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2018: Netta – Toy

Netta has just won Eurovision 2018 for Israel with a total of 529 points with Cyprus in second on 436.

We’ll be returning to Jerusalem for the first time in 20-years!

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. Had a miserable night with my predictions!. Ah well, there’s always next year. Fascinating Grand Final and results this year. Thanks Gav, for all your hard work over the last weeks and months.

  2. Thanks for your coverage!

    Great ROI here but unlucky not to hit the big ones 🙁

  3. Thank u for everything again Gav… It woodnt be the same without ur site ☺️

    Backed Israel and am damn happy I made a profit in a crazy difficult year… Even breaking even wood have been an achievement for me…

    See u next year!

  4. Catriona Colville

    Not a pro better, but made £80 profit, so delighted with that. Top 3 an absolute joke though. Germany deserved the win. Also glad the public didn’t feel the same way as Gavin did about Denmark. Top 5 in the televote! It seems people much prefer Melodifestivalen rejects to Melodifestivalen winners.

    • Yet the Melodifestivalen winner got 48p more than the reject. Overall a better result. Piss off with this type of shitty comments.

      • Catriona colville

        I specifically mentioned the televote. Obviously the juries picked Sweden, but the people completely rejected it.

  5. Happy for Italy (even though Gavster’s opinion was that it was supposed to be a bloody disaster). I always liked them and valued them above France and many others. It is a shame that jury put them so low, but to me it was obvious that the televote would lap them up. When you, folks, were saying that France was doing the serious song better – I was just not getting it.
    Happy my top 10 paid off for them, I got them at a really low price after Sanremo.

    But gutted that Albania missed top-10 and ended up in 11th place. I hope Eugent will come back with a song in English.

    Personal satisfaction – Sweden flopping in televote.

    • Benji gubbing the televote was most tittersome even though I like the guy. His routine had my brothers in stitches. Swedish factory pop has hit a wall perhaps.

      Thanks Gav, hope you made good from this year.

    • I backed Italy for Top5 @ 5 and top Big 5 @ 7 today, the latter did not happen but as you I love the song and the powerful message. Pimp slot also helped and thats where the Eastern votes went 🙂

      • Yep, I would be very interested in seeing a regional split of the televote. There was one message in Russian reading as ‘there is no such thing as a pacifist bomb’ and I thought same second that it would resonate a lot in certain countries for various reasons.

  6. Thanks Gav for everything!

    Another interesting year in the history of the contest, I keep the following:

    1. Italy’s wonderful message passed because of the “distracting” subtitles.
    2. Denmark smashing the televote in the semi and not being rewarded by the juries.
    3. Romania out for just 4 points (that hurts more)
    4. How the hell Australia come 2nd in the juries with such awful vocals? It seems that they have to be in the final no matter what, Eurovision losing credibility there.
    5. Rybak top in semi, they put him 7th and came 15th :/
    6. Austria deserved a good result in the juries
    7. Juries keep leaning towards Sweden every year, this must stop
    8. Winning songs require a message, Eleni’s pelican missed that part
    9. This hype with France every year is getting annoying
    10. Ireland bursted like a bubble

    See you next year in Tel Aviv 2019, looking forward for Sergey Lazarev’s epic comeback!

    • Completely agree with you on point 4. The juries definitely seem to favour Australia despite very dodgy performances. It was the same last year.

  7. Good year, good winner! Happy with my betting for 2018 – not a pro better by any means, and I only had small stakes on things, but a 28% ROI is a win in my books.

    Looking forward to next year!

  8. This was my “alternative prediction” I made shortly after the running order was announced:

    And then I finished my “final pre-show prediction” a few hours before the grand final:

    Obviously, Ireland and Italy were my biggest mistakes. But otherwise I was more or less ‘accurate’ enough with my predictions :-).

    I never really understood why people didn’t like Austria. The guy has charisma by the millions, and the song was very good (Bulgaria should have been jealous this year).

    During the course of 5 months, I must say that every bit of positive criticism we had is reflected in the final vote. For instance, I always thought Sweden’s Benjamin got a bit lost in the videoclip-esque staging.
    France never really “got” me as much as some of the other ballads this year.

    Regarding Alexander Rybak: He was the least convincing semi-final winner if you ask me. And perhaps Christer thought: You already won in the past. Overall I think it was a good decision not to ‘help’ Norway that much.

  9. Cheers for the work over the season Gav. Much appreciated. Not a classic winner in my opinion. Don’t think it’ll be a song that’ll be replayed over the years. The contest itself kept us guessing which made for good viewing.

    • I agree with Cooper. Definitely not a classic winner and will be used by the BBC in the novelty / jokey references to what they see Eurovision as. It’s ‘The Chicken Song’ and ESC is to be laughed at. A real shame, for me.

  10. Mixed emotions following the final. Especially delighted for Czech Republic and Germany, thoroughly deserved to do really well. I am disappointed with the winner however, sort of give those who trash the contest legs to stand on.

    A few stand outs:
    – Sweden absolutely tanking in the TV. Thought they might struggle here but was still expecting them to come top 10 in TV. Makes me wonder how well Felix Sandman would have done with his agrubly more authentic song.
    – Norway winning the 2nd semi and then somehow coming 15th in final?! Had money on Alexander to win SF2 so I’m happy that came through, but I just cannot fathom what went wrong. Firstly, to be drawn 7th is really odd for a semi winner? Also, to give Czech Republic such an early draw after finishing 3rd in semi?
    – Ukraine coming last on jury vote. Did not expect that one at all, what a shame.
    – I normally hate when people go on about politics, but how many more years can AZE/ARM get away with so obviously ranking each other last in JV? That is not a valid result, surely?

    Overall, a very exciting if not slightly disappointing result. I hope you all did well this year and all the best for ESC 2019.

    • meridian_child

      Rybak winning Semi 2 wasn’t the worst call after all. 😉
      I was on Sweden, but did cover up Rybak. Swedish televote was a shock (especially after seeing how well he did on itunes).

      After knowing the results, Semi 2 was probably the worst ever in Eurovision history. I only glanced through the results, but even with the Semi win it seems the producer knew Rybak would not come anywhere near winning so they gave the good slots to France and Germany.

      All in all it was my best year ever. I did lay very early on Spain on all markets and also Rybak when his Top 10 odds came to 1,50 and below (for me it was always somewhere around 9th-14th place).
      I had a lot Germany Top 10, Germany Top Big Five (when odds where around 10s) together with Italy Top Big Five (odds even higher than Germany).
      Only had few wrong calls (like laying Moldova Top 10 when odds got so low).. but I am okay with it. Could have been more lucky (with Finland Last Place @31 or Albania Top 10 when odds were 40+ or had some money on Germany to beat Austria and lost because of 2 points.. but yeah.. cant change it)

      Didn’t check the detailed results yet, but some of them look very weird. Like Austria having only 1 point more then Albania with juries in the Semi, but winning the juryvote in the final. Or Austria being 52 points behind Israel in the semi. How could they win the juryvote in the final?

      • I agree that SF2 was not anything to write home about, but I still think that having won the SF Norway didn’t deserve slot 7. Nature of the beast though.

        Overall, an average year for me. Not as good as last year. Had Austria top 10 since it was released, knew it was pure jury-bait but didn’t realise it would actually win the JV! Also had Norway to win SF2 @ 7.2 and Ireland to qualify at 5.7 as my top other main wins.

        Gutted that I didn’t take the Austria top 5 odds which I talked myself out of knowing the likely TV drop. Also annoyed at myself for not taking Germany Top big 5 on either. I think if I have learnt anything this year, it is to trust my instinct and believe in the quality of the song, instead of being wrapped up in which country it is. One of my biggest frustrations this year is being on Sweden to top JV @ 30/1, thought I had that sewn up until the last few votes came in. Then thought, it’s fine, I have Sweden e/w nailed on… only for them to bomb the TV. Disappointing but all a learning curve. Glad it went really well for you!

        Have to agree regarding jury votes, some very weird looking ones.

  11. Really enjoyable year and loved being out in Lisbon. Great coverage on here, sofabet, entertainment odds, telly stats etc as ever, and enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts.

    Albania in 11th and czech missing top 5 cost me a great 2 weeks, but decent nonetheless. Really surprised that Czech R bombed with the juries given that Sweden hoovered up…perhaps one goofy dance move too many.

    Looking forward to 2019 already and getting my accom sorted this week.

  12. In isolation the results of both semis and the final make sense, its when looking at it all together that it just gets confusing.

    I had a decent year, being forced to get on Israel wasn’t ideal and a Cyprus win would have still been much, much better but I was in a good position heading into the final. Built up a large green on Sweden in the last week for a nice trade with the obvious jury appeal. That 23 points was shocking and kind of funny. Maybe brand Sweden is not so popular? I don’t think it’s just the fans who resent their success, I mean we all had it as a jury song but come on, it’s not even doing badly in downloads or anything. Same with Australia, they’re looking less and less welcome. Jess was much better in the final, it’s not surprising but it’s a little sad.
    – it should have been the juries giving her a kicking. Country image sadly does play a part for both juries and televoters.

    Greece and Romania not qualifying and Norway missing the top ten were the only particularly costly results for me. A good year, though not as good as last.

    A really good show though, and classic voting sequence. I don’t think we’ll ever answer a lot of the questions surrounding what happened between the semis and the final.

    • The votes this year (particularly the jury votes) were all over the place. For instance, on Eurovision World I’ve just looked at Israel’s televote in semi 1 – only 4th behind Cyprus, Estonia, Czech Republic and equal to Austria. But then in the final Israel’s televote beats all of these by a range of 64 to 247 points. Have I read this correctly and if so, what is going on?

      • I too cannot get my head around Israel’s apparent huge surge in popularity in a matter of days. Maybe the late draw in the final helped? Plus, the semi-finals are more influenced by fan votes as opposed to casual viewer votes. So, perhaps fans had got bored of Israel by this time whereas many casual viewers will have seen it for the first time on Saturday and it would have been completely fresh fun to them. I never got and see don’t get the love for Toy but I can appreciate its merits and can see why it won.

        There are a few too many suspicious/strange goings on for me in the voting however, and I struggle to see how valid it actually is.

      • Good question. I dont have the answer, but let me posit some theories, the analysis of which will need to wait for another day.

        1. The voting demographics for the semis and final are different. Fans of varying degrees who listen and relisten to songs pre-contest make up a greater part of the viewing/voting audience for semis, whereas they are dwarfed by casuals on finals night. Had eurovision fans grown a little tired of Toy?

        2. Voting numbers in semi finals are small compared to the final, and therefore prone to greater variance.

        3. A ‘polarising’ song like Toy does better (relatively speaking) when it has a higher quality and quantity of opposition. Its more of a love/hate song…which means that almost regardless of facing 7 extra songs and more contenders, the people who love it are still voting for it. Other songs are more likely to bleed votes to similar entries in the final. Did Mikolas suffer some vote transfer to Sweden/Norway for example?

        4. The voters in a semi final are all from countries that are direct competitors for qualification, so is there some conscious/unconscious bias against an act perceived as the favourite? Much as some dodgy juries deliberately avoid giving points to ‘rivals’, do voters do the same? If so, it matters less in the final as there are 17 sets of votes from countries not taking part.

        5. Being perceived as ‘safe’ demotivates your televote. As per the Simon Cowell classic ‘see you next week’ on the XFactor, if the public are led to believe that a country is safe from the chop then why spend their time and money voting for it. Knowing Netta was one of the favourites may have demotivated voters/multivoters in the semi and suppressed her result.

  13. Great year,and a fantastic market.Id of rather a Cyprus win,but Israel good enough.Every contender gave traders a chance to get them onside over the season with ease.Some terrible songs mixed in helped.
    Massive problems with the juries though.Albania giving 12s and 10s to well er Albanians.Juries rewarding radio songs even if they were poor isnt their job.Australia should of got zero jury points,it was a car crash.How can they explain Portugal being last?.Of course the writer on stage didnt help,but juries jobs are to spot quality.Its hugely important to the competition that they get their jobs right.
    Great to see Sweden and Norway way out as well.Germany and Italy 4th and 5th a great result.
    Im pleased the season is over though.Its been very tiring trading this year with the market in constant flux needing full on attention.I hope the selection season is higher quality next year as well.MF and Eesti were terrible and there was very little worth getting involved with.
    Hope everyone enjoys the summer,no reason to think about the Albanian selection show just yet)

  14. @Gavster Hi Gav thanks for all this year – are we getting your overview on this year and how you did personally with your tips? Be great to read.

    @Durhamborn – yes a wonderful ESC but very draining at all the market changes and glad to bring the betting side to a close 😉 Have a great summer 🙂

    • Hi Showlad, I won’t be writing an overview this year. I only tend to if the voting is massively corrupt. This year was largely clean, so it doesn’t warrant the exhaustive editorial.

      As for my success this year: well it wasn’t a vintage year, but that’s mostly down to how close the semis were and potentially how my book slightly favoured a Cyprus win. Most of my funds came from semi-1 and the top-3, 4, 5 & 10 markets from laying Estonia, Bulgaria, Spain and Finland early doors, in addition to a few other trades. Norway top-10 cost me a bit. Perplexing how a semi-winner drops out of the top-10. It happened though. Profit wise, I’m still at 5-figures, but I was hoping to make about 30% more than I’ve ended up with. As a betting year, involving X-Factor and Strictly, it has been fruitful. Can’t complain.

      On a personal note, I was at my least interested during most of this year’s Eurovision. The songs were dreadful and the pre-selections bland. Hopefully Israel throw us a party, as Lisbon was dull.

      • As there is no overview, I’ll take this opportunity to say thanks, Gav, for all your hard work again this year. Have a well earned rest over the summer.

        My own view of this year’s contest is that it was short of quality at the top end of the leader board. Of the top 5 only Israel would probably have made top 5 most years, and even that disappointed in its live performance compared to the video.

        On the other hand, there were very few duds this year and nearly all of them were weeded out at Semi-Final stage. This made for a listenable two hours of music on Saturday night (in the end I even learned to live with Rasmussen’s camp Vikings) and probably explained the flatness of this year’s points scores.

  15. I’m missing eurovision already… Post euro blues… Only 360 days to go before the next gf…

    Thanks again for the great site, gavs tips, and everyone’s comments along the way… Its the highlight of the year for me and I’m going to miss everything about this great show…

    See you all in 2019 🙂

  16. Thank you Gav!
    Your work is so much appreciated and your site-chartroom gives so much help to all of us.
    A very successful year with 5 digit profit for me. It cost me a lot Azer not Q, Greece no Q, Australia not top 10 and Ukraine not top 10 but over all i have moldova and Cyprus top 10 and Isreal winner heavily. I made also good profit with some “vs” bets.
    It was a difficult and strange year. So many favourites out of top 10 and 3 dark horses in top 5…
    Wish you have great vacation and see you next year!

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