Eurovision 2014

It’s that time of the year again, like The Masters Golf and X-Factor, Eurovision is one of the events that I target and is a key part of me having a profitable year. I’m actually very excited to get involved this year. In 2012 I spent my time trying to find a song to beat Loreen, ultimately coming to the conclusion that she wouldn’t be beaten. Last year I heard the Danish entry on 24th February and decided at that point then Emmelie de Forest would end up winning the show, which she did with Teardrops.

That win brings us to Copenhagen for the 2014 edition of the most watched non-sporting event on TV. This year has reminded me of 2011, where ‘superpower’ Azerbaijan finally  got to number 1 in their fourth year. That was a competitive year and I didn’t make my mind up on who I thought would win that year until 19:50, when I backed Azer at 9/1.

2011 was also the year I became aware of ‘fanwank’. Fankwank is a concept whereby people with an interest in Eurovision hear the polished studio version of a song and it instantly tops all the online polls etc… However the song doesn’t usually live up to the hype when performed live on the big night. In 2011 Kati Wolf provided this with, What About My Dreams, unfortunately when she sang the song live she sounded like a strangled Kati cat.

So that’s where I’m starting with my views this year…

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There are a few contenders for this years fankwank award, include us in the United Kingdom, see it’s not all political. However I’m giving the award to ARMENIA. Now I’m not say that this song can’t win or won’t win, I actually enjoy it and have been singing it on the tube to myself for since I first heard it.

It’s a very simple, catchy and emotional song. The studio version and the video are polished. However I have my doubts on whether that can be portrayed on stage. I’m expecting dry ice, darkness and blue/white light…think Rough Copy singing In The Air Tonight from last years X-Factor finals.

When I heard this version of Not Alone, it just reminded me of Kati Wolf in 2011. It sounded croaky and whiny, Aram MP3 could and should improve  however in a year that on the face of it is looking strong and that makes the current price of 2.90 (19/10). It just doesn’t stand out as much as our previous two winners.

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That’s what we hear every year from people that read newspapers like The Sun. Lets take the last three years of THE UNITED KINGDOMS entries in isolation;

2011 Blue – 11th place 100 points

The fact that this song somehow didn’t finish bottom shows that the show isn’t a fix. This washed up boyband were awful, their staging looked like it was made on Blue Peter, they forgot the words and were out of time, tune and key.

2012 Engelbert Humperdinck – 25th place 12 points

We sent a man who was older than a lot of European countries, with a boring song which he ended up singing from the opening slot. This all meant that he was forgotten within a minute of Hungary’s Compact Disco who followed him.

2013 Bonnie Tyler – 19th place 23 points

In true Welsh fashion dear old (again) Bonnie Tyler turned up on stage drunk. What did people expect? Her to be voted for because she resembled your Aunt Julie at a wedding.

After that performance and a few Jack Daniels’ I took to Twitter, venting my anger at The BBC. I offered them ideas and help for this year. My main idea was to get an unsigned artist a new face, give them a song in the Ellie Goulding mould. They seem to have listened, so obviously if we win this year you all know who to thank 😉 .

Molly Smitten-Downes is exactly what I wanted to see my licence fee put towards. Children of the Universe is actually a decent song, it’s memorable and I’m interested to see what the staging will throw up. It feels like it needs children, white lights and stars, however we don’t want to overdo it and make it look like an NSPCC advert, especially if Hungary follow it. I also hope they dress her better than in the above video, not really sure what I want to see yet but I’ll make more comments on it nearer the time.

From a betting point of view I can see Molly doing well at this time I don’t see her as a winner, but a Top 10 finish should be the minimum we’re expecting from this song. That outcome is currently 2.00 (Evens) and I’ve put some money down at that price.

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Back United Kingdom Top 10 Finish at 2.00 – Betfair

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Every year we have at least one song that gets Daily Star readers pulses racing, but this year I think POLAND have topped the lot. Just watch the video, it explains itself.

I would love to see it win as it might bring in a whole new set of Eurovision fans, plus a trip to Poland in 2015 doesn’t look too bad. However the judges will mark it down as a ‘joke’ act, despite it actually be a half decent song. Fortunately for Donatan and Cleo they are in the weaker 2nd semi-final. At the moment I’m on the fence as to backing, laying or just watching in hope of some what happened next moments (for when I go on a quiz show, obviously).

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Always strong in this event, with four winners in the last eight years, including the last two. Again they have some strong songs this year, with Sweden, Denmark and Norway all in the top six in the betting. Of those three I have Sweden as my favourite, followed by Norway then Denmark.

The problem the two of these songs will have is picking up votes from the other Nordic counties, history shows that one song will be favoured and that will be the one to pick up the points from the televote, with the others suffering. That’s why I’m not backing Sweden at the moment, I think I’ll get a bigger price in-running on the night or they song may be early in the running order in which case I won’t be backing it.

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I’m nailing my coulours to the mast, subject to running order. HUNGARY have produced some excellent songs in the last few years. On the night they’ve either been badly performed or given the death slot of number two in the running order. Last years entry was probably the worst of their last three entries. However it was given a late slot (17th) in the running order and was performed well. Even though it came before the eventual winner and favourite Denmark, ByeAlex still managed to secure his country a 10th place finish. That finish shows me that for the right song, performed well and with a late draw they can go close to winning the whole thing.

Does that song sound like it could win Eurovision? My answers is yes… it ticks the boxes I was looking for;

  • Emotion
  • Professional
  • Easy to remember
  • Sung in English
  • Potential for simple but effective staging
  • Jury pleasing
  • Not bad looking

There are some negatives, the subject matter, child abuse, is a touch subject which could go either way. He has said this about the song;

“I wrote this song about a childhood friend of mine, and people I have met with similar stories throughout my life. Unfortunately my friend was victim to child abuse, domestic violence. I wrote this song about their experiences and everything that they went though. I would like to raise awareness to this topic.”

If that message gets around Europe, we could have a widespread sympathy vote for the song. I don’t see people not voting for this song because of the subject matter, especially as the way it’s written and performed is uplifting.

There is also the issue of his ethnicity. I don’t see this is an issue, not being of full aryan heritage myself I’ve had little issues traveling around Europe. The people that tell you racism is wide spread in Eastern Europe are the likes of Sol Campbell or people who have never been outside of their hometown. The UKs own Jade Ewen wasn’t ‘white’ and she finished a very respectable 5th back in 2009.

If this song gets a late slot in the running order (18th+), then I don’t see how it doesn’t finish in the Top 4. At this moment in time, I think Running is the best value each-way bet. I have no worries about the song qualifying for the final, even though it’s in the stronger one of the two. It’s got the ‘pimp’ slot, I actually think it will win Semi Final 1.

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Back Hungary each-way (1/5 odds, 4 places) at 21.0 – ApolloBet


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