Belarussian Bombshell

Mar 5, 2013 by

Belarussian Bombshell

We have a springer in the ESC 2013 Outright market: Belarus. The replacement to ‘Rhythm Of Love’ landed last night and has duly been smashed off the boards.

This was one scenario in which it pays to be an ESC trader on Betfair’s Outright market, seeking to pick off the value, as some clever clogs, burning the midnight oil, were able to get matched well above 100 before attacking the high street with zeal. Belarus trades at a back price of 16 at time of writing.

Having watched the Belarus final before Christmas, Alyona can certainly sing well enough live while jigging around the stage. If they can produce a great stage show for this, it has a lot of potential, especially in a year which is shaping up to be so heavy with slow ballads. A late draw and then it could really fly.

‘Solayoh’ has echoes of Ruslana’s Wild Dances, triumphant for Ukraine in 2004. It’s the sort of ethno-pop foot-stomper this year’s Contest has been crying out for. One potential downside – juries may consider it cheap. Is it as cheap as Mandinga’s ‘Zaleilah’ from Romania last year that got so cruelly crucified by juries to the tune of a miserly 53pts? That is open to debate.

The happy-clappy, toe-tapping tunes are noticeable by their absence this year. Finland is more like bubblegum pop; Latvia is beatbox/pop – by the way, we love the trumpets in this song but they have definitely taken from Primal Scream’s ‘Loaded’; Slovenia is uptempo dubstep; Ireland has a bog standard house tune; while Greece gets this year’s award for fun to sing-a-long to while drunk late at night in the Malmo Euroclub. Certainly compared to these, Belarus is arguably of a higher quality.

Given the seemingly sub-standard efforts from the likes of Armenia and Serbia this year, and Ukraine requiring major re-working to get anywhere close to top 5 standard, Belarus suddenly starts to look potentially pretty strong, more so given this has been a weak year to date and its 2 main rivals in the east look to be Russia and Georgia who both offer ballads.

There are only another 11 songs left to be heard now. Those 11 are: Sweden, Italy, Azerbaijan, Netherlands, UK, Israel, Romania, France, Moldova, Montenegro and San Marino. Among those we are probably looking at only 2 or 3 max that might be uptempo, including Montenegro – ‘Igranka’ sung by the duet ‘Who See’ described as ‘uptempo with a happy dance beat and with dub step influence’.

Also we had it confirmed earlier today by the EBU that this new Belarus song has been cleared to compete in Malmo after claims it has been around, at least in demo version, on MySpace for a good few years. In conclusion, we would advise getting Belarus green, and at time of writing you can get 20-1 e/w first 4 with Stan James.

Looking ahead to this Saturday, it’s the MF final in Sweden and bookies are convinced Yohio has it in the bag from the pimp slot. We still think his song is weak and very beatable. Ulrik Munther being drawn in 1 is not a complete disaster but far from ideal. That said, 11-2 for Ulrik to win does look on the big side with bet365 (we earlier advised 9-2).

Ralf’s biggest weakness is that he is not very telegenic which could mean his televote will suffer, but in terms of song quality we would have it between Ralf and Ulrik topping the jury vote. You can also make a case for Louise (the only female finalist), Anton – excellent Schlager tune – and Robin all challenging for top spot. In a final that looks like it will be very closely fought, and in a year that has been full of shocks and tricky to call throughout, the value looks to be laying Yohio at 1.68 on Betfair.

We also have the Romania final on Saturday and before that on Thursday night it is the Israel (KDAM) final. Israel has some very strong songs in its final, none more so than Moran Mazor’s ‘Only For Him’, which is drawn 8 of 10:

If Moran Mazor wins – not to be confused with Moran Mazoz, singing the excellent ‘Give Me A Sign’ – we would definitely advise backing Israel at 50-1 e/w first 4 with Stan James.

It was disappointing to see Gigi Radics beaten in Hungary and Grete Paia pipped to the post in Estonia, literally: Super Final result – Birgit Õigemeel 30,333 votes (51%); Grete Paia 29,014 votes (49%) after Grete beat Birgit earlier in the evening on the televote. These were 2 songs with great potential. Such is the way of things during national final season.

Also look out for the full version of Anouk’s ‘Birds’ for Netherlands presented on Monday next week. What are others’ views on Belarus, and how this year is shaping up in general? Please do join the debate below.

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20 Comments

  1. Rob

    Well done Tim B for getting the huge odds on offer on BF last night on Belarus – that’s great trading. During peak ESC season it is always dangerous to switch off for a minute. You need to stay alert & anticipate plunges.

  2. Rob

    In reply to Tim B’s earlier question regarding staging/camera work at the finals, this is the response from an EBU press centre spokesperson:

    ‘Acts have the freedom to choose from some basic instruments, such as a grand piano, drum kit and guitars. They can bring props, at their own cost, and within stage specs. They can order pyro at additional costs, which includes special effects like confetti and snow. Everything related to light, LED content and camera effects can be requested, but it is at the discretion of the producers to decide how exactly they do it. This is to create consistency in the shows and keep a certain level of excitement to surprise the audience. Of course, the aim is to please all delegations as much as possible within creative and technical limits. The delay-effect of Loreen was requested by SVT based on their national selection, where it was applied at the same place in the act as well.

  3. Rob

    Regarding the MF final, it is worthwhile having a look at the breakdown of recent finals’ combined jury/televote.

    It will be the same 473pt system. Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’ took 32.7% of the televote which equated to 154pts. She was over 10% clear of Danny Saucedo’s ‘Amazing’ which gained 106pts on the televote. Between them, they took out 55% of the televote.

    ‘Euphoria’ topped the jury vote with 114pts; ‘Amazing’ was 2nd with juries earning 92pts.

    Is Yohio’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ capable of pulling off a similar winning percentage on the televote? With far more competition among his rivals, & (in theory) a wider spread of televotes, this has to be questionable.

    Meanwhile, on the jury vote, he appears more likely to be vying for about 4th or 5th place. Assuming it is Ralf & Ulrik who achieve the highest pts totals among juries, Yohio may well be feeding off scraps to the tune of, as a rough estimate, 60pts.

    Due to a wider spread of pts among this year’s finalists, it looks likely a much lower pts total than Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’ achieved last year (268pts) will be enough to win.

    It’s pure guesswork but if Yohio takes, say, 25% of the televote (Eric Saade’s ‘Popular’ took 23.7% of the televote in 2011 from the pimp slot), this would equate to 118pts. Will 178pts be enough to win MF 2013? There has to be a lot of doubt there & enough to rate Yohio a lay at 1.68, or to ‘dutch’ Ulrik & Ralf for the win.

    • Boki

      I share your doubts, especially with popularity of Robin added to equation who might steal many votes from both juries and televoters. I don’t have anything on OR yet and probably will keep eye on the jury results with hope for some live opportunities on bf.

  4. Boki

    Btw, there were lot of H2Hs last year, I thought Lisa Miskovsky was a dark horse (at least for the juries) but everyone ignored her and finished 9th.
    This year we have Louise as the only female, she is doing good on the Expressen poll and could be an ilness sympathy vote but I don’t know what to think anymore…

  5. Rob

    This appears to bode well for Ralf:

    Aftonbladet’s poll:

    Ralf Gyllenhammar 28.31%
    Yohio 20.54%
    Ravaillacz 14.13%
    Louise Hoffsten 8.3%
    Robin Stjernberg 7%
    Anton Ewald 5.89%
    Ulrik Munther 5.71%
    Sean Banan 4.65%
    State of drama 3.53%
    David Lindgren 1.94%

    Totalt antal röster: 1,699

  6. Tim B

    One thing’s for sure – it’s going to be a very exciting final. I agree that 25% sounds about right for YOHIO in the televote. But I reckon Robin and Ulrik will score higher with the juries than Ralf. I don’t think anyone with no interest as of yet should dutch Ralf and Ulrik as that ignores Robin. The aftonbladet poll has to be taken with a massive pinch of salt as they’ve proven to be inaccurate most weeks – Amanda Fondell anyone? Maybe Ulrik will win after all. I can’t call it. Ralf is my smallest winner so I really hope he doesn’t win.

  7. Rob

    Would be very surprised if Robin overturned the semi-final 4 outcome. Yes, we have the jury element to factor in and yes, he has a better, later draw, but his vocal isn’t the strongest and musically ‘You’ is very one-dimensional compared to both ‘Bed On Fire’ & ‘Tell The World I’m Here’.

  8. Rob

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Louise’s song doing well with juries.

  9. Boki

    Some H2Hs and few other MF markets up on Unibet. Tricky.

  10. Rob

    Incredible plunge on Anton Ewald to win MF tonight – matched at 5 on Betfair!!!!!!

  11. Rob

    ‘Solayoh’ performed live at Romania final last night:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9N3px4cA5w

    • Boki

      Backing vocals still pre-recorded, curious to hear with only one backing girl (assuming she keeps 4 dancers).

      Amazing result in MF btw, what strikes me most is how everyone was wrong about Ralf who scored bad both on juries and televote.

  12. Rob

    Important rule change generously flagged up by Daniel Gould at sofabet today – ALL songs rather than only the top 10 will receive a jury score & a televoting score:

    With respect to the televoting, the song which has received the highest number of votes shall be ranked first, the song which has received the second highest number of votes shall be ranked second and so on until the last song.

    With respect to the National Jury voting, the jury members shall
    rank first their favourite song, second, their second favourite song, third, their third favourite song, and so on until their least favourite song which shall be ranked last.

  13. Tim B

    Melodifestivalen outright was a great result for me. Backed Robin to win at 55.0 half way through the Andra Chansen round, backed YOHIO at 41.0 but layed off in full, layed off three figure stake on Ulrik. I just wish I’d decided to go for some of the other markets on offer – correctly called that “the people’s champion” YOHIO would top the televote, Robin/Ulrik would top the jury vote and that Ravaillacz/State of Drama would come last.

    Rob, am I right in thinking that there won’t be any live shows to bet on now until Eurovision semi final 1, or is there something I’ve missed? The Voice and BGT start in April, with the latter not having any live shows until June if Wiki is to be believed.

  14. Tim B

    I’ll be laying all the male names in the Royal Baby market at this rate!

  15. Rob

    Pretty sure that’s right, Tim & ESC 2013 will be the sole focus here through until the final in Malmo on May 18.

  16. Henry VIII

    Surely you’ll cover Britain’s Got Talent Rob? It’s always good for a laugh.

    I’ve just realised you highlighted Birds on 27 Feb. My fault for being a laggard. I did however pick up some 36 on Betfair on 9 Mar without hearing anything – just made a quick book and took a bit of the few undeclared if they were high prices, as the standard of the declared was so abysmal.

  17. Rob

    Wiki says BGT shows will commence on ITV on April 13 & end on June 8, henry. Will be in Malmo to cover ESC 2013 from the start of May through to the final on May 18. So likely to miss a fair bit of the BGT coverage.

    Will endeavour to provide some coverage but ESC 2013 will be the site’s main focus.

  18. Boki

    MF percentages are out.
    Despite the polls Sean won his semi over Louise, just like Ulrik did against Ralf.
    Second chance results very close with Robin behind Anton Ewald and almost losing a duel with Rolinski. Crazy stuff.

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