Organised Chaos

Feb 24, 2022 by

Organised Chaos

So much for a month being a long time during Eurovision on-season. Much can happen within a matter of minutes, or hours, as the last couple of days have highlighted.

Who mentioned ESC trading being a rollercoaster ride? All it took was a couple of dubious looking Tweets from BNT to instigate a trading frenzy, with fans putting two and two together and deciding Kristian Kostov would be replacing Intelligent Music Project as this year’s Bulgarian artist.

I thought April Fool’s Day had come early, but that didn’t stop an already skittish Outright market from overreacting and seeing Bulgaria matched as low as 10 having traded at 1000.

It highlighted once again how easy it is to spook the ESC market, which is a bit like an episode of Aussie Gold Hunters at this time of year, traders trying desperately to unearth those highly prized nuggets amid a vast landscape of base metal.

All it took was a couple of dubious looking Tweets from BNT to instigate a trading frenzy on Bulgaria

Of course, some of those shiny looking objects can prove deceptive, much like the Bulgaria gamble. Ukraine was hammered down to 5.1 on the back of Alina Pash winning Vidbir. She has since had to withdraw and runner-up Kalush Orchestra have taken her place.

World politics as of now, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is generating renewed interest in Ukraine, matched earlier today at 8. While in the past it has tended to be the way that any political backdrop aiding or hindering a nation’s vote at ESC has been over-estimated, backers will be hopeful of huge pro-Ukraine sentiment feeding into this year’s Contest.

This escalating crisis will inevitably cast a huge shadow over ESC 2022 and, who knows, may even lead to Russia’s expulsion. It serves as a reminder of the founding idea of Eurovision – the desire to promote cooperation among European countries following the Second World War.

It is a fast-moving, fluid situation but this certainly doesn’t feel like a year for a party banger to triumph in Turin and anything that invites introspection could prove well placed.

Italy holds favouritism courtesy of Mahmood and Blanco’s Sanremo winner ‘Brividi’.

It is a highly competent if somewhat meandering Italian language ballad, and feels like a favourite there to be shot at regardless of its impressive streaming numbers. One wonders if Italy is being over-rated due to a combination of its recent success at the Contest, the status Sanremo now enjoys among the fan community, and Mahmood’s existing ESC brand.

It is a fast-moving, fluid situation but this certainly doesn’t feel like a year for a party banger to triumph in Turin and anything that invites introspection could prove well placed

Potential ESC winner or not, Italy’s price is unlikely to move much until the Heads of Delegation Meeting in a month or so, when Italy, as host, will randomly draw its grand final running order position.

The latest gamble on the Outright has been Australia, matched as low as 5.7, mainly due to Sheldon Riley’s song ‘Not The Same’.

Sheldon’s visual USP and cabaret showmanship – this looks like being his outfit on Saturday – will be considered a perfect match with ESC by many so it looks likely Saturday’s ‘Australia Decides’ will be teed up for him to win. The song itself seems overblown and doesn’t develop as much as you might hope at song start.

Poland was being matched in single figure prices prior to Ochman’s victory there on Saturday. The consensus is, his live performance, while vocally flawless, is unengaging.

The song itself could do with a revamp as much as he could, but he was apparently ill and a song and performance can be transformed on the big ESC stage, so it would be unwise to write Ochman’s ‘River’ off just yet, and to wait and see if he can up his game during rehearsals in Turin.

The final heat of Melodifestivalen could turn up the heat in terms of who’s winning in Sweden this year. Currently, the market believes it’s Cornelia Jakobs vs Anders Bagge but one more artist could enter the race post-Saturday evening.

An early demo of Amanda Tenfjord’s ballad for Greece, ‘Die Together’, leaked briefly and sounded promising. If Charley in Australia follows Norway’s Elsie Bay out of contention on Saturday, that would be a potential plus for Amanda’s solo female balladeer standing in this year’s Contest.

In Norway, Subwoolfer won and is sure to garner plenty of attention in Turin.

Many will be anticipating this doing very well on the televote, but on the jury side its limitations appear obvious.

Among some of the other nations to reveal their songs, both Latvia and Slovenia appear to have made poor choices whereas Croatia’s entry, ‘Guilty Pleasure’, deserves credit, as much as the dancer is superfluous and detracts from Mia Dimsic’s song and performance.

Many will be anticipating Subwoolfer doing very well on the televote, but on the jury side its limitations appear obvious

There always has to be an entry to earn early default favourite status at ESC, and the market does tend to get carried away in thinking it is bullet-proof at this time of year. The fact remains we still only know 19 of the 41 (as of now) songs heading to Turin, and as we head into the frenetic home stretch of on-season, there’s plenty of time yet for challengers to emerge from the pack.

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