Enge now third favourite to take Eurovision title, according to the bookies
Leicestershire legend Engelbert Humperdinck is now third in line for Eurovision glory, according to the bookies.
His odds to win have been halved from 20/1 to 10/1 in just a week following the premiere of his heartrending ballad, Love Will Set You Free.
According to Leicester bookmakers Mark Jarvis, the only acts standing in the 75-year-old's way of victory now are Sweden's Loreen, who will be performing up-tempo club number Euphoria, and the group everyone is talking about, "Russian grannies" Buranovskiye Babushki, who will also be singing an up-tempo tune, called Party for Everybody.
This time last week, Engelbert was joint fourth favourite with Irish twins Jedward – but while he is climbing up the table, their odds have been lengthened to 25/1.
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Mark Jarvis head office manager Chris Sykes said he thought Enge stood a chance of taking the top spot.
"The odds have come down from 20/1 to 10/1 and he's now the third favourite behind Sweden and the Russian grannies," he said.
"The Swedish song is quite a good – a bit like an upbeat Celine Dion.
"Although Engelbert's is a ballad, it's a good song – certainly one of the better ones we've had over the years.
"He certainly won't be getting nil points."
Leicester musicians are also getting behind Enge.
The Wry Dogs, who released festive single Big Kid Xmas in December, said the chart-topping superstar would bring a bit of class to the contest.
"It's very much in the style of his classic hits," said frontman Wayne Kelly, of Anstey. "It's good they've not tried to shoehorn him into doing something more modern and they're playing to his strengths.
"I've heard about the Russian grannies, although I've not seen them. But novelty is what Eurovision is now.
"Maybe Enge will bring a touch of class to the competition."
Engelbert, who will be first on stage on the night, said the song had the potential to win, and that he hoped his rendering of it on the night would do it justice.
He said: "I think it's a great song and it all depends on the performance. It has good lyrics, it's got a great melody. It's outstanding."
Enge said representing the UK was "the greatest honour I've had in a long, long time".
He added: "I'm going to do my best to bring it back to our country."
Buranovskiye Babushki is a folk group from the Russian village of Buranovo. The eldest member is 77.
The group came third in the Russian Eurovision qualifying contest in 2010 and afterwards grew massively in popularity.
Sweden's Loreen, 28, won the Swedish selection after more than 670,000 of the four million viewers called in to vote for Euphoria.
A total of 42 countries are expected to take part in the Eurovision final in Baku, Azerbaijan, on May 26.