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Eurovision Newsletter: Israel Remain On Top As Auto-Qualifiers Rehearse Written by on May 6, 2018 | 2 Comments

In the latest edition of the ESC Insight newsletterJohn Paul Lucas reports on the impact of the auto-qualifier rehearsals and the big five drawing their running order slots, plus a very exciting announcement from the team…

With all 43 of this year’s entries now having rehearsed, a clear picture should be emerging… so why do none of us have any clue who’s actually going to win this year? In the latest edition of the ESC Insight newsletter, we report on the auto-qualifier rehearsals and subsequent big 5 draw, plus the latest events in Lisbon and a very exciting announcement from Ewan Spence and Lisa-Jayne Lewis…

Sign up for all the details, but as a small taster, here’s a quick roundup of how the betting market is looking as the live shows draw ever nearer…

The Favourite

Long-time bookmakers favourites Israel remain on top after all of the first round rehearsals have completed. The song is still a certified banger and looks good onstage – but the general feeling in the press centre is that it’s not quite powerful enough to be a runaway winner. Still, for now the momentum remains very much with team Netta for the time being…

The Challengers

Returning Eurovision champion Alexander Rybak currently sits in second position with the maddeningly infectious and charmingly staged ‘That’s How You Write A Song‘ for Norway, followed by Estonia, France and Czech Republic. However, with France now drawn in the less favourable first half of the Grand Final, their odds can be expected to drift a little over the coming days.

The Climbers

Big climbers during the rehearsal period have included Cyprus – who saw their odds slashed after a very impressive pair of rehearsals, Moldova – whose charming stage show was one of the biggest hits of the week in the press centre – and Hungary, who are delivering the strongest rock performance seen on a Eurovision stage in quite some time, which should be music to the ears of certain members of Team Insight…

The Drifters

Former favourites who have drifted out a little include Australia, Bulgaria and Belgium, who all delivered somewhat underwhelming stage shows. Russia also have their longest odds in many years, with some speculating that their 100% qualification record may be under threat thanks to the divisive stage concept for Yulia Samoylova’s ‘I Won’t Break‘.

The Rank Outsiders

Finally, spare a thought for Georgia, Iceland, Montenegro, San Marino and Slovenia, all of whom currently prop up the bottom of this year’s leaderboard. If Europe decides to vote for dancing robots this year, some bold punter can look forward to the payday of a lifetime. As always, remember to gamble responsibly…

The full online version of the ESC Insight newsletter is available here. You can also subscribe here to receive the newsletter direct to your inbox.

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About The Author: John Lucas

A writer and content marketing professional with a passion for getting lost in strange cities and a strange fascination with micro states, John has been with ESC Insight since 2015 and has also had his writing featured in publications including The Guardian, Popjustice and So So Gay. Tweetable @JLucas86.

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2 responses to “Eurovision Newsletter: Israel Remain On Top As Auto-Qualifiers Rehearse”

  1. Eurojock says:

    My view has always been that Israel are way too short in the betting given (a) the red flags in the performance – i.e. too overweight, too aggressive, too mad and (b) by all accounts the live is not as good as the video, with Netta looking awkward being stuck behind a redundant looper for the first 30 seconds. Even if overall the staging is still good, other entries are staged better. In terms of finishing position, Toy may be shaping up to be Occidentali’s Karma all over again.

    Then we have had the spectacle of the betting markets casting around for a viable alternative to Toy and latterly Rybak. Firstly we had Australia shortening until we saw Jessica’s dancing. Then France, – but they didn’t enhance the staging to get the song’s meaning over – so it drifted a bit. Now the betting flavour of the month (or should that be the day) is Estonia – but its strengths and weaknesses have not changed one jot since it first appeared on the Eesti Laul stage.

    One big drifter you didn’t mention is The Netherlands. In my book this was a dark horse for the win, but the staging has put paid to that. Having said that, on the evidence that I have seen, the markets have completely over-reacted, to the point where you can get 5/1 or 6/1 for top ten.

    When you add The Netherlands to your list of Australia, Bulgaria and Belgium in the ranks of the drifters, what is clear is that the contending songs that have disappointed most in rehearsals are all jury songs. Belgium probably won’t even qualify for the final. The other three probably will and could (at a push) still be in the jury top 5. However, none of them are now going to do well in the televote, so that more or less rules them out of contention for the win.

    So that leaves televote friendly songs as the likely winners. The biggest challenge this year for punters is to predict to which of these songs the big jury votes are going to go. If one of Norway, Israel or Estonia take a big lead over the other two in the jury vote, that might be the decisive factor in determining the final outcome.

    If however, none of them score highly with the juries, this could bring entries like the Czech Republic, Cyprus or France into play on the basis that they may command a fair measure of both jury and televote support .

  2. Danny62 says:

    I agree with many of Eurojock’s comments. I think Israel are heading for a Gabbani-esque result. Most viewers will see the only the live version of “Toy”, rather than than the video which propelled her to the top of the list. Remember also this time last year Gabbani was still the favourite and the eventual winner hadn’t even performed on the Eurovision stage.

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