Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Odds Are...(Semi-finals)

With less than two weeks until Eurovision itself really kicks off in Malmo, its time to have a look at what the odds are like are there any really good bets out there? Has a bookie failed to keep their site prefectly up to date with the latest Eurovision news? Anything is possible.

Semi Final 1
Semi-Final 1 interestingly contains some songs that are very well positioned for a win or certainly a top 10 finish however it is also characterised by some of the poorest songs in this years contest.

Most interestingly in this market, though Paddy Power have Denmark as the favourite to win the contest outright they think it has a lower probability of winning semi 1. This is certainly an anomaly, though in recent years it is by no means sure that the winner of a semi-final will win the contest outright. For people who are looking for a fairly sure bet this is probably one of the better offers you will find this year.

For people who are super-prudent each way gamblers, it is interesting to note that the top four countries on Paddy Power all are drawn in the first half of semi-final one. Probability would suggest that surely one of the second half will make the top 3. Belarus is 10/1 which would make a fine each way bet as indeed is Serbia (14/1).

For those who like to qualify betting whether to drown their sorrows even if a song does qualify or whether the song is just worth that punt. Croatia seems like the most likely of the lesser songs to qualify for the final so at 8/11 it's a good bet. As a fan I do notice that the odds of any song qualifying are very, very short this year which shows how close a semi-final will be.

Semi Final 2
As keen fans of the contest will know the winner of this years' contest will more than likely come from semi-final 1, however there are still some interesting bets available for fans.

If your a Margaret Berger fan Norway are just 7/4 on Paddy Power, which, given that they are in the last slot in the second semi-final, makes them well worth a bet. Azerbaijan, at 5/1 may also suit the risk taker, particularly given that they are in the graveyard that is the fourth slot in the semi-final.

Semi-final 2 is much harder to call than semi-final 1, so it could go any way. If your not a risk taker, I would not recommend betting on semi 2.

As regards qualification I would say Finland at 1/3 is well worth a short and is fairly undervalued at this price. Switzerland also could just squeeze over the line so at 10/11 it may well be worth a shot.

My thoughts on the final tomorrow.

Monday, April 1, 2013

From Rona To This: Albania - The Review

Festival I Kenges is by far and away one of the strangest national final formats currently in existence for Eurovision. Not because it has a confusing format (if you don’t mind annual format changes) but it throws out some of the most random winners compared with an national final format, with no set pattern nor any sign of a theory emerging about what constitutes a good song in FiK. Last year certainly was a year which gave me great confidence in the Albanian selection process and as followers of this blog will know I was a huge fan of her and her song.
Despite that confidence building moment Albania have taken that and smashed it into many pieces, leaving me curled up in a corner rocking back and forth screaming about the advantages of public selection. Why you might ask? Well, I’m not convinced that sending Adrian Lulgjurai and Bledar Sejko and their song idenditet was the right choice. Firstly I think that it is too much of a pop/rock song to do very well at the contest. Secondly I think the FiK performance didn’t suggest anything special about the pair that will bring them through the glass curtain and into peoples living rooms.
The song itself is probably one which is a bit too rockish for me to like it. However I like parts of the song however there are other parts of it that just turn me off. The song is very Balkan sounding even for a rock song.
Overall the success of this song depends on the jury support it receives. It may come in the public’s top 10 in the semi-final but if the juries don’t support it its dead in the water.
Verdict: It just feels that Albania has learned nothing from last year. This still feels like this song could come from any FiK final.
Grade: D- (42%)