Eurovision Betting Analysis: Can Jedward Win Eurovision 2011?

So the Irish have decided to send Jedward to Dusseldorf. Can they win? Either way, Jedward’s participation is a good thing for those of us who like a punt on Eurovision: it raises the profile of the contest in both the UK and Ireland. It will attract a new demographic and new punters to the competition in both countries.

You can love or hate the twins, but there’s no denying their ability to generate headlines. In that respect they did have the X Factor when they appeared on the UK talent contest in 2009. The producers recognised it and helped keep them in until Week 7. Their rendition of ‘Oops I Did It Again’ was one of the TV highlights of the year.

So, what opportunities may they generate for punters? It’s early days, but possibly plenty.

The last time the Irish sent an eccentric homespun hero, there were opportunities. That was Dustin the Turkey in 2008. You may or may not remember he was a singing puppet who took the piss out of Terry Wogan’s wig amongst other aspects of the contest.

The lyrics were achingly funny. It sounded awful. And the joke was entirely lost on the rest of Europe. It finished 15th of 19 in the semi-final. Yet, soon after being chosen, Dustin was an early favourite to win the whole contest at around 6-1. You could bet against Dustin winning the whole thing for a return of over 15% – and I did. That was free money.

Jedward are not as short in the early win market, so you are not going to make a great return laying them for the contest. Because Jedward’s chances of winning are indeed, in my opinion, very small. Not necessarily because of the song, which is cheap but contemporary and immediate. And not necessarily because of the pair themselves, who bring a huge amount of energy to the stage.

However, firstly it is not a jury song, which is where 50% of the decision ultimately lies. Juries tend to favour ballads and/or simple presentations, neither of which the boys offer. Quite the opposite, in fact – and my main criticism is that the overall effect of ‘Lipstick’ is most probably going to be very frantic in Dusseldorf as it was in the National Final.

Their vocals, though stronger than they were in 2009, are still weak. Backing singers can cover this effectively enough for most of the televoting public, but it’s not going to win round juries sceptical of the show the twins will undoubtedly put on.

The televoters could go either way. There’s no doubt that the twins are visually memorable, and that’s important in Eurovision. Ireland though, have a similar handicap to the UK in Eurovision – they can only rely on each other for friendly voting. Jedward and their hype within Britain means nothing to the vast majority of Europe.

Add these two things together, and a Jedward win seems highly unlikely. Nor is it likely to be what their management are banking on: if they have any sense, they will instead be viewing this as a golden opportunity to extend their marketable shelflife by a few months in the UK, meanwhile cementing their status among their loyal fanbase in Ireland.

A more interesting question will come when the betting market on qualification from the second semi-final – which Jedward have been allotted to – takes shape. The semi is due to take place on Thursday 12th May and a top ten finish is required to take part in the final.

Jedward have to overcome the fact that the UK are voting in the other semi-final. However, that other semi-final looks like a much stronger affair at this early stage in that it contains all the big guns that traditionally do well out of neighbourly voting.

Jedward could therefore be short odds to qualify, and there conceivably may be value in betting on them to fail to manage even this, just like Dustin.

But this is very early speculation when only two other songs have been chosen out of the 18 other rivals in this heat. There could be plenty of dreadful songs in opposition and this could be a very weak semi.

Even when all the other countries have chosen, by March 14th, when the running order for each semi is drawn, it may be hard to tell their qualification chances. The blogs on how the staging and vocals are working for Jedward in rehearsals during the two weeks leading up to the contest will tell us much more about how well it is coming together.

So for me, it’s a case of wait and see – on qualification, not winning. What do you think?

Watch Jedward in the Irish National Final.

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13 comments to Eurovision Betting Analysis: Can Jedward Win Eurovision 2011?

  • David

    Well, now we have the facts about their semi, draw and odds so far:

    1. They abviously have an excellent draw, performing last.
    2. The opposition in semi 2 is shockingly weak.
    3. Odds to qualify are about 1.7-1.8 so far.

    While no fan of the song, I definitely don’t see me laying this to qualify – I’ll possibly even back it. What are your thoughts, Daniel?

  • Daniel

    Hi David, everything you have said is true, but this is one to wait and see at rehearsals: it could be anything from great fun to a complete train wreck on the Eurovision stage. If it’s the latter, it’s not qualifying no matter what the draw or strength of the semi. The song in itself is certainly good enough to go through if performed well, though. I’m surprised the odds are so generous on an Irish entry, but you won’t find me touching ‘Lipstick’ either way until we see the practice performances.

  • David

    Wise words as usual, Daniel!

    I just need to be a bit more patient – if I continue this pace I’ll have my bankroll fully invested before rehearsals 🙂

    • Daniel

      Indeed, David, the vast majority of my money goes on not just during the two weeks of rehearsals, but in the last few days before the event. Having said which, if you are offered a price which you don’t think will still be around at that point, that is one reason to step in now. But there are certain entries I would prefer to see in rehearsals, and Jedward are definitely in that category for me.

  • eva555am

    Right so i followed eurovision for over 20 years and its unbelievable the amount of rubbish that takes part these days,, be honest, jedward is one.. IM irish,, also i listened to every single song about 5 times this year and its shocking whats been made favourites,, serba,netherlands and mostly switzerland get my vote.. jedward?????? a joke

  • luvjedward

    jedward are brilliant and their song is catchier than anybody else’s 😀

  • Ambertie

    Hey come on look what’s won in the past eurovision has totally lost the run of itsself, jedward are entitled to be there they have so much energy on stage and could just surprise everyone!!! That goes out to you Duncan James who reckons they’re a ‘gimmicky act’!! Well Blue performed on the Late Late Show and Duncan James was no more singing than I was!!!… Watch this space jedward perform tonight let’s just wait and see!

  • Queen

    I don’t think so.They won’t win

  • Ciaran

    Hey Guys,

    I work for RTÉ and it’s been reported back to us that Jedward won the semis by a cricket score – take what you wish from that. Remember there will be different acts in the final who they haven’t yet come up against.

    Another fact for consideration was the UK weren’t voting in SF2, they will surely be give 12 or at least 10 to Ireland.

    • Daniel

      Every rumour about semi scores cannot be trusted. These are jealously guarded by only a few people within the EBU. Each year, there are rumours, and almost all of them prove to be false.

  • Justin

    Keep the Jedward hype coming!

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