Eurovision 2012: Top 10 Market

The Top 10 market has been kind to me over the years, though this year it presents punters with quite a challenge. That’s partly because the draw has placed quite a few no-hopers in the early single-digit slots, leaving a lot of contenders in the middle and a few potential springers near the end.

There’s also the conundrum of a disconnect between jury and televote scores, something that Eurovision organisers admitted had taken place in the first semi-final. That might refer to the six adorable Russian grannies winning the hearts of European televoters but potentially not the votes of national juries.

On the flip side of the coin, like last year there may be a few acts that score very highly with the juries but struggle a little more in the televote, such as Spain’s Pastora Soler and Estonia’s Ott Lepland. Where does that leave us? Being a little more cautious than usual on this market.

My suggestion as a relatively safe harbour is the nautical-themed entry from Turkey at 2.12 on Betfair.

Turkey’s failure to qualify from the semi-finals last year means that its ridiculously good record in the final has been rather forgotten. 2011 apart, they’ve had five top five finishes since 2003, all sung in English. The three Turkish entries that didn’t make that landmark were in the native language.

Turkey’s huge swathe of friendly votes has helped here of course. It’s worth bearing in mind that 2012 is a particularly friendly edition for Turkey. Voting ally Austria returned last year. The withdrawal of their least friendly neighbour Armenia is also a boost – in any normal year that would ensure them a televote 12 in the likes of France, Netherlands and Belgium rather than a possible 10 instead.

I mentioned all this in my article assessing Can Bonomo’s chances a few months ago. Then I expressed my thoughts about the song: ‘Love Me Back’ is an ethnic-flavoured sea shanty with a good opening riff and a very promising opening minute, but I was disappointed that it didn’t go anywhere from there.

Fortunately the staging that the Turkish team revealed during rehearsals has masked the problem visually, by taking us on a fun journey with Can and his bevy of pirates. They form a ship at two points with their capes, in the bridge and at the end. It’s tremendous fun and really helps the entry stand out.

My second problem with the song was my fear of how the juries will react to it. This worried me when trying to find an each-way suggestion for the second semi-final. The fact that Can didn’t impress me vocally for the relevant jury rehearsal back on Wednesday tipped the balance against him.

Since then, Turkey has received an excellent draw in the final – 18 – and I felt that Can was in much finer form for last night’s crucial jury run-through. The routine looked as slick as before and everything had come together really well. As a result, I don’t think the juries are sabotaging Turkey’s final scoreboard position as much as I may have thought even a few days ago. Added to this, some of Turkey’s rivals weren’t at their best for what the juries saw last night.

The reaction to Can’s performance from those watching at home on Thursday was mixed. As an ethnic number of a certain style, it can be rather jarring to western European ears. That won’t stop high televote points from many western European countries thanks to the large Turkish populations within them.

I think the sound of ‘Love Me Back’ goes down much better on the other side of the continent. But in the staging, they have something that is universal in its appeal. One only has to remember the success of Latvia’s dire ditty ‘Pirates of the Sea’ which managed twelfth back in 2008.

With Baku being virtually home turf for the Turks, you can expect a huge reaction to this one in the arena, which should help sell the performance even more. With Turkey’s friends and a strong jury performance from Can last night, I think that’s enough for a Top 10 finish.

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67 comments to Eurovision 2012: Top 10 Market

  • eurovicious

    Süper Star was also in Turkish 🙂

    • Daniel

      D’oh! Thanks for reminding me eurovicious. As I was tapping away I was just thinking of the refrain and chorus. I forgot the rest of the song! Have amended accordingly. x

      • eurovicious

        Also meant to say: did you hit “Publish” too soon? This article seems short and is only about Turkey, I was expecting a full Top 10 market discussion…

        • Daniel

          I’m all hands to the deck here trying to get my trades on and watch the final rehearsal. If anyone wants my opinion on other top 10 fancies, feel free to ask – see Cyprus below.

          • Donald

            Get your own bets on first Daniel and enjoy rehearsal, there’s a long day there yet!!!

            Your flat out all week, concentrate on yourself for few hours. You,ve earned it. Most on here must have decent book running on tonight anyway by now.


  • Boki

    As Justin says, it’s a great boost in confidence when I read this since I’m backing Turkey top10 already some time ago and have a 4 figure sum on it. Sail the good ship Can 🙂

    • Tim B

      That is a bloody good ship to be honest. Much better than the good ship Marcus!

    • Donald

      What was the Sahara song Boki? I remember you joking re lyrics earlier in the year.

      The good ship is very crowded out in its draw position, that putting me off, not saying it will not do it and hope sails in for you as you must have great prices.

      • Boki

        Denmark of course, they changed it btw to “misses rain”.
        Prices on Can were not extreme (2.5 – 3) but I never understood why people don’t rate him so high with memorable staging like this (anything above 2 on Turkey is not so common, maybe echo from last year).

        • Donald

          Maybe Germany is the one to go west around there? I think song is too much like The Fray How To Save A Life and the voting public well some of will see it as copycat and dismiss it. Jury maybe the same?? (That’s if they figure out what it’s like) They’ll know it’s like something just might put them off.

  • David

    No mention of any lay of Cyprus, Daniel? Don’t think I’ve seen you there on Betfair today, either 😉

    • Daniel

      Hi David, good question. I stand by my opinion it won’t be in the Top 10, though I underestimated the song’s path to the final, which became clear watching Tuesday’s semi.

      However, I’m not adding to my existing liabilities at the moment as it would make my book look too skewed. I don’t like depending on one result for a profit or loss, and Hungary 2011 was a bit of an exception in that regard. I couldn’t resist.

      I may assess again after the actual performance tonight.

      • David

        I take it then that you viewed Hungary as much more of a no-hoper? It did have a terrible staging, something that Cyprus clearly has avoided. On the other hand, the competition is arguably stiffer this year.

        • Daniel

          Agree on all those points. I always felt Hungary 2011 didn’t really have anything going for it on stage. Cyprus does have a good beat, a younger face selling it, some smiles and charm etc.

        • Boki

          David, if Cyprus emerges in the top10 in this year’s competition I will admit I’m stupid and deservedly take a huge loss.

          • Donald

            Boki, be careful she was good in her semi, is a hot presentation (One of the more memorable ones!) and tune sort of worked. Safer ones to play with I think.

          • David

            Hahaha thanks Boki, sitting with an exposure to Cyprus on the top10 market about 20% of my full bankroll, so I’m kinda nervous to put it mildly… refuse to hedge anything at these short odds though, feel it would be giving away money.

            Oh, and thanks for telling me to let the Belarus NQ bets ride btw! Was a very good semi for me, even though Malta prevented it from being perfect.

  • Panos

    Ditto Daniel. And as I previously said: Loucas Yiorkas 3rd in the televote, 14th with the juries, 7th overall!I think after last year, the Turks of Europe will be voting Can till their last breath. It would be a disgrace for them to miss the top10 IN AZERBAIZAN one year after their DISQUALIFICATION!!!

  • David

    Well, since you opened the door to questions on further entries, I won’t be shy… 😉

    I’d love to hear some short comments of your thoughts on one or both of Azerbaijan’s and Germany’s chances of a top10 finish!

    • Daniel

      Hi David, I’ve been rather on the fence about both. I would have been reasonably confident on Azerbaijan but for a rather workmanlike jury performance last night. Sabina peaked last weekend and has been looking and sounding ever more nervous since, but there are lots of voting allies to rely on.

      Germany’s Roman Lob remains in great form however, having just witnessed him in the final run-through. This should be getting a decent jury score at the very least.

  • Panos

    Watching germany’s rehearsal from last night confirms my opinion that from that #20 slot it WILL be top10 and possibly top5.

  • Hello everyone,

    Not so sure about Turkey, but will bow to Daniels’ knowledge!

    I like the look of the Ulkraine for top 10 at 2.0 and I also think the value is in Malta at 4.8, although my knowledge of political voting is weak, so I accept that the McFlyesque tune might struggle to find friends…

    I’ve written my full guide to all 26 countries right now at, hopefully you’ll enjoy reading that now or during the show.

    Good luck all!

  • tpfkar

    Got to go (beer festival then Eurovision party – hard life!) so good luck to everyone on here. My final thoughts before departing.

    1. SERBIA then SWEDEN then AZERI then GERMANY for the win
    2. TURKEY top 10 is a great call, I’ve been on it for days 🙂
    3. WINNER FROM SF2 remains my biggest and happiest bet.
    4. SOFABET is the ultimate winner – best site this time of year by a mile.

    Enjoy the evening

  • Tigerbright

    Agreed. Came to the same conclusion myself this morning based mostly on what Daniel wrote and also the songs poplarity on Youtube. Managed to get a price of 2.27. I see since this article has come out the odds have slumped to 1.92 on betfair!

    I also believe Germany are a good bet at 2.72 for top ten.

  • andre

    hi everyone – really love this site, many thanks to Daniel and all contributers. Have not offered much myself as everyone seems much better informed! A couple of questions though. Firstly, is everyone completely ruling out Russia for the win? If the juries had been incredibly hard on it in the semi might that not have been reflected in the price with human nature being what it is?! Secondly do any of you think a spread betting sell of uk points at 78 on sporting index makes sense? Finally, how do you all manage to bet with stan james? I placed about twenty small bets with them from august 2011 and within months had my account closed claiming I was ‘arbitraging’ which was total nonsense. Again, many thanks to everyone.

    • Daniel

      The thing that springs out at me is the lack of the Scandi bloc at all until number 26.

      • Panos

        And the balkan’s concentration right up to that point.

        • eurovicious

          Thanks for posting this. Wow. OK. Yes. Agree on both points. The first half is heavily Eastern European, Balkan, Greece/Turkey, and the Balkan/Greece/Turkey diaspora countries (UK, France, Benelux, Austria/Switzerland). The second half is heavily Scandinavian, Baltic and Western. In fact, the vast skew between the two halves is tremendous. So: expect Serbia, Greece and Turkey to fight for pole position for the first half of the voting, and Sweden (let’s assume for now that the order is indeed designed to disguise a Swedish jury victory) to be about halfway down the table. As of just over halfway through the voting, Sweden will skyrocket up just as Italy did last year (after 22 out of 43 countries had voted, it was languishing in 11th).

          Do we think there is an outside chance of this being to conceal a DANISH or ESTONIAN victory with the juries rather than a Swedish one?

      • Nick D

        Yep. Based on the pattern of Italy’s points last year, that is absolutely screaming out that Sweden’s won the juries. Game over?

      • Boki

        So the question is how many people will pay attention to this. If not many than Loreen’s odds might drift during the 1st half of voting and that would be the good time to back. If many see this goodbye to odds right now.
        I’m not saying she will win but just try to predict odds movement…

      • Chatterbox5200

        Hi Daniel,

        What do you make of the statement that “The voting order has been determined by the results from last night’s Jury Final. An algorithm has been created to try and make the voting as exciting as possible.” on the website?

        Do you think it means that those countries that Eurovisionfeel will vote for the countries that have scored highest in the Jury Final have been left to last, so as to avoid a landslide victory being confirmed half way through the results being delivered?

        • Daniel

          Hi Chatterbox, that’s exactly what it means – based on the jury votes. If the jury winner’s friends are not right at the end to make it too blindingly obvious, they at least won’t be on early to make things unclear during the first half of the voting.

        • Nick D

          We had an excellent discussion on this in the comments here. Lots of really stuff, some of which I missed at the time, and well worth a read.

          • Chatterbox5200

            Thanks Nick – makes very interesting reading. I think I’ll wait until the voting starts to see where my funds should go.

      • Donald

        Thought that also,Russia very late on voting list as are allot of the front runners. (All in Top 10??)

        Will look at some more.

    • Ron

      One thing is certain, Ireland are going to come with a storming late surge in the second half of the voting (thanks to televotes). Jedward are huge in places like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia and Hungary and will challenge for the televoting 12 in many of them.

  • Tigerbright

    I think there is little chance of Russia winning. They have the popularist vote but nt sure they will score well with the jury and I see them perhaps at 4th.

    I see Sweden winning but I feel it may be worth a punt on Serbia at 11.5?

  • Bexley

    That doesn’t scream Sweden win to me. Italy last year started to pick up the 10’s and 12’s between 30 -35.
    I’d say with Lithuania 29 Latvia 33 and Finland 35 – that Estonia maybe won the jury vote

  • Bexley

    tho Estonia in 30 doesn’t seem right for that to be correct 🙁

  • Donald

    Why Russia so late? It doesn’t scream Sweden to me either. Maybe Serbia? Who Israel likely to give 12 to??!

    • Daniel

      Israel can often be eastern in the bias of its televote, but not always. If something else catches on, so can Israel. Its 12 last year went to Sweden.

      • Donald

        Thanks Daniel, going to no. crunch this a bit for an hour. It’s muddy water at my end.

        Do Russia seal their own fate! and then Hungary and Israel send Loreen on the way.

        I still waiting for your final opinion though.

        I still at 3/4 women for the win, that been heading towards 2 past few hours.

      • fiveleaves

        It’s also give Spain 12pts 3x , 2003, 2001 and 1995.

  • Ben Cook

    Done a quick calculation on the voting order and points given to Sweden last year – the first 21 countries to vote tonight gave Eric Saade an average of 4.75 points, and the second 21 gave an average of 7 points.

    The first country to give Sweden anything over 4 points last year is Malta, who are drawn 9th. So I won’t be surprised if Loreen has a very slow start indeed.

    The countries who gave Sweden 7/8/10/12 points last year are:

    11 France (10)
    20 Cyprus (10)
    22 Slovakia (10)
    24 Netherlands (10)
    26 Iceland (7)
    28 Norway (10)
    30 Estonia (12)
    31 Denmark (10)
    41 Hungary (10)
    42 Israel (12)

    • Ben Cook

      Which *could* suggest that they might allow someone else gain on Sweden between Denmark and Hungary. But maybe not.

      • Nick D

        Last year Italy did the bulk of its work around 30 juries in, then slowed towards the end before getting two more big scores to conclude. That’s very similar to what we expect Sweden to do tonight.

        • Ben Cook

          Yes – Finland are voting 35th and Euphoria has already been number 1 there.

          Then we have:

          36 Georgia
          37 Italy
          38 Serbia
          39 Germany
          40 Russia

          who only gave Sweden 3 points between them last year, before of course Hungary and Israel who gave 10 and 12.

          • Shai

            If my memory serve me correctly,Israel giving 12 points to Sweden last year, was a rare occasion. The countries that benefit usually and mostly from Israel are:Romania,Russia and Ukraine.

            So Israel’s vote can go anywhere. And deduction made on their last year vote is risky.

    • Donald

      Great analysis, maybe Sweden catch up but don’t quiet get there? The other way round is probably they way they’d want it.

      All the big fancies in general in the last 10 of the voting after Sweden?

    • Nick D

      One other thought – is there any risk that we’re backing the wrong Nordic? Estonia springs to mind as an alternative possible jury winner that would be helped by this sequence.

      • Nick D

        As Bexley said above. One day I’ll have an original thought. 😀

      • Ben Cook

        Only if they are really stupid and pay no attention to the televoting results in the semi-finals. I can’t imagine Estonia did that well on the overall semi points. Last year it just went wrong for them because they had no idea how Italy would do with televoters.

      • DashBerlin

        Estonia, Finland, Norway, Israel – according to wiki is where Euphoria has been in the top 5 of single charts. So you would assume it will do well for votes from these countries. They are 28, 30, 35, 42

  • Chewy wesker

    I think 5 songs to make top ten places are as follows 1. Italy 2. Azerbaijan don’t let the wailing man but you off, he’s good for the televote. 3.romania 4. Spain 5. Germany. I wouldn’t pile into sweden or serbia some punters may get feel they’re buying money here but with over 100m watching the vote may go different to the market tonight, this is not a semi final. Something is going to shock. Goodluck with all your bets anyway. Oh! By the way Daniel will you be tipping anything in-running tonight?

  • Chewy wesker

    Also if anyone wants another site tipping eurovision tonight not as good as sofabet but still worth a look it is snookerbacker blog. And no they’ve not tipped snooker loopy chas & dave.

  • Bexley

    Ok don’t shoot the messenger but by my quick spreadsheet analysis Romania, of the favoured betting choices, has the ‘latest’ average draw for its main allies and has a low draw itself.

    • Ben Cook

      Interesting, have you got more details?

      I’m in danger of over-analysing this myself. To me it looks like the focus will be on Serbia for first few juries, then Russia, then Italy before Sweden gets going !

  • steve

    hi did a very quick calculation and none of the last 10 countries to vote screams Sweden 12 points to me. Will paste my betfair post though it is back of a fagpacket stuff.
    Quick analasys of last 10 nations voting, going by their favourites from kolumbus
    points 5 4 3 2 and 1 serbia 20 ukraine 19 azerbaijan 16 italy 16 romania 14 russia 12 greece 8 estonia 7 bosnia 5 macendonia 4 turkey4 uk 4 germany 3 iceland 2 ireland 2 moldova 6 france 2 sweden 2 norway and denmark 1
    apols for any errors and of course only the juries but ukraine serbia and azerbijan look the three to me.

  • Ben Cook

    Shai – yes you’re definitely right expecting Israel to give 12 again to Sweden is risky. My reasoning is based on some hearsay that Euphoria is doing well on the radio over there, and it’s kinda similar up-tempo pop dance to Eric Saade.

    • Shai

      There are 2 ways to see Israel voting last.

      1. By the time they vote, the winner will be already known.At this case it won’t matter who they give their points to.

      2. Based on their vote in the juries rehearsal, the computer seemed it plausible, that their vote will determine the outcome of the contest.In this case their voting will give everyone an heart attack

  • steve

    Romania Ukraine and Azerbaijan also meet the criteria of having their votes announced early.

  • Donald

    Went out to a few more Green doors etc. Most staff in bookies no clue on Eurovision, all value gone on Sweden now.

    Well one bet left to go for me my win bet, and rather that put all weight on Daniels shoulders although will follow right at the end. I think one of the four women Sweden, Spain, Ukraine or Italy will win.

    All different genres like them all and if there to be an upset Ireland or last song.

    Loreen has been a remarkable favourite and Pastora a remarable singer, Gatiana a remarkable effort and Italy a remarkable package. My soft spot say Pastora/Gatiana my head says Loreen. So for me even though have tried find a value bet to beat Loreen we may have been chasing rainbows and i am close to giving in. Still not over yet! Daniel?

    As usual the most remarkable part of Eurovision has been Sofabet, Daniels great effort, great guidance all commentators and good fun and laughs during the week also. Good luck to all tonight, intrigued to read where Daniel going for the winner.

  • Allan

    Love the analysis on here for Eurovision, don’t tend to get nearly involved as much as on the factor, but am dead against the UK (as normal), and keen on Denmark and Germany so far in the win market. Does anyone know when Daniel is putting up his win market analysis? Waiting with bated breath here!

  • Vytas

    Daniel, what do you think about germany to beat spain or even germany to beat all top big five countries?

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