Eurovision Song Contest 2016: Terrific tips for Saturday’s showpiece
Holly Thackeray | May 13, 2016
Holograms of wolves, super-imposed eagles wings and unabashed pop music with more gimmicks than you can shake a stick at. Yep, it is that time of year again, as the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 takes centre stage this mid-spring Saturday evening in Sweden.
The cheesiest and most beloved/maligned music contest, which brings together 26 European (and bizarrely Australia, again) countries in a night of glorious song, dance, stunts, lost-in-translation humour and a smattering of political intrigue is back!
Of course, Coral are giving a betting boost to Eurovision parties up and down the nation, with a selection of superb punts and markets that could see customers profit.
So, grab your Union Jack and Swedish snacks, print off a ratings card and see which sensational value wagers tickle your fancy. Can the adoring but interloping Aussie’s spring a shock? Will Sweden retain their crown? Or could Russia run away with it? Read our thoughts on the best bets below…
Fancy a flutter on a favourite?
As usual, there are a host of front-runners with bookies, in a list that reads all too familiarly for UK fans, but before we get to the competition favourites, it is worth mentioning that Coral are also offering a 6/1 wager for any country to fail to score a point in the final.
Punters usually pile their cash on a winner, but this market could prove fruitful as, since the current scoring system was introduced in 1975 16 nations have recorded zero points (or ‘nil points’ as we love to incorrectly call it), including rather famously the UK in 2003 with Jemini’s ‘Cry Baby’ and two last year in the 2015 edition (Austria and Germany).
Speaking of, Germany are currently joint-rank outsiders with Georgia at 250/1 to win, with both entries argubaly not quite in the usual Eurovision vein.
“Thunder and lightning, it’s getting exciting”
Russia just know what works in the Eurovision Song Contest, as the 2008 victors jointly hold the record for the most top five finishes in the 21st Century – with an impressive eight. Last year’s runners-up are runaway 4/7 favourites to pip rivals to the post this time around with a dramatic ditty from Russian pop superstar Sergey Lazarev.
‘You Are the Only One’ has Eurovision written all over it with electro beats, synchronized backing dancers, and clever/flashy visual effects. Plus who can resist lyrics such as “thunder and lightning, it’s getting exciting”? See Lazarev’s polished semi-final performance below:
Australia enticing with Coral’s pricing
Our cousins from Down Under have been invited back to the Eurovision Song Contest for a second time in two years, after impressing as special guests in 2015 to mark the competition’s 60th birthday.
The Aussies are passionate about this music marvel, and are certainly taking it seriously again this season as second favourites after finishing a promising fifth last time out.
In Stockholm, sparkly-dressed songstress Dami Im is the Oceania nation’s bright hope with power ballad ‘Sound Of Silence’. These always rank rather well and the hook is sure to get stuck in your head, so odds of 5/1 to win look very generous indeed.
Ukraine an intriguing offering, Sweden seeking to retain
Qualifiers from semi-final two Ukraine could be big competition for Russia and Australia, and are 8/1 to see emotionally charged tune ‘1944’ by soulful singer Jamala scoop the big prize, with her effort bringing a more serious side to proceedings. As 21st in the running order, after Russia in 18th, they could be a strong shout.
While, France and hosts Sweden complete the first five favourites in outright betting with Coral. The Swedes join Russia as joint for top five finishes in modern history, and are second for all-time wins with six, so could represent cracking value at 16/1 to keep hold of their crown.
Between 2012 and 2015 the Swedes have swept to success twice, with Frans’ relaxed song “If I Were Sorry” following in illustrious footsteps. It’s a far cry from ABBA, but customers can view the hosts’ chilled, toe-tapping entry below:
The French are also tipped for a bit of a resurgence, having failed to finish in the top three since 1991, even falling to last place in 2014. Seeking to restore pride on this occasion is Amir, singing in both French and English, with funky ‘J’ai cherche’, which is 12/1 to win the lot.
Eurovision loves an outside shout
Joe and Jake to jostle established order?
No tipping piece could be complete without suggesting a hopeful stake on the United Kingdom, for all those patriotic punters who are gluttons for punishment – wouldn’t it be a tantalising twist of fate if the UK finally won it again while the country is on the cusp of Brexit?
British boyband offering Joe and Jake are set to be buoyed, according to reports, after Denmark’s act Lighthouse X, viewed as a potential rival, failed to make it past the semi-finals. Could the all-singing, guitar-playing duo steal the teenage heart market then? Pundits believe so, though aside from the UK’s hype train always halting at the final hurdle, most things related to Eurovision voting are tough to predict.
‘You’re Not Alone’ is an upbeat offering though, pure, clean-cut pop in the Lawson vein, with an abundance of catchy sing-along lines. Could this be a game changer? An optimistic UK audience can opt for jovial Joe and Jake at an ambitious outright of 28/1 to be crowned kings of Europe, or at 7/2 to at least finish the evening in the top 10.
While, from the ‘big five’ countries (which Coral classes as the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) Joe and Jake are a fantastic 4/1 to finish top of the pile of familiar foes. Going second to last in the running order could certainly help the cause in this regard, with the tune likely to stay fresh in folks’ minds.
There is also additional value to be had with any of the so-called ‘big five’ at 6/1 to win v the field.
See Joe and Jake in action and decide for yourselves:
Coral’s top tip: The UK actually looks tasty to finish in the top 10 at 7/2.