Countdown To Malmo

Apr 30, 2013 by

Countdown To Malmo

First, the most exciting news of all for you, dear reader. Just like last year in Baku, will be reporting live from Malmo, covering events as they unfold at ESC 2013, helping you to dissect the betting markets and unearth the value.

Starting on Monday May 6, the first 4 days of rehearsals this year are taking place behind closed doors so there will be no YouTube footage for you to scrutinise. This is actually a blessing. Don’t forget, even when you start to see rehearsal footage appear from day 5 onwards, it will likely prove deceptive.

The camera angels and acoustics seen and heard in those YT clips, shot from inside the arena, can be very misleading for the betting community. Other ESC sites will often be reporting on what they are seeing and hearing in the Malmo Arena too. This can be a complete red herring for ESC punters.

Of far greater value will be information gleaned from yours truly watching the rehearsal footage on the TV monitors, for the first 4 days at the EuroClub, and from Friday May 10, from the press centre next door to Malmo Arena. You must always bear in mind, this is how juries will see and assess the acts when they rank the songs during the jury performances, and how people sat at home will of course see things when it comes to the big 3 live shows.

Malmo is 1 hour ahead of the UK which should make things a little easier compared to the brutal sleep deprivation endured in Baku last year due to the time difference. To give you an idea of the rehearsal schedule, the first 8 nations taking part in semi 1 – Austria through to The Netherlands – will have their 1st rehearsals on Monday starting at 9am UK time and due to finish at 3pm UK time. What we discovered in Baku is things often over-run during rehearsals, though maybe SVT will be better with their time-keeping this year.

These timings will be repeated more or less over the first 4 days, with nations performing in the 2nd half of semi 1 rehearsing on the Tuesday – Montenegro through to Serbia – nations performing in the 1st half of semi 2 rehearsing on Wednesday – Latvia through to Iceland – and nations performing in the 2nd half of semi 2 rehearsing on Thursday – Greece through to Romania.

On the Friday, from 11am to 8pm UK time, semi 1 nations will have their 2nd rehearsals. Then on the Saturday, following the same sort of timings, semi 2 nations will go through their paces for a 2nd time. Sunday will see the 1st rehearsals of the Big 5 plus hosts Sweden from 9am-1.40pm UK time.

The aim will be to publish an article here as quickly as possible at the end of play each day giving you the heads up on the most significant things observed during rehearsals.

Monday May 13 will see the first properly significant performance: the semi 1 jury performance, scheduled for 8-10pm UK time. Expect to see some Tweeting during this (@ferrisdayoff), the semi 2 jury performance on the Wednesday evening 8-10pm, and, of course, the final jury performance on the Friday evening 8-11.30pm UK time. Write-ups will also drop here following these 3 key jury performances.

The aim will be to flag up the best betting opportunities as they appear throughout the entire 2 weeks, but the most important articles, providing a full betting preview on semi 1, semi 2 and the final, will drop during the day on the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday respectively ahead of the 3 live tv broadcasts. UK viewers will be able to see the 2 semis live on BBC3 and the final on BBC1, each show starting at 8pm UK time.

It will be on Wednesday May 15 that the Big 5 will draw which half of the final they will perform in. This looks like happening during the individual press conferences for each country following their 2nd rehearsals, scheduled to take place between 11am and 2.45pm UK time, and will be in the order: Spain, France, Germany, UK, Italy.

This presumably means a total of 11 first half or second half slots will already have been allocated, as the 10 qualifiers from semi 1 would have drawn during the qualifiers press conference following semi-final 1 the previous evening, and we already know hosts Sweden will perform from the 16 slot.

Things will be fluid once again and subject to change with any major breaking news covered in the Comments section. The full rehearsal schedule can be viewed here.

The early hours of Friday morning could see some of the most significant market moves, and it will probably be wisest to stay up after semi 2, not only to see the final 10 qualifiers draw for positions in the 1st or 2nd half of the final, but then to wait for the final running order to drop. SVT previously stated the deadline for the final running order will be 3am Swedish time on Friday May 17, so 2am in the UK. Does that mean it will be revealed precisely at 3am? Who knows, but it could pay to be a night owl.

It’s going to be a 2-week rollercoaster ride and we cannot wait for it to get underway. Please do take a seat here and join the debate as we try and help you turn a healthy profit on the biggest and best tv betting event of the year.


  1. steve

    Hi Rob will be here in blighty awating updates hopefully next week will see a few more opportunities.

  2. Rob

    Hi Steve. Yes, let’s hope the high street gets a lot more active once rehearsals get underway next week.

  3. Boki

    Have a nice trip Rob, looking forward for the reports from the spot, it would be nice if someone can smuggle a streaming camera pointing to the monitors in the EuroClub 🙂

    Btw just noticed Unibet has top10 market up.

    • Rob

      Thanks Boki. SkyBet & BetVictor also have top 10 markets available now. Unibet also have ‘Top Nordic’. Slowly, the markets are expanding. Very slowly!!

  4. Roach

    All the best for a great trip Rob, and I look forward to your updates and posting my thoughts here too!

  5. hemsby

    Looking forward to your valuable insight……enjoy your trip!

  6. Rob

    Thanks chaps. Please do add your thoughts in the Comments section throughout the 2 weeks.

    Thought it worth printing the ‘jury rules’ here, as they appear in the media handbook.

    • The jury voting will be monitored by an independent notary in each country;

    • The jury should consist of a variety of members in terms of age, gender, and background;

    • All jury members must be citizens of the country they are representing;

    • None of the jury members must be connected to any of the participating songs/artists in such a way that they cannot vote independently. The participating broadcasters must send a letter of compliance with the voting instructions together
    with signed declarations by each jury member stating that they will vote independently;

    • The names of the jury members must be revealed by the relevant participating broadcasters during the Final;

    • Each jury member of each national jury will rank all songs in the show;

    • The combined rank of each country’s jury members determines the jury result of that particular country;

    • By judging each song each jury member will focus on the vocal capacity of the artist(s), the performance on stage, the composition and originality of the song, and the overall impression by the act.

    Merging results:

    • In each country, the televoting and jury voting result in two ranked lists of all songs;

    • The EBU’s televoting partner Digame will determine the national result by merging these two ranked lists, and will award 12 points to the country with the best rank, then 10 points to country with the second-best combined rank, etc. The country ranked 10th in the combined ranking receives 1 point;

    • If there is a tie between two or more songs in the combined ranking between televotes and the jury, the song that obtain more votes from the audience is ranked highest


    • Viewers can vote via the official app, telephone and/or SMS
    • The voting window opens after the last song has been performed, and ends 15 minutes later.

    Does the opportunity to vote using the official app weight the overall televote more towards the younger ESC audience? May be something to consider.

  7. Rob

    And we now have the likes of ‘Top Balkan’, ‘Top Big 5’ betting with SportingBet & BetVictor.

  8. Rob

    Ryan Dolan on The Late late Show – he is on at the start of the show:

  9. fiveleaves

    Hi Rob,
    Have a good time mate.
    I’m not sure I’d agree it is better that us punters don’t get youtube videos of the early rehearsals. The more info the better for me.
    Here’s hoping Anouk impresses tomorrow. My green is getting rather large since the drift.

  10. Rob

    Thanks Mr Nick Drake Fan 🙂
    Did a bit of a recce of Malmo today. First observation – in serious jeopardy of being mowed down by bicyclists over the next 2 weeks who appear from all angles!! It’s a lovely city, & credit to them with their cycle lanes. The Scandis are very big on looking after the environment.

    Tomorrow is a really interesting start with the 4 big solo females in semi 1 performing for the 1st time. The Outright market has been offering up some very juicy odds on the likes of Netherlands, not to mention the UK which looks a back to lay proposition based on the patriotic money that usually arrives.

  11. fiveleaves

    You can’t beat some melodic melancholy.
    That’s why I like Birds so much I guess.

    UK is an interesting one. I think it’s a strong song and Bonnie gave a very good live vocal on GN.
    You could be right Rob in that it will be a good trade leading up to the contest

  12. Rob

    Keep an eye on Twitter – will be Tweeting on @ferrisdayoff

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