He’s the quirky singer who has stolen Italy’s thunder in recent days.
And on Friday Portugal’s Salvador Sobral completed his ascent up the odds table, emerging as the bookies favourite to win Eurovision 2017.
Following the first dress rehearsal on Friday the bookies slashed his odds to as low as 6/4, putting him ahead of Francesco Gabbani, who remains a very close second.
Salvador, who had to skip the first week of rehearsals owing to ongoing health issues, arrived in Kyiv on Sunday just in time for the red carpet and opening ceremony.
Since then he’s wowed the world’s media with his laidback demeanour and overwhelming since of calm amid the hysteria.
Among those openly backing him is X Factor judge Louis Walsh, who told us in an interview that he’s in love with Salvador and “Amar pelos dois”.
Eurovision 2017: Odds to win grand final
Following Semi-Final 2, Salvador’s “Amar pelos dois” has become the most popular Eurovision 2017 song in the iTunes charts.
It’s currently charting in 18 different countries, including No.1 in Portugal. The song is also making an impact in Sweden at No.15 and the Netherlands where it’s No.19.
In third place is Italy‘s Francesco Gabbani.
His song “Occidentali’s karma” is in the iTunes charts of 13 countries. Its highest place is No.18 in Italy itself.
Interestingly, winning isn’t Salvador’s biggest priority here in Kyiv, and he’s outsourced much of the stage show.
Speaking to wiwibloggs he confessed that he had no say in the staging because he has “no sense of aesthetics”. He does not see the visuals anyway, as they are always behind him.
The Portuguese singer may not have any particular sense of style, but he wears his simple black jumper with pride. The “SOS Refugees” across his chest shows that he is an advocate for the less fortunate who had to leave their families, homes, and countries behind in war-torn areas around the globe.
Salvador wants to use his fame to lobby for a less bureaucratic way to process asylum seekers. The Portuguese singer believes that people who flee their countries in plastic boats should not be compelled to carry birth certificates to prove who they are — they should simply be helped to overcome their trying ordeal.