Eurovision 2013

Our friend Keith Mills from AKOE casts his eyes over Semi Final 1 and the Betting Odds

Eurovision Ireland's Good Friend Keith Mills from AKOE with Ryan Dolan - Photograph courtesy of Keith Mills Facebook

Eurovision Ireland’s Good Friend Keith Mills from AKOE with Ryan Dolan – Photograph courtesy of Keith Mills Facebook

First Semi-final; only one place still to be decided?

While fan polls may be an interesting diversion between the end of national final season and the Eurovision week, once we get to the rehearsals, the bookmakers odds provide the best guide to how songs will succeed in the contest. Nowadays you can bet in many different ways and not just on who you think will win on the big night, and today we look at where the money is going on the qualifiers from the first semi-final.

The Tuesday night show will be the smallest semi-final, since the contest expanded in 2004, with only 16 countries competing for the ten places in the final. In theory, this means that every country has a 62.5% chance of making the final show. There are many bookmakers offering odds on each country’s chances of success in the semi and when you look at the odds and when you convert those into a probability factor, after removing the bookmakers’ mark–up, you get a very clear indication that nine countries already look to have one foot in the final and that the other seven are fighting for the final place in the Saturday line-up.

Denmark (92% chance of qualifying), Russia (91%), Ukraine (91%) and Serbia (83%) have been runaway favourites to qualify, long before the rehearsals, and mixed reports on their first performances in Malmo hasn’t changed their chances. Despite good reports on Anouk’s first rehearsal, the Netherlands has dropped slightly from 82% to 80%, but that should still see the Dutch in their first final since 2004. There’s been a significant surge in support for Moldova who have climbed two places and now stand at 75% chance of qualifying, up from 68% before the reports from Malmo.

Belarus has fallen from 80% to 74%, but very few songs with this high a chance have failed to make the cut which is also good news for Ireland who have gone from 70% to 72%. These eight were bankers before the rehearsals and still look to be all but guaranteed places in the final. The one song that has emerged from the pack this week is Croatia and Klapa S Mora have jumped from 55% to 68% making five qualifiers from the first half of the draw.

After that things get tricky. Four countries appear to be in contention for the final place. Austria has dropped from 57% to 52%. Estonia is unchanged at 46%. Montenegro has jumped from 34% to 42% and now has its best chance of making a Eurovision final, while Lithuania has slipped from 49% to 42%.

As of now the three unfancied countries in this semi are Belgium who are up 3% to 34%, Cyprus has dropped from 36% to 31% and Slovenia has dropped like a stone to the most unlikely qualifier, at 30%, down 6%.

Will later rehearsals change things again or do we already know none qualifiers from the first semi-final?

Author/Contributer – Keith Mills

Source – Eurovision Ireland

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