Eurovision Betting Analysis: Can Getter Jaani win for Estonia with Rockefeller Street?

The biggest mover in the Eurovision 2011 betting markets after last night’s “Super Saturday”, when six countries selected their entries, was Estonia. ‘Rockefeller Street’, by Getter Jaani, was challenging Germany as second favourite to Norway with Betfair at the time of going to press.

I’m pleased ‘Rockefeller Street’ got through as it is my personal favourite of all the songs I’ve heard in the national finals so far. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it a winner. Betting based on personal predilection is an easy and dangerous path – I have argued that as a Eurovision punter you need to listen to your head not your heart.

So what does my head tell me about Estonia’s chances of taking Eurovision 2011?

There are plenty of positives. Firstly, we have a pretty young girl with plenty of charisma and good moves singing about an easily understandable theme (nighttime in New York).

Therefore, it has all the elements to be visually very appealing. Don’t let the low-budget, in-the-round staging of the Estonian final put you off. The higher production values of the Eurovision extravaganza will make a huge difference (as they do for most countries, apart from those – like Sweden – whose national finals feel even more glitzy than the event itself). The staging of ‘Rockefeller Street’ in the Estonian final was itself a huge improvement on the messy semi-final performance.

The song is immediate and sounds contemporary. It feels like a Katy Perry number, especially given that Jaani bears a passing resemblance to the American.

It has a strong team with pedigree behind it. Writer Sven Lohmus also penned Urban Symphony’s excellent ‘Randajad’ which managed sixth place for Estonia behind Norway’s Alexander Rybak in 2009.

That effort managed to get plenty of points from the former Soviet Union counties as well as the Baltic/Nordic bloc, which Estonia straddles.

So what stands in Rockefeller Street’s way? There are two aspects about the song that could prove problematic.

Firstly, the melodic line of the refrain is a rather simple chant. Now, there is nothing wrong with this simplicity, but it’s not the strength of the song.

The strength of the song in my personal opinion is also, ironically, the second potential problem I see in its appeal to the Eurovision audience. That’s the changes of tempo from verse to chorus and also within the bridge.

As composition goes, it’s cute, modern and clever, but in Eurovision terms a more regularly-paced song or one that builds is usually more effective in pleasing an audience who only have three minutes to assimilate it.

A good example of a contemporary Eurovision entry that changed tempo too many times was Iceland’s 2005 effort, ‘If I Had Your Love’, a personal favourite of mine that year. It sounded great on the radio and in its promotional video, with a touch of Britney Spears’s ‘Toxic’. Hindered by poor staging, however, its modern and disjointed sound failed to convince televoters and it didn’t even qualify from the semi.

I don’t think ‘Rockefeller Street’ is such an extreme case of this potential problem, but I do think it is something the song’s supporters should worry about. The responsibility will be on Jaani to make these transitions effectively. Vocally, she’s not much more than adequate – but she did show in the Estonian final that she has the potential to keep it all flowing, helped by toned-down staging which meant she kept her breath a bit more.

What will the juries make of ‘Rockefeller Street’? Here we are venturing into the unknown as there’s no obvious parallel in the two years since the juries’ reintroduction. It is worth noting that the juries were happy enough with Romania’s upbeat effort last year with its rather simple refrain, although that was more traditional in maintaining a constant tempo.

With over a third of the songs still to be chosen, predictions must still be speculative. But I do expect ‘Rockefeller Street’ to end up as one of the four or five songs each year that typically stand out as being of higher quality, and that should help with the juries.

I’m not on Estonia in the outright winner market. Before the national finals I cheekily tried to get a 60-1 offer matched, and failed. Jaani is now at single figures and that seems short enough for something that, whilst it has Eurovision fans (including myself) keen, still has to win over a whole new audience.

I’ll be digesting the other Super Saturday results in the coming days and writing more – my other main initial reation is that the Danish effort is decent. What are your thoughts on the newly chosen songs?

Watch Getter Jaani in the Estonian National Final.

5 comments to Eurovision Betting Analysis: Can Getter Jaani win for Estonia with Rockefeller Street?

  • James

    I’m pretty impressed with Estonia this year. Definitely one of their best entries. I don’t necessarily agree with you one the tempo thing, a quality song is just that, whatever form it takes. Look at Germany last year: who would have thought such a simple song and presentation could win modern Eurovision? This is definitely one to watch out for, imo.

    I like most of yesterday’s winners, although tbh I’m mostly just relieved that awful banjo song didn’t win in Latvia.

    By the way, one small mistake in your article: Urban Symphony was the artist, not the song.

    • Daniel

      Thank you for the spot, James and I have amended accordingly. I don’t have an army of sub-editors, and appreciate Sofabet readers correcting any mistakes made. Welcome to the site and I’m glad you like the Estonia song too. This will be one to carefully monitor on the blogs during rehearsals to see if the staging is effective. Like Lena last year, a good draw is also going to help. I agree that with those things in mind, ‘Rockefeller Street’ has great potential.

  • annie

    At one point last year there was a discussion and someone noticed that there is a trend, the winner of a year is somewhat copied by entrants from the next year and Stefan Raab, Lena’s discoverer and manager was wondering how Lena winning will influence 2011. I didn’t do a proper statistic, but I have the feeling the number of young cute/happy girls competing is quite high, Spain, Austria, Norway, Estonia, Switzerland just to name a few… Previous year’s winning recipe doesn’t usually work again, I’m curios what type of act will steal the show in the end.

    • Martin F.

      If “young/cute/happy girl” is enough to be a “Lena clone”, Lena has been retro-cloned every year going back to 1956. Switzerland is the only thing that comes even close to Lena2010 territory as far as I’m concerned, and even the lady (girl?) herself has brilliantly scuppered that comparison by getting her mentor/her fellow citizens to get behind something quite, quite different this time round.

      Not meaning to be dismissive at all, but there’s hardly the causal link there would have been between “Fairytale” and the god-awful “Banjo Laura” had it been chosen, say.

  • tpfkar

    Think there’s a potential winner here – the line ‘tonight is showtime’ repeated throughout works ok now but will be perfect for the big night. The changes of pace keep it interesting and show it’s riskier than e.g. the UK entry.

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