Americans have NO idea how closely Europeans watch Eurovision. Along with European football (soccer) and the other major sports, European betting companies offer a FULL range of betting options for Eurovision. Starting in January and February during the national final selection season, and then kicking into high gear once the actual contest rehearsals and semifinals are underway, the major betting companies offer odds on all the entries in categories good and bad. You can choose a winner or an entry that will end up with the dreaded “null points” (or as the Swedes call it, a “jumbo” placement). Every time a country rises or falls in the betting odds, the rabid Eurofans will argue and almost come to blows on the justice or injustice of it all.
Here’s a screen shot of the current betting and sizing up of the semifinal entries by one of the big parlors. Click to enlarge and see the sometimes brutal assessment of the songs for 2012!