Eurovision 2018: Live blog grand final, first dress rehearsal

The final has long been a marathon: not only more songs, but more stuff in between too. The first dress rehearsal can can be a slightly ragged affair, working on a completely new running order that was only decided late last night, rather than weeks in advance with the semi-finals.

The show was supposed to start at 1pm, but this first practice run is only starting up at 1.20pm. A longer introduction means it will be a while before we see Melovin bring the final to life, rising up from his piano coffin.

Ukraine like to bring the upbeat stuff with exciting staging, so they shouldn’t be surprised when they open the show for the second time in four years. ‘Under The Ladder’ is no ‘Tick Tock’, but it’s a good show opener.

Apparently, Spanish Twitter was quite the scene when Amaia and Alfred were revealed to be #2 late last night. One of the many automatic qualifiers in this half of the draw had to suffer: unfortunately, it’s them.

I can’t believe technicians still haven’t fixed the temporary interruption in Slovenia’s ‘Hvala ne!’ Meanwhile, Lithuania is very early to be giving us *feelz*, and getting us to maintain them with everything that’s coming afterwards.

Austria’s Cesar has been rather buried here too, but is his usual competent self in this run-through. Estonia’s Elina isn’t note perfect this time around, but she nails the vocals every time it matters, even if no one is talking about This opera effort as the winner any more.

I have to admire producers for putting on ‘That’s How You Write A Song’ straight after ‘La Forza’. Rybak brings plenty of energy even after last night’s efforts. It wasn’t well received on Twitter then, but your Mum’s not on there, and she’s possibly picking up her phone for him.

Portugal’s sweet lullaby takes us to the break. They’ll be a nice pay-off with a huge round of applause once the crowd is in the arena. We go to a break afterwards, with Estonia’s Elina getting the coveted green room interview.

The U.K. is after a break for the second year in a row, but if the BBC wants to change that, it will have to stop bringing massive props to the party. SuRie does her best with ‘Storm’ and the pyros are slightly less sad looking today.

I have given in to Serbia’s charms as a 90s trance track with added ethnic wailing and fabulous moves. The bearded overlord’s Zoolander-style look to camera halfway through is a particular highlight.

Germany has one of the most effective stages this year – until that final 30 seconds of Swirling red-and-black. Michael was in decent form here, and it’s a helpful running order slot. Organisers wouldn’t place it any earlier based on the country being the most important domestic market alone.

(I forgot to write about Albania at this point. I’m sorry, Eugent: you’re the best. But there was an Irish price plunge to monitor.)

France needs the big crowd for the interactive hand gestures. A highly effective sweeping camera shot, which has been the second moment of this part of the song, was absent in today’s run-through. Czechia’s ‘Lie To Me’ was as before today. I’m assuming he’ll save any somersault for tomorrow night, if doing it at all.

Rasmussen sounded like he’d been doing too much pillaging last night, but the Danes have added extra atmosphere to the staging during the snow storm. Australia’s Jessica is showing more confidence having qualified last night, and the decision not to go for every big note probably also helps. She’s followed by a break, with Serbia the first act interviewed in the green room, then Austria’s Cesar.

Saara Aalto will be delighted with achieving her long-held dream of making it to the Eurovision final. She has a lot of competition in terms of genre and region. Bulgaria’s Equinox put up their best performance in the semi-final to earn their place here too.

It helps Moldova coming after one of the darkest entries in the final. DoReDos had a serious case of bed hair this afternoon which seemed apt for their comedy routine. (Dear readers, I forgot Sweden too. I’ve seen the facsimile performance so many times it passes me by.)

Hungary is quite the intervention at this stage of proceedings. Israel’s first thirty seconds feels like it’s the reset between it and the rest of ‘Toy’.

Waylon just goes on doing his thing for the Netherlands, and it’s served him well so far. Ireland is as before – in other words, a staging masterclass. Has anyone told Ryan about today’s punter plunge on an eighth Irish victory?

There are some subtly brilliant touches to the Cyprus staging – for example, the way the dancers re-join Eleni for the climax. This was as strongly executed as before. The last time Italy had the pimp slot, they romped the televote. This doesn’t feel like as natural a show closer as ‘Grande Amore’ though.

116 comments to Eurovision 2018: Live blog grand final, first dress rehearsal

  • Ireland dropping like a stone odds-wise – as I looked at it it went from 10/1 to 9/1. With the China thing and Russia out, is this the year of Pink Power?

  • Jessica Hamby

    People making more money from odds shifts before the competition than they do from the results. That’s the herd instinct and FOMO for you.

  • The Nefeilibata

    “It wasn’t well received on Twitter then, but your Mum’s not on there, and she’s possibly picking up her phone for him.”

    Me and my friends like to call them “silent majority acts”, which is a label we use for acts like Coldplay who sell bucketloads of records even though you don’t know a single person who likes them.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I rewatched the first semi final earlier today and second time around, for me Ireland was one of the 3 standouts along with Cyprus and Lithuania.

    • markovs

      Cyprus was weird. You get mesmerized by the excellent stage show but I actually listened to the vocals more and they were not very good. Juries could punish this amongst a lot of good songs, but the running order does make it a strong favourite now and will smash the televote.

      Ireland should do reasonably well with both and could be the Azerbaijan winner?

      Lithuania passed me by, nice images, squeaky voice, doesn’t have a high point or change very much. Borefest imo and I think the running order has killed it and Germany may grab the emotional vote.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Agree about running order problems for Lithuania but personally I preferred the song to the German one. I’m glad I’m not betting although I’d be buzzing right now if I had skin in the game. I think next year I might try and get to see it. I’ve never been and I’d really like to.

        • My first year at the shows and it’s been electric. Especially having Russia NQ. After 9 countries had been called safe last night, my heart was pounding. I nearly fainted when Holland was called safe!

          Can’t recommend it enough. But are we going to Nicosia or Dublin?

          • Jessica Hamby

            Or Tel Aviv?

          • I think that moment has passed. The zeitgeist has moved from chickens to fire and love.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I think you’re probably right about that, but it’s a live performance so things could yet change on the night.

            (yes – I know this is clutching at straws)

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            @jessica Hamby

            Didn’t think I’d ever say this but I’m slightly rooting for Netta, as it must have come as a wrench to be only told late in the day that the looper was to be disallowed. And the Toy show does suffer a underpowered start because of that omission.

            Then, in what’s an otherwise very engaging watch, there are key missed opportunities in the direction.

            I’m confused why she is lumbered with a big stand-held then hand-held mic jobbie. It obscures her facial expressions throughout the song; and restricts her dancing. Ridiculous decision. It’s as though the director is embarrassed by her.

            The scene halfway through when Netta is with her dance crew for the first time, and just after that, is overdone. The loveable lunatics look is overcooked and overemphasised. It’s obvious and has been long established Netta is a kooky, fun-loving character, so why would they undermine, and lose, what she is singing about by pushing the we-are-the-crazy-crew image? This is a serious song as well as a fun one.

            And to top it all, both of the times she delivers the beating heart of the song, the Wonder Woman couplet, the direction demonstrates an ignorance of this importance.

            The first time the camera buggers off on a backwards panning trajectory. Useless. The second time the camera is a bit nearer but, again with that bloody mic obscuring the view of most of her face (and expressions), it takes in its shot all the waving cats, with Netta’s necessarily one-armed extension seeming to be pointing to all those cats (at a time when she isn’t actually talking about toys!); and also cuts unhelpfully to her dancers who are very briefly, and with distracting unlit faces and bodies, shown pulsing in a cross-wristed Wonder Woman pose that is only obvious after rewatching and then pausing the footage (and is a lyric-image mismatch).

            To improve the Wonder Woman sections and its camerawork would be straightforward. The studio video already indicates how.

            The camera should be close up on Netta. These are obvious, close-up, intimate Netta-to-us moments, where Netta softly and sincerely proffers her empowering reminder. To effect a deeper close-up, and to indicate a serious moment, the lights could go down (sans a soft spotlight on Netta’s face).

            Capturing these moments also serves to recharacterize any misperception of her as acting a bit loopy as rather just being the dancing of a liberated girls-just-wanna-have-fun outlook.

            If Israel loses by a few points the logic of the points above, I think, will provide at least part of the reason.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Just heard her performance at the Jury Final and it was great. It is a shame that she’s not getting shown in her best light. I like the song and I hope she does well but fortunately I’ve not got any money or sentiment invested so I won’t be too upset.

            Brilliantly detailed analysis though. Thanks. I’ll be watching for those points tomorrow (tonight all I have is sound).

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Thank you very much for the compliment, Jessica πŸ˜€


        • markovs

          Ive only been twice. Brighton 1974 and Belgrade 2008. Unbelievable experience, both obviously incredibly different. It has to be done at least once!

  • Dimitrios

    I honestly can’t understand the money which are gambled in Ireland in the last 4 hours. We speak about a HUGE amount of money in a country which was one of the favorites to be eliminated in its semi. A song which has never been discussed before, a song which had only negative reactions. And today has become the third favorite. I cannot understand. It’s insane.

    • I’m putting it down to Pink Power. With Russia and Azerbaijan sent packing and China stripped of their broadcast rights for being backward, the world seems a better place today. I’m not even gay and I’m totally swept up here in Lisbon with what this all means for these guys who don’t want love to be a crime.

      Although I actually think the dance is open to interpretation. Is it just two great lifelong friends?

      Conchita was 25/1 3 hours before Te Deum stuck up on the Thursday four years ago. This is going to be a thriller of a final and potentially a classic Eurovision.

      • Jessica Hamby

        This is going to be a thriller of a final and potentially a classic Eurovision.

        Agreed. There are some fabulous performances in there. The only thing that will bring it down a little bit is if Fuego is a runaway winner.

        Agree about the Ireland song too. Watching it again gave me a few shivers. I’ll probably shed a tear tomorrow when it’s live. It could easily be about friendship but even seeing male friendship expressed through dance like that is rare and moving.

        • I’ve had a little moment here whilst eating shrimps in a Lisbon cafe. Cannot lie.

          I know we should dismiss emotion but not just because of China etc, I grew up and developed my love for the Eurovision through the great RTE shows of the 90s, often watched with my late mother who I lost three years ago aged just 57. There would be something quite fitting for me, personally, out here fulfilling a lifelong ambition, to see the country that got me into the show all those years ago take the trophy.

          OK. Time to man the hell up and start making money again now. πŸ˜‰

  • markovs

    Who’s winning Daniel and who is the best outside bet to sneak top 10?

    (I need to make up the wasted money on Netherlands and Norway)

    • hey Markovs. Perhaps my prediction gives you some insight in borderline TOP 10 candidates:

      TOP 10:
      01. CYPRUS
      02. IRELAND
      03. SWEDEN
      04. GERMANY
      05. MOLDOVA
      07. ISRAEL
      08. AUSTRIA
      09. NORWAY
      10. ESTONIA

      TOP 17 (the rest):
      11. France
      12. Hungary
      13. Ukraine
      14. Lithuania
      15. Australia
      16. The Netherlands
      17. Albania
      18. Portugal
      19. Slovenia

      BOTTOM 7:
      20. United Kingdom
      21. Bulgaria
      22. Serbia
      23. Spain
      24. Denmark
      25. Finland
      26. Italy

    • RD

      Ukraine to make top 10 is sitting at 2.5-3 odds. It doesn’t seem impossible since Melovin is a really beloved act in the East and they have already made the top 10 with the first slot back in 2014.

  • nikos

    The only thing i can explain Ireland drop is gay USP and the fact that is the ONLY ballad in second half. This is enough to get top 5 or top 10

    • Jessica Hamby

      If they win it’s a message of hope to the gay men and women in China and two fingers up to the Chinese establishment. That’s important to a lot of people.

      • I think that’s part of why Russia lost out this year too. There’s definitely a mood here in Lisbon of “Stick it to ‘ em.” Chris West says in his book that “the best Eurovision winners are postcards from a moment.”

        I’ll let that line sink in.

        • Stephen Muckle

          I think Russia just lost out because of a bad song. I have no doubt that a Russian NQ would have happened with Flame is Burning had she been allowed to enter last year. I am under the impression that the Russian broadcaster had told her at the time that they would likely have to pull out and if so they would send her in 2018.

      • Stephen Muckle

        Ireland ‘s sudden uptick reminds me more of Lucie Jones last year. I predict about 15th to 18th

        • RD

          That’s because most of the bets come from the UK.

          Lucie did not reach such short odds and overall her sudden popularity looked more like Germany or Italy right now: it is sudden but it quickly reaches a ceiling because the popular reception is yet to be known. I do think Ireland is getting bets from elsewhere based on r.o. and likelihood of making a great performance with the juries because people have already seen the reaction towards the package.

  • Sawyer

    Conchcita was 3.50 before Grand Reherseal. She was 50/1 before semi-final and 9/1 after semifinal. I cant see Ireland dropping under 9/1.

    About Azerbaijan win in 2011. Everybody is missing a key point there. One of the major reason Azerbaijan win was Turkey was out. Theres many turks living in europe such as belgium, holland, germany and Turkey was getting many points from these countries but when Turkey eliminated in semifinals, these points went to Az and gave them a huge advantage. Similiar thing can happen with Cyprus this year. Points that will go to greece will go to cyprus.

    I see Cyprus winning this race. Last 2 between Israel and Cyprus.

  • gcd

    My call at the moment is:


    1 Sweden
    2 Cyprus
    3 Czech Republic
    4 Ireland
    5 Bulgaria
    6 Austria
    7 Israel
    8 Australia
    9 Germany
    10 Norway
    11 Estonia
    12 France
    13 Lithuania
    14 Italy
    15 Ukraine
    16 Netherlands
    17 Portugal
    18 Moldova
    19 Albania
    20 United KIngdom
    21 Hungary
    22 Finland
    23 Denmark
    24 Spain
    25 Serbia
    26 Slovenia


    1 Cyprus
    2 Israel
    3 Ireland
    4 Moldova
    5 Norway
    6 Ukraine
    7 France
    8 Sweden
    9 Estonia
    10 Czech Republic
    11 Italy
    12 Finland
    13 Serbia
    14 Bulgaria
    15 Lithuania
    16 Germany
    17 Hungary
    18 Australia
    19 Netherlands
    20 Albania
    21 Denmark
    22 Austria
    23 Portugal
    24 Spain
    25 Slovenia
    26 United Kingdom


    1 Cyprus
    2 Israel
    3 Ireland
    4 Sweden
    5 Czech Republic
    6 Norway
    7 Bulgaria
    8 France
    9 Estonia
    10 Ukraine
    11 Moldova
    12 Italy
    13 Germany
    14 Australia
    15 Austria
    16 LIthuania
    17 Finland
    18 Netherlands
    19 Serbia
    20 Hungary
    21 Albania
    22 Portugal
    23 Denmark
    24 UK
    25 Spain
    26 Slovenia

    One of the hardest to call in a long time however…

    • RD

      I can’t see Cyprus (exciting though not exactly polished performance) nor Czech Republic (lots of spoken words in a sort of rap, as modern as the song may be) making the juries top 3.

      I also can’t see Ireland getting to top 3 with the televoters over the likes of Moldova/Norway/Ukraine. The Eastern televotes don’t have a chance to be much atomised so all these three countries promise to get at least 100 televoting points.

  • markovs

    Cyprus will not be 2nd with the juries. Generic song and average vocals. The whole package works really well and could win but would be shocked if it’s in the top 3 with juries. France will be way higher than 7th with them also, I think

  • Hippo

    I think there are two certainties towards the top- Sweden will be jury top 3, Cyprus televote top 3. Beyond that there’s a lot to be unsure on.

    I can make a case for the following being jury top 3 with Sweden:

    And the following being with Cyprus in the televote top 3:

    Some like Lithuania, Czech Republic and France are solid enough but not top 3 in either.

  • Vlada

    I wonder why do people put Sweden so high in predictions? It doesn’t have a lot of views on youtube, Norway has constantly double more then Sweden. I have to admit also that Ingrosso’s dress rehearsal was so freaking interesting that Daniel forgot to mention a word about him in this text, and nobody even noticed it!!! It’s still possible winner, top5, at least top 10. Why? Because he did well in weak semi? Come on, give me a break!

  • Rob4

    Is Albania at the point they are in the running order because they did really well in SF1 e.g. out pointing both Lithuania and Estonia or because the TPTB want France to stand out?

    if its the former, no one seems to have mentioned it?

    • Hippo

      I mentioned it on the other thread yesterday that Albania and Ireland have suspiciously good draws. I find it much harder to believe that Albania did brilliantly in the semi. In 2016, they had Szpak as filler in 2012 between the two preferred winners and last year both 12 and 13 were not particularly high scoring.
      My guess is Albania was middling to low and they’re try to help France and Germany. It could backfire again like 2016 to a lesser extent.

    • Hippo

      I mentioned it on the other thread yesterday that Albania and Ireland have suspiciously good draws. I find it much harder to believe that Albania did brilliantly in the semi. In 2016, they had Szpak as filler in 12 between the two preferred winners and last year both 12 and 13 were not particularly high scoring.
      My guess is Albania was middling to low and they’re try to help France and Germany. It could backfire again like 2016 to a lesser extent.

    • HL

      I am wondering that, too. Then I have been thinking about Ukraine (1st) and Finland (17th, after break). Their huge props might be the main reason for this. You cannot put them after some other country with complex props since there is simply not enough time.

  • niko

    I’ve been all around during these last weeks to see where the winner could come from since I didn’t quite believe in Israel. I started off thinking Sweden could come from behind, then Estonia, also flirted a bit with Italy. But here on the eve of the final, I’ve got to go back to what I wrote last year when I had Portugal as the winner all the way: “If we have learned anything from the last couple of years, it is that a good story can win you the contest.”

    It came late, but I really think Ireland might have got this now. The story of the year is suddenly Ireland with the China ban, which every commentator will mention along with the story being told on stage. They have hit the staging jackpot, it is The Common Linnets 2.0 down to the panning around of the camera. Even the first minute without the dancers is super effective with the sea of lights and the interplay between Ryan and the pianist. He is so charming, the dancers work perfectly without being tacky, and the story is being told cleanly and with lots of emotion so everybody gets it. The song has appeal to both televoters and juries. If Eastern Europe voted for Conchita, I really can’t see why they wouldn’t vote enough for this to get over the line.

    • Ron

      An acoustic ballad with two interpretive dancers is an interesting and unusual staging for Eurovision (Russia tried the two dancers thing this year too but that pair looked ridiculous and overblown and completely at odds with the performance). The dancers entering the stage mid song and being cheered to the rafters by the arena audience is exactly the type of ‘moment’ you would be looking for in a contender.

  • Melisandre

    I’m surprised Ireland is 3rd favourite. It is performing poorly on Youtube, itunes, Apple music, Spotify, the press polls and got a low score on Eurojury.

  • Evening from the stadium. SuRie just SMASHED IT. Entire arena singing along.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Is there anywhere we can see tonight’s run through on line? It sounds great from Daniel’s tweets. I need more Eurovision. I’m jonesing.

    Yes. I know there’s a show on BBC4 in a minute but I want THIS YEAR’s show!!!!!!

  • Sawyer

    Conchita was a pheomenon. Ireland guy is not memorable character like her. It can fail badly. I think market is overreacting. Its Cyprus or Israel at the moment. Slow songs cant win every year. Its time for fireworks this year

    • Cathal

      Weather Ryan is memorable or not (not sure I agree with this by each to their own) it’s the staging that will make it stick out.

  • Stephen Muckle

    I wouldn’t be surprised at a situation where it is so close that the old voting system produced a different winner ala 2016 ( Australia would have won under old voting system)

  • Sawyer

    It will be a close year this year indeed but its between israel and cyprus this year. Last year even Salvador was not even 2,50. Salvador was around 3,00 followed closely by Bulgaria. This year Cyprus is leading by even a larger margin. Cyprus first win sounds pleasant

  • Gosh. 26 great songs. Not a single weak one amongst them. This must be the strongest field in many many years.

    Interesting that we have four of the big hitters back to back – Israel, Holland, Ireland and Cyprus – all in one go.

    • markovs

      Its strange, because I feel the complete opposite. Its going to be a brilliant final, not because there are loads of amazing songs, but because of the weakness of all of them.

      For me, most years have a few absolutely outstanding songs that are obviously the ones who are challenging for the win, and will be played for years to come. E.g., last year quite early I thought there were only 4 possible winners. Italy (until the 3 minute cut) Bulgaria, Portugal and Armenia (oops).

      This year is a sea of decent songs , performed pretty well. All have big faults and none of them classics for me. Again, it reminds me of 2011. No classic songs but a great contest as No one had a clue who was going to win. Bummer is we ended up with Azerbaijan (could’ve been worse – Jedward!)

      I don’t think a single song from this year would have made the top 8 from 2015, for example. This is a year of quite-good, which makes it amazing betting wise ( big greens all over the place) and an exciting final because it should be close. But not a year of great songs. In my opinion anyway

      Cyprus and Ireland, maybe, apart, I don’t think a single country has sent their best song of recent years. Most of them substantially worse (Sweden). Personally I much prefer Golden Boy to Toy.

      It’s going to be a cracking final of quite good songs.

  • Hippo

    France drifting the only real movement in the odds following the jury final. Didn’t sound particularly bad but maybe it’s finally being realised this (and the other message songs in that first half) are going to be totally forgotten.
    Australia had a shocker to my ears, will be interesting to see how many points the jury award it. The song is solid enough but surely it needs to be marked down this time around.

    • Ron

      The exact same comments were made about Jessica in the jury semi final, she had a shocker, it was a car crash etc but I would take any criticisms of her vocals with a huge grain of salt. She won’t be marked down at all by the juries : she’s freestyling her way through her performances and changing them up each time. She’s the complete opposite of an Eleni or a Saara Alto.

  • markovs

    A real leftfield one here. What about Hungary as a default winner? Those guys are great!! Surely a good top 10 bet??

    They are 3.4 whilst the bores of Bulgaria are 1.7. Biggest USP of the whole final.

  • Sawyer

    I think Hungary Top 10 is very possible. Rock music has always its audience.

  • Mr Mysterious

    I still think Israel could surprise people in the jury vote. The lyrics of the song are meaningful, Netta has stronger vocals then Eleni and the song itself is much more authentic and original than ‘Fuego’. Not sure why lots of people seem to be writing it off.

  • Stoney

    There is every likelyhood Israel and Cyprus cancel each other out in the phone vote and Ireland sneak through the middle.
    Ireland used to win this competition for fun. Been a while since they won. Definately due another win.

  • Showlad

    Morning Daniel thanks for all this Eurovision.You giving us your verdict shortly as I imagine all of us heading into a busy GF Saturday πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰ Cheers

  • Jessica Hamby

    Anyone want to play a game?

    Post a link to a Eurovision classic. Take us back in time and get us in the mood.

    I’ll start off with this little bundle of joy, the winner from 1975. If it doesn’t put a smile on your face then you’re probably dead.

  • Showlad

    OK Showlad’ verdict:
    It’s a 4 horse race between Cyp, Isr, Ger and Fra. Ireland will do really well but lower Top 10 is their best hope imho and the hype is OTT and unfounded in the actual lovely but lightweight song. Lit would have been right up there but that draw is a killer imho.
    It’s all about…the juries πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ …a runaway Dami Im lead would make it possible for France and especially Germany to get away from Cyp. Will juries punish Cyp for the poor vocals and, as some perceive, trashy/slutty elements? Indeed very possible and a defo to some degree in favour of the likes of Germany.
    Isr I feel will be stronger with juries and Cyp more accessible and easier to digest with Joe Public.
    Germany has much more power with the public I feel than Fra and should be there or therabouts with Fra in juries.
    Ger is the outstanding value bet and I’m going to stick with my prediction and realistically can see them mopping up with juries and public alike. Albania is the steal with a strong chance of landing a Top 10 place @7/1. btw Sweden would be the totally s***e default winner.
    Thanks to all and enjoy tonight πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ Me off out to friends who are hosting a Eurovision Party.
    Good luck all πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Sawyer

    I don’t think Ireland will get much televoting support. First, performer is not a memorable, charismatic personality like Salvador. There isn’t a story like Jamala’s. There isn’t a phenomenal character like Conchita. It’s a nice song but that’s it. I think 1-Cyprus 2-Israel but 3rd place is open to everyone. It can be Ireland, Germany or France. Anything is possible at that moment.

    This year was crazy! Odds movements were mad. Good luck to all!

  • Jessica Hamby

    Anyone got any thoughts on last place?

    • Mark

      UK, serbia or Slovenia… My money’s on the UK.

    • niko

      I’m betting on Portugal. I can see why the UK is the favourite, but when it comes to last place, it is quite random whether an entry gets some small points somewhere taking it out of last place. I think Portugal is going to be down there, it has no televote appeal, and I also find it hard to see that many juries will rank it in their top 10. 11/1 is too high and worth a bet.

    • Hippo

      Slovenia might have just saved the Uk. Very likely bottom two, also have Spain
      and Netherlands struggling.

    • johnkef

      Denmark’s 55 (67 in bet365) is a value. With Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania in the final they might get just a few crumbles..

      The same with Austria. Bad draw and a song that probably will get lost in the final. Last year they got 0 points in televoting and juries saved them. It could happen agaian but 34 worths a few quids

    • Jessica Hamby

      It’s such an open competition this year isn’t it – even for last place. I really like the Slovenia song. It’s one of my favourites. I love the performance, the dancing, the whole thing. The lyrics are brilliant too. That probably guarantees it last place.

  • Shai

    I’m going back to 1990.
    This is my favourite Israeli entry of all time, which didn’t get any recognition by the juries of that year. A shame, because it’s quite a good song.

  • 360

    I feel Cyprus may have it in the bag, too low to put anything on it now though. Bets I’m probably going to put on are E/W on Ireland and Norway. I would say Germany was strong too, but ultimately I don’t feel the singer is telegenic enough.

  • markovs

    Cyprus seem to have the momentum and the prime running order but the juries could seriously damage them so it’s not a gimme. Israel is flawed but is the one getting the publicity along with Ireland. France and Germany have the best draws of the emotional ballads in the first half and either could grab the moment. Rybak is Rybak and shouldn’t be discounted and Sweden will be top 5 with both juries and televote imo so could be a default winner.

    I don’t see any other country having a real path to a win but top 10 is well up for grabs for a lot of countries. Hungary look the best value to me.

    UK, Slovenia or sadly Portugal for last (I adore Portugal). Setbia should get enough balkan votes to avoid last place. Personally I want it to be Denmark. A real bore.

    • johnkef

      Totally agree. It is still open. It is more than possible to have 7-8 countries between 150-250 points after the juries are concluded and then all hell breaks loose.

      If not UK my dire prediction for last place is Denmark or Austria unless last place is decided in the 20-30 points area.

      About Portugal. Everybody or almost everybody loves the song but even though 15 countries have already flirted with the win, we think Portugal won’t avoid bottom 5. For me is a dark horse that can go anywhere in the scoreboard.

    • Ron

      It looks like it might be another 2016 with votes going all over the place. Cyprus is not helped at all by going after a load of well fancied uptempo songs and #25 might not be that good a draw (people may have decided to vote for one of the other uptempos by the time she comes on).

  • Alpie

    Guys, what do u think of Hungary being top 10?

  • HL

    I am wondering, if I could be almost 100% sure that Ireland, Italy or Lithuania are not winning. On the winner market I have no cover for them, but they are a bit expensive.

  • Showlad

    C’mon Daniel πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 6 hours to the off, not giving us much of a window. Looking forward to it πŸ˜‰

    • caluca

      Exactly my thoughts πŸ™‚ !!

      Songfestivalwerk has given his Tops above, and the list looks solid already IMO.

      Also hoping to hear from Hippo, Montell, Eurovicious, TimB and Johnkerf – always great opinions to keep in mind.

      Not sure if Gav posts here, or under which nickname, but worth adding to your list too:

      The guys @ESC united have also compiled their Top10:

      10- Germany
      9- Ukraine
      8- Norway
      7- Bulgaria
      6- Hungary
      5- Sweden
      4- Estonia
      3- Moldova
      2- Israel
      1- Cyprus

  • Jessica Hamby

    From a UK point of view, most of our audience will be hearing most of these songs for the first time while lots of people on the European mainland will have heard them many times and had time to choose a favourite, get tired of it and then choose it all over again.

    Is much of the mainland audience coming to the songs for the first time too?

  • Jessica Hamby

    While we’re waiting, how about another game? Acts from the semi-finals who missed out that you would have liked to see in the final.

    I wanted Georgia to get through. I thought their song was great. I quite liked Armenia and I enjoyed San Marino with the rap and the robots.

    • Hippo

      Personal taste only, I’d put Greece and Armenia through. The final is also a lot less fun without Belarus’s overwrought rose performance.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Just been rewatching them. I like so many. I love Romania’s wonderfully dramatic “Goodbye” and Eye Cue’s Lost and Found (Macedonia) was pretty cool. She was a lot of fun.

        The more I think about it the more perfect this year is, and the final hasn’t even started yet.

    • Shai

      Agree about Georgia.
      I even voted for them

  • Jack

    Good idea Jessica πŸ™‚

    I would have loved to see Switzerland in the final. I was impressed by the Armenian entry so I also would have liked it to get through.
    Even though Malta threw the kitchen sink I liked the performance and the song. Should have gotten through.

  • markovs

    Agree with all the above. Greece, Armenia, Switzerland and Malta all deserved a final place. I loved Belgium but the staging was awful

  • John

    Does someone know when the Betfair markets close? Is it after the voting finishes?

  • Augustas

    Denmark is definetely not finishing last. It may very well end up in top 15. It will get some love from televoting.

  • Showlad

    Still no update ugh. Hope you OK Daniel gotta head now…Have a great night all!

  • Anglia Chu

    pre-show prediction for top 10

    1 Cyprus
    2 France
    3 Israel
    — These three feel the most formidable overall. Israel could knock it out of the park and win but more likely I see it cancelling out with Hungary.
    4 Ireland
    5 Hungary
    6 Germany
    — Germany and Ireland have very touching songs that will sit well with both jury and televoters. Ireland, in particular, can feed off China’s censorship to reel in more support. Hungary is a bit niche but it’s solid + energetic and there is precedent for contestants like them to do well
    7 Lithuania
    8 Czech Republic
    — Lithuania also has a touching song, but it’s so soft that it may not be as accessible in a contest like Eurovision. It’s been going south for Czech Republic since Miki got injured a week or so ago, but the song is crowd-pleasing and I think the SF1 performance isn’t the best from him yet (on the flipside, he could bellyflop to the bottom 10)
    9 Sweden
    10 Norway
    — The Nordics are strong across the board so I think Sweden and Norway will lose points to Finland and Denmark, dropping to just at the top 10

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