Eurovision Betting: Kitch dark horse
If you're looking for a dark horse, consider San Marino.
Eliot Pollak has found a minnow in the 2012 Eurovision Contest that he feels is the value bet ahead of the friendly hostilities.
Re: Rebuilding European Unity
Right now, the Eurozone is in crisis. Unless we restore optimism and a sense of kinship amongst ordinary Europeans, we could be facing the 1930s all over again. And nobody wants that.
Particularly us Germans.
Anyway, where was I? Ah jawohl. what we need is a cultural event, one that will bring us all together. One which will show that Europe is not full of ridiculous countries. One that will show the commitment to democracy across the continent, even in the former Soviet Union. But above all, one in which petty point-scoring and old alliances, will not stand in the way of European togetherness.
Mrs Merkel would be best advised to have the weekend off, and certainly not dare turn on her television to watch Eurovision 2012; a parade of ludicrous acts, taking place in a country where freedom is restricted (local residents were evicted from their homes in order to build the arena in which this contest will be hosted), and a show in which history and rivalry tend to rise to the surface above artistic merit.
All in all, it would seem wise to abandon the whole thing this year, and maybe reconvene when Europe gets its act together, sometime in 2027. Incidentally, well done to Poland in that regard, who aren't competing as they wish to focus on EURO 2012. Come on the FA - still time to whip us out of this farce.
But nevertheless, it appears that the show must go on. So now it is here, we should make some money out of it before the very concept of cash collapses.
As per last year, there will be two semi-finals (on Tuesday and Thursday) before the traditional Saturday night grand finale. Ten countries qualify from each semi, and will be joined in the final by Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Our focus in this piece is on the first semi, in which 18 countries line up, and the peoples of Italy, Azerbaijan and Spain (along with the competing nations) will elect who qualifies (which might explain why the cheeky Romanians will be singing elements of their song in Spanish.)
In fact the Romanians and the Moldovans are both highly-fancied to go a long way in this contest, and should both make it through to the final comfortably. In addition, despite Ireland inflicting Jedward on us once more, they appear to have nailed a really catchy song in Waterline, perfect for Eurovision, and it would be astonishing if they failed to make the grade.
If you're looking for a dark horse, consider San Marino. Originally entered as a joke, 'The Social Network Song' is kind of cute in a kitschy way, and the Italian vote may rally around their neighbours. At 18.0 to qualify on Betfair, this is undoubtedly the bet of the night.
So enjoy the semi-finals.