Favorites?

Well this is awkward for the normally mild-mannered and somewhat inconspicuous Norwegians.  Norway is a huge favorite heading into Saturday night’s Eurovision Song Contest.  Norway is certainly used to playing the underdog role in almost every competition since raping, pillaging, and plundering went out of style about a thousand years ago.  But favorites?  Not so much. 

After a strong performance in Thursday’s semi-final and securing a second-half draw in the final, Norway are now Sky Bet’s odds-on favourites at 10//11 to win on Saturday. 23-year-old Alexander Rybak is the hottest favourite the competition has seen since Cliff Richard and ‘Congratulations’ and it looks like Eurovision will be heading to Oslo in 2010.

You’ll note that at 10:11, the bookies don’t quite give Rybak a 50% chance, but it’s really close. 

Around Oslo, I know several people throwing Eurovision parties this Saturday.  Unlike the usual Eurovision atmosphere which consists of enjoying some alcohol, laughing at ridiculous eastern European performances, and hoping Norway doesn’t embarrass itself, there is a marked tension in the air. 

We’ll see how Rybak handles it.  He nailed his semifinal performance:

If he can do it again, Oslo will get to have a schmalz contest huge party next May in addition to the usual festivities on the 17th.

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