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Eurovision Betting

Occasionally there are major events that pull punters away from the world of sports betting briefly. The Eurovision Song Contest is one of those events. The song competition is still going strong and while it may well divide people fiercely, it’s still hard to ignore and not get lulled into a bit of Eurovision Song Contest betting.

Eurovision History

The history of the Eurovision song contest goes back to 1956. That actually makes Eurovision the longest-running international television contest. That first edition was hosted in Lugano Switzerland and the event was won by the host nation.

Outside of sports, it is one of the most-watched events in the world as well.

The basics of it all is simple. Each country submits an original song and then those in the competition for a given year, get to cast votes on the other participants.

Of course, judging a song is all subjective and the whole concept of Eurovision was actually based on just being a bit of light entertainment. Eurovision was born out of a way to rebuild Europe after the Second World War and the idea came up to hold a song contest that would be shown in all European countries at the same time.

The system of having the winning country at a Eurovision host the next edition came into play in 1957 (the third time that the competition had been held). It was the Netherlands who won the 1957 edition so they got to host. That, barring a few exceptions here and then, is the way that things have gone in the contest.

Eurovision 2020 betting – UK entry has odds slashed

UK entry earns some early support in Eurovision 2020 betting

Current Format

The final of the Eurovision Song Contest is live. So the contestants do get time for rehearsals. There are two semi-finals. Up to 50 nations can take part in the contest. The ten nations with the most votes from each of the semi-finals get to take their place in the Grand Final along with the Big Five.

It’s worth mentioning the Big Five of Eurovision. France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom always automatically qualify for the final and have done since 2000. That is because they get special status because of how much those countries contribute (substantially more than the standard participation fee) to the European Broadcasting Union, which organises the event. Italy made it a Big Five in 2010.

Even though it is a European thing, Australia has become a regular participant. They had initially been invited to join as a special guest in 2015 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Eurovision and they have been back ever since. In 2019 they ran their own national competition for the first time to let the public choose their Eurovision representative.

Only nations which have a current EBU membership are allowed to take part.

Famous Participants

There have been some famous performers taking part in Eurovision. There’s none bigger than Swedish group ABBA. They were winners of the 1974 edition. Celine Dion participated in 1988 and won the contest for Switzerland.

Others who have gone on to have successful careers have been 1981 UK winners Bucks Fizz, Ireland’s Dana and two-time winner Johnny Logan. There’s Katrina and the Waves, Lulu and Sandie Shaw who have also taken part before as well.

2019 Review

The 2019 edition of the Eurovision was hosted in Tel Aviv, Israel. That was because of Netta’s win the previous year in Portugal, which looked to be a foregone conclusion before the Grand Final even started.

There were 41 countries in the 2019 edition and of them, it was the Netherlands who took the win with a song “Arcade” by Duncan Laurance. That was the fifth time that the Netherlands had won Eurovision.

Australia had won the first semi-final in 2019 with the Netherlands taking the second semi-final win.

Oddly enough, in the Grand Final, the Netherlands didn’t win the jury vote nor the tele-vote outright but did enough with everything combined to take the title.

There was a bad night at the office for UK entrant Michael Rice who came home last in the Grand Final with only 11 points. Just for reference, the Netherlands won with 498. Ireland, represented by Sarah McTernan failed to qualify from the semi-finals.

Among other performers, San Marino and North Macedonia both recorded their best-ever finish at the Eurovision, San Marino taking 19th, while North Macedonia broke into the top ten with a 9th place finish for Tamara Todesvska with ‘Proud”.

2020 Eurovision Preview

2020 will be the 65th edition of the Eurovision and it is being hosted in Rotterdam with the slogan “Open Up!”. This will be the fifth occasion that the Netherlands have gotten to play host. The first of the semi-finals will be on May 12th and the second one on May 14th. The Grand Final will be hosted on May 16th.

Last year’s winner Duncan Laurance will perform his winning “Arcade”.

Eurovision 2020 Betting Odds*

Lithuania 5/1
Romania 7/1
Italy 8/1
Russia 12/1
Sweden 12/1
Bulgaria 12/1
Germany 16/1
Switzerland 16/1
Mala 16/1
Norway 18/1
Iceland 20/1
Denmark 25/1
UK 33/1
Australia 33/1
Israel 33/1
Belgium 33/1
Poland 33/1
40/1 bar
* (betting odds taken at 08:17 GMT on Friday, February 28th 2020)

There are 41 nations in total who are taking part this year, with Bulgaria and Ukraine participating after missing last year’s edition. Hungary and Montenegro are the only two nations who participated last year that aren’t coming back for the 2020 edition.

Ireland are in the first semi-final alongside the likes of Australia, North Macedonia, Sweden, Israel, Russia and Lithuania, the latter being the early 5/1 outright favourites* (betting odds taken at 08:17 GMT on Friday, February 28th 2020).

All seventeen countries taking part in the first semi-final will vote, along with Germany, Italy (Big Five Nations) and hosts the Netherlands.

France, Spain and the UK (Big Five nations) will join in the voting for the second semi-final which has 18 countries participating.

The UK’s entrant for Eurovision 2020 is James Newman with “My Last Breath”. There was no public vote held by the BBC to decide who they would send to the competition.

Instead, industry professionals made the call. After the unveiling of the song in late February, the UK were a 20/1 option to win outright* (betting odds taken at 08:17 GMT on Friday, February 28th 2020).