Bookmakers and their punters proved themselves once again to be a brilliant yardstick tonight, predicting comfortably nine of out ten finalists from the second Eurovision Song Contest semifinal.
In fact, some bookmakers had a perfect ten, as the tenth final place was variously given as Norway, Georgia or FYR Macedonia by different outlets. In the end, it was Georgia that won that battle, breaking Norway’s run of qualifications, and denying Kaliopi the chance to sing in the final for a second time. Fans will have to wait until the full publication of results to find out whether that tussle played out for real on the night.
However, the accuracy of these pooled predictions suggests that for another year, the odds might be a good guide to Saturday’s final placings. Now that the semifinal stages are over, those final odds look like this for the top ten:
- UK / Netherlands
Russia still steams ahead with ever-tightening odds, while Australia, on somewhat lengthier odds than Sergey, takes over Ukraine’s spot in second, pushing Jamala into third. France lengthens into double figures with some bookies, but Sweden just hangs on to fifth place.
Armenia and Malta have been switching places almost continually over the last couple of days, fighting it out for sixth and seventh place between them. After these duelling countries, it’s quite a lengthy stretch to the next favourite, Italy; odds are hovering around 33/1, but up to as high as 50/1 and beyond. Belgium sneaks in now at ninth, after a great showing from Laura Tesoro tonight; and the final spot in the top ten looks to be a battle between UK and the Netherlands.
The longest shots appear to be Georgia and Germany, languishing at odds of up to 250/1.