Countdown to Eurovision 2009 (1): Meet the Losers

Monday 11 May 2009

It’s Eurovision week! Previously: The Eurovision Drinking Game Rules.

As always, we look to the Eurovision entrant with the longest odds of winning, in a futile attempt to seek out the most rewarding piece of kitsch before the Big Show itself*.

This year the honour goes to perpetual underdogs Slovakia, which returns to the contest after a 10-year absence. Discouraged, they gave up in 2000 after all their previous entries only got into three finals, never coming higher than 17th. Their comeback, “Leť Tmou” by Kamil Mikulčík & Nela Pocisková, is an unauspicious 150-1 longshot.

The Slovakian performers are “a group of musicians with impressive CV-s. Some of them teach in universities and some are very famous from local TV-series!” Pocisková is a “popular actress and singer”, and is joined by Rastislav Dubovský “the piano master”, and Jan Pospíšil “maestro on the cello”. Mikulčík, on the other hand, is billed merely as “the male voice on stage”, so he’s obviously neither a master nor popular but they needed a guy and he happened to be around.

Of course, this song is also the least likely to make it through to the final, so the longest odds on any country guaranteed to be in the final is, surprisingly, last year’s winner. “Mamo”, sung by Russia‘s Anastasia Prikhodko is a dubious 40-1.

Anastasia has an interesting and rarely low deep voice like that of an opera’s diva. She has graduated from a music academy, the department of folk vocal. She sings quite unordinary minor songs and folk songs in both the Russian and Ukranian languages.

A minor song, sung by a diva with an unusually low deep voice? Have economic troubles forced Russia to pull a My Lovely Horse?

* As a purist, I prefer to see all the final acts cold, and ignore the previews and semi-finals. This method of checking the betting has, to my knowledge, never worked.