Italy and the Netherlands, all at 16/1. Though Australia has never won the competition, it has only competed since 2015 and has so far shown an astute instinct for giving the Euro-voting public just the kind of thing it likes. It is surely just a matter of time before the antipodean nation manages a first place finish.
Last weekend the widely-fancied Netherlands entry triumphed, with previous favourites Italy and Russia coming second and third. Switzerland, another much-tipped contestant, came fourth with 364 points. The UK and Germany, two of the “Big Five” who do not have to go through qualifying rounds to participate in the contest, came last and second last. They are both at 33/1 to pull off an unlikely victory in 2020.