Editorials & Opinion

🇪🇺 Rediscovering 14 years of Eurovision odds: We analyse and reminisce

🇳🇴 Oslo 2010

Next, we look back at the odds ahead of the 2010 contest. These odds were recorded from William Hill on May 6th, 23 days before the final on May 29th. Only the top 10 ranked countries were recorded in this instance.

RankOddsCountryEntryEurovision
Placing
15/2🇩🇪 GermanyLena – Satellite1st
25/2🇦🇿 AzerbaijanSafura – Drip Drop5th
38/1🇩🇰 DenmarkChanée & N’evergreen – In A Moment Like This4th
48/1🇮🇱 IsraelHarel Skaat – Milim14th
514/1🇦🇲 ArmeniaEva Rivas – Apricot Stone7th
616/1🇭🇷 CroatiaFeminnem – Lako Je SveSF (13th)
720/1🇳🇴 NorwayDidrik Solli-Tangen – My Heart Is Yours20th
822/1🇸🇪 SwedenAnna Bergendahl – This Is My LifeSF (11th)
925/1🇮🇪 IrelandNiamh Kavanagh – It’s For You23rd
1028/1🇬🇷 GreeceGiorgos Alkaios and Friends – OPA8th

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the odds.
  • 60% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the odds.
  • 50% of the eventual top 10 at Eurovision placed inside the top 10 of the odds.

Germany and Azerbaijan were clear betting leaders in 2010. The former matched that expectation by taking the victory. Azerbaijan may have been able to put up a close fight but was drawn to open the show whereas Lena performed four songs from the end. Two outsiders completed the top three with Turkey and Romania not fancied at all prior to the contest. We also saw two key favourites fromCroatia and Sweden fail to qualify for the final.

Furthermore, there was an under-performance from returning Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh for Ireland. When factoring in this result, plus Croatia’s returning artist Feminnem and Sweden’s returning winner Charlotte Perrelli in 2008 who both also failed to live up to their odds, it does seem that there is a tendency for returning artists to be over-predicted by betting odds. Both Sakis Rouvas and Chiara would also fit this pattern in 2009.

🇩🇪 Düsseldorf 2011

Now it’s time to look back at the odds ahead of the 2011 contest. These odds were recorded from Paddy Power on April 24th, 20 days before the final on May 14th.

RankOddsCountryEntryEurovision
Placing
14/1🇫🇷 FranceAmaury Vassili – Sognu15th
213/2🇪🇪 EstoniaGetter Jaani – Rockefeller Street24th
37/1🇬🇧 United KingdomBlue – I Can11th
48/1🇭🇺 HungaryKati Wolf – What About My Dreams?22nd
510/1🇸🇪 SwedenEric Saade – Popular3rd
610/1🇧🇦 Bosnia & HerzegovinaDino Merlin – Love In Rewind6th
712/1🇦🇿 AzerbaijanEll & Nikki – Running Scared1st
812/1🇳🇴 NorwayStella Mwangi – Haba HabaSF (17th)
912/1🇩🇪 GermanyLena – Taken By A Stranger10th
1020/1🇷🇺 RussiaAlexej Vorobjov – Get You16th
1120/1🇮🇪 IrelandJedward – Lipstick8th
1220/1🇩🇰 DenmarkA Friend In London – New Tomorrow5th
1333/1🇮🇹 ItalyRaphael Gualazzi – Madness Of Love2nd
1440/1🇷🇴 RomaniaHotel FM – Change17th
1540/1🇵🇱 PolandMagdalena Tul – JestemSF (19th)

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 7th in the odds.
  • 20% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the odds.
  • 60% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the odds.

2011 is often deemed to be one of the most open contests in the recent decade and the statistics certainly prove this. Only Sweden lived up to the pre-contest odds of being a contender. Whereas the other countries amongst the top 5 favourites all failed to make the top 10. While Estonia and Hungary failing to break out of the bottom 5 in the final would’ve shocked many bookmakers, Norway‘s failure to qualify by some distance is the ultimate overestimation in the odds this time around.

Going against recent patterns, Germany‘s returning winner Lena was the 9th favourite to win and finished 10th. We have already discovered that returning artists tend to be over-predicted. However, with Lena returning immediately after her first appearance, perhaps the hype around her wasn’t quite as significant as it would’ve been if she returned a few years later on. Furthermore, fans probably realised that two wins in a row for the same artist do seem quite an unlikely outcome.

🇦🇿 Baku 2012

Next up, it’s time to look back at the odds ahead of the 2012 contest. These odds were recorded from Sky Bet on April 25th, 31 days before the final on May 26th.

RankOddsCountryEntryEurovision
Placing
19/4🇸🇪 SwedenLoreen – Euphoria1st
28/1🇮🇹 ItalyNina Zilli – L’amore è femmina (Out Of Love)9th
310/1🇷🇺 RussiaBuranovskiye Babushki – Party For Everybody2nd
411/1🇷🇸 SerbiaŽeljko Joksimović – Nije Ljubav Stvar3rd
514/1🇩🇰 DenmarkSoluna Samay – Should’ve Known Better23rd
614/1🇬🇧 United KingdomEngelbert Humperdinck – Love Will Set You Free25th
716/1🇮🇪 IrelandJedward – Waterline19th
818/1🇪🇸 SpainPastora Soler – Quédate Conmigo (Stay With Me)10th
920/1🇩🇪 GermanyRoman Lob – Standing Still8th
1020/1🇳🇴 NorwayTooji – Stay26th
1122/1🇮🇸 IcelandGreta Salóme and Jónsi – Never Forget20th
1225/1🇬🇷 GreeceEleftheria Eleftheriou – Aphrodisiac17th
1328/1🇷🇴 RomaniaMandinga – Zaleilah12th
1428/1🇹🇷 TurkeyCan Bonomo – Love Me Back7th
1533/1🇨🇾 CyprusIvi Adamou – La La Love16th

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the odds.
  • 60% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the odds.
  • 53% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the odds.

Sweden were runaway favourites. Thus, it was, therefore, no surprise Loreen secured a landslide victory in Baku. Russia and Serbia were both tipped to be amongst the front-runners and both finished in the top 3. Most notably, the other top 6 finishers at Eurovision, AzerbaijanAlbania and Estonia were nowhere to be seen in the top 15. All three were powerful ballads which many agree benefited from live performances. Therefore, maybe this isn’t such a surprise.

Ireland is the latest to fall into the trap of an overhyped returning artist as Jedward fell way below expectations with their second entry in as many years. Denmark and the United Kingdom were the other countries who failed to live up to their odds. With the very well-known Engelbert Humperdinck representing the latter, people perhaps expected that name power and the subsequent media coverage to translate into votes.

Our journey down memory lane continues on the next page…

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