A win for singer Michela in Saturday’s Eurovision Grand Final would delight fans but could end up costing mobile operators Vodafone a pretty penny.
The company has offered to pay out up to €500 to Gozitans who switch to its network if the Gozo-born singer triumphs with her song Chameleon.
The full €500, in the form of gift vouchers, would only be paid out to those subscribing to pricier plans, while Vodafone will also handing out smaller amounts if Michela gets through the second semi-final on Thursday.
While the offer means Vodafone - which is sponsoring Malta's Eurovision participation - is effectively betting against a Michela victory, the singer cheekily thanked the company in a Facebook post for its support and its belief that she could win the Eurovision.
So how likely is a pay-out? Bookmakers have given Michela strong odds of making it through the second semi-final on Thursday: across 20 major betting companies, Malta has been given an 84% chance of being among the 10 qualifiers, the sixth strongest odds on the night.
Winning the Grand Final, however, seems a far more distant proposition. The same bookies rank Michela’s chances ofvictory at just 3%, though they also give her a 55% chance of being the first Maltese singer to finish in the Top 10 since
Gianluca Bezzina managed eighth place in 2013.
Malta has failed to qualify from the semi-final in three of the last four years, with Christabelle, Claudia Faniello, and Amber all falling short, while Ira Losco made it to the Grand Final in 2016 with the song Walk on Water, finishing a middling 12th despite high expectations.