As the performers from the first semifinal relax after their first days on stage, today saw the turn of the first second semifinalists. As the attention turns towards them, has anything shifted in the bookmakers’ favourites overall?
The notable development is a continuation of yesterday’s trend, namely the steady rise of Russia. Polina has now overtaken Estonia in the favourites table to become the fourth most fancied performer to take the title on Saturday 23rd. Odds are steadily shortening, and are as low as 9-1 with some bookmakers. So far, however, even Polina cannot penetrate the stronghold of the top three favourites, Sweden, Italy and Australia.
From the past two days of performances, Belarus and Netherlands seem to have come out the worst with betting folk. Belarus hovers around 100-1, with Netherlands drifting to up to 150-1.
As for today’s performers, fan favourite Norway is faring best, clustering with Slovenia and Azerbaijan to form a little bloc of potential favourites just outside the short odds. However, there’s a faintly detectable movement in the direction of shorter odds for Norway; perhaps this will become more apparent over the next day or two as more potential betters see the rehearsal video.
A day of outsiders
The pattern of the first half of the second semifinal is definitely one of outsiders, and particularly rank outsiders, with none of today’s performers setting the bookies on fire – at least yet. Ireland, Malta and Montenegro are languishing in the long, long grass – with odds of 100-1 or greater, it seems that nobody is currently confident in a victory there. San Marino and the Czech Republic are further down, at an almost impressive 300-1 with some bookies. But Portugal still takes the prize, at up to 500-1 for a win for Leonor, taking the contest home to Lisbon.
What will Thursday bring? Will the second semifinalists – Sweden excepted – begin to make an impact on the favourites table? Who will make the biggest rise – and fall – over the next few days?