Although 17-year-old Molly Sterling has found her biggest fan in Eurovision stalwart Marty Whelan, the bookies are placing very little faith on the young singers chances in this year’s competition.
Paddy Power have placed bets of 8/13 for the Playing With Numbers singer to fail to make it through Thursday nights semi-final.
Meanwhile, bookies reckon the Tipperary native has a 6/5 chance of making the grande finale on Saturday with odds of just 66/1 of her going home the winner.
Despite the poor odds, tv star Marty Whelan, who has been providing the RTE Eurovision commentary since 1987, has stated he is fully confident that the teenage talent will be successful.
Speaking to TVNow magazine ahead of jetting off to Vienna, the Irish face of the camp song contest said he’s a big fan Molly.
“Do you know what’s great about this year? We entered a proper singer-songwriter – Molly Sterling is a class act and I’m feeling good about our chances this year.”
He added: “I’m very taken with her and she’s a talent outside of the Eurovision anyway and that’s always a plus. People take this in their stride so she’ll be fine. At her age, 17, I couldn’t spell my name, but I think she’ll be fine. It’s quite a special thing to be there.”
Marty also admitted that it’s never easy having to commentate the remainder of the competition if Ireland fails to make it past the early stages.
“We have to qualify every year and that’s a drudge of a thing. If we don’t get out of the semi, we’re stuffed and I still have to commentate on a programme in which we don’t participate. That is very difficult, I have to be honest, it’s hard work.
“The atmosphere of the event is completely changed watching it in Ireland, and the viewers can end up slightly indifferent. Which isn’t a good thing.”
Marty said he’d love to go back to the wonder days of Ireland in the Eurovision, and reminisced about his first time taking part in the show in ’87.
“The first Eurovision I commentated, I did as a young boy in short trousers way back when Johnny Logan won for the second time. That was very exciting. You want to feel that again, or at least that we’re in with a shot.”