I must report that I still haven't made up my mind whether I'm going to be watching the final live tonight. I'm trying to work out whether I would be slightly more annoyed with myself for missing out on Eurovision night for the first time in twenty years, or for not using a ticket I spent good money on. Whichever way I jump, I'm really going to have to get my diary in order from now on - for the last week, I somehow seem to have had it in my head that I was going to simultaneously be in two different places. That's almost as challenging a concept as Alistair Carmichael being blissfully unaware of a leak that he personally authorised.
The biggest thing I took away from Tuesday and Thursday is that if Sweden are going to be beaten, the challenge is unlikely to come from any of the other songs we saw in the semis. You could just about make a case for Russia, who I'm sure must have won Tuesday's semi by a clear margin, but I don't think they hold quite enough aces. So the chances are that either we're heading back to Stockholm/Gothenburg/Malmö next year, or that one of the seven pre-qualified countries will step up to the mark.
On that front, we can safely discount the UK, France, Austria and Germany. In theory Spain have a very strong entry, but there's a growing consensus that their live rehearsals just haven't been cutting the mustard. That only leaves Australia and Italy. I've had a couple of looks at the YouTube video of Australia's rehearsal, and I must say I'm a bit underwhelmed. I may be missing something, because of course rehearsal videos don't show what the cameras on the night will be picking up, but there doesn't seem to be anything particularly eye-catching about the staging. Is the song strong enough to win on its own merits, without gimmicks or tricks? I'm not so sure. It's very, very catchy, but unlike Sweden (or indeed Russia) it doesn't burst out of the screen at you, and it doesn't build up to a big finish. So I'm inclined to say it's probably going to fall short, and I wouldn't be totally surprised if it ends up much further down the leaderboard than anyone thinks possible at the moment.
Italy is a trickier one to judge, because it's one of the most distinctive entries, and it has a dream place at the end of the running-order. If viewers do go for it, they might just go for it big, and for that reason I'd say it's the entry with the best chance of beating Sweden. But I also think the more likely scenario is that viewers won't go for it big, in which case it might not even finish second or third.
So by a process of elimination, I just can't see past Sweden as the probable winners. Here's my wild guess as to how it might turn out -
Winners : Sweden (Heroes - Måns Zelmerlöw)
2nd : Russia (A Million Voices - Polina Gagarina)
3rd : Serbia (Beauty Never Lies - Bojana Stamenov)
4th : Italy (Grande Amore - Il Volo)
5th : Australia (Tonight Again - Guy Sebastian)
Possible dark horses : Montenegro, Cyprus, Slovenia
Although Heroes isn't really my cup of tea, I do have a soft spot for Måns Zelmerlöw, who sang one of my favourite Melodifestivalen songs of the last ten years. I'll never understand why Cara Mia didn't make it through in 2007.
Now, then. This isn't a recommendation, because I wouldn't want to be responsible for anyone losing money, but I've just spotted that Betfair are offering 8/1 on Montenegro finishing in the top ten. That must surely be a value bet, because it implies they only have a one in nine chance of pulling it off. Remember they have a big name singer, a songwriter with an unparalleled Eurovision pedigree (four previous entries and none of them have finished lower than sixth), and they'll also have the Balkan bloc vote behind them.