They say the most important thing in comedy is timing, and for once Europe has got lucky. Whilst across the pond the United States population is just coming to terms with what Childish Gambino (alter ego of Donald Glover) has said about their country in his now viral “This Is America” video, we over here are treated to the yearly spectacle that says just as much about our great continent of 741 million people; The Eurovision Song Contest. Just don’t bet on Eurovision to be as bleak. Or involve guns.
- Are the French going to get Mercy from the audience and win?
- Is Norway going to beat those 4/1 odds and take the title?
- Could crazy Israeli Netta Barzilai be victorious in Lisbon?
- Can anyone realistically hope to beat the diva Eleni Foureira?
Behaving like the sole the justification for the word “extravaganza” the Eurovision song contest once gave us Abba and Waterloo, Puppet On A String by Sandie Shaw and Save All Your Kisses For Me by the Brotherhood of Man, but in recent years has taken on a far more camp, tongue-in-cheek, existence that has led more than one observer to call it “The Gay Olympics” (as epitomized by Conchita Wurst and “Rise Like A Phoenix” winning in 2014). It is also very popular to bet on Eurovision these days.
Precisely why a once cheesy rather naff singing contest took on the mantle of both a “decent little flutter” and Europe’s biggest LGBTQ party is difficult to put one’s finger on but as the day-glo orange feather boas are dusted off for this year’s finals you can bet on Eurovision causing hoards of casual gamblers to take advantage of Portuguese gambling laws to back their favorite and it’s not just there either. Whilst the big show is in Lisbon the TV audience across Europe will likely hit the 200m mark.
Novelty Wagers Ahoy As Eurovision Heads For Lisbon
A bet on Eurovision then is for Europeans like that little wager you might put on The Grand National or the World Cup Final, the Kentucky Derby or Super Bowl. It’s not to be taken too seriously, which, frankly, would be tricky to do anyway. You only need spend but a few moments listening to some of the entries this year to know that “serious” is never going to apply, and nor should it. This is a huge party of European unity, inclusion and open-mindedness. Especially when it comes to basic geography.
One need not be Magellan to quickly notice that some of the nations involved aren’t quite as European as they ought be, their inclusion only lending weight to the Olympic comparison, and indeed this year Israel (so not European it’s painful) and Cyprus (Guess again, muppets) are some of the favorites to win and are being backed heavily by those who have eschewed their usual bet on sports in Portugal to bet on Eurovision for a laugh. Australia is there too, but at least they had the decency to send a horrid song.
It’s Time To Bet On Eurovision Again!
- Moldova – 28/1
- Czech Republic – 28/1
- Estonia – 25/1
- Sweden – 12/1
- Lithuania – 11/1
- France – 7/1
- Israel – 11/2
- Norway – 4/1
- Cyprus – 2/1
The Australian entry is standing at around 80/1 to win which means they’ve as much hope as a Wombat in a blender, and the realistic odds for those looking to bet on Eurovision really only start around the 25/1 mark with Estonia and Elina Nechayeva who’ll be singing in Italian (Just don’t ask) with Sweden getting 12/1 for Benjamin Ingrosso and “Dance You Off” and Lithuania at 11/1 despite morose Ieva Zasimauskalte just channeling Frozen with “When We’re Old” if you ask me. Not that anyone has.
The French get 7/1 with the more cheerful “Mercy” by Madam Monsieur although if you’re Portuguese gambling news headlines will laugh at them winning just take a look at the Israeli getting 11/2. You need not have bet on Eurovision before to know Toy by Netta Barzilai is bonkers enough to win but Norway is at 4/1, and Alexander Rybak s “That’s How You Write A Song” is cute and dancey enough to beat her. However the favorite at 2/1 is Cyprus with Fuego by manifest diva Eleni Foureira*.
* – Readers should note that due to her aesthetic, voice, presentation and all round ‘diva’ vibe the realistic chances of her losing at the Eurovision finals are of the same numerical value as those pertaining to Donald Glover replacing Oliver North as President of the NRA in the next two weeks.