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Eurovision 2018: Semi-Final 2 Podcast

We discuss semi-final 2 with ESCinsight co-owner, Sharleen Wright, and Eurovision gambler, Panos Zannettos.

About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. Denmark not qualifying would not be a surprise at all. Its third in line for the nordic points, burried in the running order and a dated semi novelty. I’ve been strongly opposing this.

    Australia does not feel like a winner. I can’t help but feel this will really underperform on the televote much like the last three years. Top 3 in the jury potentially but it doesn’t have enough to make people vote for this above everything else in my opinion.

    Norway is definitely a threat now and could win the public vote, Rybak has huge charisma and can gather points from allover more than most. If he can stay within 100 points of the jury winner he has a chance.

    From this semi, the only other countries with a chance of a top 10 at this stage are Sweden and the somewhat overlooked Netherlands and Ukraine who could exceed expectations.

  2. I am surprised that people talk about France as a contender but not about Italy. But things might have been changed on April 14th.

    This day, with trembling hands I was checking news and was horrified to see that air strikes on Syria had gone ahead. I do not have any particular sympathy to the political regime there but I do not want the Third World War happening. I am raising a boy and I do not want him to be a soldier in any war. So how does this relate to Italy in Eurovision 2018?

    If they manage to copy-paste from their video and to combine three information carrying words in their performance (Syria, strikes, war), they will be in the media coverage well ahead of France and they might sweep the televote . This is a fresher and a scarier proposition than refugee crisis. And what is Ermal Meta currently posting on his Instagram? Right, he is posting a message about Syrian crisis. This is exactly what they will be talking about in May. If the war scare remains pertinent in May, Italy will be serving the hottest topic

    • Plus, France took part in the air strike in Syria… Mercy, indeed.

    • This is not going to help Italy get a landslide victory in televote. Politics have small effect in eurovision. People dont care enough. Russia didnt get punished for Crimea that much. It’s a night full of fun, people dont think about politics.

      • You simply dont watch Eurovision, Russia has been boohed several times and again last year did not participate because of Political reasons.

        I would strongly agree with Reader, Italy can be a very nice dark horse here.

  3. Very nice to hear female voice. I was always missing that in your podcasts. When I assess Eurovision songs and ask other people’s opinions, all of them are females. I really trust in women.

  4. Netherlands barely got a mention?? A certain qualifier and possible top 5 imho. Fantastic stand out performer and a catchy song.

    • So far, the criticism I’ve heard so far about The Netherlands can be summarized as follows:

      –> The Dutch entry was chosen only a few days before some heavy-hitters like Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Israel were chosen. So it lost momentum in the odds shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, entries that were chosen very early in the NF season were gaining momentum again, like FRANCE.
      –> The Dutch entry is too ‘niche’, meaning this particular combination of country and rock is perhaps not mainstream enough for the Eurovision voters and judges.
      –> Despite some early positive reviews (from Gavster and Daniel Gould for instance), the song perhaps isn’t the easiest one to hear on first listen.
      –> The Dutch entry, like all recent internally chosen entries from The Netherlands, has not really a ‘finished product’ yet. Meaning that there is not really a good ‘live’ performance available that could be seen as a blueprint for the Eurovision stage performance.
      –> The Dutch entries usually don’t opt for a strong promotional videoclip. In the case of Waylon it’s actually a rather “mehh” kind of live performance, with bad camerawork.
      –> And as of late, the Dutch entry is doing relatively poorly in the Eurovoix.com EuroJury (although it is 7th now with the Sechuk.com Jury). Well, so far it has gotten only 1 point (it needs to be noted though that the judges do not necessarily watch clips or live performances, but also listen to the bare radio songs), so that’s actually quite bad.

      Having said that, I do find the criticism not immediately a black-and-white judgement about its chances. It just got….forgotten a bit I think. And having watched the “LIVE” performance at Eurovision in Concert, I could agree that Netherlands is a big sleeper and that pundits are simply careful at this stage. There simply isn’t enough information yet about this entry. Which is quite similar to the situations with Netherlands 2014…but also Netherlands 2015.

      Moreover, I do think that Eurovision in recent years, in part because of the return of juries, haS developed into a broader music podium on which also a-typical, “niche” songs have actually proven that they can do well. As long as their USP is good enough, the singer has charisma that draws you into the TV screen, and the entry is ‘unique’ enough amidst a field of 43 songs. Recent examples are the very dark and moody UKRAINE 2016, the flashy TURKEY 2010, the ultra-mellow NETHERLANDS 2014, the cinematic qualities of ITALY 2011 and PORTUGAL 2017, a rousing Bond-ballad in drag with AUSTRIA 2014, a totally stripped down BELGIUM 2017.

      Perhaps the gimmicky-quality of the entries of the 00’s are gone, but what stayed was a core element of EuroVISION: Wow, that’s an entry I won’t forget! I have to say that entries like AUSTRALIA 2018, ISRAEL 2018, SWEDEN 2018 and CZECH REPUBLIC 2018 really have a good chance to win. But they do feel a bit too ‘pop’ or ‘up-tempo’ when compared with the earlier mentioned winners/heavy-hitters that can be considered “niche”.

      So there’s always room for a “niche” entry doing a TOP 5…or maybe even better than that. In the case of NETHERLANDS this year I think it’s a song that we really have to see during the rehearsals. It’s a risky song for sure. Perhaps too risky for the taste of jurors. But my gut feeling tells me -and it’s not only gut feeling, knowing what kind of stage performer Waylon is- that this will do better than Anouk, Douwe Bob and OG3NE.

      For now though, I am just catious. Like all pundits.

      • Main reason for the silence and drift around NL is the uploaded “official video’ i think. I guess all juries and tv programs will therefore show a clip of that and base their opinion on this official video upload.

        This version was a live concert with a live band which did know the song for just 2 days! He’s playing his guitar as well. Very mediocre performance and will be the opposite of what we will see. He will be alone on stage in Lisbon. To get a better picture of it you should focus on the Song Release video (which are LIVE VOCALS that people didnt even notice) and think of some Hans TV Magic around it.

        Great live artist, great song, star quality, potentially elevating staging. Really is overlooked because of the silence surounding it.

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