Helena’s Survivor Revival

Feb 27, 2014 by

Helena’s Survivor Revival

At last this year’s Eurovision has been injected with some much needed quality. This is, obviously, a reference to… the wonderful My Slowianie from Poland.

There is good novelty and there is bad novelty. This has to reside firmly on the good side, mainly for that cracking, infectious chorus. And it is probably a bit of an insult to even categorize it as novelty as this song stands on its own without the gimmicks seen in the video.

There do not seem to be any major concerns regarding whether this can be performed well enough, and recreated well enough live, as this clip suggests Cleo is an excellent frontwoman, very much in the Nina Zizic (Montenegro 2013) mould:

The less said about Spain and Latvia’s selections last weekend the better, and as far as Hungary is concerned the enthusiasm expressed by some for Kallay Sanders ‘Running’ is not shared here. It may be considered ‘commercial’ but so is Iceland’s chain of UK stores and that doesn’t make their hell food any more palatable. It is an R&B tune by numbers. Competently sung, yes, but there is nothing original, interesting or exciting going on in that 3 minutes, which makes the lyrical depth of the song all the more of a juxtaposition.

It’s the Irish Eurosong tomorrow night and the market has moved in the right direction if you took the advice here and backed Can-linn at 7-4. Can-linn is now a best-priced 5-6. It really should win though there can be some ‘dark arts’ that go on in the Irish jury scoring.

In Estonia, it looks like TPTB want Sandra Nurmsalu to win as she has the pimp slot in 10, and if Sandra does win it will mean another song added to the growing list of personal dislikes for 2014. And another ‘what might have been’ in the shape of Traffic’s Fur Elise which has been buried in slot 2. The super-final looks teed up for a match between Tanja, drawn 9, and Sandra.

In Sweden it’s the Andra Chansen round. It was speculated here a while back that if Helena had to qualify via Andra Chansen it would not harm her overall chances of winning one iota and she could yet rise like a phoenix from the flames.

There has been an opportunity to match her in the 30 to 65 range on Betfair over the last few weeks. If she gets through Andra Chansen she will be trading much shorter. Even if she does not win MF 2014 she is shaping up to be one of the trades of this Melodifestivalen season. Drawn 7 of 8, Helena looks a near cert to get through in the top 2 and even at short odds of 1-2 with Betway, she looks value to progress. Who joins her is far harder to predict.

We also have the Lithuania and Romania finals on Saturday night. Paula Seling & Ovi could well be making a return to Eurovision four years on from ‘Playing With Fire’. There seems to be a law of diminishing returns when it comes to Eurovision returnees, and ‘Miracle’ is certainly less Terminator 2 in terms of a sequel to ‘Playing With Fire’; more Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights.

Many of you would have noticed the remarkable drop in price in Norway on the Outright in the last week and may have been left scratching your heads. This situation shows how Eurovision betting has now fully matured. ESC markets are no longer on the periphery and available to pillage thanks to the bookmakers poor efforts to monitor them closely enough. Now, there is a growing legion of punters all over Eurovision like a cheap suit and to be honest sites like this are partly culpable in helping to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

When Alex Rybak’s Fairytale was first heard back in 2009, you could have easily availed yourself of odds of 16-1 for Norway to win the Contest. Now, we have a situation where Norway hasn’t even had its national semi-finals yet and already it has been smashed into a back price of 4.1 on Betfair at time of writing. Paddy Power opened at 8-1 Norway on Tuesday and that is now into 7-2.

This is all down to Carl Espen’s ‘Silent Storm’, a song we have not heard yet performed live. So backers of Norway are immediately involving a big leap of faith that the song materialises well on stage. And a further one in hoping Norwegian televoters do not follow the path already set down by many other nations this year in choosing badly.


  1. Popking

    Not too much to contribute this week.


    I think Sandra will beat Lenna in the Estonia super-final. I think it’s the right result, although I have not heard some of the songs all that much.

    Helena looks pretty safe for MF qualification. I think it will be Jem or Martin who join her, although Broder cannot sadly be discounted. I can’t see either of the heavier rock songs making it, although one of them may well make the duels.

    I disagree about your views on Eurosong too. The “Only Teardrops” clone may top the jury vote, but I don’t even think this is guaranteed as the jury love could be spread among most of the tracks. I do think Eggnog will smash the televote, helped perhaps by Louis Walsh and Linda Martin on the panel, so as long as he is not more than 10 points adrift he will win assuming last years scoring is used again this time.

    • Rob

      Drafting in Louis Walsh to likely talk up Eggnog will do him no harm. But Walsh’s influence was much stronger in Eurosong when he was managing Jedward and was able to fix some of the jury voting. I doubt he’ll be able to do that tonight.

      Trouble for Eggnog is, his song is the most generic boyband song you will ever hear. He may do well on the televote but I would question his jury appeal against this oppo.

      The market has at least moved in Can-linn’s favour if you took the 7-4 as it has been possible to lay as low as 1.52 on BF.

  2. Substantshell

    Hi Rob,

    I have suggested this to gav and I will propose the same here: The idea is from now on to boycott unibet’s entertainment markets entirely, blacklist and ignore them.

    They were very quick to overreact after word came out of Sweden that vote manipulation is possible (isn’t that always possible everywhere) to void all melfest bets.
    For me it’s obvious they realized that they were on the losing end in melfest market and found a good way to pull out.
    We simply can not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

    Personally, my outright book is totally messed up right now. I had Helena at 50s with them and find myself all of a sudden incredibly exposed on her. I also lost my andra chansen bets with them on linus svenning at 10s and 12s that I took earlier this week. I hope others weren’t as hardly punished as I am with these refunds.

    And unibet have shown fishy behaviour in the past. Last week you pointed out their Norway market what “Unibet was offering there is tantamount to robbery.”
    It is sad that we have to blacklist a bookie since we are already short on bookies that offer these special markets, but I think we have a responsibility to protect our readers, here and at esctips from getting screwed by unibet’s criminal behaviour.

    • Rob

      I concur totally, Subs, & very sorry to hear your book has been left exposed due to Unibet’s stance. I would suggest taking this up with IBAS but I fear IBAS may not have any authority over Unibet as a Maltese firm.

      If it is not IBAS, there should still be another regulator you can take this up with – IBAS might be able to point you in the right direction.

      I am sue you are right in your assertion they have done this at the first opportunity to cover their potential liabilities. I’ve long considered them a dubious outfit & have been loathe to quote their prices in the tv betting coverage on this site.

      It is a farcical decision because as you say vote manipulation is part & parcel of these markets, and will always be going on. When you look at the qualifiers for the MF final it is hardly eyebrow-raising or worthy of suspicion, and to then also void Andre Chansen bests is completely unwarranted.

    • Rob

      This looks the method to take with your dispute, Subs:

      2.12 Any legal claim or dispute arising under or in connection with the Contract shall be settled in accordance with the Governing Law of the Place of the Contract.

      In the event of a dispute, it is advisable that the Account Holder lodges a complaint with Unibet’s customer service using the contact details on the Info Centre page on the Website . The parties should do their utmost to reach an amicable settlement within a reasonable time.

      The complainant may also lodge a complaint within the LGA at complaints@lga.org.mt should the complaint be unresolved.

      Whereupon a dispute should occur between Unibet and the Account Holder, Unibet will make accessible to the member a detailed transaction record. Such information will also be made available to a legitimate third party (e.g. a judge or court) if Unibet so wishes or agrees.

      Unibet shall immediately inquire into any complaint made to it or to the LGA by a registered player in respect of:

      the operation of a game operated by Unibet;

      the conduct of an agent of Unibet in operations related to a game operated by Unibet.

      Unibet will inform the complainant or the LGA where the complaint was referred to Unibet by the LGA, of the results of the inquiry within twenty-one (21) days from the date on which the complaint has been lodged with Unibet.

      The complaint must contain clear and unequivocal information about the complainant’s identity, and shall give all the relevant details that gave rise to the complaint.

  3. eurovicious

    Cowabunga Rob – can you perhaps elucidate your (negative) perception of Hungary’s song a little more? I find it hard to see where a statement like “there is nothing original, interesting or exciting going on in that 3 minutes” is coming from without more specific points. Do you perhaps find it calculated and cynical due to the child abuse element, as a couple of people on Twitter have?

    I’m a very critical, jaded, heard-it-all-before type who listens to a huge amount of music from all over the place, and indeed in Hungary’s selection this year there were 29 songs I didn’t like and 1 I did – the one that won. For Eurovision, which apart from 2012 has been really bland the past 5 years, it’s positively revolutionary – sonically, rhythmically, structurally, thematically, lyrically, and hopefuly visually. It’s all the more exciting outside the UK where drum and bass is a lot less familiar.

    • Rob

      I’m happy to admit I was ultra-critical of Hungary, ev, probably more so due to my personal disappointment at the selections so far in NFs & the ones that got away.

      This would be a really interesting, competitive ESC field imho:

      Mikko Pohjola – Sängyn reunalla
      Dons – Pedeja vestule
      Brequette – Más
      De Bee – Pin The Middle
      Bogi – We all

      And you can probably add to that list Traffic – Fur Elise, as that looks to have a very tough task in tonight’s Eesti Laul.

      What we have instead I find much weaker and inferior musically to the above.

      I’m not yet approaching Hungary from a will it/won’t it qualify betting angle; merely expressing my personal dislike. It reminds me of Craig David which is a sound that for me is torture. It’s that smooth soul voice that does nothing for me.

      The thing is, we have new rules in place as far as the juries are concerned so this is the sort of inoffensive, competent effort likely considered ‘commercial’ that will achieve solid scores and not be hurt.

      I’ve come to the conclusion the sort of original, more edgy, and dare I say ‘cerebral’ stuff I tend to prefer is likely doomed to under-achieve at the ESC as a general rule.

      I think it’s the lack of variety in the 3 minutes of ‘Running’, the repetition… it seems like there are only about 3 notes at play here. It lacks colour and flavour in terms of my personal music palate. It’s a slick sound which leaves me cold. Really, it’s the genre more than anything. Kallay seems a competent performer.

      • eurovicious

        I agree on Brequette. That’s interesting, because I don’t really like Craig David either, but it doesn’t remind me of him at all – the voice may be somewhat similar, but the song has a lot more go in it than any of David’s fare. I totally agree on how most original/edgy/cerebral songs that deviate from a very “safe” (white, middle-class, heteronormative) norm are doomed. “Oh, that’s nice” wins the day.

      • eurovicious

        Music shouldn’t just be about entertainment – it’s important we have serious, sad, challenging, provocative songs in Eurovision too, like Rona, Kasia Kowalska, Sweet People etc. And Running.

        We live in a culture where despite 95% of child sexual abuse being committed by a family member, this is whitewashed and instead the media whips up “stranger danger” – so I applaud a song that specifically addresses parental sexual abuse. The louder we scream about paedophiles and imagine them as monsters while fetishising the nuclear family and “innocent children”, the more we look away from the fact that the family is the primary site of abuse. It’s a societal blindfold and this song helps chip away at it. Although that isn’t even the main reason I like it.

    • Henry VIII

      “Do you perhaps find it calculated and cynical due to the child abuse element?”

      And perverted, as ESC is supposed to be a celebration.

      Although lyrics pass most by on first encounter.

      • Rob

        I think it is a bit cynical and calculated to base a song around such lyrics. And you are spot on, henry, regarding lyrics passing most listeners by.

  4. Rob

    Nice wins on Helena at 1-2, & Can-linn at 7-4. Sadly, Estonia overlooked Traffic as predicted.

    The MF final r.o. for those still catching up:

    The running order is as follows:
    1. Anton Ewald – “Natural”
    2. Ellen Benediktson – “Songbird”
    3. Alcazar – “Blame It On The Disco”
    4. Oscar Zia – “Yes We Can”
    5. Linus Svenning – “Bröder”
    6. Helena Paparizou – Survivor”
    7. YOHIO – “To the End”
    8. Sanna Nielsen – “Undo”
    9.Panetoz – “Efter solsken”
    10. Ace Wilder – “Busy Doin’ Nothin’”

  5. Rob

    France choose Twin Twin. It may be somewhat plagiarised but this goes in the ‘like’ pile:


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