Great Little Wager?

Feb 7, 2014 by

Great Little Wager?

It wasn’t a surprise to see Helena Paparizou go to the second chance heat last week in Sweden. She is still in the running and she will very likely still make the final. It was pleasing to see the Swedes get behind Ellen Benediktson as she delivered ‘Songbird’ brilliantly and there is no doubt it is a classy ballad.

Ellen’s Outright chance could yet be compromised by Sanna Nielsen who is red hot favourite to progress from heat 2 tomorrow night at a best price of 1-7 with her ballad. The one-minute segment of ‘Undo’ released yesterday failed to impress this particular listener but the full 3 minutes may well sound better, as the bloggers at rehearsals have been raving about it all week. Svenska Spel has promoted Sanna to 5-2 favourite to win MF 2014 at time of writing and she is so dear to the hearts of the Swedish ESC fans, it’s hard to see her failing to qualify in the top 2.

The Refreshments rockabilly shtick apparently has plenty of traction in Sweden but Martin Stenmarck looks the safer wager at 7-4 with b365 to join Sanna in the top 2. He has the pimp slot and the minute segment of his song impressed more than Sanna’s.

J.E.M. is a generic dance track, Pink Pistols is schlager-by-numbers and Panetoz is like a Dizzee Rascal mashup of Stella Mwangi’s ‘Haba Haba’ (Norway 2011). Collectively they all seem much of a muchness and this heat is strikingly weaker than last week’s. Manda has an interesting song but it sounds like she is going to struggle to do it justice and from trap 3 she is in danger of getting lost. J.E.M. did not sound the best either in their rehearsal segment.

Little Great Things could coalesce rock fans as this track stands alone among a sea of schlager and dance tunes. The chorus sounds pretty decent, the song has an Evanescence vibe and is vaguely reminiscent of Eldrine’s ‘One More Day’ which represented Georgia in 2011. It also has a favourable late draw (7/8). While they are a new band, if they can deliver the song with requisite gusto it could surprise by sneaking into the second chance heat, and is probably worth a small investment to do so at 4.4 with Betsson.

Over in Ireland, the Eurosong 2014 contenders were premiered yesterday and Paddy Power and Boylesports currently offer markets. It was surprising to see Eoghan Quigg made favourite as his song is pure boyband fodder; totally unremarkable.

The two songs to stand out far more are Can-linn featuring Kasey Smith with ‘Heartbeat’ and Laura O’Neill’s ‘You Don’t Remember Me’. A lot hinges on how these songs translate to The Late Late Show studio, and running order to a certain extent. Patricia Roe’s traditional ballad ‘Don’t Hold On’ could take some of Laura’s vote. The slight worry with Kasey Smith is whether she can deliver the song well enough live. Last year she sang ‘Kiss Me’ at Eurosong and seemed to struggle.

The negative for Laura and Patricia is that Ireland has turned its back on quality solo female ballads in recent years in favour of teen-friendly pop acts. Last year Aimee Fitzpatrick’s excellent ‘Crashing Down’ lost out to Ryan Dolan; in 2011, Nikki Kavanagh’s ‘Falling’ lost to Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’. So the advice here would be to back Can-linn at 7-4, available with both firms..

National finals are always intriguing to follow and can often prove frustrating when you see nations shoot themselves in the foot by selecting badly and turning their backs on potential gems.

Spain has a choice of 5 songs, one of which is sung by X Factor alumna Ruth Lorenzo. However, among the 5 this sounds the most promising:

It’s the Maltese national final tomorrow night, and with its wonderful echoes of America’s ‘A Horse With No Name’ this would be a refreshingly original choice for Copenhagen. Sadly, it appears to have fallen off most people’s radar and presumably doesn’t have a cat in hell’s chance of winning.


  1. Hi Rob, It looks a really tricky heat this week, with sanna looking a total shoe in for qualification. It doesnt leave much room for error, im on martin direct like you but in a combo with sanna.
    Andra chansen doesnt get much easier either with reports making it look like Which ever of martin or the retirements 🙂 doesnt make it will end up in the ac.
    Speaking of the Refreshments im not totally convinced by them and neither it seems are the eurovision forums,to me they make me cringe like restless road on steroids they really are that bad but there support still cant be dismissed.
    Little great things arnt on my radar personaly but good luck,im not so sure its a great draw yes they have a late slot but you could also look at it as a sanna and martin sandwich.
    After a lot of banging my head between j.e.m and panetoz ive decided to go with J.e.m as the main ac bet it looks like it could be well staged and has a vibe of black eyed peas meets nikki minaj’s starships. I also dutched manda for direct and andra chansen placed before the snippets which is not looking such a great idea in hindsight but i still wouldnt completely cross her out of andra chansen,it looks so tight pink pistols would be the only one i can safely cross off.

    • Rob

      Thanks for posting, Geoff. I would certainly struggle to resist laying The Refreshments if they were very short on BF to finish 3rd or 4th.

      Hopefully they do miss out completely as that’ll mean more chance for Little Great Things to go to the 2nd chance heat. I’m not esepcially confident, I must confess, but I thought the price was reasonable. Good luck with your investments 🙂

    • Rob

      Well done with J.E.M., Geoff. Very surprised Panetoz went direct to final.

      • Thanks Rob, although i must confess to ending the heat slightly down due to spreading the bets a bit thick with it being such a tight heat, it didnt pay off this time and like you i was surprised with panetoz going direct, i wonder if sanna and martin were fishing for a simular vote?

        • Boki

          I following this from a little distance but I also noticed that (based on the first 2 heats) it seems there is a split between ‘youth’ and ‘mature’ voters so only one place in the final for either. When one act is sucking up the majority of ‘mature’ votes like Sanna (or ‘youth’ like Yohio) there is not enough for the second one.

          Having said that I’m 99% sure that the next heat will play totally opposite as MF usually do when drawing conclusions from the past :).

  2. Results of tonights audience poll
    Sanna Nielsen 32%, 215 votes
    JEM 31%, 212 votes
    Little Great Things, 12%, 80 votes
    Panetoz 10%, 71 votes
    Martin Stenmarck 7%, 45 votes
    Manda 3%, 21 votes
    Pink Pistols 3%, 19 votes
    The Refreshments 2%, 15 votes

    It must be noted though that sanna,j.e.m and little great things all performed twice due to technical problems, that was supposed to be the cause of alvaro’s high score last week,coincidence those 3 are top?
    These polls are hit and missin my opinion but the scores for sanna and jem are pretty high.

    • Rob

      Thanks Geoff. I find the love for JEM especially baffling. Their track is nothing more than 3 minutes of uninspiring, unoriginal house beats. Good to see The Refreshments way down – gives rise to hope Stenmarck can join Sanna in top 2 spots, & Refreshments don’t achieve top 4. Agree though that these audience polls aren’t to be trusted too implicitly.

  3. Rob

    Presumably the new version of Tick-Tock. What do people think?

  4. Rob

    So it’s official: this is the year of the skiffle band at Eurovision. Mumford & Sons have a lot to answer for.

    Malta’s song:

  5. Rob

    There is much better than this in Estonia this year:

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