And the winner is….

The markings and results of the main samba school parades in Rio will now start at 16.00 on Wednesday, 22 February at the sambodromo (19.00 in UK).

In all, 12 schools from the Grupo Especial and 15 from the Série Ouro will be evaluated in the categories of drums, samba, harmony, evolution, plot, allegories and props, costumes, front commission and mestre-sala and  porta-bandeira (ballroom master and flag bearer).

This year, there will only be four marks per category, and only the lowest note will be discarded – unlike recent years when there were five sets of marks and the highest was also removed. The final classification will be determined by the total sum of the marks and often just one or two percentage points out of 270 can make the difference of winning, losing or being relegated.