Eurovision Offers, Bonuses & Free Bets

You either love the Eurovision Song Contest or hate it. Some just laugh at it especially if being paid by the BBC to commentate on it.

The Eurovision Song Contest is a yearly competition that takes place in May. The first contest took place in 1956 and to take part you need to be a member of the European Broadcasting Union. The initial idea of the contest was to rebuild bridges after the Second World War.

In 2015 Australia were invited to take place to celebrate the fact this is the 60th contest. This was due to be a one-off invitation but such was the popularity of their debut they are now set to be a permanent fixture.

Viewing figures for the Eurovision Song Contest are over 100 million and it's also possible to watch the contest live on the internet. 

When the Eurovision Song Contest first took place there were just seven competing countries with each nation submitting two songs. This has grown over the years especially since the break-up of the Soviet Union. The highest numbers of competitors was 43 in both 2008 and 2011. With so many countries competing it was decided to introduce two semi-finals. These take place earlier in the week with the Final taking place on the following Saturday.

France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK gain automatic entry into the Final plus the host nation. 

The contest is hosted by the winning country from the previous year. This isn't always a popular occurrence as it's an expensive event to stage. The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the Ukraine.

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 The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival in Italy and was something of a live television test, as it was still the early days of TV and hooking all the countries up to the same network was risky.

The name "Eurovision" had previously been used by British journalist George Campey in the London Evening Standard in 1951 in relation to the EBU's network - and later stuck as a name for the contest.

2017 Eurovision Song Contest

Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time when the competition was held in Ukraine. Salvador Sobrai singing the song 'Amar pelos dois' won both the semi-final and final. He finished 140 points ahead of second placed Bulgaria who were represented by Kristian Kostov with 'Beautiful Mess.'  

The top two finished well clear of the rest of the field with Moldova in third 241 points behind Bulgaria. The UK had a mixed night with Lucie Jones putting in an imprssive performance of 'Never Give Up on You.'  However she failed to make it into the top ten finishing 15th in the end.

That didn't look likely when the judges awarded her 99 points but for the second year, the UK struggled when it came to the pubic vote. Lucie received just 12 votes sending her down the table. There were some notable differences between the votes awarded by judges and the public vote.

Not for the winning song though with similar totals received. Biggest losers were Australia just as was the case last year when the new voting system was introduced. They received 171 votes from the judges but just 2 from the public vote dropping them down to ninth. It was the same for the Netherlands who got 135 judges votes but just 15 from the public.  Poor Austria got 93 judges votes but not one from the public.The opposite was the case for Moldova who rose up to third thanks to 264 votes fom the public compared to 110 from the judges. Belgium got 108 judges votes but 225 from the public so any in-play betting on the Eurovision final can be quite hazardous.


What Eurovision bets can I place?

There are plenty of opportunities to use free bets when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest. There's betting available on who will win the semi-finals and who will qualify. When it comes to the final, you can bet on outright winners, a top 5 or top 10 finish. Also available is match betting between various nations, whether any country will receive the legendary null points, whether the winner will come from Eastern or Western Europe and how high the UK entry will finish.

2018 Eurovision Song Contest

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest takes place at the MEO Arena in Lisbon on May 12. The two semi-finals will be held on the 8th and 10th of May. The venue is the largest indoor arena in Portugal with a 20,000 capacity. It's been confirmed that Australia will be taking part for the third year in a row despite the problems they have with the public vote. Russia, who did not take part in 2017 are expected to make their return in Lisbon.

There are a variety of ways in which each country chooses their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest and these will be held in the coming month. Some hold contests of their own. In the past the UK sometimes chose a competitor and then they sang a selection of songs on which voters decided which should be the winning song. This was the case with Cliff Richard in the 1970s, more about how the 2018 entrant is being chosen can be read below.

The first entrant for 2018 has already been confirmed. Laura Groeseneken will be singing for Belgium in Portugal. The 27-year-old will be hoping to give Belgium their first Eurovision Song Contest win since 1986. Their entrant was confirmed on a chat show and she's already sung one winnig song as she celebrated by singing Portugal's winning song from this year. Laura has had some musical success but also works in IKEA as a visual merchandiser and is also a vocal coach. She has a bit of pressure on her already as Belgium finished fourth in 2017.

Even more pressure will be on the Portuguese entrant who has to represent the hosts and hopefuly give Portugal their second win in a row. it's going to be a lengthy procedure but the same method that produced the 2017 winner. The Festival da Canção 2018 will feature 26 songs with two semi-finals on February 18 and 25. Seven songs qualify from each of the semi-finals and take part in the Grand Final on March 4.

Switzerland are due to announce their entrant soon. They had a record entry of 670 songs to choose from. Not quite so many in Malta who had 30 to choose from and currently have a short-list of 16. Anyone wanting to enter an entry for Slovenia has until November 15 to write a potential Eurovision winner. Cyprus have enlisted Alex Papaconstantinou to write their 2018 entry.

Ireland haven't had a good run of success in recent years and hasn't even made the final since 2013. Songs can be submitted with a deadline of November 1.

Previous winners

There have been some notable winners of the Eurovision Song Contest. These include:

  • 1974: Abba
  • 1980 and 1987: Johnny Logan
  • 1981:  Bucks Fizz
  • 1988: Celine Dion

It's not been a great time for Salvador Sobrai since his big win this year and recently he announced he's taking a break from his musical career due to ill health and recently performed a farewell concert.

Most Eurovision Wins 

  • 7 - Ireland (but none since 1996)
  • 6 - Sweden
  • 5 - France (last won in 1977), United Kingdom and Luxembourg
  • 4 - Netherlands (last win 1975)

United Kingdom Past Glories

The United Kingdom used to enjoy a great deal of success with a record 15 runner-up places. They first won the contest in 1967 with Sandie Shaw. Lulu was one of four joint winners two years later. The Brotherhood of Man won in 1976 with 'Save All Your Kisses For Me' and Bucks Fizz with 'Making Your Mind up' in 1981. The last UK Winners were Katrina and the Waves in 1997.

In the first 30 years of the contest the UK only failed to make the top ten once and even then they finished 11th. However of their last 13 entries only once have they made the top ten.  In 2003 Jemini finished last with 0 points who sang off key claiing they couldn't hear the backing track. On three other occasions the UK finished 25th. Last year Electro Velvet came 24th scoring just five points. 

In 2016 UK hopes were in the hands of Joe & Jake who finished a lowly 24th but Lucie Jones performed better in 2017 finishing 15th. The search for a winning song in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest has already started with the BBC accepting submissions which, as last year, will then see a panel from the UK Eurovision Song Contest fan club choose a shortlist of five songs. A live show will then be held to determine who represents the UK in Portugal. The deadline for entries is October 27 and who knows they might just contain the winner of next year's contest.

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