Eurovision 2018: May 1 rehearsals

This year’s second semi-final is not my favourite Eurovision heat, dear readers. There were a few highlights today, nonetheless. One of them was Norway’s Alexander Rybak owning the stage like a former winner. What we saw today was much like his winning performance in Norway, where his charisma and ability to sell the song blew away the opposition. How juries will react to something so cheesy is the big question, but there’s no doubt he’s connecting with viewers all over Europe.

Romania’s Humans had a concept, which is commendable, but it looked a little awkward at times. Cristina is in purple, and her white-clad band have masks on the backs of their heads, while the mannequins on stage wear them the right way round. Masks and mannequins are not a great subliminal – they suggest something sinister and deceitful – though there was nothing fake about her fantastic vocals.

That was followed by Serbia, all in grey, with some co-ordinated moves – though a one-armed salute is accidentally very unfortunate. Even at this early stage, it’s hard to see this connecting beyond the regional demographic. At least it wasn’t laughable, like San Marino’s mini-robots, which felt like a GCSE Performing Arts piece.

Denmark brought exactly what they had at their national final, which is to say the stage was overly dark, without any break into lightness. It was intriguing to see what Russia would reveal, which turned out to be Yulia atop a mountain with projections, and two interpretative dancers largely the focus. The three backing singers are visible, and clearly do the work in the chorus.

Moldova’s West End farce staging was a blessed relief, a tour de force of comic timing and old-school Eurovision fun. The walk-in wardrobe prop alternately hid and revealed Doredos and their body doubles in a love-triangle tale. It’s an absolute highlight of this section of the draw. Especially being followed by the Netherlands and the bizarre sight of Waylon being surrounded by a band of aggressively bodypopping men. Because nothing says Nashville like krumping and back-flips.

Australia was at least competent if unexciting. Jessica is in a purple sparkly dress dances and moves in front of a halogen tube prop that’s a lamer version of what Sweden have on offer. She’s all alone throughout, when the song could do with a greater sense of evolution to lift it.

As if all this wasn’t enough, we have the second half of this second heat tomorrow. Stay tuned and keep the discussion going below.

77 comments to Eurovision 2018: May 1 rehearsals

  • markovs

    Well that’s my NL money gone up in smoke. Aussies not looking like a winner either. Israel drifting inexorably. Sweden creeping higher every rehearsal that bites the dust and Rybak looking every inch a winner.

  • Alpie

    It looks like it is going to be between Norway & France. Can Cyprus make top 4?

  • Black n Blue

    Definitely looks like Norway has stolen a march on the competition, unless France have anything to say about that tomorrow.

    I had for a long time thought ‘That’s how not to write a song’ would be too goofy and childish to win, but with the likes of Australia and Israel coming a cropper, it would be foolish to rule out Norway. It’s a memorable package all round, with the song really functioning as a means for Rybak to do what Rybak does best, which is to entertain.

    With each passing rehearsal, this year’s contest is reminding me more and more of 2010, coincidentally the last non-LED contest. I was kicking myself back then for not getting on-board with Satellite, an uptempo pop song that isn’t any less goofy lyrically than what we’re getting from Norway and I don’t want to get caught out again.

  • dicksbits

    So glad I took Rybak ew at 22/1 last week!!

  • eurovicious

    I should mention… seeing the Israel rehearsal clip quelled my last remaining doubts. (I’ve always loved it but saw it more as a second-placer than a winner, especially after the Tel Aviv and Amsterdam performances.) It looks to have come together superbly, in a way that strongly resembles the amazing studio version both vocally and visually, and I can’t see anything beating it.

    • Disagree. I can’t see Netta winning. It’s so overhyped that nothing will come close to expectations come next week, and the staging is just not good enough.

      Still think there’s a path to victory for Saara. The staging has Brian Friedman writ large all over it still but her vocals will be the key thing, particularly to viewers outside Finland, Ireland and the UK who won’t know her.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        I’ve just spotted these comments, having just posted on another thread.

        I suppose I probably tend to agree more with ev.

        I’ll c&p my other post below:

        My other, bigger, question: is Israel, currently backable around @3.7, now, finally, a value price? It feels like there may be value, there.

        It’s big rivals, with the exception of Norway, have so far failed to impress? The ESC is now a smaller field?

        Which (leaving other rehearsals to come to one side) potentially leaves the competition between the 2 indivisible, undisputed, superstar performers: Netta vs Alexander.

        But Netta has the better song, the more difficult song, the more impressive voice, a broader range of vocal abilities, and is the equal of Alexander for stage presence, charisma and for the fun factor; and she also has a potentially knock-it-out-the-ball-park stage show.

        If Israel is not value @3.7, at what odds does it become so?

      • eurovicious

        I love Finland (the country) and Saara, but Monsters is, more and more, vocally and visually a car crash with no clear idea of its target audience or what it wants to say (a shame given it does have an actual message, one that the staging and performance simply aren’t working with). I would say it’s gonna do a Kate Ryan but that seems optimistic, it’s more like this year’s Vampires Are Alive. It’s in a super-tough semi in which basically every single other entry is better sung and presented. Saara’s vocals are not suited to the song and it seems the studio version just hasn’t translated to stage – it’s jury-unfriendly and doesn’t strike me as a televote-getter either. If we’re looking at five countries qualifying from the second half of SF1, Finland is in the worst position of any – Bulgaria, Armenia, Greece and Cyprus seem the four most likely qualifiers, with Croatia, Austria, Ireland and Switzerland (all better performed than Monsters) vying for the remaining spot. Of the other outsiders in that semi as a whole, Macedonia, Albania and Belgium are all better performed and staged. I love the studio version but in live performances (including the rehearsal clip) it’s a strident, tacky mess.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Been a nice ESC for me so far. Took my French profits, with which I then jumped on and off Sweden, then on and off Norway, and then on and off Israel. Have made good decisions so far. I’m learning the importance of timing. It needs to be the right decision at the right time. It’s surprised the rate at which a sum cam compound.

        I thought that @3.70 wouldn’t last (win price is currently @2.98). In horse racing rule-of-thumb terms a selection with an available price of 11/4 (I do know that doesn’t strictly translate!) would suggest (in a pure market) that there are 2 and three quarter dangers to that selection. It didn’t feel that there were; that market perception was off.

        Is there anyone who gives better close-up shot facial expressions and personality expression than Netta?

        She’s a cinematic experience. The more close-up camera images of her, the more Israel’s price contracts. That’s my logic.

        My two remaining outright win market bets are on France and Israel, with France by far the better potential return. Though Netta would do nicely.

        My small Top 10 bets look in ok to good(ish) shape: France, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania and Albania.

        My one true lay bet: Latvia to NQ from Semi 2.

        My sole, serious doubt about Latvia being that Rob over on Ent Odds seems to quietly rate the Latvian package. Of course, the only way I would definitely know his (betting) opinions is if I took out a subscription. Which, given his results, I’ve come close to doing.

  • Netherlands – I’ve always wondered if the song and genre were simply too “manly” for Eurovision? The most camp, glittery, colourful and fabulous TV programme ever?

    But, that said, one thing that surprised me back in Brighton were the amount of straight men. I was absolutely not alone as a hettie.

    • niko

      Fun thing about the Netherlands, I almost feel like the song is a parody of “manliness”. It is dad rock to me, music that tries to sound dangerous, but is as far away from it as possible. Full disclosure, I’m Danish, and in Denmark there’s a band called Big Fat Snake which sings the exact type of songs that Outlaw in ‘Em is. And they are widely ridiculed, it is not in any way good taste to like them (On an international scale, a good comparison might be Nickelback, although their style is a little bit different). So when I hear the song, it feels fake to me, I don’t believe in it. Of course there is still a market for this type of music, but I don’t think it is as big as people might think.

  • Hippo

    I briefly mentioned it on esctips a week or two ago, but the more time is passing the more I think Australia is just like glorious from 2013. It goes for that anthemic uplifting dance vibe but is far too generic, a singer who could struggle to connect with the public at all and now no staging concept either.
    I’ve not been a fan all season, having it on the same level as Finland and Cyprus, but I’d accepted the jury would push it and it would probably have a decent staging so could get a top 5 but not win. I was assuming something like 200+ on the jury and 120 public or similar but that looks significantly worse, has fallen to the edges of the top 10.

    Netherlands is terrible, a personal favourite in studio form, and the 80-1 + and above 3s for top 10 seemed harsh. Instead I bid farewell to that money and to any confidence I had in Pannecouke. Could miss out on the final.

    Tomorrow an interesting day due to the lack of quality. Sweden will be solid but is not winning, and then there’s a lot of randomness. Georgia could shorten quite a bit, isn’t hopeless here.

    • eurovicious

      Smart comment, yes – I totally thought “Glorious” watching Australia’s rehearsal clip. I mean, it’s better, but absolutely no way does it look like top 3, quite possibly not even top 10. So I think there’s a very significant likelihood of it doing a Glorious. If it wasn’t representing Australia it’d be even more likely to; juries may be a little kinder to it because of the Oz factor, but perhaps not as kind as they were to Isaiah last year. I don’t see it getting that much televote, it’s not making a case for its own relevance. Azerbaijan’s staging with a similar song is better and more memorable and effective.

      I have Netherlands NQ now, and Denmark Q in its place. Higher Ground is loved by half the fandom, hated by the other half, but I think casual audiences will like it for much the same reasons Cesar did so well in 2013 (despite Eurovision fans deriding it). It’s a good tune with a strong USP and is the kind of fun that Eurovision’s supposed to be all about.

  • If Israel falters then I cannot see anything other than France winning …I expect the odds on France to further shorten after their rehearsal on Friday and then become the favourite sometime next week in a somewhat similar way that Portugal did last year
    I suspect that France will win the Televote but may struggle with the jury on Friday night …outside of Israel I don’t see any real opposition to France

  • markovs

    Don’t see the France thing at all. Unless the message is blasted in your face and connects, the song is too much if a grower rather than a first time wow. I love it but didn’t particularly first listen, and France’s history of staging is not good. Could win but way too low for me. I’m one who also got Norway mid 20s and have laid Israel at 2.7. Also, in a year where nothing stands out it’s dangerous to write off Sweden who have a modern voteable package.

    • France doesn’t rely on staging , they are going to keep it simple keeping the emphasis on the message and not the messengers

      Norway is never going to win with that it’s more suited for junior Eurovision , while Sweden looks like a Justin Beiber/ Michael Jackson tribute act …Australia looks like something from a local talent search with an overweight woman jumping around in a short dress ..none of them will win

      • BT

        I have to agree with Markovs on all the points. France is a grower for me too and I wouldn’t rule out the win but the most important point here is that you can’t really separate the message and the staging. If we look at the staging from the NF, there’s no way to tell a non-French speaking audience what the song is about. It’s just two ‘French looking’ people singing a nice tune and repeating the word mercy a lot.

        The message has to come from the staging and that’s where France have faltered the last couple of years. They need to find a way to get the theme across and establish an emotional connection, the singer emotes well so lots of close ups will be helpful. If they can get the staging right, there’s no reason they can’t win and the current odds would be justified. As it is, it’s a brave person to back them this low and it seems to me like the current odds are more reflective of their status as the bet du jour after the staging failures of others.

        For me, I can’t see past an Israel, Norway, Sweden or France win and only if France stage it well. I’d agree on Australia being out of the running now, they’d need a massive staging overhaul to rescue it.

  • We´ll see how Sweden get on today, but at this stage there are major question marks against ALL the major contenders. But in the statement of the blindingly obvious, ONE of them has to win (unless we have a tie!) I sincerely hope with Sweden that we don´t have a repeat of the Jose Mourinho football philosophy, namely, that it is the act that makes the fewest mistakes that wins. Worth while pondering the “Blanche” effect (and even Dami who was 20s after 1st rehearsal in 2016), namely, can a fancied song that has started badly at rehearsals, that has disappointed in terms of expectations, recover and turn it round in the 2nd and 3rd attempt?

    • Ande

      Very possible but we’re not likely to find a winner there. More or less all recent ESC winners, even the dark horses like Conchita and Lordi were very convincing during rehearsals. Blanche got much better come finals than in rehearsals but it was still very much her lack of spark that kept Belgium from the ESC crown.

  • Many of you folks are simply tone deaf to the chime of politics ; I instantly recognised France as a likely winner back in February, but kept an open mind in regards to the opposition , but after taking a good look around I see Israel as the only one who can beat France, and they still may do, although Netta seems like a shooting star that blazes across the Heavens before quickly burning out ; her gimmicky video simply doesn’t transfer well onto a live stage IMO

  • If people are “tone deaf” to politics, it’s largely because the audience don’t tune in explicitly for political lectures and messaging…it may happen more subliminally, but with all the stuff going on in the world, 95% of the punters on a Saturday night want a break from it all… other words Moldova matters!!

    • eurovicious

      What Mark said.

      • What Cliff said lol. People are compassionate (even if often misplaced) and the negative side is others who like to feel self righteous. Anything part of the PC agenda goes down well with the ESC audience if it’s also a decent song. Just depends if France can build up a buzz.

    • The ESC and it fans are a very Liberal crowd, so naturally Left wing political issues go down well with it …I strongly suspected that Conchita would win once she/he proved he could perform live ….he/she had a major political advantage over the competition ;
      likewise MM have a huge advantage over a mediocre field ..their song is nothing but mawkish, sentimental open borders propaganda , but it will likely win because it taps into the pathological altruism and moral narcissism that’s part of the zeitgeist in Europe other words it’s part of a larger Historical trend and is swimming with the tide of History

  • Chris

    I do still feel that Finland’s qualification odds are too big. The staging sounds full on, but I can really see this being a track which does very well in the televote (as eurojury, OGAE etc… would suggest) and she will benefit from having UK and Ireland able to vote for her, as well as Iceland. Not to mention it breaking up a run of slow, and in some cases, frankly boring songs.

    It’s the sort of big show piece that will appeal to casual viewers and be memorable.

    My worry had been that it would bomb with the juries as it is a fairly basic tropical-bop, but I do think many jurors give credit for technically complex performances. So even if it is a bit showy and campy, if she is singing upside down, doing full choreo etc.. and the vocals are on point, she will get points.

    It’s a shame the contrast between the two semis is so massive, you could have constructed one of the strongest finals in a long time, but 3-4 excellent songs, maybe more, from semi-final 1 will miss out at the expense of durge from semi-final 2.

  • markovs

    With all the recent ‘political’ or ‘message’ winners, there has been a moment where you go wow. Conchitas wings, Jamalas tree, even Mans’ fist pump with the stick man. So far I don’t see France having that moment, so the message may be unclear and the song has no big memorable instant for the recap. If drawn 1st half it could disappear, especially if after a Cyprus or Moldova.

    In a tight year, the staging and draw is everything so cannot judge France properly until we see what impact the staging has. So far, only Norway, Cyprus and Moldova have really stood out from the pack. Israel came across to me as ‘novelty ‘ so far and am keeping it red. ……but it may just be my tone-deafness??

    • The Nefeilibata

      France’s moment might come when they and the audience wave their hands simultaneously, will make great TV

      • Apparently Francesco waving his arms with the gorilla was also going to do the same thing.

      • Take a look on Youtube of the French National Finals and just how they captivated the audience who spontaneously broke out into arm waving ; that’s also being going on at the pre parties if you look closely ….I’m no expect on crowd psychology , but THAT is very likely to happen on Saturday night , and in turn it will motivate the TV audience to vote …on the other hand I see Netta’s live performance as being flat which will kill the enthusiasm from the TVvoters

  • Showlad

    If many folks on here are “tone deaf” to politics then perhaps you are “blind to the masses” Cliff 🙂 France is a defo contender but the staging with a song sung in French NEEDS to connect with the public and send a clear message to get ENOUGH public votes to WIN, given that this song’s strength is the message and NOT the singer as with Salvador.
    France could well win the jury vote by some margin with their cool song and message – ignore their jury NF result, that’s a red herring – their strength just now is overwhelmingly jury centric, for now – until we see the staging.

    • eurovicious

      Agreed markovs and Showlad – France is incredibly staging-dependent given that neither the song nor singers stand out on their own. The only way it’ll be a contender is if it has very emotive staging, cf. my previous articles about moments of birth on the ESC stage, manifestation of organic elements etc. – the song’s lyrical content offers them a perfect opportunity.

      That said, all the non-French speakers I know who listened to the song for the first time found it totally bland and missable, as did I. Its chances depend entirely on how effectively the message is communicated.

  • Showlad

    The 3 Horse Race.
    So for me (as it currently stands) it’s Norway, France and Israel for the Trophy. Norway was my big (if paleish) dark horse and NL the other (and the least said of that Bette Lynch meets Naked Gun staging the better 🙂 🙂
    I’m on all 3 Horses at long odds thankfully and that hopefully gives me a ‘balanced’ take for us all on here.
    Analaysis: it couldn’t be tighter or more exciting.
    Doing a 3-2-1 it’s Jury: 3 France 2 Israel 1 Norway with Norway a good deal closer than many would like to think to fit in with their ‘comfort zone’ thinking of trying to dream on that Norway can’t win.
    Public 3 Norway 2 Israel 1 France with Norway winning by a very large margin.
    Norway takes the trophy.

    • eurovicious

      I’m not seeing Norway. It’s too juvenile and has no emotional content. At most it’s this year’s Hey Mamma, Yodel It, Tonight Again/Cliche Love Song.

    • John

      I agree that France, Israel and Norway look like the holy trinity at this point.

      If Norway is scuppered I think it will be the juries doing, or if Israel or France nail their message.

      Israel looks a stronger gambit as its fun and relevant so could have the jury edge on Norway.

      France I think has a televote hill to climb and unlike others think its a jury vote prospect. Could even win the jury vote, but it will rest on staging staging staging.

      Now also seems a good time as any to point out Netherlands are being prematurely written off. We should remember what the ever circumspect Daniel says, the song is the main thing, and its a catchy number.

  • BT

    Sweden looks to be the pretty obvious winner of semi 2 after that mess from Australia. Similarly, any outside chance Netherlands had has gone with that staging. The only other contender I see now is Norway but slot number 1 is a massive hurdle to overcome. Zeljko managed 2nd in 2012 so it shouldn’t be ruled out but that was quite a Balkan heavy semi and Sweden/Norway will be fishing in similar voting waters I’d imagine. Sweden also have the advantage of being bookended by the dirge that is Latvia and Montenegro.

    The prices of 3.75 and 3.5 are still available with the likes of 365, Betway and Betfred which looks way too big, even if you ignore Norway’s running order and consider it a 2 horse race.

    Does anyone see any other contenders for this semi? I can see Ukraine performing better than expected with their track record but I can’t see it winning. Moldova too but it may be too ‘cheap’ for the win.

    • eurovicious

      I see Moldova/Norway over Sweden. It’s just so bland. Moldova and Norway at least have loads of character.

    • Ande

      Can’t see Moldova taking this semi even if their staging is good. The song is just not there. Norway might challenge but I still feel like the juries will punish it, betting against any former ESC winner is a very good general rule. Cyprus could possibly challenge if they were to switch Semi Finals but all in all Sweden is still at a good price in pretty much every market.

    • IF Norway is winning this semi-final from slot 1, it’s winning the final.

  • That’s correct it is a decent song, nothing outstanding, but when combined with a powerful political/humanitarian message , more than enough to win ,…
    In regards to a buzz and momentum, they raised the roof on their Pre party in Madrid getting more applause than any other act including Spain ; they also won the Eurojury Televote ..they are peaking at just the right time and are going to be a news magnet for their unusual song and because they are second favourite to win

    • markovs

      The ‘powerful’ message is in French. That’s the whole point. The staging needs to get the message across or it has no chance of a win. Decent song but without a high point and if the message doesn’t come across it ain’t winning! I await first rehearsal with bated breath.

      • The winner last year was in Portugese and yet most folks cannot speak a word of it and yet Salvador still won are overrating the language barrier ; furthermore , every Jury member has a translation on their screens
        Mercy, is one of the thousands of French words that entered the English language after the Norman Conquest’s now universally known ..the so called message is going to be a news magnet over the next week due to France being a second/third favourite to win ..the TV audience will get it !

        • Sagand

          The difference being Salvador was expressing a feeling/mood whereas France is expressing a story/ idea. The former doesn’t require words while the latter does.

          • Ande

            YES Sagand! As Showlad said before, Salvador was the main USP for Portugal while for ‘Mercy’ the message is one of two main USP:s. The lyrics are powerful and something like a projection with english translation of key parts could work wonders.

            A side note ‘Mercy’ is a very good title/hook as most Europeans will recognize it. It will likely be understood as ‘forgiveness/forbearance’ or mistaken for ‘merci’ meaning thank you. Merci chocolate commercials is well known throughout most of Europe.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      @clff hilda

      I’m as obsessive about the French song as anyone, but I try to discuss its strengths and weaknesses as objectively as I can.

      A friendly note: be careful about being coming too attached to a selection or to selections. I speak from personal experience. I came a cropper from that. Especially last year – on the ESC. You run the risk of your betting portfolio becoming as entrenched as your thinking. Which is brilliant if you’re right…but…

  • You’re completely wrong ; France is strong in the TV vote but weak in the Jury vote ; it was the overwhelming support from the French public that saved it from certain defeat with the Jury at their national finals !
    I’m confident they will win the TV vote on Saturday night , but may be handicapped by the Juries on Friday night ..they finished a miserable 14th with the jury of Eurojury , but won the TV vote

  • markovs

    You just sound desperate. I like France and hope it does well but will wait for the staging before any money goes their way. If you have decided already then good luck to you. Nothing you say vaguely convinces me. We may know more tomorrow.

    • Not desperate at all, merely confident in my political instincts and intuition ..I’m an experienced and successful political bettor and my instincts rarely fail me a homicide detective I usually know ”who dun it ”

  • markovs

    Good for you. Hope your successful experience and instincts come off for you again. It’s a wait and see for me.

  • rackspack

    “I’m an experienced and successful political bettor and my instincts rarely fail me ”

    Looking at your twitter I find that hard to believe.

    cliff hilda @alaska789
    11 Sep 2015 I’m confidently predicting a victory for Tessa Jowell

    cliff hilda @alaska78917 Dec 2015

    @DPJHodI I predicted a Tory majority and now confidently predict that Marco Rubio becomes President

    and somewhere along that road Trump drops out

    cliff hilda @alaska789
    21 May 2016


    • Sagand

      I’ve encountered him on Oscar forums before, I’d concur his instincts are far from infallible.

      • I predicted that the ”Shape of water” or ”Three Billboards” would win on Gold Derby in early November …I confidently bet on both in November before all the so called ”experts” caught a clue

      • eurovicious


        He’s already had to have comments moderated/deleted at least twice for posting a fat-shaming poem about Netta and other abusive behavior. I think all of us are open to the French entry’s merits, but it has to be discussed from a rational perspective taking all the different factors into account, not one person’s weirdly insistent alt-right fantasy that France Will Win because Liberal Europe Loves Refugees due to PC Gone Mad or whatever.

        • Chris Bellis

          Yes EV, “body fascism” isn’t very pleasant, although I think sometimes you can weigh up the factors on a betting site like this without being judgemental. I don’t think Eurovision has been the sort of contest where looking different is a particular disadvantage, almost right from the beginning. Although I do wish they’d get rid of whoever dresses and stages FYR Macedonia.

  • markovs

    So it’s lay France then lol

  • niko

    So… since everything seems to be up in the air, how about Italy? They have now quietly snuck into top 10 with the bookies and it looks like they will have subtitles of some kind so the message will not disappear. I totally see the arguments against it: too shouty, not catchy enough and so on, and I’m also not picturing it winning, but couldn’t it do better than people expect?

    • niko

      By the way, take a look at this performance they had on Saturday:

      I know the crowd here helps them a lot, but to me it feels like a message of hope and joy comes through the way they are moving around on the stage, smiling and playing to the audience. It feels very powerful if you ask me, there’s a “we can overcome this”-attitude about it. I really want them to go with something in this manner instead of them just standing behind the microphones like at San Remo.

      • Ande

        Since the lyrics/message is the main USP of ‘Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro’ it would’ve needed to be performance in English to have a major impact. For me ‘Mercy’ is superior on almost all fronts.

        • niko

          Well, as I wrote, they are saying that there is going to be something to show the message, probably some kind of subtitles like in the video. It might be that Mercy has more broad musical appeal, but if Italy can emote better, I think it might have a bigger impact. But yeah, I can also certainly see it flying right past people, so I’m mostly throwing suggestions out there (what a cop-out, I know).

          • Ande

            We all are!
            This year reminds me a lot of 2014. It’s easy to point out flaws with the front runners but difficult to see which one of the dark horses has flaws that really isn’t that serious.

  • markovs

    Well Italy took 2nd unexpectedly in 2011 when totally unfancied so it’s possible but it’s just not particularly televote friendly enough for me. I can’t see why people would vote for Italy instead of other songs.

    There’s others that look more like challenging imo. Cyprus, Moldova and maybe even Austria?? The Polish diaspora could yet have a say as the vocals have improved a lot on their entry? If the dire Szpak song can get top 10??

    At least we know NL are well out of it!! lol

    • niko

      I just feel like Cyprus, Moldova and Poland are competing for the same televote (the party vote), while Italy is in a category of its own. Italy 2011 is actually a great example, as it was the one to go to for people looking for credible music, which is its own niche. It’s never gonna win the televote or even come near, but I could see it being around 11th like 2011 and be top 5 with the juries.

  • Showlad

    French draw position drama! To add some serious drama to the Fench song is that this year’s ESC main man is once again Christer Bjorkman who didn’t rate MM in the Fench final at all awarding a very low score.
    IF France draws a 1st half allocation in the Grand Final and there’s no ‘justification or push for a late 1st half placement’ it could very well end up with a damaging early draw.
    Food for thought…

    • Hippo

      I’m not a particular fan of France’s chances but I think the opposite could be the case. Bjorkman doesn’t want to be seen as biased or whatever and will give it a draw they can’t complain about. A bit like Uk 2016 getting 25th after he slagged off Wogan.

      • Showlad

        No he wouldn’t want to look bad with say a 2nd starting position but he wouldn’t feel as pressured to give it a great draw as he would with the Semi winners for example if they drew 1st half.

    • John

      I have yet to see a favourite get killed in the running order in the first half. Unless it was a false favourite with poor semi performance.

      Christer wouldnt have known Mercy would end up second in the odds, whatever he rates it. I do agree that a first half draw will be unhelpful to France though. Its only ever helpful to party entries seeking the coveted First Banger slot. If Moldova end up on 8th or so, put your house on em for a podium finish!

  • I predicted a Tory majority in 2015 and won £61 K outright , yes in spite of all the experts and talking heads saying there was going to be a coalition government
    Furthermore, there’s no shame in being wrong about Trump , who was right ? If he had dropped out then Marco Rubio would surely have won the Presidency
    As far as the London Mayor , I’ll concede I had a blind spot to the byzantine workings of the Left wing in the Labour Party ; I never saw the rise of Corbyn either but how many bettors did ?
    Betting on Joe Biden at 33-1 for being the nominee was a sensible and intuitive bet considering how much trouble Hillary Clinton had with her internet security and the investigations by the FBI …If she had dropped out of the race under the cloud of investigation , then Joe Biden as the acting VP could have been shoe horned in as the nominee and would surely have beaten Trump ..we would now have President Joe Biden

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