During the next couple of weeks Eurovision 2016 song contest will be drawing attention. The grand finale is on 14 May, and the winner will be announced most likely in the early hours of the morning on 15 May.
Betting odds and favorites, predictions
- At the moment Russia is a strong favorite with bookies. Betting odds have reached already 2.5 to 1 for Sergey Lazarev and his energetic song “You Are The Only One”. Miss Universe Russia 2015 Vladislava Evtushenko played the female lead in his competition video.
- The runner up is France (Amir) singing “J’ai cherché” with a powerful video challenging gender stereotypes. Betting odds of 3-4 to 1.
- A surprising entry into the top 3 is Australia with the former X-factor winner Dami Im, who is attracting bets at 11-13 to 1. Australia has been granted a place in the Eurovision challenge in 2015 for its contribution in promoting the singing contest worldwide. Guy Sebastian became the first participant from the land of Oz in 2015.
- Ukraine‘s Jamala with the song “1944” is in the top 10, right now at the 8th position with odds of 21-26 to 1.
General odds largely mimic the number of times the country’s competition video has been watched on YouTube. Russia is leading with Lazarev’s entry viewed over 7.8 million times on his own channel. France (Amir) and Australia (Dami Im) videos have been viewed over 3.2 million times on the official Eurovision channel.
Whilst a video is not a guaranteed prediction of a potential success, it’s a pretty good indication whether the song is capable of scoring the top title.
After the live semifinals the odds can change sharply, depending on the reaction of the audience. Some of top favorites may fail to acquire a place in the finals.
Semifinals and finals
- Semifinals: 10, 12 May.
- Grand finale: 14 May.
Russia is in the first semifinal on 10 May, Ukraine is in the second semifinal on 12 May. Australia is also in the second group of contestants.
10 winners from each semifinal will be performing in the finals on 14 May. In addition, 5 countries who contribute the most to the show (France, Germany, Spain, UK, and Italy) get the right to be in the finals without competing. The hosting country (this year it’s Sweden) enjoys the same privilege.
Eurovision 2016 winner
Russia does have a strong entry. The song is a rhythmic anthem that the contest judges and audiences are known to favor. Sergey Lazarev has been criticized in the past for his pro-LGBT views in the Russian Federation, and he also prefers to sing in English, which is viewed as non-patriotic. This makes him a desirable role model for freedom-loving, anti-establishment Eurovision competition. We’d say, he is a future winner or at least a runner up.
Last year Russian Polina Gagarina with the song “Million Voices” was leading the scoreboard up to the middle of the finale. Eventually Swede Mans Zelmerlow upstaged her and took the coveted title. Russia was a runner-up in 2006 and 2012 as well. When Russia doesn’t win, they complain of “politics”. This year, if Lazarev wins, will it be again viewed as a politically motivated choice?
For the past 10 years no country won the European singing championship two years in a row. So Swede Frans, while being in the 4th position in the betting ratings, is unlikely to win.
Among the top sponsors who get automatic entry into the finals only Germany (singer Lena) managed to win in the past 10 years. This makes Frenchman’s Amir chances somewhat doubtful, although his performance is solid. He also didn’t win The Voice in his home country, where he was a contestant, having finished third. Not a great signal of scoring with crowds.
Ukrainian Jamala, now in 8th position among bookies, is out of luck this year. One of the major factors is the situation in Ukraine, where the government has too much on its plate to be interested in organizing an expensive world-class show for the next European challenge. The lack of support and promotion affects her chances. Ukraine won in 2004 (singer Ruslana) and was a runner up in 2007 and 2008.
The last 2 years men have won the first place. (Conchita Wurst, the surprise winner of Eurovision 2014, is still considered to be a male.) We believe this throws a red carpet for a girl to win in 2016.
And the first girl on the scorecard is Dami Im. She could be just “the black horse” one should bet on. The shock value that Eurovision is known for is on her side, with the former colony being totally non-European and Dami being of Asian descent. Uniting 3 continents, what could be better?
Dami Im is a Korean immigrant who won Australian X-Factor in 2013. For the ones who didn’t see the shows, it’s forgivable to underestimate her amazing talent to draw energy on the stage and drive the crowd crazy. I had watched the TV season in 2013 and she was unstoppable. On X-factor she was two levels above other contestants, who could do nothing to stop the mighty train called Dami. It looked like she could make no mistake. Her voice performance is solid and the presence is undeniable. She has a wicked sense of fashion as well.
So, my preferences lie with Dami Im. Perhaps, I am biased, since I met her in person and I too live in Queensland, Australia. So, naturally I’d like a girl from my hometown to come first.
But I might put a dollar or ten on Dami to win. The odds are good.
Video: Russia — Sergey Lazarev “You Are the Only One”
Video: Ukraine — Jamala “1944”
Video: Australia — Dami Im “Sound of Silence”
Photos: Elena’s archives, charts, Eurovision videos.Share this article