I’m delighted that the BAGS (Belgium, Albania, Greece and Serbia) all qualified, especially as I had around £35,000 on each of them going through. I also made some money on Slovakia not qualifying and opposed it in match bets with the BAGS.
Sorry to see Malta fall short, even though I hedged the £2,000 sum I had put on it. Some Eurovision fans are disappointed that this and Finland failed, but this paragraph I wrote yesterday partly sums up why the other six qualified:
Yet I can’t bring myself to oppose any of these. The lack of quality won’t affect guaranteed diaspora and neighbourly voting for Russia, Bosnia and Portugal. Iceland and Belarus have a good draw to help them. Arguably, Moldova has a bit of both these factors.
We don’t find out the winner of the semi until after the final, which is when the scores are revealed. I would be surprised if it is anything other than Belgium or Greece, and am hopeful for my bets on Belgium winning this semi.
These are the only two from this semi that are possible Top 10 contenders on Saturday. Albania and Iceland coming one after each other in the final draw may rather cancel each other out, and only probable borderline qualifier Portugal got a plum spot.
This week’s final top tip articles will firstly, later today, focus on taking account of what happens in the semi-finals to gain an advantage in the final. On Friday, the controversial subject of the impact of the running order will be discussed.
In the meantime, we have to go through the tension of those qualification envelopes (they seem to be designed to make me suffer, with three of the BAGS in the last four envelopes on Tuesday) for the second semi-final on Thursday.
If the first semi-final made you despair at the quality of the songs on offer, be patient as the second semi is of a much higher quality. You can read my previous articles of qualification chances and potential winner in this semi. Thursday will see me post my final thoughts, with another post-mortem on Friday.
On Saturday, the day of the final, I will be revealing my bets for the big night, including overall winner.