‘Excited’ UK entry Molly among Eurovision favourites

Eurovision hopeful Molly Smitten-Downes has revealed she isn’t a bundle of nerves yet, ahead of the competition.

The Leicestershire singer, who performs as Molly, will fly the flag for the UK in Copenhagen on Saturday, with her self-penned song, Children Of The Universe.

“I wouldn’t say I was nervous just yet – mostly excited,” she said. “There are some really good songs and I think I’ve got some stiff competition. It’s not going to be an easy call.”

Children Of The Universe, which the 27-year-old describes as ‘quite contemporary, with a bit of a tribal feel’, was inspired by Max Ehrmann’s 1927 poem Desiderata.

“I’ve always found it really inspiring and comforting,” the singer explained. “It starts off where you’re in a bit of a bad place and transcends into a sort of awakening, realising you’re worth so much more than that.”

She continued: “People can judge what they want and they will, but I’m pleased with this song and I’m confident in it.

“I’m not compromising my artistic integrity at all, which is really important, especially with all the negative Eurovision stigma that can come with it.”

Molly, who had a top 10 dance hit in 2008 with Raindrops, admitted keeping her Eurovision secret under wraps was a huge challenge.

“I couldn’t tell anyone, which was so hard, can you imagine?” she said. “Once I’d got it, I couldn’t tell them for about two or three weeks until it came out. It was so worth it though. Their faces were just priceless, they were so pleased. I’ll take that [memory] with me to the grave.”

Molly heads into the contest trailing favourites Sweden, but is still strongly fancied, according to bookies. She is ranked at 9/1 to triumph by bookmaker William Hill, with Sweden’s Sanna Nielsen’s track Undo heading the field at 11/4.

The UK is hoping to improve its fortunes after two woeful years when veteran acts Engelbert Humperdinck and Bonnie Tyler were chosen and languished towards the bottom end of the voting table.

Molly will be the last act to perform on the night, with Eurovision experts saying it is a good position because the song will still be fresh in the memory as voting begins.

She landed her place in the final because the UK is one of the competition’s five big players who, along with the host nation, get an automatic place.

However Ireland, which has often performed well in the contest, have not been so lucky, with their entry, Kasey Smith, crashing out in the semi-final stages this week.

Austrian drag act Conchita Wurst – the ‘bearded lady’ – has got through to the finale.

Molly’s effort has so far failed to resonate with music buyers at home, with the song likely to achieve number 34 in the singles chart, according to latest figures from the Official Charts Company.

However, even that lowly placing is better than the past two efforts, with Tyler’s 2013 song failing to chart and Engelbert Humperdinck’s entry the year before only making it to number 60.

Bookmaker Hill is predicting the biggest year yet for betting on the contest as it predicts more than £1 million will be placed in stakes.

Spokesman Rupert Adams said: “We have never seen so many bets on the Eurovision Song Contest – records could be broken and there is even a chance we will see a UK winner.”

The Eurovision Song Contest screens on BBC One on May 10.


Press Association

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