When and where is the 2019 Eurovision song contest?
With the most famous international song contest nearly upon us, now is the perfect time to start bitcoin betting on this year’s Eurovision. The 64th edition of the competition will travel to Tel Aviv, Israel, after Israeli singer Netta was voted as the winner last year in Lisbon. The semi finals will take place on Tuesday 14th May and Thursday 16th May, while the Grand Final will be held on Saturday 18th May and broadcasted live in all participating countries.
How many countries take part in Eurovision?
The cap for participating countries in the Final is 16, which includes the host country (Israel) and the “Big Five”, which consist of the countries that make the biggest financial contributions to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), and therefore have a guaranteed place in the final without the need to take part in the semi finals. These countries are: France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom.
This year, only 17 countries will compete for a place in the Final, with Ukraine withdrawing from this year’s competition as a result of the ongoing conflict with Russia (pop singer Maruv, who was set to represent the country, decided not to participate as said she “refused to be used as a political tool”).
What can affect Eurovision results?
The running order
Despite being a song contest, there’s so much more to Eurovision - especially when it comes to placing bets on who is going to win the show.
The running order, which is decided by the show’s producers with the aim of creating and building up excitement, is one important factor – with fan favourites Israel and Ireland blaming their place in the running order as one of the main reasons for their failure in 2014. The order for this year’s final, however, is only going to be announced on the morning of Friday 17th May.
Although considered by some as a decisive factor, old and recent results show that staging doesn’t tend to have a huge effect on a country’s overall competition ranking. Through the years, producers have offered more and more staging tools to participants as a way to enhance their song performances, but winners like Salvador Sobral, who won the contest in 2017 representing Portugal, was notably successful with his very simple and touching performance. He didn’t use any special effects, dancers or extra features and chose to use his emotional interpretation of the song as his not-so-secret weapon.
An artist’s look or personality can also have a major impact on the final results, and external political or social factors play a big role as well. Placed outside the top 15 in the market this year is Austria, a country who won 2014’s competition by having drag queen Conchita Wurst as their entrant.
The singer, whose real name is Thomas Neuwirth, caught many by surprise as he kept his facial hair even when his stage persona was wearing a dress. The LGBT+ community, which represents a large chunk of Eurovision’s fans and viewers, ended up massively supporting Wurst in the face of criticism from conservative groups, who began targeting the drag queen with Anti-Wurst Facebook pages and petitions calling for Russia and Belarus broadcasters to edit her performance out.
While the winning song was not considered or expected to be a strong contender, her personality and the overall context pushed Wurst to a historical and surprising win.
Predicting this year’s Eurovision winner
With regards to overall wins, Ireland is the reigning champion so far with 7 victories, while Sweden have 6 and Luxembourg, France and the UK all have 5. The contest is highly popular in the Nordic countries and ratings for the Eurovision song contest has changed a lot through the years - with 204 million people watched one of the three shows in 2016.
This year, numbers are expected to be as impressive, especially considering popstar Madonna is to perform two songs during the interval, which should attract a whole new type of viewership and potentially change the pattern of voting.
The number of views for a competition song on YouTube can also indicate the level of popularity for an entry – but it’s important to take into consideration how big the population is in each of these countries, as this could inflate the numbers for a hopeful winner.
Who is going to win Eurovision 2019?
Now looking at the 2019 contestants, here are the favourites so far and our top picks:
Switzerland: The country was not included in this year’s top 10 favourites until the premiere of Luca Hanni’s music video, She Got Me, in which a whole lot of romance between the singer and his leading lady made the song jump straight into the top 5, clearly indicating the strength of the song - which has already amassed over 2.9 million views on the official Eurovision YouTube channel.
Russia: Televote winner Sergey Lazarev is a returning contestant, which normally works well as the worldwide audience enjoy relating to a familiar face - especially as Lazarev did well to finish in 3rd place in 2016 and is a popular singer and dancer popularity in other former Soviet countries too. He has been default favourite for months, and has fallen only by one place in the lead up to the competition.
However his odds could be considerably hurt if voters take a political stand not to vote for Russia due to the human and LGBT+ rights violations in the country. Plus, the music video for his song, Scream, has received only 2.2 million views, far less than Switzerland, and considering the size of Russia, that could be saying something.
Netherlands: The country hasn’t won since 1975, but 24-year-old singer Duncan Laurence looks like he is in with a good chance after being catapulted to the first place in the market after the debut his song Arcade, replacing Russia as the front-runner in the competition. His music video has over 6 million views on the official Eurovision YouTube channel, more than any of the other contestants this year - and so this is our number one bet for this year’s win.
Italy’s Mahmood is a former X Factor contestant who’s been heralded as a superstar in the country.
Iceland’s trio Hatari have been making a lot of noise with anti-capitalist messaging covered by whips and chains in lyrics that include “life is meaningless” and “Europe will crumble” in their “techno BDSM” song.
Malta’s entry Michela hasn’t been picked up by the odds yet but the music video to her song Chameleon has proved to be an online phenomenon on the official Eurovision YouTube channel, with more than 5.8 million views, just a bit behind favourite Netherlands.
Our best bet for Eurovision 2019?
I believe that the Netherlands are coming into the competition with a strong following, and their favouritism is not in vain as they do seem to be the front runner with the biggest possibility to win.
However, I would also watch Malta, my favourite entrants this year, very closely: for such a small country, the number of YouTube views is a clear indication of the song’s strength, and the fun pop rhythm and captivating lyrics could be enough to take the country flying to the top of the results table. The music video is certainly powerful enough and the song is pretty much in sync with today's biggest hits.
It will probably depend on the performance and how engaging singer Michela Pace is able to make it, as well as how well the Netherlands' performance goes too - but 'Chameleon' could become the big underdog of this year’s contest and end up beating other favourites.
Who is your favourite Eurovision Contestant? Head over twitter and let @Cloudbet know who you think will win!