There has been heartbreak for 11 contestants at the Eurovision Song Contest, and now it is time to be even more brutal and break 25 more hearts. That’s right, come late on Saturday night, one nation will be rejoicing in triumph, the others will feel deflated. By Monday or Tuesday, though, we will have forgotten all about it and will revert to our normal musical habits. It will be back to the 1980s for Bernardo! But at least we can say Eurovision was fun in the week it lasted.
Before the semi-finals began, the eurovisionodds.com website had made Armenia the favourite with odds of 2.75 to one, closely followed by Sweden on 3.50, then Denmark and Norway a little further back on 10 and 11 respectively. Romania’s Paula Steling & Ovi were on 34, Spain and Italy were 41 to 1, as was Austria’s bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, while France’s TWIN TWIN and Portugal’s Suzy (who did not make it to the final) were further down the list on 101 to 1. Macedonia was last at 226 to 1.
Now, however, as the screen grab to the right shows, there has been a shift in sentiment. Sweden has become the favourite, and the Armenian entry has dropped down to fourth favourite. Conchita Wurst’s beard has shot up the rankings to second spot, but the moustache of the French TWIN TWINs has plunged to 251. Denmark and Norway have dipped significantly, but the UK, Hungary, Ukraine and Greece must have impressed in the semi-finals, as they are now in the top eight. Not that I am suggesting you should bet or take up gambling, it is just to give an idea of who is hot at the moment. And money talks, doesn’t it?
The only signs of the Romance languages in the final will come from Italy and, to a lesser extent, Spain. Neither country had to appear in the semi-final, because they along with France, Germany and the UK (the big five euro broadcasters) automatically qualify for the final. But Spain and Italy appear to have lost favour with the bookmakers.
Let’s have a look at the Italian and Spanish contestants.
Emma Marrone, Italy’s representative, is barely 30 years old yet already she has had a string of hits to her credit in Italy, including a number one album and four chart-topping singles. She is popular in Switzerland too. Her thumping rock/pop entry, La Mia Città (My City), will be a pleasant contrast to all the pop ditties and syrupy ballads at the competition.
Spain’s entry is a mix of Spanish and English. Ruth Lorenzo, who was born in Murcia and also started singing from an early age, was a contestant on the UK’s series The X Factor, in 2008, when she finished fifth. The years in between seem to have been pretty lean, but maybe her powerful Eurovision entry Dancing in the Rain will give her musical career some propulsion. But it does seem bizarre to start off in Spanish then switch to English.
May your Eurovision party rock!
Why, do you think, has the eurovisionodds website not been able to include the flags of Hungary and Montenegro? Odd, hey.