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.

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.

Confirmed entrants for this year's contest are

  • Albania - 'Mall' sung by Eugent Bushpepa who used to have a band called Sunrise whoH were a support act for legendary rockers Deep Purple.M
  • Azerbaijan - 'X My Heart' sung by Aisel.
  • Belarus - 'Forever' sung by Alekseev who is from Ukraine and wasn't at all popular with the other 11 contestants trying to win the right to represent Belarus in Portugal.
  • Belgium - 'A Matter of Time' performed by Sennek who co-wrote the track.
  • Czeh Republic - 'Lie to Me' sung by Mikolas Josef who is a former male model and was offered the chance to perform last year but didn't think the song suited him.
  • Israel -  'Toy' sung by Netta Barzilai after she won a talent series.
  • Armenia - 'Qami' sung by Sevak Khanagyan. He's a former winner of Armenia's X-Factor series and is a judge on The Voice of Armenia.
  • Austria - 'Nobody But You' - sung by Cesar Sampson. He's a former model and social worker and is no stranger to Eurovision as he's been a backing singer for Bulgaria in 2016 and 2017.
  • Croatia -  'Crazy' sung by Franka Batelic who won a series called 'Showtime.'
  • Cyprus -  'Fuego' sung by Eleni Foureira and she's a former fashion designer so could have a good chat with the male models.
  • Finland -  Will be represented by Saara Aalto who'll be singing the wonderfully titled song 'Monsters.' UK fans will remember her as she finished runner-up in the 2016 series of The X Factor.
  • Greece - 'Oneiro mou' performed by Yianna Terzi who had an easy time winning the qualifying competition as one by one the other contestants were disqualified.
  • Ireland - 'Together' sung by Ryan O'Shaughnessy who reached the final of Britain's Got Talent in 2012. He'll be hoping to get Ireland in the final for the first time since 2013.
  • Macedonia - 'Lost and Found' sung by Eye Cue, a duo who had a couple of hits in Macedonia but the last one was in 2010.
  • Switzerland - 'Stones' sung by Zibbz who are a duo who wrote the theme song for the Men's World Floorball Championships in 2012.
  • Australia - Will be represented by Jessica Mauboy who has had nine top ten singles in Australia.
  • Denmark - 'Higher Ground' sung by Rasmussen who has appeared in musicals such as 'Les Miserables' and 'Rent.'
  • Moldova - 'My Lucky Day'' sung by DoResDos. The group have previously tried to enter the competition in both 2016 and 2017.
  • Netherlands - Will be represented by Waylon who takes his name from the country singer Waylon Jennings. He'll be singing his song 'Outlaw 'Em In.'  He's previously represented the Dutch in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest with the Common Linnets and finished second.
  • Romania - 'Goodbye' sung by The Humans.
  • Russia -  Represented by Yulia Samoylova with her song chosen in March. She was banned from last year's competition after going to Crimea.
  • Serbia - 'Nova Deca' performed by Sanja Ilic and Balkanika. The group's aim is to preserve, revitalize and modernize Serbian medieval and Byzantine traditions, so that's something to look forward to.
  • Georgia - 'Sheni gullstvis' sung by Iriao who you will be pleased to hear are renowned for their traditional Georgian polyphonic singing and jazz.
  • Hungary - 'Viszlat Nyar' performed by AWS who are a metal and post-hardcore band who probably won't be jamming with the Georgian and Serbian entries. Their videos often have 'juxtapositions of images of violence and celebrities in order to bring light to problems that the world faces' so they could be interesting.
  • Latvia - 'Funny Girl' sung by Laura Rizzotto. She was born in Brazil and won 'Supernova 2018' to win the right to represent Latvia in Portugal and at one time was the Portuguese language coach for Jennifer Lopez.
  • Malta - 'Taboo' sung by Christabelle who has appeared in teen TV shows and studied accountancy.
  • Montenegro - 'Inje' to be performed by Vanja Radovanovic.
  • Slovenia - 'Hvala Ne' by Lea Sirk, who has previously tried to represent Slovenia on three previous occasions.
  • Ukraine - 'Under the Ladder' sung by Melovin. He's a previous winner of X-Factor Ukraine.
  • France - 'Mercy' performed by Madame Monsieur' who are a male/female duo as you might have guessed by their name.
  • Germany - 'You Let Me Walk Alone' by Michael Schulte who finished third in The Voice Germany six years ago.
  • Italy - 'Non mi avete fatto niente' performed by Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro who won the San Remo Music Festival.
  • Spain - 'Tu Cancion' performed by Alfred and Amaia.
  • United Kingdom - 'Storm' by SuRie who won a BBC competition held at the Brighton Dome where ABBA won Eurovision in 1974.  Back in 2015 SuRie was a  backing vocalist and dancer for the Belgian Eurovision entry and was a musical director last year.E
  • Estonia - 'La Forza' performed by Elina Nechayeva who has a Masters degree in classical singing.
  • San Marino - 'Who We Are' sung by Jessika featuring Jenifer Brening. There could be problems though as the song includes the word 'Twitter' and using brand names is against the rules. Jessika is also an actress appearing as 'Emma' in a Maltese daytime soap. She's spent every year from 2009 to 2016 trying to represent Malta in Eurovision but finally gets there but with San Marino.
  • Poland - 'Light Me Up' performed by Gromee featuring Lukas Meijer. Gromee is an award winning DJ, while Lukas is from Sweden and sings for a group called 'No Sleep for Lucy.'
  • Iceland - 'Our Choice' sung by Ari Olafsson who is only 19 years of age.
  • Portugal - 'O jardin' performed by Claudia Pascoal. The host nation pin their hopes on a singer who has been on several talent shows but didn't win any of them.
  • Sweden - 'Dance You Off' to be peformed by Benjamin Ingrosso who is a former child actor and winner of a Swedish TV dancing competition.
  • Norway - 'That's How You Write a Song' is their entry and will be sung by Alexander Rybak who is a former Eurovision winner having performed the winning song 'Fairytale' in 2009 with a then-record score.
  • Lithuania - 'When We're Old' sung by Ieva Zasimauskaitė who finally gets to represent her country after four failed attempts in th past.
  • Bulgaria - 'Bones' to be performed by Equinox a seven-piece band and big fans of Pokemon apparently.

Current favourites to win this year are Israel who are 15/8 with Paddy Power to come out on top. Second favourites are Estonia at 5/1 with the Czech Republic at 8/1 and Belgium 10/1. The UK are 100/1 with Paddy Power to win the Eurovision Song 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.

 

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. 


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