Unbreakable Bet

Jan 23, 2013 by

Unbreakable Bet

The first observation regarding Saturday night’s Danish Eurovision national final, aka Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, is that the songs have been autotuned to death which is a dangerous element for investors in ESC music markets because how they turn out live can be far removed from the studio-polished versions.

We only need to remind ourselves of last year’s Danish final for a classic example of this. In 2012, Soluna Samay came out and sang ‘Should’ve Known Better’ superbly live in an engaging and distinctive set with her garage band. She was drawn 9 of 10. The pre-favourite, ‘Venter’, followed her in the pimp slot of 10 but went on to produce a thoroughly off-key performance that blew its chances.

‘Venter’ still managed to make the super-final but finished 3rd. Second place went to the first song to be performed on the night, Jesper Nohrstedt’s ‘Take Our Hearts’, which edged Soluna on the jury vote but lost out overall after Soluna out-polled him in the public vote.

Denmark has gone the safe, generic pop song route in 2013, with many of this year’s finalists almost indistinguishable from one another. Simone Egeriis appears to have been made favourite on account of smashing the poll on the Danish broadcaster’s website which you can see here. We are not convinced with the reliability of this poll as Kate Hall has suddenly risen dramatically in the last day or so into 2nd place.

It may have been heavily influenced by tweenies because both ‘I’m Not Alone’ and ‘Stay Awake’ are in the teen-friendly mould of Taylor Swift/Carly Rae Jepsen. Simone is drawn 6 out of 10, which isn’t all that good, and frankly, nor is the song. Carried by a vaguely memorable but distinctly average chorus it certainly doesn’t merit being a best price 6-4 favourite. If we could, we would happily lay it at that sort of price on Betfair had it bothered to open a market.

The strength in this year’s Danish final resides firmly, no surprises, around the later songs to perform. Two that definitely stand out above the favourite are ‘Only Teardrops’ (drawn 8) and ‘Unbreakable’ (drawn 10).

A slight worry for ‘Only Teardrops’ backers is that it is competing for public votes among 5 solo females in the final. In the first semi-final over in Norway last weekend it was noticeable that the 3 decent solo female tunes all failed to make the top 3 in a 7-strong heat as they no doubt split the vote. The plethora of female soloists is certainly a further potential negative for the favourite.

It could be argued Emmelie de Forest’s song stands out by having some flute-playing in it, giving it that extra Eurovision-y edge but overall we are stronger on the chance of ‘Unbreakable’, sung by former Danish X Factor contestant Mohamed. One, because it has been given the pimp slot and two, it has the most memorable, impactful hook among all the finalists.

If Mohamed can produce the goods vocally and the energy of the song is transferred well to the stage, it could prove very hard to beat. YT footage of Mohamed singing in Danish X Factor 4 years ago suggests he has the vocal ability to do the song justice live:

He finished 3rd in that competition and has gone on to recording success with Sony. He seems an endearing sort of guy, too, who has been taken to the hearts of the Danish public. In conclusion we would advise the main wager on Mohamed’s Unbreakable at 4-1 with Ladbrokes, and a saver on Emmelie’s ‘Only Teardrops’ at 7-2 with bet365.

If there is going to be a shock result we would also consider a few quid on Albin’s ‘Beautiful To Me’ (drawn 9). It has a good draw and is the sort of radio-friendly, middle-of-the-road pap televoters and juries often lap up. We would be slightly concerned about Albin’s telegenic appeal, and he could also suffer from being sandwiched between Emmelie and Mohamed but is worth chancing a few quid at 15-1 with Ladbrokes.

Should any value pop up in the 2nd semi-final over in Norway, also on Saturday, we will post it below.
Rob Furber

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  1. Rob

    btw, all the songs can be heard in full on this webpage:


  2. Tim B

    Hi Rob, I largely agree with your selections. However I think ‘Only Teardrops’ is the most likely winner. It’s definitely the most credible song in the line up, and likely to top the jury vote. I also think it’ll feature towards the top of the televote, if not at the top, and that this combination should take it to victory. It has a great running order and wide-ranging appeal. Of all the songs in the final, it’s the one that sounds most like “Denmark at Eurovision”. However I think that Mohamed’s ‘Unbreakable’ also has a lot going for it, including the pimp slot. I’ve therefore backed them both for roughly equal profit as prices are quite good. ‘Stay Awake’ may score a decent televote but I can’t see juries going for this over more credible, and frankly better, options on offer. The other contenders may be simply drawn too early.

    I’m unsure of the format surrounding the Super Final as this is not a NF I’ve watched before. Please could you explain what happens after all ten acts have performed?

    • Rob

      It looks like a straight forward 50/50 equation, Tim, between jury vote & televote. Top 3 progress to ‘super final’ where again, the 50/50 split applies. Some details found here:



      (click on English tag on lefthandside)

      Assuming int’l juries involved again too, like last year.

      btw, Brinck won this (from pimp slot) in 2009, & in 2010 Simone made the super-final but lost out to eventual winner ‘In A Moment Like This.

      • Boki

        Actually Simone lost the duel in the semi-final against S&N (2 duels in the semi and than 2 act final), she was beautiful and sang great but the song was a boring Disney ballad (she was a favorite than just like this year).
        They changed the format to 3 act superfinal in the meantime and I guess it will stay the same as last year. What I did is (although ver small) Teardrops win with cover on Unbreakable.

        • Rob

          That’s right, Boki – was referring to wiki description of the 4 progressing being ‘super finalists’ prior to head-to-heads.

          2010 was first year of ESC analysis on this site – had it been to the degree of following the various NFs like now, would have been all over ‘A Moment Like This’ to win that year. Very surprised Simone was made favourite.

          Ended up trading Denmark in 2010 final for top 4 finish – 2010 proved a phenomenal 1st year as also traded ‘Satellite’ heavily for the win, & Turkey (2nd) & Romania (3rd) backed at huge odds e/w.

          Much on Saturday night will hinge on live vocal & how well staged the songs are. A shame no in-running prices on BF.

          • Boki

            Yes she was, at least after the snippets were published, together with Bryan Rice. I also remember S&N were in bottom 3 (out of 10) spots by the bookies in that stage (unfortunately I didn’t notice them), only the last day before the final their odds shortened.

          • Rob

            That is amazing, Boki. Just shows there can be some real stand-outs, value-wise, if you do your homework & know your stuff.

  3. Rob

    Brief thoughts on semi 2 over in Norway – Margaret Berger might prove hard to beat from the pimp slot with this:


    In terms of qualifying value, would be looking towards Annsofi (written by Rybak, the connection may help boost its televote):


    And Fjellfolk – no YT clip yet – snippet found here: http://nrk.no/multimedia/1.10869294

    Qualifying odds (top 3) –

    Margaret Berger – 1/20
    Haji – 11/13
    Annsofi – 23/20
    Fjellfolk – 9/10
    Hank – 4/3
    Martin Blomvik – 12/5
    Shackles – 14/5


    Margaret Berger – 1.07
    Fjellfolk – 1.80
    Annsofi – 2.05
    Haji – 2.10
    Hank – 2.40
    Martin Blomvik – 3.50
    Shackles – 3.50


    Margaret Berger – 1.05
    Fjellfolk – 1.55
    Hank – 1.55
    Annsofi – 1.85
    Haji – 1.85
    Martin Blomvik – 2.00
    Shackles – 4.50

    • Rob

      Win odds (for the 2nd semi-final) also available, but wouldn’t be too keen to take on Margaret Berger’s song:


      Margaret Berger 1.40
      Fjellfolk 6.50
      Hank 6.50
      Annsofi Pettersen 10.00
      Haji 10.00
      Martin Blomvik 12.00
      Shackles 25.00


      Margaret Berger 1.40
      Haji 6.00
      Fjellfolk 7.00
      Annsofi 8.00
      Hank 10.00
      Martin Blomvik 12.00
      Shackles 15.00

      Unibet also has a market on who will represent Greece at ESC 2013:

      Koza Mostra – 2.50
      Aggeliki Iliadi – 2.65
      Alex Leon Fet Giorgina – 4.75
      Thomai Apergi – 5.50

  4. Anonymous

    There is an Esc outright market on bf and bfred already.

  5. Boki

    Very brave from fred btw since we don’t know much at this stage but he’s playing it safe.

  6. Rob

    Good spot!! Yes, very safe. The percentages are shocking in Betfred’s ESC market & no e/w offered, but at least he has got the ball rolling. Hopefully others follow soon.

  7. Rob

    bwin also have some ESC prices up & have opened MF (Sweden) betting.

    Surprised by the market strength of Simone in the Danish final. You can get 4s Emmelie with Ladbrokes; 5s Mohamed with b365. Dutching these 2 looks the value call for sure.

    • Boki

      Simone looks great and sings great live, so no negative surprises there and I guess that’s one of the reasons.

  8. Rob

    Don’t think it has enough in its favour to merit such a short price, Boki. It may win but would be happy to lay at that price on BF pre-show – has some serious competition.

  9. Rob

    A great start to ESC 2013 season calling the Denmark final accurately. Came down to Emmelie vs Mohamed & Emmelie won. A very ropey vocal from Mohamed probably cost it for him.

    And over in Norway more success with Annsofi & Fjellfolk both progressing.

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