Eurovision 2011 Final Running Order

After the shock exits in the first semi-final (Turkey were trading at 1.1 and below on the exchanges to go through), the second heat proved more predictable, with the top ten in the betting market all making it – the longest priced qualifier being Moldova, tipped here yesterday.

Those qualifying have now drawn their slots in the running order for the final. So we know the full list for Saturday’s show – you can see it here. Here are my initial reactions to the draw.

1. I got a text last Monday from a pal about to pop to the bookmakers, asking for decent-priced tips for the Top 5. I suggested Finland, Bosnia and Denmark (aptly enough, given the SMS was from a friend in London). They have now been drawn 1, 2 and 3 in the running order: unfortunate for both him and those entries. Not only are these slow or midtempo numbers on too early, being next to each other also damages all of their chances.

2. Likewise, none of the uptempo trio of Ireland, Sweden and Estonia will benefit from their consecutive early draws of 6, 7 and 8. And with Russia at 10, it really is the tweenie section of the show – at least the kids won’t have to stay up too late.

3. The main contenders among the Big 5 should be very happy. France at number 11 will feel very adult after the kiddie pop that precedes it. The UK at number 14 is sandwiched between outsiders Switzerland and Moldova, whilst Germany at number 16 comes between the contrasting Moldova and Romania. This doesn’t do any of those three any harm at all.

4. Azerbaijan (19) is another that apparently benefits from so many other fancied entries coming in the first half. There is some speculation about whether the contrast between the superb vocals of Austria (18) and Slovenia (20) compared to the Azeri female singer may do some damage. However, whilst Nadine Beiler and Maja Keuc offer us different visions of girl power, Eldar and Nigar provide the girl-gets-boy story instead, so ‘Running Scared’ may still be able to hold its own.

5. There are some unheralded entries with a great slot near the end of the show. These now have far greater chances of a top 10 finish. Around loads of female stuff, Iceland (21) offers us six blokes who look like they’re down their local pub, AND they’re singing in honour of their dead songwriter friend – a story every commentator will pick up on. Meanwhile, Ukraine (23), Serbia (24) and Georgia (25) have plenty of voting allies and provide lots of contrast in the final three positions.

This afternoon, we get the first dress rehearsal for the final. I’ll be watching it in the press centre here in Dusseldorf and I’m expecting it to tell me a lot more about the extent to which these first reactions are borne out. I will post an article summarising my impressions of it early this evening.

Then I will watch the TV feed of this evening’s second dress rehearsal – the one that the juries vote on. Having done so, I will give my betting selections for the final in another article around Saturday lunchtime here on Sofabet.

In the meantime, what are your reactions to the draw? I would love to know who you’re expecting to benefit and suffer most – please do share your thoughts in the comments box below.

25 comments to Eurovision 2011 Final Running Order

  • tpfkar

    As someone sitting on a horrible lay bet on France from a couple of months back, not exactly the draw I was hoping for.

    I agree that the big hitters are all drawn early, and against similar songs, and am now looking far more seriously at Azerbaijan than before.

  • steve

    Hi Dan well done on last night, I’m a bit surprised as what I see as a market under reaction to last nights draw. Betfair top 10 market implies 5/6 of the 1st 10 songs in the final will finish top 10. Of the 10 Ireland represents the best value lay to me, but after them I’m struggling between Sweden Estonia and Russia what would your opinion be?

    • Daniel

      Hi Steve, I’m hoping that the dress rehearsal will clarify the situation as I’m not sure myself. My first thoughts are that Estonia at least has the contrast of Greece afterwards, but Sweden and Russia offer the same cute-male-who-can-dance niche too close together.

  • Adam

    Ireland Top 10 at 1/2 seems good to me? How come they’re second favourites to win the show yet 5th favourites to come top 10. Are they working on the basis that it will be one extreme or the other…so ridiculous amount of votes or none at all?!

  • Justin

    I never thought I would say it but Ukraine have been done plenty of favours and may be worth a second glance in the top 10 market at current odds. They have lots of friendly votes to count on anyway and will I think will benefit from the absence of Armenia and Turkey in the final which should elevate their usual votes from Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia and Bulgaria. Their natural floor for a poor song is about 12th so with a great draw and what is probably a better than poor song they could be value. I think I will wait for Daniel’s and anyone else’s thoughts before I lump on though!

  • Ron

    The key thing is how big the teen vote is Daniel.If it forms a substantial percentage of the overall televote, the likes of Ireland, Sweden and Estonia may yet be in contention, as there is no guarantee the younger viewers will switch their votes to rather more conservative middle of the road efforts, just because they happen to be drawn later.

  • Adam

    Also Top 4…
    Denmark 5/2
    Azerbaijan 6/4
    Irerland 7/4

    Wanna play one of them

  • panos

    daniel, humongous LOL followed by ROFL for finland, bosnia & denmark!!! had very similar experience to yours, plus denmark is my fav and a big top5 bet of mine at quite long odds. oops! but i’m glad for my 2 biggest top10 bets (again at long odds): austria and iceland. i would urge ppl to take the latter two into consideration!

  • Karas

    Daniel, great Eurovision analysis. Just a question. Do we know the voting order in the Final ? I need this to analyze any voting trends. I have read somewhere that they will get the juries votes and then re organise the voting order so as to be more exciting in the final. Is this true?

    • Daniel

      The EBU held a press conference yesterday in which they discussed the new system: only deciding the voting order after the jury scores are given after the Friday evening rehearsal.

      The idea is to read out the votes in an order which makes it as exciting (in other words, close) as possible. They said nothing about whether this order would be announced beforehand or whether we would have no idea of the order at all.

      I suspect the latter will be the case, but we’ll know soon enough.

  • Karas

    so in other words, they will most likely will know the actual result and rearrange the voting order to get excitement going. However, i am wondering how is it possible that a bunch of people know the result beforehand, and we humble humans fight our way thought betfair to make some money. The obvious question, isn’t possible that their friends or them make a lot of money themselves?

    • Daniel

      Well, that’s always the case with betting on TV shows which involve an element of voting. One just has to hope. Very few people are in the know though, according to a TV producer friend of mine who worked on ‘Big Brother’.

  • Rob

    Hi Dan,
    Given your immense knowledge of historical voting and now we know the draw, I was interested in your opinion on Russia’s prospects of finishing top 10. I think it’s a superior song to last year’s effort which obviously finished 11th (drawn 20) but drawn 10…? Would you rate 1.56 a value back or lay?

    • Daniel

      Hi Rob, as my original article on the Russian entry indicated, I’m finding it hard to envisage a worse finish than their previous two eleventh places, especially given Alexey Vorobyov’s fame within the area. Whilst ‘Get You’ hasn’t quite grabbed me as much as I’d hoped a week ago, a Top 10 price of 1.56 about a highly probable improvement on eleventh seems much more like something to back.

  • Vytas

    Hi Daniel and others,
    What do you think about handicap +150 points for Serbia 18/1 to win?

  • Vytas

    And what do you think about Lithuania 18/1 handicap +250 points to win?

    • Daniel

      Hi Vytas, this is a fascinating market on bet365. I saw it this afternoon, and my first impression was also that Serbia, given its voting allies and draw, stood out with a +150 headstart. I felt that I needed to do more calculations concerning all the entrants: as you see with Lithuania, some of them have a very big boost indeed. This needs more analysis than I have been able to give it right now.

      • For what it’s worth, I’ve done some quick and dirty sums and I reckon the average score on Bet365’s final handicap scoreboard will be roughly 201. Clearly Spain and Lithuania then start at a big advantage, as they’ll certainly be in the top half even with no “real” points at all – but it’s not a bet I’ll be playing with. There are plenty of easier ways to make money on this contest!

        • Daniel

          Thanks Nick – I tend to agree that at this stage I can find more simple ways of making a buck or two. Take Bosnia at 4/9 to beat Hungary with the same bookmakers running that handicap (I gobbled the 4/7).

        • A bit of further musing on this, mostly for Vytas’ benefit – given an average handicap score of 201, we can probably expect this bet to be won with a (real + handicap) score somewhere in the region of 325 to 375.

          In general, anything in the top 10 of the “real” scoreboard is likely to score over 100 points, anything below is likely to score fewer. Lithuania or Spain probably need to finish in the top 15 to stand any chance at all; France probably needs to go close to beating Alexander Rybak’s record.

          We’re most likely looking for someone in the bottom third of the handicaps with a fair crack at a top 10 place, and I’d say that Romania +200, Moldova +200 and Greece +175 have excellent chances – I see that enough people are already taking Slovenia +150 to shorten the odds, and that too makes a lot of sense.

  • Vytas

    I agree with you that you can find easiest ways to make money, but I like this handicap bet, because I thinking to bet just 20 or 30 USD dollars just for fun and odd is 18/1, but it’s very risky of course. So now the big question is how many points will score the winner, because for example Lithuania I think get points from Ireland and UK because there are a lot of Lithuanian there, also from Latvia and Poland. And another thing is that if jury have 50% of votings so Lithuania is in great position because Evelina is a great singer, of course Lithuania will be in the bottom I think.

  • Duncan

    fwiw I dont think you have to do much analysis at all to work out that those at the bottom of that hcap receive too great a start. The average number of points is exactly 100 and it looks like they’ll all be taking points off each other. Dont think there are any better bets at a big price anywhere. It’s just a case of picking the right one at the bottom of the hcap.

  • Daniel

    Hi Duncan, I will see what I can come up with and hope to include my analysis in the article that gives my betting thoughts for the Grand Final.

  • Duncan

    good man Daniel. In 24hrs you will be able to relax 🙂

  • smuger

    i will have whatever jedward is on and i hope they win.

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