As the betting markets react to Tuesday night's first Eurovision Song Contest semi final, Belgium has emerged as a leading candidate to win the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. Belgium have won the Eurovision Song Contest only once before, and they did it in Norway.
Tom Dice's simple song Me and my guitar is now a clear favourite with the bookies of the ten songs that qualified from Tuesday night's semi final. Only Azerbaijan, Armenia, Germany, Israel and Sweden have lower odds, and of those, only Germany is assured a place in Saturday's final. The others must all pass tonight's semi final.
Belgium's qualification on Tuesday was the first time that the country has qualified for the final since the introduction of semi finals in 2004. In that year, Belgium were already in the final after reaching second place in 2003 but finished in 22nd place with Xandee. In 2005, Nuno Resende finished 22nd in the semi final, in 2006, European superstar Kate Ryan could only finish 12th in the semi final. The KMGs, Ishtar and Patrick Ouchène (Elvis) all failed to take the country back to the final.
Belgium's only Eurovision Song Contest victory was secured in 1986 by Sandra Kim with the uptempo hit J'aim la vie. She remains the youngest Eurovision Song Contest winner of all times, aged just 12 years old (not 13 as publicised at the time). Her victory came in Bergen, Norway after Bobbysocks' won the title for Norway the year before. Tom Dice will be hoping that history repeats itself this Saturday.