Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back in Atlanta


Druze man of Suweida, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

There are better times to travel to Atlanta than at the middle-end of May, when the sun is shining, the leaves on the trees are a bright green and the red roses next door are in full bloom, not to mention the fact that it is the Champions League final today and the second semi-final of Eurovision tomorrow.

Fortunately, I have been called over for just a two day meeting and can return on Friday night on the direct KLM flight back to Amsterdam, which gives me all of Saturday at home, before settling in to the Eurovision Song Contest final at 9 in the evening. So nothing to complain about really.

There is even a chance that I can watch a bit of the semi-final on internet tomorrow as I think they are broadcasting it on the www.eurovision.tv site. Well, my favourite Macedonian song is up for a place in the top 10, in a tough semi where it is pitched against Ukraine, Bulgaria, Portugal, Sweden, Iceland and a number of others.

I have developed a strong liking for Israel and managed to get a bit of money on them to finish in the Top 4 in the final. A bit of a stretch, but the price was good and they managed to come through last night. My Montenegro song missed out, which wasn’t really a surprise, despite that youthful smile he had when he was being molested by the troupe of blond, but considerably older backing singers. The Dutch song failed as well, which was a bit strange because it was really a lot better than the Armenian song which did go through. Well, at least the singing was much better. The Armenian singer was almost shouting her words and sang out of key a few times, destroying what I thought was a good song, but it seems like she is being given another chance. But the main story would be Russia, with their very strange stage act, including an ice-rink on which an Olympic gold medal skater skated around, dressed like a waiter in his white shirt and black trousers. It was a total distraction from the quite powerful song and the singer. Given that it is also Russia’s ‘turn’ to win as well, I was impressed enough to go and put some money on at 7/2 to win, thinking that this is probably a very safe bet.

I have not bet on Serbia this year because I am afraid of Russia and do not think they will be allowed to win two years in a row, despite the fact that I think it is the most beautiful song of the competition. Maybe it suffers a bit by being too much like some other songs which they have sent in. They are 6-1, which hardly makes it worth an each way bet in the hope that they get a top 4 placing. My song, from Macedonia is in fact the biggest outsider at 750-1, which means you don’t have to put a lot of money on to stand winning thousands of Euro’s if they do win. But they won’t win and that is the problem… hmmm… well, maybe they might win.

And, yes, I am going to Atlanta, which is in the State of Georgia and betting is forbidden. I don’t suppose I will even be allowed on the betting sites even to see the odds in the next couple of days…

… and had they not blocked access to my blog last time? I remember getting quite upset about that…

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