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Armenia: Aram MP3 – Not Alone

Back in January, Aram MP3 was announced as the Armenian artist for this year's Eurovison Song Contest. This evening, Aram presented his song, Not Alone, to a live studio audience. The selection of Aram MP3 was an inspired choice by the Armenian broadcaster, as the 29 year old is a prominent showman and well capable of acting out a dramatic and entertaining stage show.  Matched with an equally theatrical song, Armenia should pose an enormous threat to the top of the scoreboard in May. Some have argued that Not Alone fails the 1-minute test, or feel the song is too…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength

Wowzers

Aram’s song will infect people’s minds, making it one of the most memorable songs of the contest, which is a major factor when zeroing in on potential contenders.

User Rating: 4.55 ( 1606 votes)

Back in January, Aram MP3 was announced as the Armenian artist for this year’s Eurovison Song Contest.

This evening, Aram presented his song, Not Alone, to a live studio audience.

The selection of Aram MP3 was an inspired choice by the Armenian broadcaster, as the 29 year old is a prominent showman and well capable of acting out a dramatic and entertaining stage show.  Matched with an equally theatrical song, Armenia should pose an enormous threat to the top of the scoreboard in May.

Some have argued that Not Alone fails the 1-minute test, or feel the song is too bland during the first two minutes and takes too long to reach the climax.  I agree that Armenia’s song is unconventional in the Eurovision sense, but isn’t that because we’ve never had anything like this before?

It’s accepted that we’ve had cross-genre and varied tempo songs before, Rockefeller Street being one of many bad examples, yet it’s hard to find a song that builds so smoothly before climaxing so compellingly. For viewers at home, it’ll feel like Armenia launched a tonne of bricks through their TV screens, shattering everything in its wake.

Even so, the first two minutes of Not Alone are far from boring.  The subtle introduction of string and brass orchestration adds tension and poise, which prepares viewers for the ensuing maelstrom of Not Alone’s fortissimo. It is at this point that Aram’s song will infect people’s minds, making it one of the most memorable songs of the contest, which is a major factor when zeroing in on potential contenders.

There are also remarks arguing that because Aram’s song isn’t a fun, easily assessable song like Fairytale, Only Teardrops or Euphoria, that it will somehow flop on the night.

Each of those former winners were a cut above their respective competition, and if entered into this year’s contest, I’m sure they would top the leader board again.

In the context of this year’s contest however, Not Alone is the equivalent of Fairytale, Only Teardrops and Euphoria in terms of quality.  Presently, only Carl Espen’s understated Silent Storm matches its class.

Armenia’s stage show will ultimately decide their fate, and Not Alone should make the transition from studio to Eurovision stage with ease, given its stalking build-up and explosive finale.

During the video’s first minute, the drummers are quite prominent in the arrangement, so I anticipate that they might form part of the presentation in Copenhagen. To ease worries concerning the opening minute or two, Armenia could add some orchestral elements to the stage presentation, which would divert the focus from Aram while adding an effective visual commentary during the slower passage. These elements are shown in the video, so I reckon the video spells out what we should expect in Copenhagen.

Once the dubstep climax kicks in, I picture Aram performing to a force-10 gale wind machine with smoke and pulsating white lighting depicting the sudden lift in mood.

Accounting for recent events, Armenia would make a more palatable winner and 60th anniversary host than Azerbaijan which I think is an important consideration. Given the national headlines after last year’s contest, I can’t imagine many western Eurovision commentators failing to remind viewers the reason for 2014’s rule changes.  Everyone likes a fair contest, so when Azerbaijan eventually publish their song, it’s worth considering the public’s perception of last year’s events if indeed they are mentioned during the live broadcasts.

Are Armenia a big threat in Copenhagen?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
Since 2006, Armenia have failed to qualify once in six attempts. 83% qualification success.

Highest semi-final score: 150 (2006: André – Without Your Love)
Lowest semi-final score: 54 (2011: Emmy – Boom Boom)
Average semi-final finishing position: 6th
Average semi-final score: 99 points

Armenia has finished in the top-10 five times in six final appearances.

Highest score (since 2004): 199 (2008: Sirusho English – Qélé, Qélé)
Lowest score (since 2004): 69 (2013: Dorians – Lonely Planet)
Average final position: 9th
Average final score: 123 points

Average Points Received

Russia – 10.9
Geogria – 9.7
Ukraine – 8.4
Greece – 8.0
Belarus – 5.2
Cyprus – 4.3
Norway – 4.2
France – 3.9
Israel – 3.8
Italy – 3.5

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90 comments

  1. Simple comment: W O W! It’s bold and it’s beautiful. Juries: love. Televote: Armenia. At last, shit just gt serious

  2. First impressions: really interesting combination, sounds modern and/but unconventional. Very different structure, not convinced that’s a good thing though. But sounds jury fodder!

    Hope he sings this well live 🙂

  3. Instrumentation is very good,sounds like an orchestra with some dubstep.The song is probably too repetitive as it stands to win ESC though.That might be masked by the fact it has fantastic staging potential.
    Its very strong for the jury and Armenia have a very strong diaspora when they have a decent jury song under the new system.
    If he delivers live it should be a certain top 10 but doesnt smell like a winner.

    • lol nothing is smelling like a winner to me. but at least there’s another in the mix that i actually like. gotta keep a close eye on this one. for me the very slow start is probably going to stop it winning but we’ll see how its presented. if they can come up with something that can get the audience focusing on the vocal then it could fly.

      • A1 to that Rob.I could ask any random stranger who would win ESC this year and they would probably be closer to the result than me.I have no idea at all.Nothing screams winner.
        Im leaning to Ukraine as the value and i like for top 10 outsiders Poland Albania and Slovenia at big prices if i can get them.I wouldnt expect anyone to agree with those as they are hunches and personal likes more than anything more concrete.
        I hope the fog clears a bit as we move forward.

    • All about the stage show for me, which I will cover in the review (when I finally clear the backlog). I’ve already got images flying around in my head. Markets have moved for this and I agree with the sudden contraction. Best so far and should figure near the top.

  4. Yeah, it doesn’t stand out as a clear winner for sure. Feels like he says “Not Alone” even more times than Ruth says “dancing in the rain”. Very repetitive.
    But the music is great!

  5. Agree with gav, this needs good staging to maximise potential, its not your usual esc entry and that slightly worries me, it has little hook going on and seems more about the powerfull music and him shouting dramatically over it, i think im with durham here it doesnt smell winner to me either but it is interesting.

  6. Brilliantly built-up song with lot of power. In a year like this I could see him winning given all mentioned in previous posts (staging potential, voting power etc.). I certainly see him above both Sanna and Carl.

  7. Iv been laying this and iv managed to get some matched at 6.0,5.0 and 4.6.If it stays under 5.0 il keep laying once i get more funds over into Betfair.
    So thats Sanna and this iv been selling now.

    Im sure this will do well but as it stands at the moment it has no chance of winning ESC.Its far too boring in the build up and although very nicely structured and interesting doesnt offer much to the voters who decide ESC winners.They want something simple ,instant and catchy.This offers none of that.
    It has big staging potential though and if they get that spot on i might trade out of the lay.I see little risk in laying now though as even with everything perfect i cant see this going much lower.

    • If it’s true that voters always want “something simple ,instant and catchy” than Denmark wins the televote.

      • Its likely to do very well in the televote yes.pimpin4rizeal is probably the best judge of songs like Denmarks.Draw matters of course.Id add to that list contemporary.They dont have to be 100% radio friendly but its a big +.Thats why Sanna backers are taking a huge risk given that she probably wont even win the televote among the Scandi countries.
        Armenia have a good diaspora when they have a good song and this is sure to do well.It doesnt have enough to win though unless the staging is superb.Great staging can hook the viewers and hide the boring first third.

        • I agree completely, staging will be crucial and I guess they know it also. So IF they come with something superb I can see the odds collapsing again.
          Speaking about the odds, they sometimes move in mysterious ways. When Ace won the jury vote I backed Sweden at 9.x, then Sanna won and went to 11,12 even 14. Yesterday I got out at 6.2 and didn’t see that coming at all…

        • I have just laid off for a free run on Armenia. It’s easily the best song so far, but didn’t want to miss the window of opportunity to give me a free run.

          • I’m thinking of doing it also but historically I always do it too early so I’m forcing myself to wait for a while.

  8. Magnificence song..but i think its to repedatitve and has to slow to start to get enough viewers to vote to win the big prize.. but great vocals, and unique and definetly one of the BIG ones this year, i think top 4.

  9. Ruth Lorenzo would NAIL this

  10. Great song for Armenia, as for me he can be a winner, as this is the best of all those songs I’ve already listened. music is wonderful and the lyrics were beautiful.

  11. I definitely was gripped by this song and the powerful accompanying video the first time I saw it. I felt the tension in the build, and the climax was unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. I totally agree that this is a solid contender, and I’m very glad I managed to quickly fire off a relatively large bet at 11.0 with Betfred while the odds were crashing. An Armenian win would make a nice consolation prize for me and I intend to keep myself out of the red on Betfair to sustain it.

    But having had time to digest it, (and this is in my notes after the very first listen,) I am doubtful of a win for the reasons Gav has stated in his review. Staging will make or break it, simple as that. I expect the staging to support the song’s epic feel in the build up, but I hope it isn’t going to be histrionic. Aram appears to be a guy who knows what he’s going as an entertainer, and I have a feeling he might implement some creative camerawork into his presentation. If they get it right, then the structure may become a strength rather than a weakness. Also, as Boki said over at Sofabet, if this holds up as the market leader (albeit not a runaway one), commentators will prime viewers for it during the postcard, and people will pay attention.

    Ultimately though, I think that while many people will go “whoa” and remember it, too many people won’t like it. It’s strong, but it’s also unsettling and kind of esoteric. Top 5 for sure, but I expect something more broadly appealing to beat it. If there isn’t anything “nicer” that measures up strongly enough, then yeah, give him the trophy.

    Or Georgia.

  12. Of course Armenia is the best!

  13. I prefer the original:

  14. Armenia shortening into 2.5-2.75 general price is it just me or is this verging on crazy.
    This looks a tight year to me armenia still has a lot of questions to answer.

  15. Just to add to that, this stage last year i backed emilie at 6.0 after we had all acts revealed, the big differance is with a scandy favourite you pretty much know what you are getting from the national final performance, armenia is unconventional for a esc entry and also its anyones guess how it will look.

    • The stage presentation is the most important aspect of Armenia’s entry. Looking at the video, I think they understand what they need to achieve. Personally, I reckon they’ll blow everyone away in Copenhagen.

      • So you are saying they are clear favourites at this point in your opinion? I find these odds of under 3.0 to be way, WAY too low. But I’m still hesitant to lay big. That’s because I’m a wussy.

  16. Bwin has what I think is a very goof betting opportunity: Will the winning country come from semi-final 1, semi-final 2 or be a pre-qualified country? Semi-final 1 odds @ 1.6

    From the potential winners this covers: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Sweden, Hungary, and Ukraine. And Belgium which according to odds has some kind of a chance although I dont see it at all.

    The potential winners this does not cover are: Norway. long shots: Denmark, UK, Romania, Greece.

    • Oh, I think the maximum potential return is 250€ (for me at least), so I would advice everyone to go pump 156€ on this since it feels like free money, right?

      • Provided you’ve ruled the UK out. Probability makes it likely, but would rather wait until rehearsals before committing to a bet like that.

        • Well I havent ruled UK out, but I feel like they are long shots. Everyone makes their own decisions so no one should put money on that unless their own conclusions back up the odds given.

          My conclusion is that 1.6 is too high even before rehearsals given that out of the 10 shortest odds right now that bet cover 7 (covered: Armenia, Sweden, Hungary, Belgium, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Russia. Not included: Norway, UK, Denmark).

  17. Has traded below evens now. I’ve gotten out of all my green and now have a slight red, that I’m prepared to increase to medium-sized if the odds keep on crashing.

    While I certainly this this is the deserved favorite atm, I also think there are too many unknowns for odds on this level for an unconventional song like Not Alone, at this point in time.

    • Saw this yesterday. Maybe it affects the a small proportion of his vote from the West, but I doubt anymore than 1% of ESC’s voting viewership has picked up on the story.

      • Might blow up in Copenhagen though, when he meets Conchita in person – and then commentators will get wind of it. Just a theory of course.

        • i think its one of those lost in translation things. i’ve seen it with eastern european interviews before. when someone says they are hetero it always gets translated as them saying i’m ‘normal’ which gets people asking well what do you consider ‘abnormal’? but they didn’t mean to be derogatory at all.

  18. Got a chunk laid @1.90 on the outright, so am now low/medium red on Armenia. If odds keep on sinking (before we know anything about staging or draw), I’ll keep on laying. I feel this is too low, and that it’s fueled by the previous two years seeing the odds-on fave winning. People might have started to think backing the market leader is free money…

    • I’ve been thinking the same thing. The song probably deserves to be market leader, but not at the odds its at right now. Denmark was far more “obvious” winner and her odds went below 2 only after she got a solid draw, right? (I might be wrong on that though. Someone correct me if I’m wrong). Being under 2 before we know anything about stage show or running order seems ridiculous. And even though the climax is great the beginning is underwhelming and from early draw it could struggle a lot.

      I’m not into conspiracy theories, but given that next year will be Eurovision’s 50th anniversary I’d think EBU wants it to be somewhere which can arrange a spectacle out of it. I dont see Armenia doing that, would probably be underwhelming compared to the events we’ve seen during last couple of years. What I’m trying to say is that is there a chance they will be given a bad draw on purpose? As the draw will be once again decided by producers, right? Maybe EBU has their hands in it as well…?

  19. I touched on that point in the podcast, Archi. I’m also in the middle of writing an article examining each of the favourites and potential outsiders.

    I laid some of my green on Armenia for a profit. I don’t want Armenia red, but have been backing other acts heavily and will continue building my favoured acts to a healthy green before Eurovision in Concert.

  20. I see the Armenia price as a huge chance to get matched at huge prices on other interesting contenders.Its almost certain the market will move the challengers in by a large amount at some point and is miss-pricing the book more than iv ever seen.
    Im very heavy Ukraine at 29s and could start to trade out at 21s now but im holding for them to go to 3rd/2nd favourite as im expecting.UK iv been adding as much as possible at 26s.(Expecting trade at 16s)
    Estonia iv been adding at different prices but averaging 216s.Poland im now averaging 160s and Italy at 76s.Slovenia 340s.Those 3 i wont chase now,if they continue to drift i wont average on them.
    I dont expect to be able to trade them all for free runs,but if i get Ukraine into 18s and the UK into 16s at any point the whole book goes big green.If one of the others (mainly Estonia im expecting 30s) shorten a lot then even better.
    Iv got huge reds though across the win market and if things dont go to plan then likely il suffer a loss on the outright unless one of the ones im holding wins.
    Im trying to get the win market all green with the UK and Ukraine a free high 4 figure win.

    As for the EBU they would want London,Rome or Paris id expect.Emma and TwinTwin seem to of put paid to their chances so London is all thats left.
    Its hard work this year and more risky than usual.At least thats how i feel at this stage.

    • i’m feeling more confident this year. i think eurovicious’s article on sofabet accurately summed up the way i was feeling and underlines the betting possibilities with a few minor differences. however, i still think Poland is underrated by most. in this case i’m not buying the juries won’t reward it and although it’s been proved that internet and chart success doesn’t relate to eurovision success when the numbers are so big you have to keep a close eye. i’ve already pointed out estonia’s undervalue and pleased most people agree. i also continue to believe malta are undervalued – the 2nd SF seems to be stronger overall and if malta can qualify from first and get a better draw for the final i expect it to do some damage.

      • Agree, although there are one or two of his opinions that do not match my own. I’m currently writing up my thoughts on contenders and outsiders.

      • Iv backed Poland average 160s Rob.I hope to be able to trade it out for a free run if possible.Im not 100% convinced on it,but it has potential i think if they manage to pull off linking the ethnic elements.
        I guess im banking that if/when they qualify they will come in to sub 100s on Betfair.
        Its likely one or more of these high priced songs will turn into a springer on the market and Estonia and Poland are the two most likely i think.
        Poland are performing tonight in Latvia so we might get an idea of if there are changes.Here is the stream if anyone can get it to work.I cant find mention of the time the show kicks off.Lithuania and Austria are performing as well.
        http://www.lsm.lv/lv/tiesraide/?id=28

  21. I really think the value is on the lay side of Armenia at the moment. First I wanted to lay my profit on Armenia up to a small green, but then I thought if I am not selling Armenia at 1.9 I am taking it for 1.9 and I simply can’t justify that. There are too many reasons to argue an Armenian win, here is a quick summary:

    1. EBU don’t wan’t an Armenian win, most likely they will get buried in the running order.
    2. The song is quite western and I’m not sure it appeals to the eastern part of the continent.
    3. The song will not be getting many votes from the older geographic
    4. His presence is aggressive, rather than cute. It’s really rare aggressive male performers are successful in Eurovision.
    5. His jury love won’t be solid. Though he will get a lot of 1s probably most of them all, it is the average that counts not the most 1s (contrary to televote) and the same type of old farts that put Margaret Berger in 21 will be doing the same to this.
    6. The odds are false, mainly based on Armenian spammers, the same one as politely asked for even odds for Armenia top 10 same time last year. Rumor says Armenians are 40% of everyone backing Armenia (Not that I know how that could be calculated).
    7. We haven’t even seen the live performance of the song, the prior favorite also had no live version and we all know what happened to those odds.

    Having said that I do believe Armenia is a worthy favorite but these odds are ridiculous, last year all the best arguments against a Danish win was that juries would punish her for being barefooted :).

    • I generally agree with you SirMills, but I’m not brave enough to write Armenia off as a contender yet. A lot of your reasons are quite subjective too, so just be careful not to lull yourself into a false sense of security. Sure, there’s been no winner like this, but there hasn’t really been any entry like this. Structurally, you could compare it to Waterfall or Quedate Comigo, but they were giving off a completely different impression than this song will be, so I don’t think it’s a worthy comparable.

      The best thing to do in my opinion is to not put yourself into any considerable danger if he wins, wait for rehearsals, and simply use our best judgement by comparing his final presentation to the others in the 2014 contest, because I don’t think history can tell us anything about how well a song like this will do. All we know is that Armenia have a fairly strong televote guaranteed, Aram can sing and is a very competent showman, and this song made a strong impression on people when it first came out.

  22. Im convinced the way to play this odds on favourite is to use the time to back the challengers to it at huge prices.
    Some of the prices on Betfair are to be frank ridiculous and wont last.Its so short that a small drift in it will see the challengers come in by 30%-50%+ id expect. Sweden is very unlikely to shorten and should drift as well and be flip flopped by others.
    It takes a lot of nerve to build big positions on big priced songs but its probably the way to play this market for now.Closer to the contest patriotic fans will back the big demographic songs in.
    The reason its so short is there isnt a nailed on quality Scandi or Eastern block entry.That might change once we see the staging.

    • I totally agree with you. I’m building up massive green on the entries I think will improve from their first impression, and also the acts that will get patriotic voters behind them. UK and Russia ticks both of those boxes. Azerbaijan and Estonia should also shorten a lot in rehearsals. I expect Sweden, Denmark, Hungary to stay the same as they are fully moulded acts. Ukraine and Norway could get both ways I guess.

      The nerves are really tested when you are heavily invested in something that you expect to shorten in price but lengthens instead, then you are left with 3 choices: a) lay it with a little loss and accept it wasn’t a good idea b) wait and hope the market finally goes in your way 3) Be happy and buy more of it cause you are convinced it will work according to your plan.

      • I tend to keep buying and average the price higher.If some dont come back in il sell but keep green.So if i had say £200 on at 110 and it ends up 150 and im still in the friday before the final id sell £130,accept a £70 loss on that trade but keep it green.
        What you want is one big priced one to become a springer.A 200s shot that comes in to 20s will easily cover a few drifts on others.
        The ones i expect to shorten from where they are now are on Betfair are
        Ukraine,UK,Estonia,Poland,Italy,Romania,Norway.(iv been backing them all)
        Possible very long shot springers,Slovenia,Netherlands,Israel.(backed those small stakes/big greens).Its very tricky on the Betfair long shots though as once the market decides they are no-hopers they all drift to 1000s or empty on the lay side.
        The key is for Armenia to start showing some faults.Once/if the market decides its not a certainty people will start to look for challengers.
        The worst situation would be to have a book of huge greens,big reds,no Armenia and it wins.Thats where my book is at the minute so a lot of work to do and probably some luck this year needed on the win market.

        • I’ve been building up a lot of green on Latvia and Lithuania for a trade out, since I believe these songs definitely have the ability to qualify. Lithuania moreso. In Latvia’s case I think it’s just most people taking the contest way too seriously. #2 isn’t a coffin slot in the semi finals, it’s statistically one of the best. Don’t underestimate a well-written song that makes everyone smile and dance just because it’s a silly little guitary bit of fluff.

          • Wow, really, you’ve been building green on Latvia? That’s brave dude. Even if they qualify it’s probably not coming down enough. If you think it’s gonna qualify it’s probably better to bet just that; ‘Latvia to qualify’ You can get it at 5.0 and probably higher in near future. The problem is that this will be totally forgotten being between Armenia and Estonia. I think it’s just a statistical error that second spot is seemingly good. We dont have enough data to make the assumption. Of course we dont have enough data to say it’s not the case, but it seems nonsensical, why would 2nd place be good? So much better than first? or third?

            I do believe that juries will bury this, and to overcome that they would need high televote. And that I just cannot see either.. to me it’s super risky to back Latvia in hopes to sell it away later, but each to their own I guess. Pretty much same with lithuania, no jury love and hard to see high televote.

          • Ohhh!! well played Ben, well played 🙂 Realized the second I clicked post comment what’s going on in here 🙂

          • What did you realise? To sell Latvia off as a trade is exactly my intention.

          • Well, umm, no. I realized it’s April fools’ day. But you were serious huh? OK, sorry, I hope it turn out good for you!

            Are you planning on trading it before or after seminfinals? Because I can’t see it shortening before semifinals too much, and even IF they qualify it’s probably not going to go down enough to justify the risks. Therefore I would advice you to bet for them to qualify rather than dabble in outright market. Whatever you decide, good luck with it!

          • Ha! You really thought that was an April Fool?! Come on, these songs aren’t THAT bad! I’ll sell them off for whatever I can get if they should qualify, and the enormous odds, which I’m sure you can see for yourself on Betfair,) means that it has been a fairly low risk investment for me too. I just don’t see why a song that makes people smile can’t qualify, especially when it has the potential to cheer people up after the explosion of joy that is Aram MP3 as the opener to the show. I’ve even entertained the hilarious idea in my head for a second that Latvia could qualify instead of Armenia, (now that’s an April Fool!)

            I admit it’s unlikely and not that logical for Latvia to qualify, but when you beat an award winning domestic mega hit in a national final, you’ve gotta be doing something right.

          • Well I wasn’t sure to be honest. I figured it COULD be april fools’ joke 🙂 I understand your point, but I think the jury points are going to be too weak and mediocre televote wont save it. That’s my fear, for your sake I hope I’m wrong :p

            It’s true that if one of the coutnries with outright odds around 1000 make a great showing the odds are likely going down but they will likely still be in the hundreds. If I were to pick one of those which has odds around 1000 I think I’d take San Marino. Valentina can become another fan wank and I think it has a solid chance to qualify.

          • Well let me put it this way…. if points are taken away from Russia, where are they most likely to go instead? I don’t think that’s been asked yet. 😉

  23. SirMills I hope you don’t mind me taking your points one by one, but in the interests of discourse:

    1 Why not?

    It’s been mentioned here that Yerevan doesn’t have the infrastructure, but they have a massive stadium, half of which they’ve already used for a Junior ESC. Google shows that they have loads of hotels including enough huge luxury ones.

    2 Isn’t western music preferred all over? Is “Not Alone” type song still “western” nowadays anyway?

    3 Why? Statement without supporting reason.

    4 I’d say passionate rather than aggressive. It is different, but so were Lordi, Lena, Loreen.

    5 Depends on production but, from what we already know, why not? Statement without supporting reason.

    6 I’m sure, if you think about it, you can’t really believe that Armenians have provided 40% of the Armenia backs so far.

    Also unlikely that it’s a publicity stunt, been quite a natural price movement, not like Louis Walsh backing Jedward the first time they contested.

    7 True. But he is a popular live performer.

    Your ending sentence I agree with (maybe with “low” rather than “ridiculous”).

    • I don’t mind Henry, I’m always a fan keeping the debate alive 🙂 Bare in mind this was a summary of points I have been seeing around the internet for the last weeks, not all of them are my own personal conclusions, but let me try my best to defend the cause.

      1) EBU is holding a major birthday party next year, it’s likely they want the location to be more symbolizing for Europe than Armenia is. Of course the EBU can’t choose a winner song but they can try to influence the European choice. This is not a fact, but this is a real possibility.

      2. No western music isn’t necessarily preferred all over. Since 2007 I can only find one truly western oriented winner ironically from Azerbaijan. Serbia 2007, Russia 2008, Norway 2009, Denmark 2013 had arguably all more eastern approach. Maybe I’m going a little off topic here but the most important think here is, the broadest approach is usually the most successful, electro music and especially dubstep elements are polarizing.

      3. I should have said the oldest geographic to be more specific. The Beatles generation (in general of course) has hard time enough appreciate something current without needing to add the dubstep element to it. I thought this was common knowledge.

      4. Passionate, brilliant, beautiful, yeah I do agree. But he is a strong/aggressive male, and I don’t recall an alpha male winning eurovision ever.

      5. This is surely no statement with out supporting reason. I think it’s save to assume some of the 185 jurors simply don’t like something dark and edgy. Why do you think the UK jury put Norway last year in 21?

      6. I agree, I would be surprised if it was 40%. This is something I saw Eurovicious write on Sofabet, I am not sure how this could be calculated. But I do know there are lot of Armenians on the Betfair market betting on their own country, at least they were last year. I think it is save to say that the count of Armenians backing Armenia is significant enough to be affecting those odds.

      7. He is a great performer and a great artist from what I have seen, but the stage show has to be out of this world for the odds to maintain or shorten further.

      I apologize in advance for any grammar or spelling error that I might have typed, English is not my native language.

      • I’d have never guessed English wasn’t your first language.

        I agree in general about it being different to past winners and therefore more of an unknown quantity. I’m cautious about such songs after backing Sognu when I was a newbe to ESC (even if Armenia has a much stronger vote than France).

        • So 2011 was your first year betting on ESC, it was also my first :). I experienced some real beginners luck betting on Azerbaijan for the win, and Italy for top 4 (my only 2 bets). After the contest I knew Eurovision betting would always be a big part of my life. I had equally successful year in 2012 with every single bet hitting home, but last year was a disappointment and I suffered a small loss after misinterpretation of the “balkan’s favorite”.

          So this year is the year that will define if I am really good at this or if this is just a hobby I only have a fifty fifty shot making money from.

      • Nice debate going on here. It’s always refreshing to read good and constructive reasonings. I’m with SirMills on this one. I see Armenia as frontrunner, sure, but for them to be this short feels ridiculous. It’s not that strange to assume Armenians are the reason the odds have shortened so much. The whole outright market in BF is just at 249.000 out of which Armenia at 123.000. It doesnt take too many Armenian bettors to drag it down. Betfair is often times the place after which other bookers set their odds. If something shortens in BF it shorten everywhere else as well. Betfair is obviously the site where odds changes are instantaneous, unlike with other bookers.

        It’s not easy to decide what to do though. I’m not crazy enough to back Armenia at those odds, which would mean I need to lay, right? (well this is not always the case, but since I think the odds are ridiculous I guess i should be laying). But for some reason I also dont feel like laying. I did a little bit @ 1.93 but when it comes to serious laying I haven’t done that yet. One might think it cannot shorten anymore, but who knows? Rehearsals come it could just be at 1.7. IF it goes even futher down it would also hinder chances for my other horses (Poland, Israel, UK) to shorten. It’s not easy for us bettors. I really hope bookers start opening top10 and qualifying markets. right now there are not many lucrative offers. Just some betfair bets waiting to get matched. It’s boring as of now in Eurovision front.

        • Agree, good debate!

          Regarding the Armenian influence over the betting market however, I am prepared to consider that a clear rumor/conspiracy theory. The Armenian delegation doing it (as has been rumored for various countries before) would be a ridiculously bad allocation of campaign budget. And regular Armenians? I’d argue that they’d be much more inclined to support their entry through voting – after all, that’s where it makes the immediate effect.

          And even IF a lot of the backing came from Armeninas, market theory still dictates that the any odds deviating from market consensus will correct itself: non-Armenians see what in their eyes represents an opportunity, and push the price back up. The non-Armeninan part of the market is in effect infinite, it would be impossible to keep pushing the price down below its equilibrium.

          Still, when it comes to their own bets, a lot of people seem to reason similar to you, Archi. But I would argue that it’s always a mistake not to lay if one considers the odds far too short – it’s simply a +EV bet. And that holds true regardless of whether the odds were to shorten further or not.

        • I agree with you Archi, the top 10 market is terrible now, im so deeply hurt when i go look at the odds and see nothing but the leftovers from you, sir mills and gavin 😉 I really hope the top 10 market will pick up.

          • My top10 market is quite small actually. Sure, I’m waiting to get matched but I only have bets on Estonia, Ukraine, Israel and Romania for top10 market. Nobody is willing to match though :/ Maybe I’m being greeady… Poland is one I’d really like to get into right now. I’m afraid it will plummet. I’ve been looking at that 5.2 for a few days now. maybe, on a moment of weakness, I’ll snatch it 8)

  24. It’s hard to tell what EBU wants and is it happy with Armenia win but let’s look at some facts.

    Before:
    In the recent televote era eastern block voting or diaspora countries had greater chance of winning.
    Many western countries complained that it’s even hard to qualify and EBU changed the rules (50/50 jury).
    New system increased the western chance since in the last 5 years 4 winners came from the west.
    New system is tightening each year giving more and more freedom to juries.

    Now:
    Some eastern countries (Turkey, Serbia) are complaining that they are slated by the juries and even withdraw from ESC.
    Some other eastern countries (Azer, Ukraine, Armenia this year) are sending ‘westernized’ songs and are doing well.

    Based on those, my conclusion is that EBU wouldn’t want to risk even more countries withdrawing.
    While voting system fairness is a very subjective thing, influencing the outcome by favoring certain (western) songs and giving bad slot to Armenia in the final would give them more damage than good imo.

  25. The Armenia price is due to favourites landing the last few years.People have simply latched onto this.Most of the challengers will look and sound much better in the competition itself over how they look/sound now.
    Armenia has a chance to be the best staged and its a worthy favourite.It should be 5s though the field.
    The Betfair market tends to have a life of its own until closer to the contest.Then prices converge more with the bookies prices for around 10-15 of the field.
    There are several songs that have the potential to shine on stage and as they develop.
    Im happy to be backing challengers (as i see them) at huge odds and bank on experience that some/lots/all will shorten once we move closer to ESC.
    If you watch the comments on Youtube youl find some songs slated early in the comments.Then as we move closer to ESC the comments improve.Thats because the die hard fans comment first but then ordinary televoters take an interest.Its them that matter.
    Feel good songs tend to win ESC not depression inducing ones.That should rule out the likes of Armenia,Sweden,Hungary etc but the market is saying thats wrong.
    The lack of match bets,top 10,top 3 semi etc from bookies is making things harder as well.

  26. Gotta love a below evens favorite one month before the contest suddenly drifting like crazy because of a PR mess at his hands and market realising his facial expressions while singing resemble those of Özil taking a dump.

    • Just shows the risk of backing an act at evens, before even seeing it being performed live… also, judging by history, evens on the outright market doesn’t offer much upside (shortening) in terms of market movement (even looking at huge favorites) – but plenty of downside.

  27. If esc tips had a like button shell, lmao

  28. The market will simply shorten Sweden and the other Scandis in as they drift Armenia.The market doesnt know what to do with itself.The value remains in the acts outside those top 2 IMO.I expect Sweden will drift out at some point as well.In to 5s then probably a slow drift to 8s.
    We could see several acts around 80s-200s coming in to 30s.
    The book was/is pricing an Armenia or Sweden win as 60% likely and thats way out to me.I expect wel see some springers now as there is a lot of room for many to shorten.

  29. A video glimpse of the much-anticipated staging.
    http://instagram.com/p/mm_0vRtsz-/#

    What do we think?

    • Are you sure it’s the eurovision staging??? Looks rather like a dancing competition that was joined by Aram to promote his song.

    • To me it looks like they’re going to be relying on dramatic lighting, perhaps strobes and pyros along with camera angles focused on that choreography, in order to create the impact that the music video does. Aram is just walking around calmly. Have to say I expected more.

      • I’ve seen the Danish stand-in videos. But the clip you posted is a different stage, posted by a Russian account, there are pictures of Aram’s Vitamin Club hanging in the background.
        Who is the source claiming this is the official staging concept?

        • I found the link on my Facebook feed somewhere just an hour or so ago and it probably still is there but I can’t, for the life of me, find it again. If it’s in Aram’s club though, is that not Aram singing?

          • Yes it is. It’s not a stand-in performance. That bit is false. Plus, Andy Mikheev doesn’t think it’s the real stage show.

          • Indeed. Although if Aram was planning to really go wild on stage, I feel like we should’ve seen a bit more than his static performance in Amsterdam by now. Think back to Amandine last year, she made sure we knew that she can work a stage. What a shame it didn’t work out for her, I think she deserved much better.

  30. http://youtu.be/ot0NgrH2TIQ

    Thoughts?

    Looks impressive enough but the dark setting, background flames and occasionally aggressive sounding vocal doesn’t make for the most accessible offering for the Saturday masses. I’m staying firmly in the ‘unconvinced’ camp on this one.

  31. Let me tell you something, when this song was chosen , I thought that Aram MP3 shook Europe like a magnitude 9 earthquake, destroying everything in it’s wake.

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