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Eurovision 2018: Automatic Qualifiers Podcast

We discuss this year’s automatic qualifiers with Daniel Gould from Sofabet and Israel Calling crew, Gil Laufer.

Also, each of us chooses their three possible winners in Lisbon.

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. I agree with you Gav. Fast food will win this year and I was expecting this even before songs were released. It is very unlikely for Salvador/Jamala type of artist to win three years in a row. And as you said there’s no artist this year on the same level of previous two winners.

  2. For me it feels like we’re really looking for ‘3 contenders’ while there are not really super clear ones there. Why not consider it a open race, with quite a lot of possible winners, since there’s no real winner-vibes (for me) yet and a ridiculous odd for Israel considering all the red flags. Apart from my stake on NL (these odds now are very tasty) and some small ones (early Israel odd, bit of Sweden) I’ll just wait for the rehearsals, big potential for high odds in this field imo, don’t see much sense in backing the likes of Israel or Bulgaria for odds like this.

  3. Its a really tough year to get the winner at this stage,yet its been the easiest i can remember to spot the wrong prices.Estonia too short Bulgaria too big prime examples.Both have now reverted to pretty much where they should be thank goodness as i was really tied up laying Estonia at 9s,closing it all out now.
    I have huge problems with a lot at the top of the market.Iv got Israel at 40s+ and 33s ew with the bookies so its not money talking,but its got huge red flags and she has looked terrible on stage.Australia is generic rubbish with a great performer.Its really really bad,but iv got it green because it might con enough people and win,terrible for ESC though if it does,given the melody and everything about it is manufactured to death.
    Czech i liked at first,but underneath its pretty average.Its also very close to the wire with its sexist lyrics and im not convinced hel pull it off live.
    Estonia is a cardboard cutout for me.She is dead behind the eyes and the song is paper thin.They kept all the quality acts out of Eesti laul to give her a home run.Horrible.
    Bulgaria is easily the best of the market leaders.However it has its red flags as well.It might not stage and the fact a secret singer (although shes superb) is going to deliver the songs best moment is also a concern.The individuals look just like that at the moment as well,not a group.Work to do.
    France is good as a song,but its virtue signalling at its worst.The fact they are wearing Jean Paul Gaultier clothes while fawning concern for economic migrants leaves a lump in the throat,a lump of sick.She is great live though,and she might sell it very well.
    Sweden is another really bad song.Norway is all a bit sad really.
    Italy have probably forgot the contest is on by now.Rai have other things more important like the weather report or something.I think they could challenge with fantastic staging,but given both artists are doing shows etc to cash in on their SR win they probably havent spend anytime on it yet.
    Belgium leaves me cold.

    Favourite song this year?.Lithuania.The best delivery of a delicate ballad iv seen at ESC for a long time.

    Least favourite song, Finland.

    Really looking forward to rehearsals.Very happy with book,but very open to reallocate the greens.

  4. My favourite song this year is Belgium… But sadly I think the stage show will be meh, and she’s in the dreaded semi 1.1…

    I’m only feeling it with Australia, Norway, Spain and Belarus. They have the much needed emotional connection. If they can get the staging and performance right (which Norway already has) they’ll be at the top for sure…

    It’s exciting this year… I don’t think it’s as open as what many claim. 2018 is a far cry from 2014. Now THAT year was open!

    As always Gav thank you for your generosity in sharing your thoughts and managing the site! This site is invaluable to eurovision success! Every year I ask to donate money but you keep turning me down lol…

    • It’s very kind of you to say so, Mikey.

      We do alright on the advertising which looks after for hosting. As for the time and effort, well I’m gradually winding down on some content, but it’s great for crystallising my own thoughts.

  5. My gut says France at the minute. Not my favorite by any means but I’ve a feeling.

    • Catriona Colville

      Same. The feeling has been growing over the last couple of weeks that this is the song emerging. If they nail the stage show on the first rehearsal on the 4th, I think I’m calling it the winner.

    • Yes , I think you’re correct , France is very likely the winner

  6. My three at this stage are Australia (I expect this to really come alive on the Eurovision stage) Israel (but that could all change at first rehearsal) and as a dark horse, Netherlands (my concern is how high can Waylon come with the televote). Other dangerous floaters are Norway and France – although I remain to be convinced that France can get the message across in a clear but at the same time subtle way.

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