Alex Constantinou has won thousands gambling on the outcome of the Eurovision Song Contest. We asked him how…
1: The most important thing is research – and that involves viewing all 43 offerings from the participating nations, however painful that can be. Believe me, it can be excruciatingly painful.
2: Write down notes on each act and refer to betting markets. That way, I can easily cross off 10-or-so acts – for this year’s event I have already ruled out Slovenia, San Marino, Montenegro, Moldova, Albania, Georgia, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland and FYR Macedonia. Although the bookmakers can get it wrong – the bearded Conchita Wurst cost me a small fortune in 2014 because I was convinced the Austrian entry was a pub act.
3: Don’t back the Brits. It may be 13 years since Jemini scored nul points but our luck isn’t about to change. This year the United Kingdom entry is 50-1 and it should be 5,000-1. I actually quite like Joe and Jake’s, You’re Not Alone. The problem for them is that no one in Europe likes the UK.
4: I will then refer to historic data to see who has awarded points to whom, although the new voting system means this is not as important as it used to be. With twice as many points now being awarded – via a jury vote and then a televote – political or regional Bloc voting (for example, Greece and Cyprus traditionally giving high points to one another) is less of an influence on the final outcome, while there is a much lower chance of a nation finishing with nul points. Last year, Italy rather than Sweden would have won using just the telephone vote.
5: Running order on the big night is a major factor. Since 1993, the winner’s been one of the first ten to perform only once – in 2003, when Turkey’s entry was the fourth act out. More often than not, you will not see the winning act until the second half of the show.
My top 4
1. Australia 2. Armenia 3. France 4. Malta