Denmark, Germany and Croatia the Eurovision value

Mar 23, 2010 by

Denmark, Germany and Croatia the Eurovision value

Eurovision Song Contest 2010 – Denmark 16-1 (Boylesports), Croatia 14-1 (Victor Chandler), Germany 14-1 (William Hill)

Many people scoff and frown when Eurovision comes round but if you put in the homework it can be a lucrative betting event, with not just Outright betting available, but a plethora of other markets to sink your teeth into.
Due to what was being perceived as an Eastern European carve up, the voting format has now changed to 50 per cent televote, 50 per cent jury. The entire structure of the competition tries to restrict the effect of neighbourly and diaspora voting but how successful this is remains a moot point.
Ten nations will qualify from each of the 17-nation semi-finals, taking place on May 25 and May 27, joining hosts Norway, and the other four automatic qualifiers – United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and France – in the May 29 final.
The voting format of the semi-finals is the same as the final – viewers from each of the 17 participating countries in each semi-final have the opportunity to televote, but cannot vote for their own country, with professional juries from each of the respective countries responsible for the other 50 per cent of the overall vote.
It is worth noting the composition of each of the semis to get an idea of who might be favoured on the jury/televote. Also bear in mind the first semi-final is televoted by Germany and Spain as well; the second semi-final by France, Norway and the UK.
With 39 nations taking part, this is like the Grand National of tv music betting events, and if you manage to select countries that finish in the top five, or the top ten, you are doing extremely well, and can profit hugely.
Having pillaged YouTube over recent weeks, the most noticeable thing is, how many ballads there are this year that are reasonably pleasing on the ear but largely indistinguishable from one another.
Sweden’s ‘This Is My Life’ and Norway’s ‘My Heart Is Yours’ arguably have a little bit more about them, the latter building to an evocative climax. Norway will also be aided by being host and getting a rousing home reception. But among the ballads two really stand out for us. Croatia’s ‘Lako Je Sve’ (‘Everything Is Easy’) sung by three attractive women in the form of Feminnem builds into some nice orchestral strings and has a resonance that screams potential Eurovision winner. As such, we recommend backing Croatia each-way at 14-1 with Victor Chandler.
The other ballad we really like is Azerbaijan’s ‘Drip Drop’ sung by 17-year-old Safura Alizade. Sadly, the bigger prices have already evaporated on this. It’s difficult to put our finger on why it is so likable, but on first listen it really jumped out. It contains many evocative elements, not least the offbeat chorus. It looks sure to collect big points from its neighbour nations, but the biggest worry is how the lovely Safura’s vocal stands up when she sings live – there’s an indication on the YouTube clips we have heard that her voice isn’t the strongest and can waiver. A best-priced 100-30 with Betfred and Boylesports is terrible value but we would still recommend keeping Azerbaijan on your side, especially if it drifts in the betting in the lead up to Oslo.
Belgium’s ‘Me And My Guitar’ sung by Tom Dice certainly leaps out by being the most stripped-down, acoustic entry heard in years. It is reminiscent of James Blunt and simply may not be Eurovision enough to stand a chance of winning. Belgium’s desperately poor qualification record also leaves it with the Timeform squiggle alongside it, but if it makes it through the semi-final it will be a very interesting contender.
Another intriguing entry this year comes from automatic qualifier Germany. ‘Satellite’ is an appealing tune sung by a quirky, Bjork-style vocalist by the name of Lena Meyer-Landrut. It is interesting to note this song has been performing well not just on iTunes Germany but other European countries too. As of March 23 it had received well over two million hits on YouTube and in recent weeks has been recognised as the biggest selling song in Europe via legal download. Lordi’s win for Finland in 2006 serves to show how it is possible for a ‘different’ Eurovision song to triumph, and Lena’s Satellite could just capture the imagination of televoters and juries alike on the night, a starting position of no22 (out of 25) in the final no bad thing and sure to leave a mark on viewers. At 14-1 with William Hill we strongly recommend backing Germany each-way. It is worth factoring into your bets that some firms, like William Hill, offer better place terms of each-way a quarter the odds first four.
A number of this year’s songs have a distinct retro feel, which is no bad thing, as Eurovision is loved by stalwarts who enjoy harking back to a bare-footed Sandy Shaw and Abba’s Waterloo. Such a tune, with a catchy, uplifting chorus that ticks a lot of Eurovision boxes is Denmark with ‘In A Moment Like This’. The good looking male/female partnership is a sure-fire vote-winner and if it is executed with great stage management, as seen in the qualifying clip below, it looks certain to do well and also demands backing each-way at 16-1 with Boylesports.
Here below, for your perusal, are videos of all 39 contenders, the first 34 listed in starting order of the two 17-country semi-finals. We think it’s a really strong field this year and don’t expect to see a runaway winner like 2009’s brilliant ‘Fairytale’. If nothing else, you have to check out Lithuania and the Netherlands – classic Eurovision entries. The Ukraine track currently posted has sadly been disqualified as we rather liked it. It will probably be another week before a new song is selected. As soon as it becomes available we will drop it in.
We invite you to pick your favourite five in our poll but kindly request you do not select the UK. not because you might live in the UK and that would be against the rules of Eurovision but because, in our humble opinion, it is atrocious.
Look out for our next Eurovision post which will focus on the dark horses of this year’s competition. We will also analyze the two semi-finals, and following today’s draw for the semi-finals and the automatic qualifiers’ positions in the final, take a more in-depth look at the potential impact of the running order.
Rob Furber

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