It is the final countdown to the Eurovision Song Contest final and Ukraine's entry has been deemed an early favourite for this year's winner.

The grand finale will take place on Saturday, May 14 in Turin, Italy and will be broadcast on BBC One.

TikTok star Sam Ryder, from Essex, is the UK entry for the 2022 contest and will be representing the country with the pop song Space Man.

Ryder is expected to do well in the year's contest with Betvictor naming the UK act in fourth place on 6/1. 

Glasgow Times: TikTok star Sam Ryder is the UK's Eurovision entry Credit: PATikTok star Sam Ryder is the UK's Eurovision entry Credit: PA

Host country Italy, Sweden, Spain and Greece are all expected to score highly in this year's competition but Ukraine is by far the runaway favourite. 

The Ukrainian act is the favourite to win this year's contest with odds of 8/15, according to Betvictor.

Hip hop act Kalush Orchestra will perform a modern rap song crossed with classical Ukrainian folk music called Stefania.

Kalush Orchestra has been tipped to win the contest amid the Russian invasion of their country.

Russia will no longer appear in this year's Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) confirmed in February.

When did Ukraine last win the Eurovision song contest?

Ukraine has taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest 16 times since the country made its debut in 2003.

In that time, Ukraine has won the contest twice since in 2004 with the song "Wild Dances" by Ruslana.

Then again, in 2016 with the song "1944" by Jamala and therefore, it hosted the contest in 2005 and 2017 capital of Kyiv.

It is the first Eastern European country to win the contest twice.

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Who is Ukraine's Eurovision entry Kalush Orchestra?

Kalush Orchestra is a rap group made up of several artists including the rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk, dancer Vlad Kurochka, sopilka player Vitalii Duzhyk, and vocalists Tymofii Muzychuk and Oleksandr Slobodianyk.

The group was allowed to leave Ukraine despite men of fighting age in the country having to stay.

Speaking in a Eurovision interview, the group said: “We’re showing off our roots, and we’re showing how to take something from the past and make it work for the present.

“That’s why we’ve found success at home, and we hope that we can find that sort of reception internationally, as well. We take something old, and we make it sound modern.”

What is the meaning of Ukraine’s song Stefania?

Eurovision announced in February that Kalush Orchestra will compete with their song Stefania.

The song was written about the rapper Oleh’s mother, who heard it for the first time at the Ukrainian National Final.

It is written in Ukrainian with the opening lyrics roughly translating to: “Stephanie mother, mother Stephanie/The field blooms, and it turns grey/Sing me a lullaby, mother/I want to hear your native word.”

Although the song Stefania was chosen for Eurovision before the war, it now appears to have an even more powerful meaning.

One of the lines in particular stands out even more since the conflict began: "I‘ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed”.

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Speaking about the war in Ukraine, Kalush Orchestra said to Eurovision: “We feel a big responsibility, since we received permits to leave Ukraine to be here. We have a duty to be useful to our country at this moment.

“We didn’t have any opportunity to rehearse together for a long time, but now, we’ve gone into ‘extra mode’. We’re all very hard working, and we’re all doing what we can to make this happen.

“We’ve enjoyed seeing people singing our song, even if they didn’t know all the words. We really appreciate seeing people supporting Ukraine, and supporting us.”

The Eurovision Song Contest Final will be broadcast at 8pm on Saturday, May 14 on BBC One.