Eurovision 2019: Betting Circle’s Top Picks
May 17, 2019
It’s been a busy week in the Eurovision calendar, and we’re still yet to reach the pinnacle! We’ve had two lots of semi-finals, each two hours in length, to whittle the acts down to 20 finalists. Taking control of BBC 4 on Tuesday and Thursday night, Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills were reporting live from Tel Aviv.
If you’re still yet to choose who to back with a bet on Eurovision, don’t worry. I’ve watched all four-and-a-bit hours of the semi-finals. I’ve rounded up the best of the bunch who I think might stand a chance on Saturday night.
The Eurovision odds have had a re-shuffle as we’ve made our way through the semis. We will see who is standing as the favourite and which country could creep in from behind on the night to be crowned champions of Eurovision 2019.
Eurovision: A Different Approach
When you think of Eurovision, you usually think of the obscure and memorable weird performances from by-gone contests. It seems this year that many participating countries have ramped up the pop-star-ness and toned down the weirdness. While we may not have as many ‘wtf’ moments this year, we might instead have some ‘hey, this is catchy’ moments instead.
To be fair, some of the most obscure performances are probably thought of by someone, somewhere, as bangers.
The first bout of semi-finals caused a bit of ruction between some dedicated fans. In my eyes, the majority of acts which got axed on the first night were correct choices. Sadly, this does mean that Darude, of ‘Sandstorm’ fame, is now out of the running.
The Better Ones
Scott Mills described this act as ‘if the 1975 were on CBeebies’. There is absolutely no better way to explain Lake Malawi, which you will realise on Saturday night. Each in a different coloured top and with light frames around them, they are able to create cool visuals for us watching at home.
Singing “Friend of a Friend”, the lead singer was full of life, jumping and diving around the stage. At first glance, I was unsure if the drummer and guitarist were actually playing or pretending. Still not sure.
Wait for it, though. His ‘London’ accent.
Overall it’s a pretty funny performance. Whether it’s meant to be, I’m not sure, but it is a pretty catchy contender despite being a huge outsider in the Eurovision odds.
Odds: 150/1 with Betfair
Think poppy tunes from the UK charts and you might just have an idea of what Cyprus’ entry is all about. Tamta wore thigh high PVC boots and had a dancing entourage with her. She’s got the attitude and moves of a pop star, I’ll give her that.
Last year’s song “Fuego” came second place, and this year’s song, “Replay” was written by the same person. So, can Tamta take them to the top?
With all the dancing, her voice was a little off at times, but it’s all to play for in Saturday’s final, now that she’s had a practice run, as it were.
Odds: 150/1 with Royal Panda
Okay, disclaimer. It’s more the production of this one that wowed me. The song itself strained my ears at some points. Kate Miller-Heidke takes on the role of a character who looks like the good queen from Wicked. That’s the vibe I got, anyway.
Australia was the favourite to win before Tuesday but slid back down the Eurovision odds as new acts qualified. She’s still a solid contender, though.
Even if you can’t handle the singing, just look at the production of it. Apparently, she gets wheeled onto the stage because of the pole she is hoist on. It looks as though Kate and her accompanying dancers are fairies or witches flying through space with the world underneath.
It looks amazing, but the operatic sounds in the chorus? Not for me. Probably right up Eurovision’s street, though.
If she doesn’t win, she will be up there in the top three I imagine. Well, depending on the whole political voting side of things.
Odds: 6/1 with Black Type
Not So Much
A gothic PVC-clad performance from Iceland was one to remember. There’s one screamo frontman and then another singer who looks like an 80s pop star. Just wait and see. If you fancy a punt on the unusual performances, Iceland are actually looking promising in the Eurovision odds at best price 28/1 with Unibet.
For Belarus, we have Zena with “Like It”. Another budding pop star who sounds inspired by the charts. And another pair of thigh high boots.
It wasn’t a bad performance, as such, but the key of it went through me, and I didn’t like her graffiti-clad outfit.
She kept on saying ‘karma’ at times when it felt wrong, so from my inner music critic, it’s a no from me. Perhaps ‘karma’ will come and get me, and she’ll win it. Who knows? There’ll definitely be value in a Belarus bet.
Thursday night, we returned to Tel Aviv for a second serving of semi-finals. We had even more thigh-high boots, lots of mirrors and a couple of Sam-Smith-a-likes. Let’s see who stood out, shall we?
Having not qualified for the Eurovision final since 2013, Luca Hanni is representing Switzerland and managed to get them qualified for Saturday’s final. Luca won German Idol in 2012, with his winner’s single landing number 1 in both Germany and Austria.
It’s no surprise, then, that his stage presence is fantastic. He’s got a bit of the Olly Murs cheekiness about him, and the crowd were clearly loving it. They went wild at the chorus, his dancing, and perhaps his strong-arm-revealing vest, too.
The song “She Got Me” is bound to be a hit, and so is Luca. I reckon they’ll do very well. The Eurovision odds seem to think so, too, with them in the fourth favourite position after the semi-finals.
Odds: 14/1 with Betfred
Michela is representing Malta. Another act with some experience under her belt. She won the X Factor in Malta, for which I think the prize is to perform in Eurovision.
Her song, “Chameleon”, is catchy from the outset. The name of the song is prevalent in the set design, drifting from an underwater theme to the desert. She’s a chameleon, alright. She also looks so much like the girl who sang for Ireland, but sadly didn’t make it through.
Malta have got an upbeat, poppy tune. While they are sitting mid-table in the Eurovision odds, I think she could have a good go at finishing in the top 5.
Odds: 100/1 with Unibet
First off, with a song called “Spirit in the Sky”, I was dubious as to whether it could beat Gareth Gates and the Kumar’s.
You will be pleased to know that they might actually be on par with each other. Norway shocked me with this performance.
KEiiNO, the group representing the country, is made up of a guy, a girl, and a fella who sings in the style of traditional inhabitants of the Sapmi region. This region encompasses large parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and parts of north-west Russia. Tactical inclusion for votes, perhaps? Either way, I like it.
The song itself is great, they’ve all got good voices, and I’ll leave it there for you to enjoy on Saturday. All I will say is that this song may well get stuck in your head.
Odds: 33/1 with Coral
What about the Eurovision Odds?
Among this selection of standouts from the semi-finals, there are many other acts to watch in the Eurovision 2019 final.
From the first semi-finals and every day after, the Eurovision odds have been shifting and drifting. Australia, the Netherlands and Sweden are the top three as of the completion of the semi-finals.
We know about Australia’s performance – good visuals, high notes.
Sweden’s entry was the first ever participant to receive the maximum of 12 points from all international juries at the Swedish selection series. John Lundvik has a fantastic voice. When it kicks in, there’s a bit of a groove to it. To top it off, his backing singers sound like a gospel choir, so obviously, it sounds incredible. Definitely one to watch.
This year’s entry from the Netherlands has already been in the top 10 in Holland. Duncan Laurence plays the piano and his voice has a stark resemblance to Sam Smith. He’s been flickering around the favourite spot in the Eurovision odds for a while, so he might be able to grasp the champion position on Saturday night.
If you followed the UK’s selection process, you’d realise that our very own Michael Rice wasn’t performing. Apparently, he’s off the hook and the UK gets an automatic spot in the final for some bizarre reason.
All in all, it’s anyone’s call, really. Well, amongst the top ten or so. It all comes down to who actually picks up the phone and votes.
I’m really hoping Azerbaijan, Norway, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Denmark do well. Not long to wait now!
If you are going to have a bet on Eurovision, take a look at how the odds stand and either pick your favourite country or favourite act, depending on how involved you are.
Here are your 2019 Eurovision betting odds
Laura has been sharing her opinions on all kinds of popular culture for over a year, with a strong focus on great music and questionable TV. A massive Geordie who has a love of all things Newcastle United, when she isn't sprinting across the Tyne Bridge to St James Park, we normally find her in-front of the TV watching Shrek, Coronation Street or Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.