Sunday, April 13, 2008

Eurovision 2008 update

Now that all the songs are available on the Eurovision site it's a bit easier to sort out the bunch, although nothing can really be set in stone until the semi finals are over. Last year some really good tracks fell by the wayside at that stage so there's really not much point betting on any that aren't certain to get through unless you are feeling wild or brave or know something about the politics of the Esatern bloc.

The odds have gone crazy. Here are today's top 10:
4.5 Russia
7.2 Serbia
8.2 Armenia
11.5 Ireland
14 Ukraine
15 Sweden
23 Spain
26 Greece
29 Turkey
42 Romania

Add Bosnia and Bulgaria, both 46-1 and drop Spain and you have the countries with odds of less than 2-1 of making the top 10, a pretty good indication that one of them will be the winner. At those odds, backing each with enough to win £100 will cost £89 so that has to be worth a go, leaving a bit for commission and for whoever you actually think might win.

The choice this year is between earnest ballad, pop, rock and idiots. I can't see why Russia are favourite unless Big Brother is pulling the voting strings and desperate to stop all those lands that were once theirs winning. Serbia has a beautiful, washing over the waves type of song with a nice female singer who isn't lesbian. That is my guess to be the E bloc choice if they go for that sort of thing again.

On the pop side it's between Greece and Armenia and my vote goes to the outsretched hands and long legs of the pretty Armenian girl.

Turkey have a competent band but have a competent, vaguely normal, band ever won? Will they ever? I doubt it and this isn't likely to be the first. San Marino have a real band too, and to my mind better but at 690-1 I get the feeling I'm the only one that must think so. Extraordinary odds. I guess they're not expected to get through the semis.

For idiots, back Ireland. Spain have a mad guy too with some Chiki Chiki crap which is desperate. 23-1 seems ridiculously short odds but they are finalists, I suppose.

The UK odds are now way out at an incredible 330-1. Put £3 in the pot for a £1000 return to help the celebrations! It surely can't stay that high - we are in the final, for heaven's sake! There's not much of that 70s ilk, either, so a bundle of judges of a certain vintage could help the old dustman. 14-1 to make the top ten sounds about right but if that goes out further it's worth a try.

Lastly, Poland. Now out at a crazy 290-1! I think it's a good song, good looking female. It's got some E bloc appeal and might collect some pop votes too. If Poland qualify, those odds will drop like a stone.

Still looking for that 'surpise' shot, the dark horse. Apart from UK, which sort of could be. Watch this space - and do some sums and get the hedging in while the odds are so favourable.
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