Eurovision song contests are rarely boring. If it isn’t the colourful, eye-catching outfits or tactical votes and surprised winner, then the eccentric, experimental music choices will always manage to draw the attention of viewers.
The last Eurovision contest was one full of drama, provided in no small part by an incorrect aggregate vote count, which thankfully didn’t affect any of the top four rankings. However, it didn’t take very long for the appetite for the next contest to rapidly build up once again with nations keen to try and topple the Netherlands from their top spot. As we look to the host city, Rotterdam, the odds are beginning to simmer as artists release their songs in preparation for the May start date.
Malta On The Rise
In the previous contest, Malta finished in an admirable, but unfortunately unsuccessful, 14th place after drawing first in the final. The gulf in points between themselves, with 107, and the eventual winner’s Holland, with 498, demonstrated the extent of ground Malta need make up this year.
This year, however, in the wake of their song release, they soared in bookies’ estimations and are now one of the six most fancied to win the 2021 crown according to the latest Eurovision 2021 betting odds. Malta is now boasting 11/4 odds of winning ‘Je me casse’ by Maltese artist Destiny, a song about female empowerment, a highly topical theme given the gender equality awareness movements of the past few years.
With vocals likened to that of Beyoncé’s in style, overlaid with an electro-swing melody, Destiny opts for outfits with the same impact. Bold statement dresses inspired by both her powerful vocal style and Nigerian heritage are a big part of her appeal to female audiences in particular. As a talented artist with a catchy release and empowering image, her chances have shot up upon release.
Plenty Of Contention
However, she is, by no means, without competition. Swiss-Albanian singer Gjon Tears is considered to be a very strong contender, if not on equal footing with Destiny. Growing up, Gjon was first inspired to pursue singing after performing Elvis Presley for his family, and his soft-spoken, indie musical choices and dressed-down attire betray a powerful and emotive voice.
Thanks to his wide appeal, some platforms offer odds as low as 41/10 for him to take the first spot. Finishing in fourth in 2019, Switzerland came far closer to success previously and will be hopeful of righting past wrongs this time around.
Gjon Tears’ submission, the french-language tune ‘Tout l’univers’, adds to a growing trend of French-language songs, with Lithuania also releasing their track ‘Discoteque’,performed by The Roop. Many artists in the contest this year hold dual citizenships and the inspiration for a lot of their music and image come from the diverse roots.
French-Serbian singer Barbara Pravi – representing France – currently hovers between third and fourth favourite to win with 8/1 odds, just edging Italy, who hold 9/1. These two larger nations ranking where they do is actually relatively unusual. Typically, the smaller nations place higher, particularly in the months leading up to the contest.
Whether we have an upset on our hands remains to be seen. With the nearest challenger after France and Italy being Bulgaria’s Victoria, the top five is an eclectic mix of genres, making for an interesting contest in May
With months left until that date, there is still a long way to go for all the national contenders, and as any Eurovision fan will know, surprises are never far away once the event has begun. Only in February were Lithuania the favourites to win, so evidently, nothing is guaranteed. All that remains to be done is look forward to a contest that is sure to impress the fashion-lovers and music fans alike.