Margaret Or Adelen?

Feb 7, 2013 by

Margaret Or Adelen?

MF semi 1 proved a lesson in Scandinavian music taste, and the tried and tested formula of pimp slot being advantaged was thrown out of the window. The audience poll, and one posted here by Boki on Aftonbladet, proved accurate barometers at least in terms of the top 2 songs.

It was understandable the subtlety of Anna’s ballad was overlooked by televoters. We were more surprised that last-on-the-night to perform Michael Feiner & Caisa failed to achieve a place in the top 4, particularly given the paucity of the opposition. Yohio took one of the top 2 spots along with David Lindgren and it is well done to regular reader Tim B for highlighting the likely teen vote pulling power of the androgynous, anime-inspired Yohio.

His song ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ is now a best-priced 3-1 on the Outright to win Melodifestivalen 2013. It has echoes of British glam rock and didn’t impress on first listen. It would be surprising if there aren’t one or two much better tunes lurking in the other semi-finals.

In semi-final 2 of MF, Swedish House Wives (4/8) is probably the song you want to side with if looking for some value outside of the 3 front runners of Anton Ewald (1/8), Joacim Cans (5/8) and Sean Banan (8/8).

Maybe an audience poll has appeared as the price on Joacim collapsed earlier today yet his song, or at least, the one-minute segment released so far, is strikingly ordinary. We would lay it for top 2 at anything around Evens if Betfair had a market up.

There seems to be a lot of love for SHW, as the group consists of 3 past MF female performers the Swedes have a soft spot for. If it doesn’t make the top 2 spots, and it is widely available at 5-2 to do so, the wise cover is for it to make the second chance heat at 2.75 with Unibet (7-4 with bet365).

We also like the 4 on offer over at Unibet for Anton and Sean both to progress, either straight through or via the second chance heat. Each has youth appeal and looks likely to harness enough of a pv to land in the top 4 spots.

Eric & Tone (5/8) are a telegenic male/female combo and it’s a radio-friendly MOR tune that could also produce a decent result on Saturday. This looks a potential 2nd chance proposition at 2.75 with Unibet.

The Norwegian final this weekend sees a classic showdown between a well executed dance tune in the shape of Adelen’s infectious ‘Bombo’, and an intrinsically deeper, more nuanced rock/pop number courtesy of ‘I Feed You My Love’ by Margaret Berger.

Both songs won their respective semi-finals. Arguably, it was a more impressive feat by Adelen to win semi 3 from her draw in 2, whereas Margaret had the pimp slot in semi 2. In the final, Margaret looks to be favoured in 9 (of 10) with Adelen drawn in 3, but it is worth remembering Tooji won the Norwegian final in 2012 from trap 1.

There are some other decent tunes in the Norway final and if there were e/w prices available for a top 3 placing we would be considering the Rybak-written ‘I’m With You’ sung by Annsofi (8/10) or Fjellfolk’s haunting ‘Ulvetuva’ (2/10). These two tracks finished behind Margaret in the 2nd semi but Tooji didn’t win his heat last year and went on to win the final so there can be a turnaround. Gromth’s (4/10) metal segments are unpalatable while Datarock (7/10) and Sirkus Eliassen (10/10) are rather weak dance efforts probably vying for the same sort of vote.

If we had to call it, we would expect Margaret to win but as last week showed, it’s tricky to second guess the Scandinavian public and maybe the final is not as clear cut as the betting odds suggest. If you fancy backing Margaret at 4-6 with William Hill we would advise a cover on Adelen at 4-1 also with William Hill. Margaret possesses a stronger live vocal and she should take the jury plaudits but Adelen’s fun and catchy tune is dangerous to write off as a big televote for this looks assured.

It is also the Finland final on Saturday night. This looks a 3-horse race between Diandra, who has the pimp slot with ‘Colliding Into You’, Krista Siegfrids (4/8) with ‘Marry Me’, and Mikael Saari’s ‘We Should Be Through’ (6/8) and it’s another 50/50 jury/public vote deliberation.

Mikael could well be in line to win the jury vote but you might expect Diandra or Krista to land top spot on the public vote. Who wins overall is hard to call. Diandra’s live vocal has sounded a little iffy in the earlier heats and at the available odds it might be worth risking a few quid on Mikael Saari‘s classy ballad, available at 3 with NordicBet, winning the ticket to Malmo.

More high street bookies have opened ESC 2013 betting and it is good to see Betfair get round to opening the markets for Top 10, Top 5 and Top 4. If any more prices emerge in the next day or so, along with anything informative surrounding this weekend’s ESC action, it will be posted below in Comments.


  1. Rob

    Irish Eurosong hopefuls also released today & PP has prices. Can hear all the songs here:

    Given the tiny dimensions of the Late Late Show studio where they will all sing live a fortnight tomorrow, Aimee is probably the value at 11-4, as she can deliver this ballad while 3 of the others are dance-y & will likely struggle to reproduce energy, vocal/slick studio production & could also cancel one another out to a degree. Aimee to win with juries but Ryan likely the televote so would advise dutching her with Ryan at 2-1.

    • Rob

      Boyles have better prices of 3-1 Aimee, 5-2 Ryan. The worry for Ryan backers is whether he can reproduce the song well enough live. Inchequin no forlorn hope & worth a saver.

      Boyles definitely have the wrong front 2 in Kasey & Zoe.

  2. Rob

    1.8 looks a steal at Unibet on Koza Mostra to be Greece’s representative, given th YT hits it has already clocked up here:

  3. Rob

    Thomai Apergi, by comparison – 176,000
    Aggeliki – 147,000
    Alex Leon – 134,000

    Other concern with ‘One Last Kiss’ will be if she can reproduce this song live. Nikke Ponte was hot fave a couple of years back but her live vocal was poor & killed her chance.

  4. A Edwards

    Thank you for useful ifo yet again Rob.
    Can only find house wives 5/2 at ladbrokes and they limiting stakes to £80.
    Been following for a few weeks and making profits.

    • Rob

      Good stuff AE. You can get 31-10 with Bettson SHW to be in top 2. Look out for an update of prices tomorrow am. Most firms taken prices down for now, but likes of WH, b365 & Unibet should be back up either later tonight or first thing tomorrow.

      Pretty confident SHW will make top 4 so cover on them to end up in ‘second chance’ for sure – hopefully will still be around 7-4 mark with b365 or Unibet when prices reappear.

  5. Tim B

    Great article Rob. I’ll start with Sweden, as you have done. Anton Ewald is far too short and is not an odds-on shot to qualify. His uptempo R&B dance tune has echoes of Saucedo and Lindgren, but sounds distinctly average from the clip. I don’t think he is well known enough to qualify automatically from slot 1. I’m not sensing much hype as I did with YOHIO last week. Instead the hype seems to be with Sean Banan. Looking at last year’s figures, he was very close to edging out Dead By April (I think) for an automatic place in the final. He has the pimp slot this time, and crucially he follows three relatively slow and dull songs, so the audience will certainly be relieved to see his fun and amusing number with an ambitious stage show closing. He also was unlucky enough to be in the same heat as Loreen last year – there is no such act stealing all the votes this time. Furthermore, he has the full backing of SVT – he is all over their website and so they clearly want him through. I think they will succeed and I have backed him heavily to qualify. It’s quite open as to who will join him. Nostalgia act Swedish House Wives sound good if not very dated. If the similar Cookies n Beans could make Andra Chansen last week, I think these desperate housewives have a shot at automatic qualification. I agree that they’ll almost definitely be in the top 4. Jaocim Cans is an interesting one. The clip sounds quite average but as the lead singer of Hammerfall he will be well known in metal circles and popular in Sweden. He’s not exactly delighting his demo with this change in direction but instead might be opening himself up to a wider audience? I am completely discounting Erik & Tone, Louise and Rikard. Felicia sounds like she has a decent tune but has the worst slot in the running order. The audience poll tonight will be very interesting indeed – I expect it will be overwhelmingly for Sean Banan though.
    Norway isn’t quite as straightforward as I first thought. Margaret is undoubedtly The Chosen One and has prime position in the running order, but Adelen is surely a big threat. With Tooji and Stella, Norway have gone for some real trash the last 2 years and in my opinion Bombo is the strongest song out of the three. The producers have strategically buried her as best they can. They’ve realised that slot 1 is not always the worst as Tooji won from there last year. She also precedes big hitter Gromth who come in slot 4. Margaret comes much later in slot 9, and hopefully this will be enough for her to come out on top. I don’t think Gromth can be totally discounted – metal is big and very much a part of mainstream culture in Scandinavia (there are people who burn down churches in Norway!) and I would argue that ‘Alone’ appealed to a wider audience than just rock and metal fans in order to win its semi. It was a massive surprise to me last week when Gothminister didn’t make the top 3 despite a decent song and entertaining performance. Despite being far from the best in the metal/classical crossover genre, I really like Gromth’s ‘Alone’ and I expect it to feature in the super final. Backing Margaret with a saver on Adelen is exactly the way to go – would like a bit ‘more’ staging for Margaret though.
    Finland is a little tricker. Mikael Saari clearly has the best song but Diandra leads the polls and has the pimp slot. In the same polls, Saari surprisingly doesn’t stand out as being particularly popular. Juries are also reported to have favoured Great Wide North (rather than Saari) in heats and I wouldn’t rule out a surprise win from someone like Arion. Yet to bet on this but I’m leaning towards Diandra. Krista’s song is very catchy and fun but I’m almost certain it won’t win.
    Looking forward to some audience polls tonight (are we to expect any coming out of Norway and Finland?) but I can’t guarantee I’ll be sober enough to process them properly :D. Also going to keep an eye on Latvia.

    • Rob

      Good analysis as always, Tim. The Sean Banan track sounded pretty awful in the 1-minute segment but it does look like they’re throwing the kitchen sink at him.

      Hopefully Boki will post later with Aftonbladet polling info – my browser having difficulty translating atm.

      bet365 now put Outright prices up. The high st has collectively got very nervous now regarding ESC pricing. Be good if they rediscovered a backbone but that seems unlikely & the sort of value available in years gone by severely eroded – partly due to the more clued-up community now operating online.

      • Boki

        Rg. Aftonbladet, I’m not even translating the page, just trying to find the poll which is always burried somewhere, it’s not easy but I’ll try. Same info was usually posted on
        To be honest I lost interest in MF at the moment…

        • Rob

          It’s certainly only worth taking a speculative interest, Boki. Also, if you end up winning large sums on these ESC heats, rest assured account restrictions & closures will follow. Bookies have a fast trigger finger now, sadly.

          • Boki

            Results of the dress rehearsal poll :

            1 Copacabanana – 289/39
            2 Begging – 180/24

            3 Only the dead fish… – 70/10
            4 Hello Goodbye – 66/9

            5 On the top of the world – 43/6
            6 Make me no 1 – 35/5
            7 Annelie – 30/4
            8 En förlorad sommar – 23/3

            What do the second numbers mean?
            2 different groups/websites doing research.

            Sean and Anton won the poll, but those kind of acts are usually overrated (see Sean and Youngblood in 2011).

            Courtesy of

        • Rob

          Thanks for posting, Boki. Looking good for the 2 favourites then. Saw a picture of Banan dressed in a nappy. The staging & gimmicks looked very OTT.

          Still reckon SHW have a solid top 4 chance.

  6. TIm B

    Listened to the full songs in Sweden now. Felicia has a really decent tune. Louise’s strikes me as having a great place in the running order. Bottom few all within margin of error so both of the Andra Chansen places are up for grabs.

    Decided to take on Mikael in Finland with Diandra, Arion and Great Wide North – polls show them as having strong support and it could be close. Good luck tonight all!

  7. Boki

    from Aftonbladet:
    Vilken artist hejar du på i kväll?

    Anton Ewald 6.38%

    Felicia Olsson 3.35%

    Joacim Cans 13.12%

    Swedish House Wives 14.7%

    Erik Segerstedt & Tone Damli 10.74%

    Louise Hoffsten 15.74%

    Rikard Wolff 7.06%

    Sean Banan 28.91%

    Totalt antal röster: 2,477

  8. Tim B

    Hopefully an enjoyable and profitable night was had by all. Lost some pennies in Finland but won big in Sweden and Norway. Margaret Berger now looks like a serious contender to take the crown in Malmo, although of course we’re still to see what the rest of the USSR bloc and Serbia are to deliver.

  9. Rob

    Well done Tim – you are proving a bit of an MF specialist calling the automatic qualifiers.

    Called correctly Eric & Tone for 2nd chance at 2.75, but the Swedish House Wives missed out on top 4 (sorry AE – don’t worry, we’ll get it all back & more in Malmo).

    In Finland, when it was down to Mikael or Krista, was sure Mikael would take it – very surprised by that result. In Norway, Margaret won comfortably. A much wiser selection.

    • Boki

      Aftonbladet poll called two finalists correctly again. I don’t know when it was put on the website this time, I posted it the moment I saw it but it was rather late, sorry about that.
      Took some good last minute bets based on the fact that Anton is going to miss the final and that really happened. Only surprised by SHW missing top5 but what’s Sweden without a surprise…

      • Rob

        Thanks again for posting the Aftonbladet poll, Boki. As you say, got the top 2 correct again, so hopefully a nice combo for you with Unibet.

  10. Rob

    A shame couldn’t lay Joacim for top 2 also. Top 4 even.

  11. Tim B

    Poor Jaocim. I thought it sounded brilliant on the night – a proper band effort with multiple vocalists helped to lift it.Everything pointed to Sean Banan going through direkt and I didn’t die of shock when Louise went through as well – really enjoyed her performance. It’s not something I would usually notice or comment on but I thought Swedish House Wives’ outfits were absolutely hideous and it was almost like they were a parody of themselves.

    Ironically Mikael Should Have Been Through in Finland. Despite not backing him to win, I recognised the enormous potential of his sincere and evocative ballad, and was hovering over the EW checkbox as I thought that 26.0 was big for a song remitscent of Finland’s Kuula but in English. Should Krista Be through in Malmo? Too early to say. It’s possible juries may not go for her throwaway pop tune if there are some ballads in the same semi.

  12. Rob

    Personally loved Louise’s song but figured it would miss out as maybe rather forgettable. Now, given the MF qualifiers so far, hers is the stand out tune imho. That’s not to say she’ll even get close to winning. Still expect better to emerge in the remaining 2 semi-finals & Swedish voters have their foibles.

    Staggering that Finland went to so much trouble with heats, & jurors giving their ten penneth, only to go & choose Krista’s song. It shows the public often cannot be trusted to make the right informed selection for the ESC. As you rightly point out, Tim, Mikael had enormous ‘Ott’ potential.

  13. Rob

    For those who missed semi 2 in Sweden, on a busy ESC night, you can watch here:

    About 35mins in to listen to ‘Only The Dead Fish’. Sean is around the 46mins mark. He is a poor man’s Trackshittaz:

  14. Boki

    If we look now at the poll after 48k votes it looks very different than the pre-show (2.5k votes).

    Vem var bäst i kväll?
    Anton Ewald 17.1%
    Felicia Olsson 10.69%
    Joacim Cans 2.32%
    Swedish House Wives 6.42%
    Erik Segerstedt & Tone Damli 16.32%
    Louise Hoffsten 25.63%
    Rikard Wolff 2.78%
    Sean Banan 18.73%
    Totalt antal röster: 48,622

    So if we believe it, Sean and Anton split the vote while Louise was first and SHW sank down. It remains difficult to guess I guess… good example is Joacim whose price collapsed simply because people thought he’ll do good. Also Anton was 1.2 favorite everywhere, I personally thought Sean was in more danger until I saw the poll results and got lucky this time by opposing Anton.
    Also it’s worth mentioning the ‘best finishing position’ market between Sean and Anton – I went last minute for Sean @3.5. There was also a 3rd option – both to progress to final/2nd chance but my understanding was that they both needed to be in the final or both in 2nd chance since in that case you don’t know who finished better.

  15. Rob

    Thanks Boki. If the pv mirrors that, it would suggest Louise was first. Do you have to hand the poll after semi 1? Would be interesting to compare percentages between the two semis so far.

    • Boki

      It’s still on the main page (but wasn’t that day if I remember – that could explain much lower amount of voters).

      Vilka låtar tycker du ska gå direkt till final?
      Skyline – David Lindgren 24.89%
      Burning flags – Cookies N Beans 8.24%
      Paris – Jay-Jay Johanson 2.83%
      Gosa – Mary N’diaye 2.65%
      Vi kommer aldrig att förlora – Eric Gadd 6.68%
      Heartbreak hotel – Yohio 38.24%
      Porslin – Anna Järvinen 11.28%
      We´re still kids – Michael Feiner & Caisa 5.19%
      Totalt antal röster: 2,756

      • Rob

        Thanks for these figures, Boki. Maybe suggests Yohio is a stronger contender for Outright win at MF than initially thought. But compared to the quality in Norway this year, Sweden has been very poor so far. 2 more semis so time yet for better tunes to emerge.

  16. Tim B

    I’ve backed Janet Leon to qualify at relatively skinny odds. Her song ‘Heartstrings’ has been written by Fredrik Kempe, who has an amazing record in MF having penned ‘Hero’, ‘La Voix’ and ‘Popular’. He also wrote Cookies N Beans and Anton Ewald’s songs this year, both of which have qualified for Andra Chansen. However this is the one out of the three which has been given the pimp slot (and any slot later than 2), and I hope/expect this is because it’s the best one. With the markets suggesting that Louise Hoffman isn’t a win contender (I agree), you would expect a superior female song/act to appear in either of the last two semis. Hopefully this will be Janet and not Amanda, as that would throw a spanner in the works of my outright book.

    I’m also hoping for a song to emerge that’s reminiscent of Lisa Miskovsky’s sublime ‘Why Start A Fire?’ from last year 😀

    • Rob

      That’s sound reasoning, Tim. There has been solid backing of Janet in the Outright market based on the belief she is one of this year’s favoured acts & has a good song up her sleeve.

      • Katsuya

        Apparently, Janet’s song was originally to be given to Agnes (she of “Release Me” fame) and her record label were very much for it, but she had personal reasons not to take part. A lot of online hype for it too; Janet not qualifying would be the biggest shock for me.

        • Rob

          Thanks for posting, Katsuya. That’s useful to know & certainly encourages a back of Janet to qualify in the top 2 on Saturday.

      • Boki

        I’m amazed since Janet was last to qualify long time ago when the odds became available (was @6 or more!). I did a quick look and asked myself why Kempe song is rated so bad in a pimp slot but couldn’t place bets there and forgot the whole story. We’ll see, Amanda shouldn’t be discounted.
        Btw, the thing we didn’t know about Louise is that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 15 years ago, has many health issues but still participated in MF. Should do homework better 🙁

    • Boki

      Thanks Tim. After a quick listen don’t really get why Falco is the favorite. It’s Natalia for me with a saver on Yela.

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