Bookmakers have installed Denmark as their favourites to win Saturday’s Eurovision Song Contest.
The Danish entry, Only Teardrops by Emmelie de Forest, is being given odds of around 4 to 6 to win the competition. For those unfamiliar with bookmakers’ odds, that means that if you bet one euro that Denmark would win, and it did win, you would get your one euro back plus 66 cents as ‘winnings’. Hence, Denmark is a strong favourite given that there are 26 competitors in a contest that is difficult to predict.
Second favourite according to bookies is Norway, for which gamblers will generally find around 5 or 6 to one (so if Norway won and you bet a euro, you would receive your euro stake plus five or six more euros in case of a Norwegian victory.
After these two Scandinavian favourites come three entries from the east: Ukraine (around 10-1), Azerbaijan (between 10 and 12 to 1) and Russia (between 10 and 16 to 1).
The rank outsiders are Armenia, on wich you can find odds of around 200 to 1. Spain and France are also given little chance of success by the bookmakers.
Euronews’ very own Eurovision jury has been studying all the songs and rating their chances. The euronews’ panel itself is far from unanimous, but the consensus is that Norway has a very good chance of winning. Here is a selection of what we think could do well, and also some of the songs that we admit we actually quite like.
Who the hell are we to judge?
The euronews jury is made up of three music-loving but unfortunately not music-playing journalists, who reserve the right to be honest while trying to remain respectful to the performers: Mark Davis (normally found listening to Pearl Jam, Jake Bugg, the Stone Roses), Thomas Seymat (Alt-J, Franck Ocean, Daft Punk) and Marie Jamet (Marvin Gaye, Pulp, Clinic).
Margaret Berger – I feed you my love
MJ: A beautiful, dreamy blonde, some reverb on top of a gimmicky boom-boom-fizz-fizz dance track and the odd lyrical explosion to get the crowd going. Will Norway do it this year? It just might… 10 points, 20-1 to win.
MD: This song would not be out of place as the theme tune to a James Bond film; the singer has a voice reminiscent of Shirley Manson of Garbage (The World is not Enough). It’s a little bit different to the other entries this year, it’s slightly darker and as such it stands out. I think Norway have a good chance of winning with this effort. 12 points, 10-1 to win.
Cesar - It's My Life
TS: Of course, it would be very easy to laugh off Cesar’s song, with his insanely high-pitched countertenor voice, the 90s dancey loop, interrupted only by a totally out-of-place dubstep break. But the vocal performance is no joke. A mix so mind-blowing it might very well win.
6 points, 16-1 to win.
MD: Good grief, Cesar certainly has one helluva voice! He could do Phantom of the Opera all by himself, singing all the parts. Musicals for the austerity era. Like Thomas, I have no idea who thought the little dubstep cameo would be a good idea. What is it with the 15-second dubstep sequences this year? That aside, this is Cesar’s show. The man was born to be on stage and this is a potential winner even if it is very weird indeed, and a little scary. 10 points, 8-1 to win.
Birgit Õigemeel - Et Uus Saaks Alguse
TS: One of the great things about Eurovision is that you hear songs in languages that otherwise seem very far away. But the lyrical sonority of Estonian, the singer’s clear eyes and dimples are not going to make up for this otherwise nondescript song. 2 points, 60-1 to win.
MD: I quite like this one. Probably because my Dad used to play a lot of Rita Coolidge and there’s a bit of Rita about Birgit. Nothing fancy, just a pretty girl in a pretty dress with a soft voice. This song actually makes me want to learn Estonian. Does Birgit teach? 10 points, 8-1 to win.
Ryan Dolan - Only Love Survives
TS: This song is such a succession of clichés and Euro dance gimmicks that it feels like an evil scientist came up with the perfect mathematic formula for the typical Eurovision dance hit. It won’t prevent the many remixes of the song to provide a summer soundtrack for European vacationers from the Black Sea to the Canaries Island. 5 points, 50-1 to win.
MD: Evil scientist? The video is full of people making heart shapes and generally spreading love, so if it was an evil scientist, he sucks at being evil. Uplifting house, uplifting message, and it’s late spring. Just what this continent needs right now dammit. 10 points. 8-1 to win.
ByeAlex – Kedvesem
MD: Cute animated video showing the lyrics in Hungarian so you can sing along. Or try to anyway. Interesting to see how this translates to a live performance. Song sounds something like Badly Drawn Boy and while it may not be dynamic enough to win, it’s a nice little tune. 10 points (out of a maximum 12), 66-1 to win.
MJ: A nice little indie song, with a jumpy rhythm backed by gentle hand-clapping. This kind of rhythm and voice remind me of one my favourite bands, the Papas Fritas, but without the nice female voice. But here the (male) singer’s slightly veiled voice is nice enough to work without a girlie backup. That’s my 12 points but I predict a 200-1 to win.