Industrial Strength

May 9, 2019 by

Industrial Strength

We didn’t hear Tamta during 1st rehearsal. Cyprus has been a drifter on the Outright while its Top 10 price has been holding around 1.7. This is not vocally assured but they will endeavour to conceal her with the sound mix. Cyprus drifts on the Outright to 40 and to 6 for the semi win.

Montenegro looks one of the most doomed semi-final 2 slots you will ever find. Last matched at 1.77 for last place, this is the burning question re. Montenegro – will it be last or not?

Nice visual when the Finnish female dancer appears on the screen underwater looking like she is drowning, before emerging back on the stage in person. After Montenegro this at least has a veneer of professionalism working for it and Darude puts last year’s Gromee to shame as a credible DJ. Finland matched as big as 12.5 to qualify.

Poland matched at 1.97 to Q before this 2nd run through. This is relying on its visual USP but it feels a pedestrian 3 minutes despite their colourful costumes, and Poland lacks friends in this semi. Some Q interest, however, matched as low as 1.86.

It looks like they have lost some of the intimacy of the EMA staging with Slovenia. The lighting is less dark and atmospheric, and there are too many wide angle shots. It still draws you in and captivates especially when the focus is on Zala’s dreamy stare. Slovenia remains solid enough to Q matched at 1.44.

We did not see any of Czech Republic’s 2nd rehearsals. Hungary has some lovely staging colours working for it and a closing fire curtain. Its Q price strengthens again on the back of this, matched at 1.2.

Zena is sounding much better for Belarus today. The staging is not quite ‘hot mess’ territory but is nowhere near the level of Malta, as an obvious comparison. Zena is a likeable performer and incredibly confident for a 16-year-old selling this. Belarus is no forlorn Q hope and other traders appear to be impressed with decent amounts matched at 3.3.

Visually, much like Hungary, Serbia is a staging triumph with a lovely whirlpool image utilised at one point. This is a well-executed solo female Balkan ballad and Betfair agrees as its Q price hardens, matched at 1.2.

Belgium has been uneasy as a Q proposition in semi 1. And it is matched at 1.7 to Q here with money only lined up on the Back side at 1.86 and bigger at end of play today. The staging has an avant-garde feel to it, but we are not talking Loic territory. There is some nice interplay with the two drummers who appear with Eliot front and centre leading the ‘I came to fight’ chant with their drum sticks held aloft. It succeeds well enough in accentuating the modern feel of this pop song.

Georgia could be competing for last place in this semi. Oto deserves jury pts for his impressive live vocal and Georgia is attracting some Q interest, matched at 4.4.

Australia has stalled around 46 on the Outright. You sense this might be well received when seen by tv viewers next Tuesday. Q isn’t being questioned now, matched at 1.15.

Iceland is both visually and sonically arresting in a whole different manner to what precedes it, with even more clever touches added today. It is another that might capture the imagination when people watch it live for the first time. On the Outright it sits at 26 for now.

Estonia is the bland filler in the wtf? sandwich in semi 1. Estonia is matched at 1.52 by backers who think its safe, homogenised pop feel will succeed at this point. Victor struggles in the higher register. His voice is too reedy.

Portugal closes out 2nd rehearsals today. The ESC fans loved Conan in the lead up to Tel Aviv but the markets have said a firm ‘no’ since rehearsals got underway here, Portugal matched as big as 2.42 to Q having been traded for decent amounts as low as 1.27 once upon a time. The consensus seems to be, it’s not as cool and clever as it thinks it is. Hat tip to those early Portugal layers, wherever you are.



  1. Burlington Bertie

    I just wanted to say that I’m really enjoying your daily analysis on the Eurovision in the lead up to the contest. I was a big fan of Sofabet and in its sad absence, your posts are good to have around. It would be great to get some discussions and banter going somewhere but the Sofabet community seems to have split into different bits and pieces (or I guess that should be bets and pieces). I was going to start a FB page with a gambling mate but we haven’t yet got round to it and it’s probably a bit late now, particularly given that he’s heading to Tel Aviv today and will have his mind on other things. Anyway, I look forward to your posts over the next week. Many thanks.

  2. Rob

    Thanks Bertie. It’s bitterly sad and strange not to be covering rehearsals alongside Daniel. He is sorely missed by us all.

    • Burlington Bertie

      Yeh – I keep thinking how it must be so sad for all of you without him. I never met Daniel although we exchanged a few emails over the years and I miss his presence, so I do appreciate how it must be for those like you that knew him so well. Anyway, even though it’s more of a cliche than some of this year’s entries to say so, I think he would be pleased to know that we’re carrying on our Eurovision betting banter, albeit in a more fragmented way.

  3. Thanks for the coverage so far Rob and Matt.

    I see some similarities with Australia and last year’s Estonia (wacky staging, opera elements etc), but with more substance to Kate’s song. At around evens for Top 10 seems generous considering Estonia was about 1.3 at this stage.

    Are you both happy with how the staging is looking?

    • Burlington Bertie

      Paul – I’ve wondered about a top 10 bet on Aussie. Knowing when to pitch in is a gamble in itself. To wait for the running order risks a shorter price, but then there’s at least the certainty of where it is. I’m wondering about Czech for a top 10 too but am feeling similar – to wait or not to wait. I remember a mate of mine piling in on Douwe Bob to be top 10 before the running order came out in 2016 and then being really pissed off that he was on 3rd with the result that he came 11th. That said, I don’t think they’d be likely to put an entry like the Aussie one early on if it draws first half – you’ve got to build up to that kind of entry.

    • Rob

      Hi Paul. It’s a good comparison. I think the concern is, the Oz song has gone down the novelty route to maximum effect with the stage show it has created whereas Estonia was sold as a much more credible operatic performance. Yes, she had the big dress element but as a composition I think ‘La Forza’ was stronger and it was able to earn the respect of jury members with the focus on her amazing vocal. That was 6th on the jury side in last year’s final but I think Oz is more likely to fall much further down the pts chart on the jury side. Oz has no natural voting allies but you would think the visual impact will give this some reasonable televote appeal.

      I’m not entirely convinced it is a top 10 banker at this stage, despite backing it early at a nice price for top 10. Oz prices may well shorten further though when it is seen next Tuesday.

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