Denmark And Sweden To Lead Scandinavian Charge

May 4, 2010 by

The second ESC semi-final is a fiercely competitive showdown, and while it is one of our fancies in the Outright market, we think there is value in opposing the 5-2 favourite Azerbaijan.
There remains a doubt over how Safura’s vocal holds up when she sings ‘Drip Drop’ live. This is where 2nd favourite Israel appears to hold an advantage – the lead singer, Harel Skaat, has a very solid voice. The downside for Israel is that ‘Milim’ doesn’t have nearly as much instant appeal, and the fact it is sung in Hebrew makes it more inaccessible, so we are happy to oppose Israel as well.
We recommend backing Denmark at 7-1 each-way a quarter the odds with Boylesports instead. It has a nice position – 4th up on the night – in that it comes after three far less upbeat tunes in Lithuania, Armenia and Israel, and followed by Switzerland it really should leap out at televoters when the first 5 songs are reprised. Denmark’s ‘In A Moment Like This’ is classic, feel good Eurovision, and should be embraced by televoters and figure prominently with juries.

Romania‘s ‘Playing With Fire’ also has a nice position in 10th, following the novelty Netherlands tune and three ballads from Sweden, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. If Paula Seling & Ovi can recapture the energy of their qualifying performance, again, like Denmark, this has real stand out potential and at 40-1 each-way a fifth the odds with Skybet, is well worth backing.
Turkey is last up in semi-final two and has a fantastic opportunity to make a big impact on viewers given MaNga’s song ‘We Could Be The Same’ is loud and vibrant, and going by footage we’ve seen online, they are a very polished live act who could really rock the house with this tune. So we advise taking the 10-1 each-way a quarter the odds with Boylesports.
We suggest backing Sweden as well, purely on value grounds at 22-1 each-way a fifth the odds with bet365 and Skybet. While it can be put in the ‘oh no, not another ballad’ category, at the same time the lead singer Anna Bergendahl is an incredibly charismatic singer. There is an authentic beauty to her vocal performance and as far as we’re concerned it’s the most evocative solo ballad in this year’s entire ESC. If Anna performs it as well as she did in qualifying she could melt viewers’ hearts and it definitely has the potential to shake up the market leaders. As such we think it is still overpriced in the Outright market at 40-1 each-way a quarter the odds first four with Boylesports.

Looking at the 2nd semi-final qualifying odds, it looks like there are only about 2 places up for grabs between Cyprus, Ukraine, Georgia and Ireland. Ireland and Georgia both have classic Eurovision jury-pleasing ballads which puts them in pole position to get through… unfortunately, as they are both excruciatingly dull. While we have been sweet on Ukraine as a potential dark horse in an earlier post we see the best value in laying Ukraine at anything around 4-6 on Betfair, or backing Ukraine not to qualify at 13-8 with Betfred might prove slightly better value.
Rob Furber

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