Whilst the polls show Brits remain cynical about Eurovision and think it is all about politics, some of us enjoy Eurovision for that reason, for the music and the bettingÂ opportunities.
With the elimination of the Former Yugoslavian states of Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia in the semi finals, andÂ Bosnia and Herzegovina withdrawing from the contest, due to financial reasons,Â there’s a potential for less Balkan bloc voting this time around which could make the final result more open.
The Danish entry, is the overwhelming favourite, and has been for quite some time.
Fortunately there are betting markets for a winner without DenmarkÂ or going for an each way bet with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
My tips, apart from the Danes, are The Germans, who are represented by Cascada, a band that has enjoyed pop success in the UK, in the past.
I’m quite impressed by the Irish entry, for the last couple of years by sending Jedward, I’ve wondered if the Irish really wanted to win Eurovision.Â Short of sending Johnny Logan, I can’t see a clearer statement from the Irish that they want to win Eurovision this year.
It wouldn’t be Eurovision, without an entry that looks like something Borat has produced, and the Romanian entryÂ meets thatÂ category.
What of the UK’s entry, this year?
I have to confess whilst being a fan of Bonnie Tyler, like Engelbert Humperdinck, I don’t expect her to do well, I suspect some of her 80s material would have done very well in Eurovision.
I have the expectation that she’ll finish 21st or lower, and have availed myself of Paddy Power, who offer evens on such anÂ occurrenceÂ (Englerbert finished 25th last year)
Hopefully next year the BBC will allow the viewers to choose the artist/band who represents the UK in Eurovision 2014, and maybe some of the UK’s best artists and bands decide to be shortlisted for the honour, musical giants, such as The Rolling Stones, New Order,Â Emeli SandÃ©, The Stone Roses, Depeche Mode, Steps or Radiohead, and we can go back to the halcyon days when the likes of Bucks Fizz won.
For true fans of Eurovision, the main focus of attraction of the evening is not on the artists performing, or the voting, but that the news thatÂ Abba’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus have teamed up withÂ Swedish DJ and producer AviciiÂ to produce the anthem for this year’s ceremony.
The Eurovision Song Contest starts at 8pm BST and will be on BBC 1 and BBC1 HD.
(Whose interest in and enjoyment of all things Eurovision has disturbed his friends for many years)