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As I am turning the ‘Odds and Sods’ section of pauljoneshorseracing.com into a more personal/fun-related page to offer some occasional lighter relief amongst all the punting-based content (in other words a page of pure ego-drenched, self-indulgence), that friends and family as well as website members and any soul who just happens to stumble across the website can access, I thought I’d kick off with my one of my great loves - my music - which I hope also gives the reader a little bit more details about what makes me tick.
I was undecided whether to go down the Radio 2 ‘Tracks of my Years’ route where songs are selected by celebrities that best chart various times of their life in chronological date order or Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ where guests effectively choose their favourite songs. As ‘Tracks of my Years’ is ten songs (two a day...
Get the nachos and dip at the ready, make sure that a stiff drink is very close to hand, stand to attention for the Eurovision anthem, marvel in some arty shots of Lisbon whilst on the edge of your seat waiting for flag waving aplenty and those big, cheesy grins from the Portuguese version of Loose Women and then “Hellooooooo Europe!”
Portugal play hosts to this year’s Grand Final after Salvador Sobral won by a mini landslide last year with Amar Pelos Dois but this year’s contest looks set to be tighter following the most volatile market moves that I can ever recall in the last fortnight. Who knows, we may even have a winner outside of the first four in the market for a change which hasn’t happened since the monster regalia helped swing it for Finland 12 years ago when Lordi won with Rock Hard Hallelujah.
Three of the front four in the ante-...
The main Eurovision preview listing all 26 finalists in running order will be uploaded on Friday, May 11th, the day before the Grand Final, after we have seen the performances, staging and the draw following the two semi-finals on May 8th and 10th but I wanted to get in early with my main fancy as I think that their odds will contract once we have seen their first rehearsals this week and then their semi-final performance.
Fourth and second in the last two contests, BULGARIA are all out to win it this year (as were Azerbaijan before they got the job done) and have been given the financial budget by their delegation to do so, therefore expect some seriously-good staging to go along with their atmospheric song ‘Bones’, so I’m hopeful that the current second-favourites can upset the long-time ante-...
Each month I run a sports quiz at Kettering Rugby Club. February-March is my busiest time of the year so the next sports quiz will be in April. Please drop me an email if you require the answers.
General Sports Knowledge
Each month I run a sports quiz at Kettering Rugby Club. Here's the November questions. Please drop me an email if you require the answers.
General Sports Knowledge
1. Which guest with 18 appearances has appeared most on A Question Of Sport...
Each month I run a sports quiz at Kettering Rugby Club. Here are the November questions. If you would like the answers please send me an email.
General Sports Knowledge
1. Which country will host the Winter Olympics in February next year?
2. Whose autobiography opens with the following line? Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona manager, with his grey suits and brooding expression, came up to me looking a bit self-conscious.
3. Which team beat Cleveland 4-3 to win last season’s World Series baseball?
4. After Jurgen Klopp commented “we’re here for results” in a recent press conference, who then tweeted him stating that they had won their last 4,211 games?
5. Who won the...
I covered the 26 entries in yesterday’s main preview so please refer back to that for the individual song-by-song appraisals and, now that the specials markets are up, here are my final recommendations a little earlier than anticipated (uploaded at 1.30 p.m.).
Portugal-Italy straight forecast at 7/2 (Paddy Power)
Romania to be Top 5 at 3/1 (General)
Romania to be 7th or better at 6/5 (Sky Bet)
Norway to finish last at 18/1 (Paddy Power)
Austria to finish last at 22/1 (Sky Bet)
Hungary to be Top 10 at 11/8 (Coral, Ladbrokes)
UK to finish 17th-20th at 6...
I'm uploading this main preview late on Friday afternoon but I will return for an update at 4.00 p.m. on Saturday as I’m waiting for the more interesting markets to go up so we can take the pick of those tomorrow.
Ukraine play hosts to this year’s Grand Final after their political song (no political entries are allowed) that it came to light months later was written a few years earlier (no old songs are allowed either) won in Stockholm 12 months ago. Good to see that they have a firm grip on how to run the thing!!! The comforting news, however, is that it is strongly rumoured that Diane Abbott has been drafted in to help count the votes, so we can all sleep comfortably on that particular score.
There is no Russia this year as the Ukranian government have banned their wheelchair-bound artist from entering the country having performed in...
Here we go again but without Portugal who failed to enter for the first time ever having never finished higher than 6th in 60 years and Turkey who declared themselves non runners after originally stating their intention to enter again, so that’s three years on the spin now without them. Also missing are Romania who were chucked out as their host broadcaster failed to pay their fees and not even an even an ex-Westlife star could get a bad Irish entry out of the semi-finals. Not qualifying for the Final is anything but a new experience for Ireland in recent years as they continue to churn out ultra-bland entries but it is for perennial Top 10 finishers, Greece, who failed to qualify for the first time with their folk-rap combo.
Below are my views on all 26 finalists which you might want to read before each acts performs...
I have listened to all the songs at least twice now (those towards the head of the betting much more) but, rather than giving comments on all 42 entries now, I’d thought I’d just cut to the chase at this stage as a third of those songs will be eliminated after the semi-finals so I would rather not waste my time writing about non runners before the night. Therefore I’ll go through each entry one by one on the Friday before the event which takes place on Saturday, May 14th when we have seen all the acts perform.
The 26 finalists also have to do a private performance for the juries on Friday (which we don’t see) and this is crucial as 50% of their overall points come from this. Therefore if they are as flat as a pancake on the night, only the televoters can have their say on that. The same in reverse of course, they could...