If you want to gamble on the Eurovision Song Contest Betting, forget about the UK and Ireland and look for a talented singer songwriter from elsewhere.
For patriotic UK punters, it used to prove profitable on a regular basis but it has been a disheartening experience since 1997. That was the year of the UK’s last win thanks to Katrina and the Waves performance of Love Shine A Light. If you take into consideration the number of times a country has been runner up in the contest as well as wins, the UK would be the most successful participant ever. Back in the good old days there were five wins and fifteen second places. Today, recent results suggest that you can rely on the UK to be closer to the bottom than the top of the leader board by the end of the competition.
Something must have happened towards the end of the last century. Ireland, the most successful country in terms of the number of wins, also recorded their final win to date in 1996 with Eimear Quinn singing The Voice. The staggering success of Ireland in the 1990s should have made them consistent favourites in the Eurovision Song Contest betting. They managed to win not just in 1996 but in 1992, 1993 and 1994 too. They are the only country to have achieved three consecutive successes in the contest.
Additional wins in 1970, 1980 and 1987 took their tally of successes to seven. Ireland’s Johnny Logan managed to give two winning performances in the eighties, making him the most successful individual in the history of the competition. He not only wrote one of the winning songs he performed, Hold Me Now in 1987, but also wrote the successful entry Why Me performed by Linda Martin to take Ireland to victory in 1992.
Logan is not the only Irishman to have written two winning songs. Brendan Graham wrote not only their most recent winning song, The Voice, but was also responsible for Rock’n Roll Kids performed by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan to take victory in 1994.
General trends for Eurovision betting
Since the demise of the UK and Ireland in the late 1990s, there are no obvious countries that you should focus on before making your decisions. Since the turn of the century, seventy percent of the successful countries have been first time winners with Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine, Greece, Finland, Serbia and Russia all achieving unprecedented wins.
Only Norway, successful in 2009, had two previous wins in the competition under their belt. They were back in 1995 and 1985 so they haven’t exactly built a consistent stream of recent winning form that would merit favouritism in the betting odds.
Whilst there are never any hard and fast rules, a look through the video archive of recent winning entries can give punters some valuable pointers to improve their chances of making a profit.
The vast majority of winners are easy on the eye as well as the ear. Lead singers definitely benefit from having classical features that could as easily grace the pages of a fashion magazine as a CD cover. The 2010 winner, Germany’s Lena Meyer-Landrut, was certainly close to model standard in the looks department as were Helena Paparizou and Ruslana, winners in 2005 and 2004 respectively.
Many successful Eurovision acts have provided not just an attractive vocalist and a catchy, euphoria inducing tune but a significant visual spectacle as well. A classic example was Norway’s winning entry in 2009, Fairytale. Not only was Alexander Rybak good looking and an accomplished singer and violinist (violins seem to be very on trend) but he was memorably supported by three male dancers whose antics included everything from Cossack style dancing to spectacular gymnastic moves. Whether or not Cossack dancing is part of Norway’s national heritage is irrelevant, there was something memorable going down on the stage as well as the very active performance of the talented Mr Rybak.
In 2008, Russia’s winning performance of Believe by Dima Bilan was embellished not just by a male violinist but a dancer on skates pirouetting as if his life depended upon it. It wasn’t altogether a pretty sight but, when you are looking to find the winner, an act with something other than the standard musical embellishments of a bit of conventional dancing seems to stand a better chance than one without.
Having identified a trend for first time winners since 2000, there is one other factor that is worth considering before making your Eurovision betting decisions. Sixty percent of the winners this century have written or been involved in the writing of the songs that they have performed. This is particularly significant when you bear in mind that the vast majority of singers have absolutely nothing to do with the creation of the song that they will ultimately perform.
In 2000, Jorgen Olsen wrote Fly on the Wings of Love, the song that he successfully performed with his brothers to give Denmark a win. Sertab Erener co-wrote Everyway That I Can with Demir Demirkan and performed it to take victory for Turkey in 2003. In 2004, Ruslana was not only the lead singer but one of the writers of the Ukraine’s first ever winning entry, the appropriately named Wild Dances.
The most extraordinary and atypical winning song in recent years, Finland’s Hard Rock Hallelujah in 2006, which will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Yes, that was the hard rock number performed by mostly masked people dressed as monsters. It was not only sung by Lordi but written by Mr Lordi too.
In 2008, Dima Bilan, singer of the successful Russian entry, Believe, co-wrote the song with Jim Beanz. The following year, the winning song Fairytale was both written and performed by the aforementioned Alexander Rybak.
So the key rule, if history is any guide, when getting involved in the Eurovision Song Contest betting is simply to look for an attractive singer songwriter who provides a visually spectacular performance.