Monthly Archives: May 2015

BETSFACTEUR – Guide to Eurovision 2015

=== Eurovision 2015 ====

Disclaimer: I am sometimes wrong on Eurovision. I suffer from not being in the press centre, where you can see the TV angles and staging and crucially the jury rehearsal, where Juries score. So take my thoughts and so on with a huge pinch of salt. Last year my heart sank when Molly for the UK failed to connect with the camera. I’d said we’d come runners up – but I hadn’t seen the TV performance…. So I’m writing this with a hand tied behind my back!

This guide is to help you get the maximum enjoyment out of the planet’s greatest and most respected live music event. I’ll tell you what to look out for in each performance and my ill judged prediction for where the song will end up.

The winner will be either SWEDEN or RUSSIA.

Where’s your money on Ric?
As you’ll see from the Betsfactor twitter feed, I’ve said Sweden/Russia all week, but I had a huge potential win on Russia at 14-1. As it’s come in, I’ve switched some to Sweden and reckon in my heart of hearts Sweden will win. But I don’t think they want him to!

Why?
Sweden will have to host it again at great expense. I think they have done various things to try and deramp him a bit. So, I am not *certain* he’ll do it, and certainly wouldn’t touch him at these prices. The EBU could do with us going to the East for a change as well.

Why do you think he’ll win?
How long have you got. Great song, sensational staging, slight Country and Western twang to it, cute guy. The lot.

And Russia?
Beautiful singer, Disney dress, great song, wonderful staging.

Anyone else?
I have a cover bet on Italy. It needs to be respected.

It’s going to be a long night. Any thoughts?
The first half is great fun – so watch that. The second half is full of ballads and if you’re really bored you could always come back for Russia and Italy later. There are LOADS of ballads this year.

What about the voting?
The voting running order is determined by an algorhythm based on the jury score last night, “to make it as exciting as possible”. So we can look at this and try and get a clue. There are a LOT of Western countries voting towards the end, which suggests to me Sweden or Italy have done it. Iceland and Norway are at the end. Sweden give their votes 20th. Russia 35th ish. If Russia were winning, surely you’d put them earlier in the running order?

Let’s get on with the party. We’ve the usual 20 minutes of nonsense before the show properly begins.

SLOVENIA – Headphone wearing Adele wannabee.
Look out for: Why bother with instruments when you can just pretend?
23:30: Midtable. Shame. The headphones were a big mistake.

FRANCE – The French always insist on singing in French and the songs are generally dire. She can sing.
Look out for: “We can’t have fifty drummers on stage? OK -We’ll sort it.”
23:30: It’s a no from Europe.

ISRAEL – So we’re half an hour in and you’re not feeling it yet? It all starts here. Loads of pyro. Loads of bad dancing.
Lookout for: The moment he sings “do you like my dancing”, whilst grinding in way that would give a clear answer from any lady.
23:30 – Higher than you might think.

ESTONIA – This is a terrific song. Performed superbly.
Lookout for: The crocodile tears she seems to turn on, on demand.
23:30: Market places this fifth. Worry it’s been nuked placed so early in the show. Top 6.

UNITED KINGDOM – How this travesty of a song has been allowed to represent the nation that I love, is beyond me. To make it worse they’ve thrown the kitchen sink of gimmicks from the 90’s, at this dire mess of a three minutes. The guy who wrote this, wrote the original theme to the National Lottery and Jim ‘ll Fix it. Enough said.
Lookout for: As well as the dress, a new range of kids’ road safety wear, being showcased by the guys.
23:30: Bottom three. And rightly so.

AREMINA – Genocide is a topic that’s always great for Saturday Night Light Entertainment.
Lookout for: The final minute. Just a complete mess.
23:30: Third quarter of the table.

LITHUANIA – This is fun. The staging is getting dangerously close to colour vomit Betsfactor fans.
Lookout for: The backing dancers are going to kiss. But watch them very closely before…. OMG! This is going out in Russia and Azerbaijan!
23:30: Irrelevant

SERBIA – Larger Lady sings about being beautiful in a song written by the guy who wrote last years winner.
Lookout for: Oh there’s plenty to enjoy here…. She’s 28 FYI.
23:30: Not as bad as you might think. Despite questionable vocals.

— We’re into the winner zone now. The next few songs are all potential Top 5ers —-

NORWAY – A young Jamie Theakston and a young Rebecca Brookes sing about Monsters. This is a song that I think has been WAY overrated.
23:30: Bookies had this down as Top 5 a week or two ago. Overrated in my mind. Struggling for Top 10.

SWEDEN – =WINNER=. Derren Brown plays with his imaginary friends. This is great. Enjoy it.
Lookout for: All sorts of clever effects, the puddle…his chest turning red….
23:30 – Winner or close second. Be very careful – I don’t think the Swedes or EBU *want* Sweden to win. Russia or Italy are still in with a shout. If I had to call it – I’d say this wins. But I have cash on Russia too….

CYPRUS – Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting mixed with Vanessa Williams – Save the best for last mixed with a dash of Savage Garden. It’s the sort of dated love song played on dated commercial radio stations after 10pm. Poor song, staged nicely.
Lookout for: I think we’ve seen enough gimmicks for the moment. But what a nice lad.
23:30 – Difficult. Mid Table? The Swede Oz Sandwich doesn’t help.

AUSTRALIA – They love Eurovision down under (although it’s on live at 5am). Fans Campaigned and so for the 60th year… why not!? Great song. Great singer. Dreadful costumes don’t help and he maybe overdoes the riffs. I’ve not seen the TV version remember.
Lookout for: Lots of lamp posts and a singer in clashing leopard print and pink, dressed as if she hangs around those lamp posts.
23:30: Just outside the medals.

BELGUIM – Something vaguely credible now. Contemporary Dancers who look like they have come fresh from performing at the launch event for the new Ford Mondeo. Listen for occasional random screeches and he’ll have a rest during the song too.
Look out for: Watch the tall dancer who looks like he’s concentrating really hard but messing it up.
23:30 – Surprisingly high. Brilliantly staged.

— end of the winner zone —-

AUSTRIA – B List 1998 Coldplay meets a health and safety nightmare. But he keeps going like a pro.
Lookout for: What the hell is that hairstyle guitarman. And that adult entertainment 70’s moustache.
23:30 – Right hand side of the screen. Fire kills.

Tea Break. Feel free to take a tea break here, you won’t miss anything for the next four songs.

GREECE – Close your eyes and it’s Celine Dion. Open them and it’s Holly Valance.
23:30 – Not disgraced. Not happy either.

MONTENEGRO– This guy is big in Montenegro. He wants to dance, so let’s give him the sort of dance moves you give the large politician on Strictly.
Look out for: The Visit Scotland Advert music starting us off.
23:30 – Low.

GERMANY – Ann was born in London. Is only here because the winner of Germany’s national final couldn’t be bothered to come. So she’s runner up is here… This is track 9 of an album you bought in 1989 because you liked track 1, 4 and 5.
Look out for: Those trousers look a bit tight.
23:30 – Battling with the UK and France for 27th.

POLAND – Last year Poland came top in the UK phone vote, due to massive bosomed milkmaids constantly bending over in stunning HD. This year it won’t be 12pts from anyone.
23:30 – Not good enough.

LATVIA – This is one of those jury/punter splits. Juries will lap this up, but the punters fell asleep during Germany. This is cool. Quirky. Original.
Look out for: Is that a tattoo?
23:30 – No idea! Flirting with the Top 10 thanks to juries.

ROMANIA – The hilarious Popbitch said “If you ever wanted to know what Fathers 4 Justice would look like if they formed a band – this is it”. It actually has a serious message. Not quite sure what it is.
Lookout for: His Gems TV broach.
23:30 Respectable. They have friends.

SPAIN – She’s dating Manchester United’s goalkeeper FYI.
Lookout for: What’s she doing with those hands… she’s getting a bit close to her… Oh she’s stopped…. Is this dress coming off…? No… Is it…? No… is it?
23:30 – Top of the bottom third.

HUNGARY – You know that woman at work. The nice but really really bland one, who you always wonder if she has a secret life and is outrageous at the weekend, here she is with her friends from the Christian Union to sing about how war is bad.
Lookout for: The strange punctuation. Lyrics that just stop half way through a sentence.
23:30 – She was nervous in the semi. Nerves and raw vocals don’t work. 18-28th.

GEORGIA – This is what your teenage daughter will wear when she goes through her alternative phase. Not convinced that aggressive plus weird eyes on the big screen, wins.
Lookout for: Leaky eyes. Ewww. Needs to see a doctor.
23:30 – Juries will look after this. The punters won’t though. 13-16th.

AZERBAIJAN – Good song, but this doesn’t work live. Russia next everybody.
Lookout for : Dafydd from Little Britain meets Rhydian Roberts performing his A Level Contemporary Dance project.
23:30 – Something beginning with a 1.

RUSSIA – = TOP THREE = Maybe winner. Disney princess sings about peace, love and tolerance. This is the Russian entry, so you’d expect that. Wonderful staging – very “Frozen”.
Lookout for: The ultimate wedding dress and her tonsils.
23:30 – Medals. Not convinced the voting order points to a victory, but let’s see.

ALBANIA – This is very exciting. Sometimes she’s pretty good, and sometimes she’s staggeringly painful to listen to. If she’s true to form, your opinion on her vocal should change ten to fifteen times during this song. “Actually she’s quite goo.. no she’s not”.This is the sh*t in the sandwich between the Russian / Italian gourmet bread.
Lookout for – The very very dodgy vocals.
23:30 – A number with a 2 at the start.

ITALY – Italian boy next doors end the show with a rousing piece of Il Divo style stuff.
23:30 – I don’t think this sort of operatic stuff wins Eurovision. However 26m Youtube views and the last slot has to be respected. 4th-6th?

BETTING:

This is likely a SWEDEN win.
Russia Top 3.
Respect Italy massively. Don’t bet against them on anything.
Norway seems over rated.

I’m not convinced there is much value out there at the moment! But maybe when the voting begins, you can get a decent price.

I’ll post any other betting thoughts @betsfactor once I’ve seen the songs. The guys in the press centre have a huge advantage, so I’ve not seen the TV performance (or the jury ones for that matter!)

Hope you enjoy the planet’s greatest live cultural event – @betsfactor for the latest thoughts.

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