With Eurovision 2010 quickly approaching - the end of next month to be precise - and with all songs confirmed, the bookies have been trying to predict what will be the most likely winners. With no obvious 'Fairytale' and last year showing that yes, Western countries can do just as well as Eastern countries with strong enough songs (and the return of jury voting - for 50% of the votes at least), it has become more wide open than ever. Indeed after Norway, Iceland and the UK filled three of the top five spots last year in the incredible 2009 contest in Russia, music and presentation/staging wise, there are three Western countries in the top five bookies odds of this year. William Hill offer the following top ten currently;
So my current personal favourite song, Satellite by quirky 18 year old German Lena Meyer-Landrut is currently topping the odds. Unusual to say the least seeing as they haven't graced the top five for ten years, but hopefully this is the song to change that - it's certainly quirky and individual enough to stand out - particularly with her 22nd out of 25th in the running draw. But I can't help but think that bookies have been influenced by the fact that the song's a record breaking huge selling #1 hit in Germany - will everyone else love it as much as they do (considering she was the winner of a hugely successful TV show with ready made hype available) and will Europe vote enough for one of the 'Big 4' to win the contest or are people bitter about Spain, France, Germany and the UK's free pass to the final every year? Certainly these four countries have all done terribly in the noughties but the song quality of all four was arguably hardly as great as in the past so maybe it was deserved?
Azerbaijan's epic Timbaland style ballad Drip Drop is second favourite and my tip for the win - I just really can't fathom how Germany's quirky songstress will be of taste to everyone - she's surely too oddball to appeal to all? Way back next is Israel's classy ballad, Denmark's Starship style 80's American power anthem throwback and Norway's home entry, the You Raise Me Up clone, My Heart Is Yours by Didrik Solli-Tangen. Armenia's ok, but average in comparison to the last few years, Apricot Stone is next along with Croatia who are definitely worth an each way bet with their strong contemporary ballad. Could still win. Perennial top tenners Greece, recently underperforming Sweden and Belgium/Ireland/Turkey close off the top ten in the odds. Personally, I don't see how Greece, Israel, Denmark, Sweden, Armenia, Belgium or Norway with their terrible draw and good but over dramatic song can win this so it's a seven horse race for me between (in this order) Azerbaijan, Germany, Croatia, Turkey, Ireland, Romania and Belarus. I'm sure my views will change in the coming few weeks though.