So Lucky For Moldova Backers

May 5, 2011 by

The first rehearsals for the 2nd semi-final contenders at this year’s ESC have left question marks over two of this year’s strongest fancies. Eric Saade had a bit of a shocker for Sweden, while Getter Jaani also struggled with her song for Estonia. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the female balladeers stole the show, with Nadine Beiler and Maja Keuc, as expected, both delivering superb live vocals of their songs for Austria and Slovenia respectively.
We flagged both up in earlier posts as the e/w value in the 2nd semi final and also in the Outright market e/w, and what we’ve seen over the last couple of days has only strengthened this view. It is looking highly likely both will qualify for the final as they will both rate highly among juries. With this in mind, the best way to proceed is to back them in top 10 final betting. Austria are a best-priced 7-2 with Victor Chandler, and Slovenia 9-2 with Betfred. If one of these two gets a really good late draw they could easily push for top 5.
Getting back to semi-final 2, Bosnia’s Dino Merlin and his band put in a polished 1st rehearsal. The only thing we’re not so keen on is the idiosyncratic dance moves of the lone trumpeter who circles the stage. That said, even though it’s drawn 1, the song is so strong Bosnia could win the 2nd semi-final and looks a sound bet at 7-2 e/w a quarter the odds with Coral.
The nation we expect to push Bosnia hardest in semi-final 2 is Denmark. A Friend In London delivered their song with aplomb in their first rehearsal, and they have the advantage of being drawn last but one. 5-1 e/w a quarter the odds with Coral also looks a very solid betting proposition.
With regard to qualifying/not qualifying betting, Moldova looks a bit of value for the big hitters at 1-2 with Coral to qualify. ‘So Lucky’ really livens up proceedings after the narcolepsy-inducing effect of the 4 songs that precede it.

We also love the staging of this song, especially the young lady on the unicycle. The joyful insanity of this performance combined with the fact Moldova rates 3rd in this semi in respect of voting allies should see it ease through to the final.
We now think Israel will struggle to qualify based on what we saw yesterday and is worth backing not to qualify at a widely-available 8-11. There has been a lot of nostalgia regarding the return of former winner Dana International, but she was so out of tune it’s hard to see her making the final even if she improves in her future rehearsals. If well-executed, ‘Ding Dong’ could have been on a par with the similarly weak but catchy ‘Boom Boom’. Whereas Emmy takes the Armenia track to its ultimate ceiling, Dana looks like ensuring the Israeli tune sinks without a trace. With Maja Keuc following her, the former diva is going to be totally over-shadowed and outclassed.
Rob Furber

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