Can Armenia Defy The 1 Slot?

Apr 22, 2014 by

Can Armenia Defy The 1 Slot?

The EBU likes to stick with the party line that the running order at Eurovision has no impact on the outcome. Recent results would suggest otherwise and as we head into rehearsals next week it is worth bearing in mind some key running order stats.

The earliest slot to win a semi-final in the last 4 years is slot 4 and that was Azerbaijan (Farid Mammadov – ‘Hold Me’) in semi 2 last year. Denmark (Emmelie de Forest – ‘Only Teardrops’) won semi 1 last year from the 5 slot.

Looking at the record of the first 5 slots in the semis over the previous 3 years only 2 other countries have made the podium. Serbia (Zeljko Joksimovic – ‘Nije ljubav stvar’), drawn 1 in semi 2 in 2012, finished 2nd behind Sweden (Loreen – ‘Euphoria’, drawn 11), and Albania (Rona Nishliu – ‘Suus’), drawn 5 in semi 2 in 2012 came 2nd behind Russia (Buranovskiye Babushki – ‘Party For Everybody’, drawn 14).

The record of songs in the last 5 slots in the semi-finals is markedly better in the last 4 years. Greece (Giorgos Alkaios & Friends – ‘Opa’) came 2nd in semi 1 2010, drawn 13/17 and Iceland (Hera Bjork – ‘Je ne said quoi’) came 3rd in semi 1 2010, drawn last, behind Belgium (Tom Dice – ‘Me And My Guitar’, drawn 10). Georgia (Sofia Nizharadze – ‘Shine’) came 3rd in semi 2 2010, drawn 16/17, and Turkey (maNga – ‘We Could Be The Same’) won semi 2 2010, drawn last.

In 2011, in semi 1, Azerbaijan (Ell & Nikki – ‘Running Scared’) drawn 18/19 came 2nd, and Greece (Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike – ‘Watch My Dance’) drawn last finished 1st. Happy memories:

In semi 2 2011 Denmark (A Friend In London – ‘New Tomorrow’), drawn 18/19 finished 2nd behind Sweden (Eric Saade – ‘Popular’, drawn 8).

In 2012, in semi 1, Russia (Buranovskiye Babushki – ‘Party For Everybody’) drawn 14/18 finished 1st, and in semi 2 2012 Lithuania (Donny Montell – ‘Love Is Blind’) drawn last finished 3rd behind Sweden (Loreen – ‘Euphoria’, drawn 11).

Last year, in semi 2 Norway (Margaret Berger – ‘I Feed You My Love’) drawn 13/17 finished 3rd behind Azerbaijan (Farid Mammadov – ‘Hold Me’, drawn 4).

So that is 10 podium places in the last 4 years for songs drawn in the final 5 slots in the semis, and only 4 podium places for countries drawn in the first 5 slots.

Perhaps tellingly 2 of of those 4 have come under the new producer decided running order, hinting that the EBU has successfully, to a degree, managed to offset the former pattern of late running order slots offering a significant advantage. It was certainly a stat breaker last year to see no songs among the last 4 slots in either semi make the podium.

Of course, you have to also factor in the composition of all these semis, and what the EBU appears to have done is give the ESC minnow nations as big a leg up as possible by way of running order positioning, and when you look back to last year you had 3 fancied nations in semi 1 in Denmark, Russia and Ukraine drawn early in slots 5, 6 and 7 respectively, and Azerbaijan drawn 4 in semi 2.

It looks a similar situation this year in that we have Armenia drawn 1 and Sweden drawn 4 in semi 1; and potentially a strong opening to semi 2 with Norway drawn 3.

Regardless of Armenia’s voting power in semi 1 and the quality of the song, slot 1 has never won the semi-final, so is a best price of 11-8 a fair price on Armenia winning semi 1 this year?

Serbia 2012 is a good comparison as it similarly had enormous voting power in that semi and was a song with big jury appeal but from the 1 slot it found one too good in the shape of Sweden, which beat Serbia by 22pts. But is there anything of the quality of Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’ lurking in this semi to upset Armenia?

My view heading into rehearsals is that Sweden (4/16) and Hungary (16/16) are possibly being over-rated by the market. This would suggest there is some each-way value to be had further down the list but until we get more intel from the rehearsals it is difficult to back any country with conviction.

One concern with Azerbaijan is you wonder if its scoring may be deflated somewhat due to last year’s corruption allegations, and while Ukraine has a clear televote appeal juries may not be so impressed. Belgium has a lot going for it but also appears to be the sort of polarising entry that could be dragged down by those jurors who do not appreciate the genre.

Semi 2 looks even more open and first impressions are, there could be some value outside the front 2 in the market given that Norway is hamstrung by its early draw in 3, and Romania’s short price appears to be largely based on ‘Miracle’ having the pimp slot, as the song’s actual quality has to come under serious scrutiny. But again, rehearsals are going to be key in cementing opinions.

A last piece of analysis regarding running order position in the final. If you look at the final results from 2010 to 2013, and look at songs that performed between slots 1 and 10…

Two songs in 2010 managed a top 10 finish, Azerbaijan (Safura – ‘Drip Drop’ – slot 1, 5th place finish, televote 5th place), Belgium (Tom Dice – ‘Me and My Guitar’ – slot 7, 6th place finish, jury vote 2nd place).

Five songs in 2011 managed a top 10 finish, Bosnia & Herzogovina (Dino Merlin – ‘Love in Rewind’, slot 2, 6th place finish, televote 6th place), Denmark (A Friend In London – ‘New Tomorrow’, slot 3, 5th place finish, jury 3rd place), Ireland (Jedward – ‘Lipstick’ – slot 6, 8th place finish, jury 6th place), Sweden (Eric Saade – ‘Popular’ – slot 7, 3rd place finish, televote 2nd place), Greece (Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike – ‘Watch My Dance’, slot 9, 7th place finish, televote 3rd place).

Three songs in 2012 managed a top 10 finish, Albania (Rona Nishliu- ‘Suus’, slot 3, 5th place finish, jury 3rd place), Russia (Buranovskiye Babushki – ‘Party For Everybody’, slot 6, 2nd place finish, televote 2nd place), Italy (Nina Zilli – ‘L’amore e femmina’, slot 10, 9th place finish, jury 4th place).

Two songs in 2013 managed a top 10 finish, Malta (Gianluca – ‘Tomorrow’, slot 9, 8th place finish), Russia (Dina Garipova – ‘What If’, slot 10, 5th place finish, televote 5th place).

So that is 12 in the last 4 years, which averages out at 3 songs per year making it into the top 10 after being performed in the first 10.

A position in the top 6 on either the jury or televote side of things was required 11 out of 12 times for these nations to achieve top 10 finishes overall. The anomaly is Malta last year which achieved a 9th place ranking under the new scoring system on both the jury and televote scale, and ended up in 8th place overall.

The general rule is, to overcome a draw in the first 10 a nation has to do seriously well on either the televote or the jury vote.

It is interesting to note that just as many relative ESC minnows such as Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and Malta have managed to overcome early draws in the final and achieve a top 10 finish as have more powerful ESC nations in the form of Azerbaijan, Russia, Greece, Bosnia & Herzogovina and Albania.

The story here is, if the nation in question drawn early isn’t a voting superpower that can rely on big televote support, the song needs to be serious jury bait – Belgium 2010, Denmark 2011, Albania 2012, Italy 2012, or serious televote bait – Sweden 2011 – to overcome an early draw and achieve a top 10 finish.

When countries end up drawn in the first 10 in the final you are very likely to see their top 10 odds drift out significantly. But if you can identify an entry or two with the sort of characteristics as outlined above, you are very likely to be able to procure some top 10 value.

The next post will appear next Monday after day 1 of rehearsals. Looking at that day 1, we have the first 10 nations in semi 1 rehearsing: Armenia through to Belgium. Belgium is scheduled to finish at 5.50pm local time (4.50pm UK time). Rehearsals usually end up running a little late but look out for that key day 1 analysis appearing here shortly after 5pm UK time.

The full rehearsal schedule can be viewed here.

17 Comments

  1. steve

    Hi cant get the Coral prices on their site are they betting yes/no? 365 are.

    • Rob

      Coral only have ‘to qualify’ odds atm, Steve. skybet also have ‘not to qualify’ odds.

  2. Ben Gray

    Thanks Rob, interesting stats.

    Especially in a tight year like this, it might be a good idea to take a close look at each of the songs along with any notes you have, and write down some clear questions you want to answer with rehearsals. That should help avoid the storm of second-guessing.

    • Rob

      That’s a very good idea, Ben, & something I plan to do. It does seem like a year when staging/live performance is going to be critical.

  3. Guildo Horn Forever

    Hi Rob,

    Rereading your analysis of Semi 1, I note that you question the value of a bet on Armenia at a TP of 11/8, given it’s going to have to set a precedent to win; you feel Sweden and Hungary might be being ‘over-rated; Ukraine might not receive the requisite jury love; and you fear that Belgium may be a ‘polarizing entry.

    I keep returning to your comment on Azerbaijan:

    ‘One concern with Azerbaijan is you wonder if its scoring may be deflated somewhat due to last year’s corruption allegations.’

    I too wonder this, mindful that this year individual jurors votes will be identified and available for scrutiny in the public domain.

    Further, I find the Azer song ‘Start a Fire’ doesn’t start one with me. But neither did Sabina’s ‘When The Music Dies’ from a couple of years ago, and that finished 4th in the final.

    Dilara is a similarly beautiful looking girl to Sabina, seems to share a beautiful voice, singing a classy, slightly downbeat song, again with a recognisably traditional Eastern European sounding instrument adding to its flavour and appeal.

    So, what if the juries decide that the bogey man to be punished in Semi 1 is Russia (drawn 7), and the anticipated backlash against Azerbaijan (drawn 8) never materialises?

    I think it’s an interesting threat at 9/1 for Semi 1 success. Though I do worry how many points the Russians will be allocating Azerbaijan this year (after last year’s snub / diplomatic incident!)!

    Also, I don’t know how to measure it’s relative vote strength, but Hungary (is that not Jury Bait staging?) must be dangerous from the pimp slot.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      And again, just like Azer’s 9/1 could look big, so could the 7/1 about Hungary.

    • Rob

      Hi Guildo. I tend to agree that Azer at 9-1 e/w is fair price. If you were quick, you could have got 12-1 Azer with Ladbrokes when they 1st issued prices on semi 1 – of course that price lasted about 10 minutes & in the current climate of bookmaking they would have only layed a couple of bets at that price before slashing the odds.

      It is probably dangerous to write off an entry purely on speculation of a backlash which, as you say, might not materialize and might instead be directed more towards Russia.

      By my reckoning, Hungary has the weakest voting strength of any nation in this semi – only Iceland and Sweden can historically be relied upon to give it some pts. Of course, pimp slot could help offset this shortfall & like you say maybe the juries will rate it. Overall, I’d be much keener at this stage on the 9s Azer than the 7s Hungary.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        I’m mindful of the weight the markets are according to backlashes, after writing a favourable piece regarding Russia’s chances at this ESC, and the potential value price, given the appeals inherent in their entry.

        I didn’t post it (anywhere) because I only have to glance through the first few pages of my daily newspaper, on any given day, to read yet more ugly stories about Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Plus, if the Pink Vote is wary of Aram, then it must be disgusted by the realities of life in Russia for gay and lesbian people.

        I suppose if the Russians have a chance of making an impact: it’s in Semi 1, where they may receive big votes from a cluster of countries who are terrified they may be next on the Russian reclamation of territory.

        Who knows where or whom Russia will target next?

        http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/vladimir-putin-wants-regain-finland-says-close-adviser-1442466

        • Rob

          Knowing Azer & its stunning track record at ESC, Guildo, it has probably put in place a system to override the potential backlash from last year’s allegations – like a performance-enhancing drug using pro athlete remaining one step ahead of the drug testers 🙂

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Yeah! Love it! Lol.

            On that topic, Azer must be mindful that Russia will feel it necessary to make the public statement of awarding them “nul points” this year; and so must have been working hard behind the scenes to at a political and diplomatic level to head off that eventuality.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Talking about generous prices that seem to last the blink of an eye reminds me of the 125/1 I spotted last week for Switzerland in Semi 2.

            No sooner had I logged into an account of mine…it was gone. You wonder sometimes if these prices actually ever existed outside of a may-fly existence on oddschecker…

          • Rob

            I’m afraid it’s the way of modern bookmaking, Guildo. I think Ladbrokes now has strict, automated systems in place which result in dramatic price shortening on the back of only maybe a £10 e/w bet placed on an ESC semi-final on an outsider.

            All the bookmakers are running scared of ESC now, pardon the pun. The UK firms are focused on turning over as much profit as possible on FOBT machines in their shops, while seeking to prevent serious punters who are remotely clued up to get decent money down.

            They debated it to a degree on a recent Morning Line as it is happening with horse racing betting and online accounts are being closed or restricted much quicker these days. Go to about 7 min 30secs in:

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

  4. Guildo Horn Forever

    Seeing as we’re discussing Russia, seeing that you happen to reference Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’ in your headline piece, and seeing that I think I’ve read you comment that you have a slight misgiving about ‘COTU'(I like the potential for engagement, here, that that suggests): I’ll take the opportunity to post a piece I originally penned in response to comments and perspectives over on Daniel’s site.

    The probable ESC naivety of my comments might be of interest, lend it a (by default) instructive perspective, perhaps?

    Here it is (N.B. Some of the prices quoted might be out-of-date):

    I’m learning as I go along here, surfing on a Eurovision learning curve, so anyone should please feel welcome to pick apart my points!

    Elsewhere, and consistent with other SB commentators, I’ve made the case for the UK finishing v high up the leader-board this year.

    Now, here’s extra supporting information: a mini sequence of (basic!) stats as to why the UK is an excellent bet for TOP 10.

    UK finishing positions at Eurovision:

    2007 – 22nd with 19 points.
    2008 – 25th with 14 points.
    2009 – 5th with 173 points.

    Compare that trio of results with this incomplete set of results for the same subject criterion:

    2012 – 25 with 12 points.
    2013 – 19 with 23 points.
    2014 – ?(?) with ?(?)(?) point(s).

    The 2007 to 2008 mini sequence almost mirrors the 2012 to 2013 mini sequence.

    In 2012 and 2013 the BEEB -in its infinite ineptitude and in a bizarre positive discrimination selection choice system based on countering the societal discrimination against regenerated singing corpses- decided upon sending zombies as the UK representatives at Eurovision. Ridiculous choices merited the woeful final rankings and points totals. Those results are indicative of the weakness of the performer.

    In 2009, the UK sent Jade Ewan with the song, ‘It’s My Time’.

    I didn’t watch that ESC that year, so I’ve had a listen-view of it and a scan of that year’s contest.

    My take on that 2009 entry:

    Pros:

    The UK was drawn 23rd of 25 in the running order for the final. The 2 songs with higher running order slots comprised the bottom 2 finishers in the final. The countries that finished immediately below the UK, i.e. Estonia (6th), Greece (7th), France (8th) and Bosnia-and-Herzegovina (9th) were drawn 15th, 8th, 3rd and 12th in the running order. In conclusion, the UK was lucky, was massively advantaged by its draw.

    Jade Ewan produced a stellar vocal. She was fabulous.

    The composer of the song, Andrew Lloyd Webber, was on stage playing the piano. The UK must have SLAYED the jury vote! And indeed it did. I think I’m correct in stating that the UK came 3rd with the juries (and 10th with the televoters).

    Norway and Alexander Ryback dominated the voting with a record points tally. This meant that it was (potentially) easier for the UK to achieve a higher position.

    Cons:

    Jade Ewan is dark-skinned and there’s a tendency to guesstimate that that it not a vote-winning plus factor. This may help explain the relatively low 10th place in the televote for the UK.

    Compare and contrast of 2009 and 2014:

    Jade is a better singer than Molly.

    The 2013 draw for the UK can only be disadvantageous compared to the 2009 draw.

    The ALW factor was a jury magnet in 2009. He won’t be appearing this time!

    Molly, imo, has a much better song than Jade had. It’s more popular, catchier and light-years more anthemic.

    Creamy white Molly will not have any conscious or sub-conscious voter resistance to overcome.

    The UK is a little more popular (or a little less unpopular?) in the world nowadays. Germany and Russia seem to be the holders of bad guy status, or the bullying nation status (of nations who compete in the ESC) nowadays. The successful 2012 London Olympics MUST have made a positive impression on the world and helped cast the UK in a more positive light. That Olympics attracted massive numbers of people from all over the world and recorded v high service user and/ or visitor satisfaction marks. The UK brand has received a v recent massive upgrade and makeover.

    Weighing up all the above info, or rather my impressions of that info, I should say that Molly should definitely be aiming for a minimum Top 10 finish. The BBC and Molly seem to be ushering in a new dawn of making a serious challenge for ESC glory? The selection of Molly, combined with the successful reinvigoration of The Voice this year, suggests to me that the BBC have finally got their act together.

    The 2011 ESC performance of Blue for the UK is another indicator of how well Molly could do. Blue finished 5th in the televote. Apparently, and amongst other factors, the screeching of Blue’s Antony Costa helped kill the jury vote. Listening back, the group performance in the final was woeful. They sucked. If they’d been able to hold a note, who knows how high up they could have finished in the televote?

    Then again, perhaps, like TATU finishing 3rd at the 2003 ESC, this was a fame-based result.

    Now, next up, a deliberately contrary view on Russian chances.

    This section takes its lead and inspiration from Gert’s observations on the Russian entry for ESC 2014, from the 3rd paragraph of this comment…

    http://sofabet.com/2014/04/17/eurovision-2014-five-reasons-to-be-cheerful/comment-page-1/#comment-37194

    Following on from a -partially- jokey comment from Boki, and from a more serious observation from Gert that the Russian entry is being ‘hugely underrated’ in this year’s ESC, I listed these points:

    Generally, the Russian entry seems to have drawn little analysis. Surprising because a) the song is pleasant enough (if undistinguished), b) Russia has formidable voting strength (I should guess), c) Fokas is choreographing (Yes?) and d) it is fronted by 2 super-fuckable blonde teenage twins.

    Gert also observes that the whole Russia-as-political-bad-guy is being ‘hugely exaggerated’. On this site I’ve read different readings of the voting impact of real-world Russian political actions on the Russian Esc entry. Imo, divisive actions do not build broad appeal. The punish-Russia sentiment is real.

    Then again, on the night of the ESC, in the ESC bubble, will people really want to punish the Russian act representing Russia at the ESC? Is that fair? And looking at the Tolmachevy Sisters, could you conceive of people who remind you less of aggression, masculinity and brute force? The blandness of their song is also a help in this respect, a possible positive. There is nothing ‘invasion-like’ about the Tolmachevy Sisters!

    Plus, with the Tolmachevy sisters you have guaranteed ESC performers. There are no performance night concerns about these teenage girls; no doubts a la Carl Espen about their ability to step up and perform. These girls, at age 9, won the 2006 Junior Eurovision contest! And they’ve grown up into a pair of stunners. Further, will the ESC organisers be looking favourably upon 2 ‘of their own’? And do the sisters come with their own built-in ESC fan base?

    Last year at the ESC, Russia finished 5th.

    This excellent result was achieved despite a) being lumbered with a running order position of 10th (‘being lumbered’ in comparison to the 4 countries who finished above them, whom were all favourably serviced with running-order slots all the 20s), b) Azerbaijan awarding Russia NO points (do you see that ‘diplomatic incident’ repeating this year! Plus Greece might send some extra voting love to Russia this year (last year Greece awarded no points to Russia), with the Russian song being part composed by a Greek composer and the Russian staging being masterminded by a famous Greek stage director), c) the song ‘What If’ being even cheesier than this year’s entry and d) it being sang by a mumsy slightly-chunky woman.

    A 2nd half draw, might perhaps serve to negate, to cancel out, anti-Russian sentiment?

    But will the real X Factor of this year’s Russian entry prove to be the twin factor.

    Off the top of my head, Eurovision and twins bring to mind one act: the brothers Grime.

    I’ve rewatched Jedward’s 2011 performance of ‘Lipstick’. First off, the song sucks hairy arse (and includes what felt like a Cassandra style lyric ‘Heading for a car crash’). Their “dancing” is as uncoordinated and embarrassing as ever. The staging and mise en scéne: Death by Dance Troupe Distraction. Stupid, unconvincing and dated costumes (like ‘Dallas’ meets MJ’s ’Thriller’). Totally Red-and-blacked. Distracting scattered lighting. A video screen behind them that’s the size of a football pitch and that flashes confusing images.

    If it had been an X Factor performance, you would have concluded that they had ‘been thrown under a fleet of buses’.

    Their appearances on series 6 of XF established that Jedward can’t sing for toffee. Their notorious performance of ‘Oops! I Did It Again’ on that series rammed home that their tuneless singing and non-existent harmonising skills deteriorate even further if they are required to move about on stage.

    Hmmm. Yet during their performance of ‘Lipstick’ at the ESC they are jumping around like lunatics while maintaining remarkably decent and consistent vocals. Is it me, or are they obviously miming?

    Judge for yourself…

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

    And, OMG, Jedward finished 8th in that 2011 final, from a running order slot of 6th!! Ireland’s highest finish in 11 years! WTF?!

    Was this down to the teenage twin factor? If not, then what else was it down to?

    In the ESC, I guess the Tolmachevy twin sisters, given their Junior Eurovision success, come complete with a certain level of fame. Looking at them in their videos, their vibe is reminiscent of the phenomenally successful Olsen sister “franchise” (whose success built an estimated net worth of $300 million).

    How many ranking place jumps could the twin factor be worth? Looking back at Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’ performance, you would be forgiven for assuming that you were watching an extract from an edition of Junior Eurovision. Will Maria and Anastasia be dominating the youth vote? Moreover: dominating the youth vote while singing an optimistically naive old-fashioned song – a combo with seriously broad appeal across the age range, perhaps? Masha and Nastya are a variant of Manic Pixie Dream Girls – i.e. the class of Sweet Fairy Dream Ingenues (or summat like that!), a virginal character beloved by male authors and poets down the centuries. They arrive with that 2-for-the-price-of-1 visually memorable USP, and comprise a gold-dust heterosexual male fantasy, an ultimate sexual double-bucket list desire.

    And this is all before the estimations of the influence of the ESC legend, the super-director Fokas Evangelinos, are calculated. For how many ranking place jumps was the vision of Fokas responsible last year, for Farid and Azer? Imo, with ordinary staging, Farid could have expected to finish 4th or perhaps even 5th?

    The positive aspect of the political anger at Russia is that this has been reflected in the betting odds. It simply must be being amply reflected.

    Imagine being unaware of world events, and then being asked to guess the odds that would be offered for this year’s Russian entry at Eurovision (Russsia, who have secured FIVE top 3 placings in the last 10 years), which is being fronted by the Tolmachevy Sisters (cute-as-buttons blonde teenage twins who have previously won Junior Eurovision) and which is being staged by Fokas Evangelinos (FIVE top 3 placings in the last 9 years, for FOUR different countries, including TWO wins). (Additionally, top Russian Haute Couturier, Ulyana Sergeenko, will be designing the sister’s dresses.)

    I bet you woudn’t have guessed odds of 66/1 (EW!) would be available for this dream team! (The bf outright win price is currently a mighty 123/1.)

    Although, like many sofabet commentators, I have my reservations about the current political standing of Russia and have concerns about the quality of the Russian song ‘Shine’, EW at 66s is tempting.

    However, the 21/10 available for a Top 10 finish is more tempting yet.

    • Rob

      You put forward a persuasive case there for Russia, Guildo. The 1st time I heard ‘Shine’ I found it as dull as dishwater. And I’m not sure the ‘cuteness’ of the twins is necessarily going to help to overcome the potential anti-Russia sentiment atm.

      Let’s see what Fokas comes up with next week… As for the UK, I certainly see its top 10 potential but I’d be more comfortable with its top 10 chance if Molly pulls out a 2nd half draw.

      My main concern, however, & something I’ve not written about in any great detail as yet – I remain to be convinced by her live vocal ability & as an inexperienced performer something tells me she might struggle under the pressure of the jury rehearsal.

      I actually think Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’ was a triumph of staging which managed to conceal a multitude of sins, such as their poor vocals which were well concealed by backing vocalists.

      It was arguably a decent pop tune with a catchy hook but Ireland really worked the ESC marketing well that year. It was a bit like the emperor’s new clothes when they returned with Waterline as the penny dropped with the audience that they sucked.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Yeah, a persuasive case for Russia…in any other year! I can see that. The Ruskies are dead in the water with anything they send.

        Plus, ‘Shine’ includes the lyrics…

        ‘Sending out a message out above
        Telling all the world to show some love’

        …which will sicken as much as they rile.

        Also, I can’t personally see that Jedward staging as a triumph; but I just trust and know that you’re right, and that given time I would see that.

        And I never would have known about the power of the Irish marketing machine for Jedward that year.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          Just thinking of all the countries in Semi 1 who may decide to punish Russia; the natural and necessary 2 part punishment would be to send the voting love to Ukraine (in that same Semi).

          That reinforces the point to Russia that their low points score was due to their political actions rather than solely a merited response to their ESC entry package.

          Any bets on Ukraine may be better served concentrated on Semi 1 success than on the final?

          • Rob

            Could be right, Guildo. There is a lot of divided opinion about whether the Russian vote will dissolve somewhat this year, or withstand the current anti-Russian sentiment in the western media. For me, the bottom line is the song is very weak & today’s staging didn’t conceal this.

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