Eurovision’s back! Everyone’s favourite multinational singing/political competition returns to our screens after the suspension of last year’s competition due to the coronavirus outbreak.
This year’s competition comes live from Rotterdam in the Netherlands after Duncan Laurence won in 2019 with his song Arcade.
The semi-finals will take place on the Tuesday 18th May and Thursday 20th May with the Eurovision final taking place on Saturday 22nd May.
Many of the same acts set to perform in 2020 return, but with shiny new songs. And once again we get to indulge in the tasting menu of sounds severed up by Europe… and Australia after a barren 24 months of Eurovision action.
But who is the favourite to triumph? Will Sweden win again? Will the UK get more than nil points?
We take a look at the highs and lows at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, while also taking a look at the betting markets for the value bets available across the Eurovision week.
Eurovision Betting Odds
The bookmakers have Italy leading the way in the Outright Winner market as the Italians look for their first Eurovision win since 1990. The bookies make Italy 5/2 favourites to be crowed winners of the Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands, which to my watch is rather overpriced.
Representing Italy is Måneskin - a rock band from Rome - offering up 70s glam rock in their song Zitti e buoni.
Italy have been steadily progressing up the leader board each year since 2017 with 6th, 5th and 2nd place finishes in the last three competitions.
It’s surprising to see Italy top list as the bookies favourite considering their song sounds like a band you would find as a secondary school battle-of-the-bands competition, but punters appear to be ploughing money in to the Italians.
Second favourites with the bookies are France with a song that is so French that it is sat in a Parisian café with a beret, a cigarette, a baguette and bunch of onions and garlic.
Representing La France is 28-year-old singer Barbara Pravi with a modern Chanson song called Voilà that harks back to the time of Edif Piath and Jacques Brel.
The music video plays up the French-ness to the nth degree with old sleeper trainers and dancers dress in all black making cameos. If Gerard Depardieu, Isabelle Huppert or Audrey Tatou appeared in the video, then I feel my French bingo card would be complete.
France haven’t won Eurovision since 1977 and will be desperate to end that 44-year drought in the Netherlands on Saturday.
The bookies have priced up France’s entry at odds of 3/1 at the time of writing which could be the bet to make if you are looking to bet on the overall winner.
After Portugal’s win with bossa nova singer Salvador Sobral back in 2017, do not be surprised for a revival ballad to perform well in Rotterdam on Saturday.
Elsewhere noise is being made about Malta’s entry Destiny with her song Je Me Casse with the bookies offering 6/1 for the Maltese to win the competition for the first time in their history.
However, Iceland will be the country to keep an eye on. Daði og Gagnamagnið return to represent the Nordic nation after they were unable to represent their country last year.
There was a lot a hype surrounding the Icelandic entry last year after their song Think About Things went viral on the internet before last year’s competition. If you haven’t heard it then, take a look below.
Due to Eurovision rules, they are unable to perform this song this year, so are back with another slice of awkward Icelandic 80s pop with the song 10 Years.
The keytars, slap bass and gawky dance moves are all revisited, but the song isn’t quite as strong as last year’s effort.
The bookmakers make Iceland 10/1 best-price in the outright betting which is worth a go if you are looking for a higher price in the market.
The public vote could work in Iceland’s favour as Daði Freyr and co have already been adopted as Eurovision favourites by fans. Iceland is one to watch.
Can the UK win Eurovision Song Contest this Year?
Bet on UK to win Eurovision @ 250/1 – BET NOW
Yes, you ready that correctly! The UK have very little chance of winning Eurovision this year with the bookies offering a huge 250/1 for a Blighty triumph.
James Newman returns to represent the United Kingdom in Rotterdam with the song Embers, but there will be no fire burning for the UK on Saturday.
Newman servers up a song so generic it has probably been rejected by ITV2 to soundtrack their latest reality TV show by ex-Love Island contestants.
It would take a huge performance (and a new track) to see James Newman become an overnight national treasure in the UK, so my advice would be to put your money elsewhere.
One day the UK might get it right, but this year will not be the year the United Kingdom celebrates their first Eurovision win since 1997.
One of the most controversial elements of the Eurovision Song Contest is undoubtedly the voting. Critics will say it is a bunch of political nonsense as the same countries vote for each other every time.
You can guarantee that the Nordic countries will vote for each other, the Balkan countries will vote for each other and the Baltic countries will vote for each other… and so on.
Each country will award 12 points for their favourite country and the points will descend based on the amount of votes each country receives from another country.
Rule changes implemented a few years ago put more power in the hands of the viewers with the judges and viewers votes now separated.
This has seen a number of countries who have performed well with the Eurovision jury flop with the public.
The new format has been a success with Eurovision fans as it is kept the leader board tension going until the end of the show.
Are you looking for some tips on where to put your money this Eurovision? Then don’t miss these tips.
Bet on France to win Eurovision @ 3/1 – BET NOW
France has their best chance to win Eurovision in years with Barbara Pravi’s song Voilà. This classy pop song will undoubtedly translate well across all demographics and cultures as the French go all misty-eyed with nostalgia.
It’s hard to see the current bookies favourite, Italy, doing well with the public vote which is why they should be avoided in the market.
Bet on Belgium to qualify from Semi-final 1 @ 5/6 - WINNER
Belgium has a patchy record when it comes to qualifying for the Eurovision final. The
Belgians have failed to qualify during the last two competitions and have only made the final five times in the last fifteen years.
So why are we tipping Belgium to go against the trend? A lot of people online are liking Hooverphonic’s track The Wrong Place with many tipping the possibility of it reaching the left-hand-side of the leader board.
This Lana Del Rey-esque moody pop track will go down well with audiences across the continent and it would be a surprise if Belgium are unable to make the final considering some of the poor songs in their semi-final such as Australia and Ireland.
Bet on Moldova to qualify from Semi-final 2 @ 1/1 - WINNER
Moldova could be a strong bet at evens to make the Eurovision Song Contest final. The Eastern European nation have brought us Epic Sax Guy, not once but twice, and have a strong record in making the Eurovision final since their first entry in 2005.
Natalia Gordienko respects Moldova this year looking to make amends for their poor performance in 2019 when they fail to make the final.
Her song Sugar is an unashamed three-minute bash of bubblegum pop which will go down well with audiences. Think Britney Spears. Think Katy Perry.
The quality of some of the other entries such as Estonia, Austria and Denmark in this semi-final makes the chances of Moldova qualifying a strong bet. At least the Moldovan entry is memorable.
Eurovision 2021 Entrants
39 countries are competing in Eurovision 2021.
The Big Five and host countries automatically qualify for the final. Competing for these countries are:
UK.: James Newman - Embers
Spain: Blas Cantó - Voy a quedarme
France: Barbara Pravi - Voilà
Germany: Jendrik - I Don't Feel Hate
Italy: Måneskin - Zitti e buoni
Netherlands: Jeangu Macrooy - Birth of a New Age
Sixteen countries are competing in the 1st semi-final. The acts preforming in Tuesday’s semi-final are:
Lithuania: The Roop - Discoteque
Slovenia: Ana Sokli? - Amen
Russia: Manizha - Russian Woman
Sweden: Tusse - Voices
Australia: Montaigne - Technicolour
North Macedonia: Vasil - Here I Stand
Ireland: Lesley Roy - Maps
Cyprus: Elena Tsagrinou - El diablo
Norway: Tix - Fallen Angel
Croatia: Albina - Tick-Tock
Belgium: Hooverphonic - The Wrong Place
Israel: Eden Alene - Set Me Free
Romania: Roxen - Amnesia
Azerbaijan: Efendi - Mata Hari
Ukraine: Go_A - Shum (?)
Malta: Destiny - Je me case
Seventeen countries compete in the 2nd semi-final on Thursday. The acts performing are:
San Marino: Senhit - Adrenalina
Estonia: Uku Suviste - The Lucky One
Czech Republic: Benny Cristo - Omaga
Greece: Stefania - Last Dance
Austria: Vincent Bueno - Amen
Poland: Rafa? - The Ride
Moldova: Natalia Gordienko - Sugar
Iceland: Daði og Gagnamagnið - 10 Years
Serbia: Hurricane - Loco Loco
Georgia: Tornike Kipiani - You
Albania: Anxhela Peristeri - Karma
Portugal: The Black Mamba - Love Is on My Side
Bulgaria: Victoria - Growing Up Is Getting Old
Finland: Blind Channel - Dark Side
Latvia: Samanta T?na - The Moon Is Rising
Switzerland: Gjon's Tears - Tout l'Univers
Denmark: Fyr og Flamme - Øve os på hinanden
Here are the Eurovision winners from 2000 – 2019:
2019 – Netherlands: Duncan Laurence - Arcade
2018 – Israel: Netta – Toy
2017 – Portugal: Salvador Sobral – Amar pelos dois
2016 – Ukraine: Jamala – 1994
2015 – Sweden: Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes
2014 – Austria: Conchita Wurst – Rise like a Phoenix
2013 – Denmark: Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops
2012 – Sweden: Loreen – Euphoria
2011 – Azerbaijan: Eli and Nikki – Running Scared
2010 – Germany: Lena – Satellite
2009 – Norway: Alexander Rybak – Fairytale
2008 – Russia: Dima Bilan – Believe
2007 – Serbia: Marija Šerifovi? – Molitva
2006 – Finland: Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah
2005 – Greece: Helena Paparizou – My Number One
2004 – Ukraine: Ruslana – Wild Dances
2003 – Turkey: Sertab Erener – Everyway That I Can
2002 – Latvia: Marie N – I Wanna
2001 – Estonia: Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL – Everybody
2000 – Olsen Brothers – Fly on the Wings of love