Eurovision Super Saturday Betting Preview
2 February 2024
Four Eurovision entries will be selected tomorrow in the first ‘Super Saturday’ of this Eurovision season. I haven’t been following the Maltese selection, and no UK outlet is offering odds on it, but the remaining three contests in Spain, Ukraine and Norway all have odds-on favourites. Could there be any upsets on the cards?
Spain: Benidorm Fest
Despite drawing second in the running order, St. Pedro should be getting a comfortable win here. Realistically, he shouldn’t finish any lower than third with both sides of the televote, and under the fixed scoring system, the two who could potentially beat him — Jorge González and Angy Fernández — would only be able to take a 20-point televote lead at most. St. Pedro should be easily making that deficit up with the juries after his huge haul of 94 points out of a maximum 96 in Thursday’s semi-final.
Ukraine: Vidbir 2024
Again, Ukraine’s Vidbir is one where the result looks fairly straightforward. Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil are currently heavy 1.1 favourites on Smarkets. Their song has racked up around eight million views on YouTube and is dominant on Spotify with 1.3 million streams. ‘Teresa & Maria’ has already seen Ukraine climb to the top of the Eurovision winner market at 5.3.
It’s undoubtedly a very strong entry in studio form, with a contemporary sound fused with traditional Ukrainian elements, but neither Alyona Alyona nor Jerry Heil look as comfortable or commanding live performers as previous Ukrainian winners like Jamala and Kalush Orchestra, so there are some vulnerabilities here. We will get a better idea of potential success once we’ve seen the actual live performance in the Vidbir setting.
Norway: Melodi Grand Prix 2024
This is probably the most interesting betting heat of those mentioned so far, with folk rock band Gåte currently the odds-on favourite at a best-priced 1.5.
The last few winners of Melodi Grand Prix have all been the highest ranked songs on the Norwegian Spotify charts for that year. On the day before the final, Tix was 10th, Subwoolfer was 126th and Alessandra was 5th. This year, two songs are in the top 200 of Norway’s Spotify charts, and Gåte is not one of them. Super Rob and Erika Norwich rank 36, with Keiino just below at 48.
While Gåte does rank third on streams, the fact they don’t even crack the top 200 means I’m not tempted by the current price. The voting system also being one vote per person this year indicates that wider appeal is even more important. While I would still make ‘Ulveham’ the favourite, the current price looks much too short for my liking.
Likewise, second-in-the-odds Keiino give cause for concern. Running order will undoubtedly hamper them given that they open the show, and the band may end up having to battle for second place in the televote. Those who follow MGP will remember that last year, Jone was doing very well in streaming (in second place and well above the competition, the same situation Keiino find themselves in), but after opening the show ended up finishing joint-sixth among the public out of nine entries.
Super Rob and Erika Norwich are currently third in the odds, with the entry that most closely follows the pattern of recent MGP winners. ‘My AI’ is also last in the running order and winning the streaming wars, so this should be a contender to win the televote tomorrow despite a very weak live rendition in the semi-final. The song does run the risk of being a streaming-only hit, and it doesn’t see a lot of support on the 27,000-strong ‘Eurovision Norway’ Facebook page. However, with the new 60-40 format in favour of the public vote, a speculative bet at 16.0 looks like the best value pick here with the possibility that their streaming numbers and running order position translate to a televote win. The duo will also hope to successfully cannibalise the fun/novelty vote with Keiino and Gothminister performing much earlier in the night. Given what we know, this selection should probably be somewhere in single figures as opposed to the teens. The jury score for ‘My AI’ remains a concern, but last year’s televote winner Alessandra — who also closed the show — would have won under the same format without needing a single jury point.
In terms of potential jury powerhouses, Eurovision veteran Margaret Berger offers up a slick jury-friendly package in ‘Oblivion’ which could see her fare very well on that side of the scoreboard. It’s arguably the best song in the competition in studio form, but the too-cool-for-school staging may leave televoters quite cold (à la Atle Pettersen in last year’s MGP or Benjamin Ingrosso in Eurovision 2018). While Berger should impress the juries, she will struggle to reach the top three with the televote.
Another possible jury pleaser is the duo of Dag Erik Oksvold and Anne Fagermo, who are nicely placed in seventh in the running order. Their understated song fares much better on Facebook than their streaming numbers would suggest, so this could also be looking at a surprise top four televote finish on top of a decent jury score. I managed to back this previously at 90 so I’m not hugely tempted by the current best odds of 28, but somewhere around 40 or longer would be decent value for this outsider.
Also on Saturday
Sweden’s Melodifestivalen kicks off with what looks to be a fairly lackluster semi-final. I had a feeling Smash Into Pieces would bring something competitive this year after their strong finish in last year’s contest, but ‘Heroes Are Calling’ hasn’t impressed me from what I’ve seen. In all likelihood, this year’s host entry will come from one of the later semi-finals.
By BenidormFest2024Editor - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
2 February 2024