Not likely but possible: Malta’s chances at the Eurovision

Odds are usually accurate predictions with bookmaker favourites usually taking the trophy home, but in a decade, the Eurovision has seen a couple of shock wins

In the first rehearsal of her up-tempo song 'Chameleon', Michela debuted a brightly-lit and colourful rendition of her stage performance
In the first rehearsal of her up-tempo song 'Chameleon', Michela debuted a brightly-lit and colourful rendition of her stage performance

If odds are anything to go by, Malta is unlikely to the win this year’s Eurovision song contest but winning is not quite out of reach either.

It’s currently placed by bookmakers at 7th place, which is quite a good showing. Prior to first rehearsals, Malta was at 8th place and prior to March 8, Malta was all the way down to 21st favourite with odds to win as high as 50/1.

Odds are usually right on point albeit for a few blips here and there. In 2008, Russia's winning entry was placed first in the odds by bookmakers.

Current odds place The Netherlands at the favourite to win and it has retained this position for some time
Current odds place The Netherlands at the favourite to win and it has retained this position for some time

In 2009, same thing happened with Rybak’s Fairytale. A year later, same thing, the favourite—Germany’s Satellite—won the competition.

In 2011, a blip, Azerbaijan’s Running Scared was placed at 7th place and went on to win the Eurovision.

However, things returned to normal in 2012 and then 2013 when bookmaker favourites Sweden’s Euphoria and Denmark’s Only Teardrops won the competition respectively.

Bookmakers are usually right on point notwithstanding a couple of blips
Bookmakers are usually right on point notwithstanding a couple of blips

Then another massive blip came in 2014 in the form of Concita Wurst, the bearded drag queen phenomenon who represented Austria with Rise Like a Phoenix. Thomas Neuwirth, better known as Concita, was placed outside the top 15 of the odds a month prior to winning the song contest. This is why 2014 has become the go-to contest in arguing that odds aren’t always on point.

Whether it was the ‘beard’ novelty (Dana International winning in 1998 with Diva was also transgender) or the impeccable live performance, Concita’s staging defied all odds and gave bookmakers a good hiding.

Whether Michela Pace’s entry will stun the audience into twelve-pointing her all the way to the top remains, of course, to be seen but the winning possibility is not too far-reaching.

In 2016, Ukraine was placed by bookmakers at the 6th spot, as Malta is in 2019, and it went on to win.

The Eurovision Song contest kick-starts in six days in May 14 at Tel Aviv but Malta will compete in the second set of semi-finals on May 16. The final will be held on Saturday 18 May.

This is the 64th edition of the song contest and Malta’s 31st showing since the competition’s debut in 1971.

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