Home / News / Eurovision 2019: Semi-Finals Discussion Thread

Eurovision 2019: Semi-Finals Discussion Thread

 

With the semi-final running orders published, semi-final 1 is perhaps the most open with only a few bright sparks from the likes of Cyprus and Greece, with Portugal and Iceland fighting for the alternative vote.

The second semi-final sees Switzerland drawn in the middle of a dire run of songs so will obviously stand out. Will Lundvik’s warm charm cancel out Denmark’s clinical presentation? The second half of the semi brings us Russia, the Netherlands and decent slots for North Macedonia and Azerbaijan – do the Azeris have a memorable staging concept to close the show?

I’ll publish a full preview closer to the event, but as ever please feel free to share your thoughts and predictions in comments section.

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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.

225 comments

  1. I like the second semi draw, really appears that Bjorkman is rewarding all the strong songs and using the rest as filler, it’s not like last year where afew hidden gems were given time to shine. The only one of these that was helped imo was Romania coming after a pedestrian Latvia and coming before the add break. Think Norway are now in serious danger, coming right before Netherlands is going to make it look embarrassingly amateurish and if the Netherlands create a real moment it’s going to blow Norway out the door. Overall bar Romania and possible Macedonia I don’t think the draw as helped anyone particularly but I do think it’s screwed over some countries (Ireland,Denmark,Norway, potentially Austria too).

  2. Catriona Colville

    Semi 1 winners :

    Czech Republic – before the break, coming after Slovenia will give it space to shine.
    Hungary – And so follows that a break after Czech Republic gives Hungary a good spot.
    Australia – Coming after the dire Georgia and then a break after gives it room and people to absorb it.
    San Marino – Not the sacrificial lamb this time. Will still need jury support but likely now to be top 10 in the televote.

    Semi 1 losers :

    Cyprus – Still likely to qualify, but probably on too early to be fully remembered. Don’t think it has a hope in hell of winning the semi.
    Songs 2 to 5 – Slovenia is on too early for this type of entry and will be hurt by Czech Republic. The other 3 needed a good draw to stand a chance. Poland still have a slight chance. Montenegro and Finland are dead.
    Belarus – surrounded by high quality, well performed entries, this will look like amateur nonsense next to them. In trouble.
    Belgium – Earliest possible draw for a song that needed a few places later. Can still qualify, but I’m thinking it’s borderline now. Just not memorable enough.
    Greece – Obviously. Possible semi winner, although I think a few dark horses will sneak up in rehearsals.

    I can’t decide on Portugal and Estonia. One has an advantage and the other is in trouble. But I don’t know which. My first instinct was that Estonia benefits from being the mainstream amongst the craziness, and Portugal may suffer from audience weirdness fatigue.

    Semi 2 – winners

    Switzerland – A little too early, but being between Moldova and Latvia helps it greatly.
    Sweden – As good a slot as it could wish for. Denmark’s serial killer and Austria’s pleasant but forgettable song make this stand out even more. Possible semi winner.
    Malta – Clearly a favourite of Bjorkman, given the dream draw between the dire Croatia and the alright Lithuania. I personally hate this song, but it should do well from here.
    Netherlands – Would likely have stood out regardless, but between Europop and an interior ballad, it should sweep them both away.
    Azerbaijan – Great show closer and will make people forget Macedonia so much they’ll still refer to them as FYR. Possible top 3 here if it can vocally deliver and give us staging close to the music video.

    Semi 2 losers –

    Armenia – Not a natural show opener. I have a feeling this might be the big shock of the night when the votes come in.
    Ireland – Still has a shot at making it, but it’s field is narrowing. Staging will need to be extremely memorable.
    Moldova – Was dead regardless. Switzerland just pissed in it’s grave.
    Latvia – For sure now needs the juries to qualify. Not totally dead, but was given no favours here.
    Austria – Could be completely swept away by Sweden, but has a glimmer with Croatia following it.
    Croatia and Lithuania – No explanation needed.
    Albania – Big mistake in the running order having this and Russia next to each other. Albania will suffer the most, but I don’t think it’ll help Russia either. Strong staging could save Albania.
    Norway – Already in trouble, this will likely now be dismissed as cheap europop after Albania and made to suffer after the Dutch entry. In massive trouble.
    Macedonia – Not sure how anyone can think this is a good draw. Between Netherlands and Azerbaijan, it’ll be completely incinirated. Possible bottom 3.

    Need to think more about what I think the qualifiers will be.

    • “Croatia and Lithuania – No explanation needed” – actually I would like an explanation, please.

      • Catriona Colville

        OK, if you insist. Croatia were dead on arrival. Their slot never mattered. Lithuania was a potential qualifier, but being stuck between Malta in Russia makes it the proverbial lamb to the slaughter. I’m not completely ruling it out, but it’s obviously a loser in the draw.

        • Thanks. I agree with you on that.

        • Croatia is DOA so less said the better. Good thing Lithuania have a shit ton of diaspora as they will need every bit of it to stand a chance of qualification. The draw couldn’t be much worse especially when you consider they said the staging will be the same as the NF. Early in the draw, the radiofriendly ness is canceled out by Malta before it and Sergey after him with what ever batshit crazy staging Russia have planned will just wipe Lithuania off the map

    • Hi Catriona. Greece have an amazing draw. How on earth can you have them as a ‘loser’ in the draw beats me. Eh? 🙂

  3. There is still a big unknown in SF2 – how is ‘Arcade’ going to be staged? Normally we get clues from any official video but that doesn’t help us – Duncan has an incredible voice but it is delicate, not full on at all, the total opposite of Norway and North Macedonia (in their own ways). I think that being before the purest power ballad we have this year with Tamara and after one of the most traditionally ‘Eurovision’ tracks with KEiiNO may lead to Duncan losing some votes with the public if there is nothing to ‘hang their hats on’ with how “Arcade” looks…

    I’m not saying it won’t qualify (it will easily, the juries will see to that) but I think that The Netherlands alone will not stop Norway and North Macedonia qualifying as suggested…

  4. There are many ‘unknowns’ at this stage. So far we have seen three, rather similar, radio studio performances of ‘Arcade’. All done acoustically, in a very intimate, introvert setting, completely opposite of the Eurovision stage.

    So if this is such an ‘unknown’, then treat it as such, and don’t draw too many conclusions from it. What we will hear in Tel Aviv is the studio version. By the way, every year it’s the same thing: People treat these running order releases as ‘game changers’. Which in itself is ridiculous. They are only game changers for borderline entries. And that’s it.

    Norway last year won semi final #2. Then the running order of the grand final came and it sank completely. It’s an extreme example, but at this stage I try to anticipate what will happen with the favourites/heavy-hitters in the grand final. I find the question of which nation will win the semi final or will ‘loose’ the semi final by becoming 2nd or 3rd pretty uninteresting.

    Same with Greece in semi final 1. That entry was Always going to stand out, and had strong potential to win, even if, like Netherlands, we know sh*t about what she will do staging-wise. Now Katherine Duska gets a so called ‘pimp-slot’ and ‘suddenly’ it’s in it to win! Wow, breathe in, breathe out hehe.

    On top of that, most betters have their portfolio’s already more or less ‘complete’ and ready for Tel Aviv, even certain ‘live’ performances on YouTube and in Amsterdam this weekend and London the week after, won’t change that much. For instance, Malta is not going to Amsterdam this weekend. Maybe because the Maltesers are seriously preparing themselves?

    Just wait for the Tel Aviv rehearsals, and then more heavy, busy trading on Betfair will be happening :-).

    • This is how I see it. SF1 is an exact replica of SF2, bar two slots…… #3 Finland and Moldova are just flipped over ie Finland has a chance after Montenegro and Ireland over Moldova. And closer #17 Serhat, by default, should have been Ukraine’s slot. Austria requested their spot.

      What I mean by this, artists have been rewarded by the quality they are bringing. Then there are weak positions. The countries which have been sandwiched in between very strong entries are the “potentials” eg Lithuania, Norway, Albania, North Macedonia. Start of second half eg Belgium and Croatia are given chances to qualify. But it will all be different in the GF when running orders are drawn.

  5. Mike G'day Mate

    On the contrarian view, Norway and North Macedonia being more upbeat and powerful songs have a chance at diminishing the effect of Netherlands performance…

    Thoughts?

    • That’s what Martin said ;-). In great detail.

      Still, I think if Switzerland can win from that 4th slot without too much problems, then Switzerland can win it overall. Then both Sweden, Russia andd Netherlands might have trouble grabbing the actual trophy.

      But it’s all too early to say. Like I said before. Semi final running orders mostly matter for the ‘borderliners’. I do think Austria could be sneeking through from that slot #9 (9th or 10th). And ORF knows how to stage these days.

    • They have been put next to the bookies favorite for a reason, that’s all that needs to be said. Azerbaijan has been given space and the pimp slot because producers are trying to make that stand out. Norway look at best borderline now and Macedonia things are looking abit muddy, it’s relatable and with a late draw I definitely see it getting enough to sneak through but being next to Netherlands doesn’t help at all as being a power ballad there will be a direct comparison to The Netherlands and in that battle there is only one winner. If this was earlier in the draw I’d have Macedonia as a NQ but something in my gut is making me cautious about writing of North Macedonia

  6. NL and Greece great draws. Iceland after the madness of the light classical popoera of Aust and before the mainstream pop of Estonia really stands out and it’s a good draw for them too. Swi – good placement and they’re sailing thru anyway. Don’t feel Lit or Alb either side of Russia helps them at all really.
    On a positive for Rus and even more positive for Ice they both may come before/after ad breaks?

  7. There’s an argument as to whether it’s better to be late or surrounded by weaker songs. I disagree Malta has a good draw, it’s pop drop chorus has it lacking a strong hook and memorability on first listen and given Malta’s staging track record is underwhelming I can’t see it leaving an impression.
    If you’re going to be put 4th, Switzerland at least are surrounded by rubbish but they are still before Sweden, Russia, Netherlands and a dangerous Azerbaijan. Are they really winning the semi from there?
    Both semis feel harder to predict the winners and order of the top 3/4 than the qualifiers. There’s probably a fairly comfortable 8 qualifiers and then 5 fighting for two spots in both. San Mario’s pimpslot certainly puts the hat amongst the pigeons. If he can bring a better stageshow than last time he could cause a mini upset.

    1. Iceland
    2. Greece
    3. Slovenia
    4. Cyprus
    5. Estonia
    6. Hungary
    7. Serbia
    8. Portugal
    9. Czech Republic
    10. San Marino
    11. Australia
    12. Finland
    13. Belgium
    14. Belarus
    15. Poland
    16. Montenegro
    17. Georgia

    Semi 2

    Another strong top 5 here.
    Russia and Sweden are hard to call semi winners as they seem overeliant on the televote and jury respectively, at least until we see what Russia’s stageshow looks like. I think Azerbaijan is underrated regardless but with the pimp slot this can do very well, at least in the semi, a bit like Israel 2017, or Belgium 2016. After all the screaming tears a bit of “Shut up about it” might go down very well. Ireland, Latvia and Moldova look hopeless here, everyone else has a shot at qualifying. Agree that Armenia are in trouble now, already televote concerns for them and first does not help one bit.

    1. Netherlands
    2. Azerbaijan
    3. Russia
    4. Sweden
    5. Switzerland
    6. Malta
    7. Lithuania
    8. Norway
    9. Armenia
    10. Denmark
    11. North Macedonia
    12. Croatia
    13. Romania
    14. Albania
    15. Austria
    16. Ireland
    17. Latvia
    18. Moldova

  8. I was in serious doubt about the TOP 4 of semi final #2. I seriously think the points totals will be very close. Like 280 pts vs. 275 pts. vs. 260 pts. vs. 258 pts. Semi final #2 has two distinct characteristics. It is A) The better semi-final, but B) the easier semi-final to qualify from I think. In this semi-final 4 will qualify from the 1st half, and 6 countries will qualify from the 2nd half. There’s a string of 4 nations that could all qualify too: Norway, The Netherlands, North Macedonia & Azerbaijan. My qualification prediction:

    01. GREEN: The Netherlands
    02. GREEN: Switzerland (If they opened or had Dutchies spot, then winner)
    03. GREEN: Russia
    04. GREEN: Sweden
    05. GREEN: Malta (Malta even skips concerts to rehearse heavily = wise)
    06. GREEN: Armenia
    07. GREEN: Norway (televote pleaser)
    08. YELLOW: Azerbaijan
    09. YELLOW: North Macedonia
    10. YELLOW: Austria / Denmark (with good staging Austria might pull it off)

    Semi final #1 in my opinion is A) the weaker one, but B) harder to qualify from / harder to predict, more borderliners. This semi-final has 5 qualifiers from the 1st half, and 5 qualifiers from the 2nd half. There’s a group of countries in the first half that could all go through: Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic & Hungary. But Greece will be the clear winner here. I think there will be enough points difference between winner Greece and the runner-up. My qualification prediction:

    01. GREEN: Greece
    02. GREEN: Iceland
    03. GREEN: Cyprus
    04. GREEN: Australia (televote pleaser)
    05. GREEN: Czech Republic (best from string PO-SLO-CZ-HUN)
    06. YELLOW: Belgium
    07. YELLOW: Hungary
    08. YELLOW: Poland (televote pleaser)
    09. YELLOW: San Marino (it was always stronger than 2016)
    10. YELLOW: Estonia / Slovenia / Serbia (I prefer Slovenia)

    • Austria and Denmark don’t stand a chance, there’s a reason they are being put next to Sweden!

      There’s no call to action for either the jury or televote for either and being next Sweden that’s a big issue, especially for Denmark as it’s a similar vibe to Sweden

  9. I think Austria would have been in even bigger trouble if it had gotten the Ireland spot. Now at least you have two entirely different songs, Sweden, Austria, of which the latter is perhaps too ‘small’ to get real legs, but at least big enough with good enough staging to qualify. Albeit barely. To me the quality of Austria in here is greatly overlooked. It’s quite simple really. If you don’t like Austria, then you dislike Kate Bush as well. Paenda to me is, like Katherine Duska, also a female artist who knows exactly what she will be doing.

    • Austria would be in trouble no matter where it was put, it’s right after Sweden which is going to take all the attention and energy and leave nothing for Austria and then after Austria you have the batshit crazy act from Croatia which will take more support. Unless there is a way Austria can pull on the heart strings of voters I think it’s a pretty safe NQ to call. I think it could be there or there abouts but I’m predicting about 13th or so in the semi

    • Austria could surprise (again). The song has quality and class and should have some jury appeal it just doesn’t really go anywhere and the styling and leffort of effort in their official video is shocking. I have an open mind with it but it can much easier sink without trace.

      • There isn’t any significant jury appeal, some people seem think just because it’s a ballad that juries will automatically vote for it. Yes it will get some support but we are talking about 8-10 in the jury and even then the televote will kill it. Juries tend to vote for these ballads if they have a hook or are atleast uplifting (like let’s say Austria 2013) and this has neither it just starts and finishes and being bang in the middle of the field I don’t see any pathway to qualification unless it brings out an absolute masterclass performance.

  10. I’ve seen quite a few comments here and elsewhere suggesting that “Norway is in trouble” because of the SF2 draw, sandwiched between Albania and the Netherlands. I really don’t see that as an issue. In the actual live show itself, I’m minded to think it’s what you come after than what you come before that matters in terms of contrast and impact (this differs, of course in the recaps, especially when they are done in reverse.) “Spirit in the Sky” is real Marmite fayre, you seem to love it or hate it, but I think it will be distinctive at slot 15. I think it will score mid ranking jury vote and a very strong televote. As has been said before on these boards, the draw is more important for borderline songs and I have always had this as a fairly reliable green. It could have been a decent show closer as well, though I guess the organisers are relying on the Azeris to provide some visual fireworks at slot 18.

    • That’s at Best optimistic, if juries don’t have Norway bottom 3 in the jury than there is no point of them being there. There is absolutely nothing appealing for a jury to vote for and being right before the Netherlands which has potential to create a powerful moment to me will A. Make Norway look even worse and B. Take a lot of attention away and drain more support.

    • Totally agree Mark. Norway will glide through 👍

  11. IMHO for SF2 the likeliest winner will start with SW – Switzerland or Sweden…

    – the other countries in the first half are solo female artists with less upbeat songs compared to the SWs. The SWs will stand out!

    – Russia is one of the favourites because of promises that may or may not turn out to be false. Usually “more epic” equals more complicated. There’s a reason the KISS principle (“keep it simple stupid”) was invented. Im betting he wont come thru….

    – There is no scenario where Netherlands won’t be impacted by North Macedonia who have the potential to pull-off a more emotional and more powerful song than NL especially if Tamara is able to connect with the viewers moreso than Duncan…

    • In my opinion each time the draw matters more for the song coming *after* another song, than the song coming *before* another song. Especially for the televoters, who have a shorter attention span than the jurors.

      Currently, I have Netherlands as winner, but if one read carefully, I said the TOP 4 in this year’s 2nd semi-final could be a real fight of points where all differences in points in this TOP 4 might be very close…..extremely close.

      Calling this or that country ‘winner’ at this stage, especially for semi final 2, to me is a bit too early. Like Rob Furber mentioned in his article yesterday ( http://entertainmentodds.com/eurovision-song-contest/loose-change/ ), stay open for every possible scenario. Keep calm…and carry on ;-).

      In the case of THE NETHERLANDS, one should actually ask him-herself the question: Is the quality of the song strong enough that it can overcome small weaknesses, or actually ‘unknowns’ at this stage, like charisma or being telegenic, to such an extend that it can still win the semi-final?

      In the case of NORTH MACEDONIA, one should be his/her own devil’s advocate and ask: Since when do powerful ballads with a more traditional build-up ending in a rousing climax do that well? Obviously you can mention Serbia 2007. But what about Slovenia 2017 or Iceland 2018?

      In the case of SWITZERLAND and SWEDEN there are some questions as well. Can Switzerland easily gather enough jury votes in the grand final to comfortable be in the Jury TOP 3, passing at least 300 points? Same with Sweden. Wasn’t Sweden a slam-dunk winner with both televotes and jurors, because of the more ‘typical’ line-up it had to compete in. A line-up that’s completely gone in the Eurovision Contest?

      In the case of RUSSIA: Well, there you are with me. Will staging overtake the emotional sincerity of the actual song too much? Or will the staging be very helpful in covering the fact that ‘Scream’ isn’t the best of the ballads this year?

      So there you are. Stay open-minded. A lot of information can be found about the contenders this year. But some entries still use the old adage that would make betters quite irritated: ‘Let’s keep it a surprise until the rehearsals!’ Having said all that, I do agree that Switzerland, because of an early draw in the semi final, might pull off a narrow victory.

      • But having said all this myself, I am coming around on the fact that NETHERLANDS this year lacks a certain…meme, a certain ‘thing’ that makes it easy to grasp for televoters. Whereas it concerns Salvador’s ticks, or Netta looking cross-eyed like a chicken, or Jamala’s 3-min-tree-growth on the LED panels….. I don’t see it just yet. Nor do I find enough ‘story’ than just being a love song, or about missing out on love. From netta’s current #MeToo message or Jamala’s emotional anti-Russian message, or Conchita’s emancipation/empowerment message.

        • Gert. I think you’re overthinking it just now. We haven’t seen Duncan perform the full song in an ESC performance setting yet nor have we seen the staging. I think the staging is going to be good – really dramatic in the right way – and Duncan will be strong where he needs to be and emotional/fragile where the song needs it too.
          He’s a clever cookie and so is his team – they want the win this year.
          1944 never came to life until the staging 1st rehearsal and Netta’s first live show – looking a bit nervous and totally out of breath – received a panning by many too. Give it time 😉
          NL still have the best stand out song by quite some way and a really good, artistic live singer who just needs to ‘get’ what his team and himself put together. NL is still the song to beat.

  12. Out of interest I decided to remind myself on the semifinal running order for eventual top-4 scorers in 2015-2018. Here is the list. The number in brackets behind each country shows their running order in their respective semifinals.

    2015: Sweden (13), Russia (12), Belgium (3)
    2016: Ukraine (14), 2016 Australia (10), Russia (9), Bulgaria (12)
    2017: Portugal (9), Bulgaria (16), Moldova (12), Sweden (1)
    2018: Israel (7), Cyprus (19), Austria (13)

    Immediate observations:
    1) First half seems to reflect producers’ preference to place market leaders in positions 1 or 9
    2) Second halft though saw more consolidation around positions 12-14 (though other results are also present, this slot generated more eventual top 4 scorers than last 2-3 slot holders)
    3) Cyprus might be an exception as it was probably planned as a light hearted closer and its success might have surprised everybody including producers
    4) Other interesting entries positioned in the 12-14 corridor included Hungary 2018 (13), Iceland 2016 (13)
    5) So it could be that slots 12-14 deliberately host show magnets (not to be confused with winners) who are positioned there to ramp up the show, to boost energy before the final stretch and to attract attention

  13. To me the upcoming Eurovision fan concerts are wonderful stuff for fans, and probably give some new insights (albeit only for certain style entries (crowd pleasers). The dates are:

    –> Eurovision In Concert, Amsterdam, this Saturday
    –> Eurovision PreParty, Riga, April 12th
    –> Eurovision Party, London, April 14th
    –> Eurovision Spain PreParty, Madrid, April 20th
    –> Eurovision Concert, Moscow, April 24th

    But let’s not over-judge these performances, or getting ‘betting cramps’. That’s absolutely not necessary. Hence I found some inspiration into writing a new piece. Because when people analize every personality, every bit of talent all 41 participants have, one does not really need to overcompensate insecurities with one concert performance in front of a huge fan audience, but not in front of camera’s.

    So I think it’s pretty straightforward to mark the real, serious contenders already. Here’s my article; https://songfestivalwerk.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/tel-aviv-2019-what-results-to-expect-in-the-grand-final/ . Ooowh, and Shlanderous. It’s lovely to see your favouritism and passion for one of these contenders. Thanks for your reply. But let’s stay rational, dispassionate, so you won’t get disappointed after May 18th haha.

    • Good read, Gert. I really enjoyed it and I mostly agree with what you said although I don’t think Australia will do as good as you think. I like Kate Miller-Heidke but the song is a mess – incohesive, lacking melody, mixes too many genres, Gravity is far far from Cezar’s It’s My Life (I enjoyed that song). I think Australia will do bad both on jury and televote. But that’s just my opinion. Let’s wait and see.

      • Thanks Montell: Which of the televote pleasers you think will do better then? Australia? Norway? Spain? Or Poland? I think these four are very much prone to the more -forgive me- dumber televoters, thus will receive more votes :-P?

        Regarding Greece……I am slightly changing my predictions when my knowledge about each and every entry settles. I think I was too harsh for Greece when I so forcefully tried to split out what juries would do opposed to televoters. Just to give me some clues. But….Eurovision isn’t an exact mathematics subject either. There’s a lot of ‘feeling’ involved in it as well I guess. We all know that.

        Currently, Greece’s and Netherlands’ staging concepts are closely guarded secrets. One can only guess what the artistry of the performers brings you on the table…

        • Norway and Spain are the songs that will grab votes, in my opinion. Australia doesn’t have any default televote support. They have to earn it by sending good songs and this year’s entry is their worst ever. Poland? I find it hard to predict its fate but the girls are good LIVE only maybe a bit too static in their performances.

        • Hi Gert. Katerine has confirmed it will be to a similar theme/genre to the video. Same stage director as the vid, so it could be really visually striking.
          Good, fun interview here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKgKgHRnvm0

    • Going to savour your post later Gert. You are right on the money with Greece👍👌 Interesting though in your recent grading you had Greece 2nd with Jury and 11th with pubic vote – take it you have had a turnaround? 🙂

  14. This is the 2nd semi final with the info on the tempo of each song. The number in front of a country shows the song’s tempo in beats per minute. The number after each country shows comparisons reflecting beats gain (+) or beats loss (-) vs. a previous song.

    65 Armenia –
    125 Ireland +92%
    78 Moldova -37%
    97 Switzerland +24%
    93 Latvia -5%
    72 Romania -23%
    136 Denmark +88%
    105 Sweden -22%
    65.5 Austria -37%
    57 Croatia 57 -12%
    98 Malta +71%
    79 Lithuania -20%
    61.5 Russia -22%
    115 Albania +86%
    122 Norway +6%
    72 Netherlands -40%
    92 North Macedonia +27%
    101 Azerbaijan +10%

    Observations
    Some folks were surprised by Denmark to Sweden back-to-backs. However Denmark is the fastest (as measured in bpm) song in the semi. In fact it is the 2nd fastest in the whole competition. So it provides a nice drop for Sweden. Together with Romania, they seem to be forming a warm up wave for Sweden.

    Another one: if we needed yet another proof for producers’ favorite then just look at the drop that is created for the Netherlands. The tempo is ramped up from the second slowest song (Russia) to the fastest song in the 2nd half (Norway) in the matter of three songs. And then the tempo drops by 40% to showcase Duncan. Everybody in slots 13-15 seems to be his warm up.

    • Fascinating stuff Reader 🙂 Thanks

    • Another factor with Denmark which people seem to completely miss is that Denmark (if the performances from NF to ESC are the same) have a lot of stuff that needs to be brought on stage and will need an add break before it for this to happen (break usually comes after song 6). And right after Denmark comes Sweden which has a very similar vibe which I think tells us all what Denmark’s role is in the running order

    • Not particularly amazing, but then not much has done so far anyway. It does highlight the fact its her people like, and more specifically her voice, rather than the song. There are some more interesting results than this so far, Montenegro so high as well as some worrying scores for Slovenia and Portugal.

  15. Mike G'day Mate

    Hi Gav, I know its still early days but are you and the team going to put together some semifinal preview podcasts this year?

  16. The first jury (Austria) in EuroVoix.com EuroJury 2019 has casted its votes:
    https://eurovoix.com/2019/04/06/eurojury-2019-the-results-from-austria/

    This year, Anthony Granger from eurovoix.com decided not to reveal the exact ranking. So the TOP 3 is in bold. They received the 8, 10 and 12 points, but the exact order won’t be released until the streaming broadcast. Same with the other 7 countries.

    However, I have decided to make an Excel sheet anyway, in which I give each country in the TOP 3 10 points (8 + 10 + 12 / 3 = 10 points), and all other countries 4 points (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 / 7 = 4 points). I expect that after some 30 countries or so the result will become similar to the reseult when we have all exact points in the TOP 10 available (some mathematical shit laws being applied :-P).

    Having said that, I am surprised Italy, Greece, Iceland, Russia and Switzerland are not in the Austrian TOP 10. Especially with regard to Greece and Italy.

    • Ireland France and UK in there says all we need to know about that jury.

      • Not really. I have all my Excel sheets in front of me. The EuroJury surprisingly matches the Eurovision Jury. It’s kind of ridiculous to write off EuroJury entirely based on these first sets of results. Too early.

        For instance Netherlands was a big pre-contest EuroJury darling in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. And, indeed, they all gathered a lot of jury votes. Even Trijntje managed to come 5th in the semi final she didn’t qualify from. However, Waylon last year barely got attention in EuroJury, and that too was reflected in the Eurovision jury outcome (worst jury result to date).

        It will be interesting to see what UK, Ireland and France will do upcoming days in EuroJury. My current guess is that they werein the bottom of the TOP 10, but who knows. Be patient. For me this gives me better info for an eventual Eurovision jury prediction than tonight’s EiC. Perhaps EiC is more useful in predicting the eventual televote?

        • I meant the Austrian EJ not the whole.The ESC juries have drifted away from their jobs the last few years IMO.They are supposed to reward certain things they have ignored.In many ways the EJ and the ESC juries have turned into a few televoters in a room.Its been a bit unnerving the last few years as a gambler seeing the jury scores come in and it has been the televote that has seemed the more professional.
          Then again if i was on a jury id score Serbia higher than The Netherlands,perhaps its an age thing.

      • To be honest, Eurojury was a fairly reliable indicator (not a crystall ball though) of eventual jury voting. Last year they had eventual top three jury scorers in their top 4. They would not be a reliable indicator of the televote of course. But nothing can play that role until rehearsals take place.

        At least in my opinion Eurojury has more credibility than infamous OGAE votes. The latter always simply surf on the wave of ‘what is hot with eurofans’ at the present. Eurojury at least cast some light on jury friendliness of entries.

        Now, Austria is just one country in, let’s wait when a critical mass is in.

  17. Eurojury can be quite good at pinpointing the top5, but it can be quite erratic when it comes to the top10.

  18. Eurojury is probably the most useful measure we have at this stage to any part of the scoring. There are still people who take it far too much for certain and refuse to account for the use of videos, less politics, even more narrow group than the actual Eurovision juries etc. They haven’t landed the jury winner in the last three years (2nd, 5th 4th) and there’s always room for big differences, even when performances aren’t particularly poor or unexpectedly amazing – Czech Rep and Estonia last year for example. I kind of feel that if fans ranked songs in the order they think they will score rather than personal taste (ogae) they might not be too dissimilar from the EJ results given the jury makeup.
    On the whole, they’ll come close if not pick the jury winner but there’s a lot more too it than that,even before we get into staging flops and triumphs.

  19. Okay, it took me a while, but let’s properly compare EuroJury with the Eurovision jury :-):

    EuroJury 2018 (vs. Eurovision Jury 2018):

    01. Israel (03. with Eurovision Jury)
    02. Czech Republic (15. with Eurovision Jury)
    03. Sweden (02. with Eurovision Jury)
    04. Austria (01. with Eurovision Jury)
    05. Australia (12. with Eurovision Jury)
    06. Switzerland (NQ, but 10. with Eurovision Jury Semi-Final)
    07. Bulgaria (09. with Eurovision Jury)
    08. Germany (04. with Eurovision Jury)
    09. Belgium (NQ, but 09. with Eurovision Jury Semi-Final)
    10. Belarus (NQ, 17, with Eurovision Jury Semi-Final: severe outlier)
    11. Norway (16. with Eurovision Jury, but 02. with Eurovision Jury Semi-Final)
    12. Cyprus (05. with Eurovision Jury)
    13. Estonia (06. with Eurovision Jury)
    14. Denmark (20. with Eurovision Jury)
    15. Finland (24. with Eurovision Jury)

    EuroJury 2017 (vs. Eurovision Jury 2017):

    01. Sweden (03. with Eurovision Jury)
    02. Australia (04. with Eurovision Jury)
    03. Italy (07. with Eurovision Jury)
    04. Belgium (09. with Eurovision Jury)
    05. The Netherlands (05. with Eurovision Jury)
    06. Austria (11. with Eurovision Jury)
    07. Portugal (01. with Eurovision Jury)
    08. France (19. with Eurovision Jury)
    09. Denmark (13. with Eurovision Jury)
    10. Bulgaria (02. with Eurovision Jury)
    11. Azerbaijan (12. with Eurovision Jury)
    12. Finland (NQ, but 12. with Eurovision Jury Semi-Final)
    13. Switzerland (NQ, but 11. with Eurovision Jury Semi-Final)
    14. Croatia (22. with Eurovision Jury)
    15. Moldova (08. with Eurovision Jury)

    EuroJury 2016 (vs. Eurovision Jury 2016):

    01. Australia (01. with Eurovision Jury)
    02. Ukraine (07. with Eurovision Jury)
    03. France (03. with Eurovision Jury)
    04. Malta (09. with Eurovision Jury)
    05. Russia (04. with Eurovision Jury)
    06. Belgium (05. with Eurovision Jury)
    07. Bulgaria (16. with Eurovision Jury)
    08. Israel (14. with Eurovision Jury)
    09. Sweden (02. with Eurovision Jury)
    10. Armenia (20. with Eurovision Jury)
    11. The Netherlands (08. with Eurovision Jury)
    12. Lithuania (25. with Eurovision Jury, an outlier)
    13. Italy (11. with Eurovision Jury)
    14. Georgia (26. with Eurovision Jury, an outlier)
    15. Latvia (27. with Eurovision Jury)

    EuroJury 2015 (vs. Eurovision Jury 2015):

    01. Sweden (02. with Eurovision Jury)
    02. Latvia (08. with Eurovision Jury)
    03. Russia (04. with Eurovision Jury)
    04. Australia (01. with Eurovision Jury)
    05. Belgium (14. with Eurovision Jury)
    06. Italy (03. with Eurovision Jury)
    07. Norway (10. with Eurovision Jury)
    08. Israel (17. with Eurovision Jury)
    09. Cyprus (25. with Eurovision Jury, a heavy outlier)
    10. Georgia (16. with Eurovision Jury)
    11. Estonia (19. with Eurovision Jury)
    12. Montenegro (32. with Eurovision Jury, an outlier)
    13. Austria (13. with Eurovision Jury)
    14. Azerbaijan (15. with Eurovision Jury, an outlier)
    15. Slovenia (20. with Eurovision Jury)

    EuroJury 2014 (vs. Eurovision Jury 2014):

    01. Austria (09. with Eurovision Jury)
    02. Sweden (02. with Eurovision Jury)
    03. The Netherlands (12. with Eurovision Jury)
    04. Hungary (07. with Eurovision Jury)
    05. Armenia (03. with Eurovision Jury)
    06. Malta (04. with Eurovision Jury)
    07. Finland (08. with Eurovision Jury)
    08. Azerbaijan (13. with Eurovision Jury)
    09. Norway (06. with Eurovision Jury)
    10. Denmark (05. with Eurovision Jury)
    11. Spain (11. with Eurovision Jury)
    12. Ukraine (15. with Eurovision Jury, an outlier)
    13. Russia (26. with Eurovision Jury)
    14. Germany (21. with Eurovision Jury, an outlier)
    15. Iceland (23. with Eurovision Jury)

    A few observations: To me there’s not only a certain trend in the TOP 5 when comparing EuroJury with the Eurovision Jury. I see that trend all the way, in the final TOP 15 outcome. Some exceptions/outliers aside…..if one would draw a curve / graph, both lines would follow a similar trend. Actually….quite scary really hehe.

    And in some rare occasions, if there’s an outlier, the EuroJury result follows the eventual televote. And even if there’s an apparent outlier, like Netherlands 2014, then in the EuroJury it still did miles better than in the more generic fan polls.

    One can conclude that jurors in the EuroJury more or less do the same thing as eventual Eurovision juries (remember the Armenian jury from 2016): they judge the entries in greater, more meticulous detail than fans and televoters. Of which fans stick to their favourites more often and are less prone to some serious out-of-the-box thinking. By the way, all jurors in EuroJury are asked to judge available live video’s.

  20. EJ:
    Netherlands nowhere in Hungary’s scoring, some interesting results in there, no Iceland too, thought AWS might like that. Only two countries in but could be quite random this year.

    • I saw that Trackshittaz (2012) was voting for the Austrian jury. And now AWS haha. Israel, Sweden and Czech Republic were the only ones so far receiving points from from both jury’s. Sweden got its 2nd TOP 3 mark though. Could be very random indeed. Tomorrow the next two :-D.

      Anthony Granger said that the voting order has been arranged in such a way that some more ‘dramatic’ changes might be happening near the end…. Also important to note, based on these two results, AND on the EuroJury results from the past 5 years: you now see how much Russia can/will be suffering with jury’s? I’m wondering when the day will arrive that Russia will win the jury vote hands down.

      • Where and when did Anthony say that? In 2017 I asked him and he confirmed it was a random daily order. So I’m talking about these daily presentations and not the final show order on 20th of April.

        • Well, I asked Anthony:
          https://imgur.com/K3q3BfE.png

          For instance last year Netherlands got almost no points…and then after jury #19 Netherlands suddenly got 7 times in a row high sets of points). Czech Republic last year near the end got lots of 12’s and 10’s in a row.

          It’s to me kind of a non-thing really, but it’s kinda fun how EuroVoix.com really tries its uttermost best to organize this so meticulously. There’s a little bit of autism in all of us in here I guess ;-).

      • I would also be interested to know where he said that. I mailed him in 2018 and also then he confirmed that the order of reveal was completely random.

        • It makes no sense to present the jury votes in some sort of order since they’re not giving away points or rankings, just which countries are in the top-3.

  21. Your ESC 2016 Eurovision jury results are out Gert and in 2015 Swe won Eurovision jury vote.
    I think there are some good likenesses but last year they were way out with Cze and Cyp. In 2017 miles out with Por. I don’t think we should take too much stock in the Eurojury Votes except that they overall have a generally have quite a good grasp of jury thinking.

  22. Sweden got joint 2nd in the 2016 EuroJury Showlad, together with France: 179 points (Sweden got from a larger number of jury’s points though). Then it got 9th in the Eurovision jury.

    But I think in 2016 EuroJury only announced the 10th to 3rd place. The 1st and 2nd place were announced during the broadcast. Australia got an impressive amount of 12’s during the broadcast. Hence, Sweden was 1st indeed before the YouTube broadcast :-).

    I have all Excels in front of me. I’m a weirdo. I know haha.

    Right now I am updating my Excel for 2019. I have decided to give 10th to 7th place 4 points each. Then the TOP 3 10 points each. To….just give an idea…..

    • In my post I am saying you got the actual official Eurovision jury votes wrong Gert. Swe won the Eurovison jury in 2015 and in 2016 your placing of Ukr and Rus is wrong.

  23. Also re Eurojury it’s based on some on non-live videos and of course not based on the game changing stage shows eg I can see Swi doing as well as Cyp did last year with juries and also Gre this year the live vocal I think will score highly with juries in TA but just now Eurojury judges a video.
    Eurojury is handy but huge faux pas like having Salvador Sobral in 7th (and with that a live showing was to hand with all his charm and quirks) I think shows it can have crucial glaring errors.
    Already Isr, UK in Top 10 and Cze getting 2 sets of marks and 1 in the Top 3 – come on. No votes for NL too from Hun just now is a total joke.

  24. New Eurojury Vote in (Cyprus). Swi, Rus & Ita Top 3 votes. Obviously not just 2 a day and is random. Votes all over place just now. None for Gre which is laughable.

  25. Ooowh my, there willbe three jury reveals a day. Just a moment ago Cyprus posted its results hehe. These are more along the betting odds it seems. 2 people in the Cypriotic jury. My points applied on the 3rd jury, in alphabetical order:

    10 POINTS: Italy (first points)
    10 POINTS: Switzerland (first points)
    10 POINTS: Russia (first points)
    04 POINTS: Armenia
    04 POINTS: Azerbaijan
    04 POINTS: France
    04 POINTS: Moldova
    04 POINTS: The Netherlands
    04 POINTS: Portugal
    04 POINTS: Sweden

    https://eurovoix.com/2019/04/06/eurojury-2019-the-results-from-cyprus/

    • Let’s just remember that Alex Panayi is on the Cypriot Eurojury. This puts points in some perspective

    • Greece really didnt work live in EIC,off loaded on that.Poland really did work,Belgium could go both ways,he needs backing vocal support at ESC.Serbia superb vocals.UK and Moldova great vocals.

      • Evening hope you having a nice night Durhamborn 🙂
        Yes unless she had a sore throat – has she bitten off more in the studio range wise than she could handle (I’m experienced with sound and songs and that’s what it sounded like to me – easy after ‘some’ takes in the studio..but try to piece it all together live and…).
        Gosh Duncan sounds OUT OF THIS WORLD with his live renditions thus far in comparison 😉

  26. Duncan was amazing, he could win this even just standing there and singing, without any staging.

  27. Netherlands has won this already! Not even close!!

  28. A TOTAL TOTAL master class tonight from NL in song and especially voice. This is winning this year.
    Swi OKish vocally – like Cyp last year this will be amazingly staged.
    Ice wrong sound mix on falsetto vocal but it will all be fine in TA with the full 6 onstage and not just the 2 boys.

  29. And then you can finally escape those damned confinements of a radio studio, to finally enter a bigger stage. And then we see and hear this entry how we prefer it to see and hear:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPXDGzFZXHA

  30. Netherlands song is so awesome it transcends the need for staging!

  31. It is fantastic to see Dutch enthusiasm (it has been awhile). But let’s remember that Duncan’s main competition was not even present in Amsterdam.

    The Swiss boy is cute and lovely but his presence in top 3 will disappear by Tel Aviv. If I may steal Gavin’s Twit: He. Can. Barely. Sing. The. Verses. We have Malta that has a banger and can sing actually.

    Iceland is not the main (or only) alternative magnet vote, Conan now employed professional staging experts and will give his fight. The Greek girl has a lot to prove now but there is half a dozen of stronger female soloists present.

    And we need to see Sweden, Italy and Russia in full glory. Basically, let’s not fall into France 2016 and Italy 2017 trap prematurely.

  32. Wow people calling the winner already? That’s my cue to lay the Netherlands.

  33. What a difference seeing Duncan relax and emote in front of a big crowd – it really is looking like the answer to his live performance question looks ever to being answered in the affirmative and he showed his fellow competitors a vocal master class.
    Meanwhile…as Duncan was getting lost in his song Katerine from Greece must have been channeling Grand National Day in the UK as she galloped around the stage pointlessly, clumsily and awkwardly with her super disappointing first live showing of Better Love. She supposedly had a cold a few a days ago but in the studio vocal over however many takes, you only get 1 shot live in TA and her route to the crown may really be fading.
    Swi – at the end of the day Luca is a male Eleni (and please let’s not kid ourselves on her vocal prowess) – and it’s all about the charisma, super sex appeal and dancing. His stage show I think will be just as strong as Eleni and I still see them Top 2-5 but I feel with thne right staging this is NL’s year.
    Rus, despite the song, rise in the mix again as does Swe but I don’t think anyone will catch Duncan if delivering like last night 😉👍
    Iceland super confident scream vocal and off key falsetto but I do think as in NF this will be very strong still in TA.

  34. I was at EIC yesterday. My short comments on all the songs in (Dutch) alphabetical order:

    Albania: very good performance. I didn’t get the wow-factor Albania gave last year, but still it made a good impression.

    Armenia: If it’s performed like this in Tel Aviv it might struggle heavily to reach the final. Very forgettable.

    Australia: in the short interview there were again hints that they are working on an amazing staging. The songs definitely needs it, because it’s going nowhere and without a show it feels like Bottom 3.

    Belgium: Not good, not bad, not impressive. We learned nothing new.

    Denmark: I had hoped this song might surprise us like Zoë-Loin d’Ici did, but this is going to be hard. The uninspiring performance doesn’t invite anyone to vote for it.

    Germany: Just a really poor song.

    Finland: Better than expected. A welcome variation in the field. It won’t qualify though.

    Georgia: one of the better singers. He sells the song very well. I don’t see this qualifying, because the song is a bit too weird, but this will certainly get points.

    Greece: Disappointing performance. In the hall it still sounded better than on video. I think with backing singers and a decent act a good part of the problems can be solved. Nevertheless, I had this as an outsider for the victory, but that’s not going to happen. Both the performance and the fact that the song hardly stood out in this field make it more something that may reach the Top 5 on a good day.

    Hungary: Joci is a great singer and automatically attracts attention and respect. This song is not so good as his previous one, but still he sells it very well.

    Ireland: Hopeless. Absolutely hopeless.

    Israel: This was the one that exceeded my expectations the most. Amazing vocals, that lift the dull ballad to a higher level.

    Iceland: As expected, although on TV it looks more interesting than in reality.

    Lithuania: The song is good enough for the final, this performance wasn’t.

    Montenegro: No, next.

    Moldova: Fantastic vocals. This lady deserved a much better song.

    Norway: Better than expected, although my expectations were really low. A crowd pleaser, but nothing more than that.

    Netherlands: Clearly the best one of the evening. Competition should come from countries who were not there.

    Poland: Amazing vocals, it’s impossible to hear any difference with the video. One of the best ones of the night, despite the remarkable song.

    Romania: Good performance of a boring song.

    San Marino: Mixed feelings. After getting the last slot in the first semi, I thought this would easily qualify. And Serhat is very friendly and likeable and the Na-Na-Na part made the crowd excited. On the other hand, it was a really amateurish performance, well below the standard of the evening.

    Serbia: One that was better than I expected. This deserves to be in the final.

    Spain: The one that brought most fun. It’s not good, but it’s great for the contest that it’s there. He was out of breath a few times, but after the song I was as well.

    Czechia: One of my personal favourites. They did a good job and brought the energy of the song very well. They should keep it like this with the 3 of them.

    Austria: Too uninteresting.

    UK: Michael gets everything out of this poor song and he is very likeable. He should be able to escape the bottom 5 if he continues like this.

    Belarus: Good performance of a not too impressive song. Like Georgia this will get points here and there.

    Switzerland: If it’s staged like this in Tel Aviv, place 6-10 will be the maximum. There’s still a lit of work to do, and I’m inclined to say this doesn’t sound like a winner.

  35. Our late friend Daniel at Sofabet made what will stand as a fantastic point about these live build-up shows. Don’t lose your nerve at the breathless accounts on Twitter. The party numbers and crowd pleasers will always pop, only the big ballads look great, and anything else will receive considerable analysis/skepticism.

    So predictably Belarus, Czech Rep, Norway have had good write-ups after a lukewarm reception. That they can all do it live is good, but staging will matter for all three. I’ve got on Belarus previously, as I think they can at least qualify in a less competitive semi final, and have avoided being the opening number, and have a wider appeal than hipster efforts like Slovenia and Portugal especially (whom is in danger of being received as totally impenetrable). Conan may be chasing a professional stage team, but I would hope they all are. I still favour Belarus of the two to see the final, if we compare them, it’s not quite the Boom Boom Like-a Like-a of its semi, even if the odds say so.

    Semi 1: Greece (gosh I hope that was a blip), Belgium, Oz, Estonia, Iceland, Belarus, Czech Rep, Poland, Cyprus for me. If the juries like Slovenia, great – but if not..Montenegro’s harmonies are good, and in a semi of esoteric tunes fighting for jury love I wonder if a crowd pleaser can break through. There’s plenty value if you agree.

    Otherwise from the night I can see in the fan reaction that Israel, Spain and Australia have gained a little traction, which is good. They’re all interesting and need bouyed by appropriate staging. Israel may have a leaden ballad but he really sells it. Could juries lift this into the top 10? Spain does the up-tempo thing better than Armenia, Malta, Azerbaijan… who knew Spain could do up-tempo. Owww. But will they break their staging hex? Tough to back them without an idea. Australia is a total leap of faith, the Oz team can be BAD. Best final minute of any tune in the competition if you ask me though.

    Semi 2 sees a strong bunch Sweden, Azerbaijian, Russia, Netherlands, probably still Switzerland (on enthusiasm and charisma), Norway (same) followed by a bunch of maybes. I like N. Macedonia on jury appeal, Malta on the interesting factor (see Hvala ne) and possible shenanigans, Armenia on form, leaving a slot for Latvia and Albania to compete for the regionl and or hipster vote. Albania is a good backing track and Joni is a pro, but I wonder will it be lost in it’s semi? With Mal, sincerity told, so that could help. Probably has the drama to bounce Latvia.

    Anyway those are my thoughts of the state of things at the moment.

    • I miss him John :-(. Always a gentelman, never loosing his touch of rationalism, respectful, to even those who could be considered a failure. I….I am in desperate need of his views this year. But….he’s gone. Rest in peace Daniel. I light up a virtual candle for you, as I think you would have loved to Judge this year’s lineup.

      • Hi John and Gert. Raising a glass at this end to the great Daniel too, of whom I have mentioned a couple of times already in my posts on here.
        I think Daniel’s greatest gift was the priceless advice to disconnect yourself from your personal favs and try and be as objective as possible. I feel in the most gentlemanly manner he would be planting some seeds that all is ‘going very well’ for NL at this stage and both singer and song are on course for a great showing.
        I guess you both read Rob’s article to him on entertainment odds. Lovely piece. Possibly like you two I commented on Sofabet and also had the honour of exchanging emails with him.
        Gosh how we could do with his calm overview and fun and wise comments right now 🙂

  36. People haven’t properly read the article from Rob Furber I guess. I linked to that a few days ago. It’s a good worth of reading. Pulls of all the excitement and makes you breathe in and out again: http://entertainmentodds.com/eurovision-song-contest/loose-change/

    Regarding Netherlands calling it for the victory at this stage is sheer ridiculous. Looking at the (fan) polls, at EuroJury there isn’t actually a real clear frontrunner. In the odds it’s obviously The Netherlands.

    But if people would have looked to some past live performances of Duncan Laurence, then he can own the stage, charms the audience (depending on the song), opens his eyes and has a cool aura surrounding him.

    Then people starting to link to those ‘live’ radio performances, and starting to comment about things that logically go hand in hand with the confinements of an ultra-small radio studio. All information most punters had from Duncan as of late was a bit based on that I guess. After EiC a rather fake ‘gamechanger’ is taking place. If someone really studied Duncan a bit more carefully, then last day’s great performance shouldn’t have been a surprise.

    “We need to see what will happen with Sweden and Italy”. Compared to Netherlands these should be more clear now as well no? Their national final performances, especially the Swedish one, will be copy-pasted onto the Tel Aviv stage. Mahmood is Mahmood. When he performs, he brings a certain ‘street vibe’, ‘rapper vibe’ on stage, that could help this time around in the televote as well (bye bye traditionalists, talking about charm and telegenic all the time; it doesn’t Always work that way, look at Blance).

    John Lundvik…….we know everything from this man already no? What we saw in MF is what we get in Tel Aviv. So there shouldn’t be any surprises with him either.

    Calling out Luca Hänni already? He has enough time to rehearse his incredible choreography coupled with his vocals. Calling out Netherlands for the victory already is a bit too soon. Let’s not forget that the staging is uttermost secret. But seeing this excitement as a signal to lay is equally preposterous.

    Just breathe in, and breathe out.

    • Yes let’s not get carried away but also let’s not stick our heads in the sand either – NL have the best song by quite some way, a great live singer and last night only underlined this.
      Ita and Swe will not do well enough in the televote, Rus absolutely will but will not do well enough with juries – it’s not a slam dunk yet but NL are looking very very good 😉👍😎👌

    • Agree. Breathe in, and breathe out. Also listen to this song while doing that 😛

      https://youtu.be/I7a6aYHdlk4

  37. Switzerland is too high at the bookmakers. I believed in him from the very beginning, but this is definitely below the top 5. In addition, the jury will fence it.

    Italy seems like a typical euro fan of bloat. Although I still believe that he will be in the top ten.

    Portugal just does not. It will have zero success with the jury. This is a dubious song. And frankly, when I watch a performance, I am more attracted to the dancer than the singer and his song. And they need to stop focusing on their Nike sneakers.

    Iceland seems to be the possible winner of the first semi-final?

    Greece. From the very beginning, I had a feeling that we would not hear this textured voice that we hear on the recording.

    Armenia. I think that with due diligence it could work with the jury. But it looks like it will be Azerbaijan/Armenia 2018.

    Poland is strong in qualifying, although from the very beginning I did not give it a chance. It sounds much better live. I also think that this is the 2nd or 3rd place in the semifinals along with Cyprus.

  38. It’s been a bad weekend for the chasing pack. I’ve never been too confident in Greece and Switzerland so am not too surprised to see their struggles. When you’re relying on vocals like Greece is, a performance like that is very worrying. A more sensible price now.
    Switzerland is all about the stage show when we get to Tel Aviv anyway but it’s not a great start for a song that already does not feel that special anyway and could struggle to build momentum in a tougher semi at the top.
    Iceland struggled too but more worrying are the other things popping up with them. 5 Eurojuries and 5 blanks so far, escbubble public reaction etc. It might be more of a Cesar or “Alcohol is free” level ‘novelty’ than a Russian Grannies or Lordi and could struggle more than anticipated with juries anyway. A price in the 20s is more reasonable for now until we see more staging and publicity about this builds.
    It does open up an interesting question with regards to semi 1: Greece has a poor live so far, Iceland’s support questionable, Cyprus have the handicap of going first, Slovenia is bombing on a lot of measures and then there’s not much else for me personally that is not a really big longshot. Will be fascinating to see who can win that semi.

  39. It is confirmed on Katerine’s instagram that she indeed was sick in Amsterdam. So, there is no reason to underestimate her really, she has shown what she is capable of. (imo, she didn’t sound THAT bad considering she was sick, the quality and the microphone do not do her justice either – basically that last part is true for all the contestants especially on Germany’s case the microphone really ruined the performance for me.)

  40. Hi Manuel. The Greek vocal was v v poor on Sat. Quite how much of that can be genuinely laid at the door of a cold we’ll see..I think the peak of the cold may have been some days before. I’m wondering if all the vocal sounds used and the range may be one too tall an order for Katerine..we’ll see again.
    More worrying though was zero stage presence and placement presenting the song – was all over the shop and did not in any way show a star in the zone and delivering their song.

  41. Several YouTube clips, by all accounts, reveal Katerine in other live performances of different songs, being quite exposed and struggling in the higher vocal domain. Her strength seems to be in that velvety, coppery middle-lower range (hence all the Amy W comparisons) rather than the higher stuff. So maybe all the talk of “sickness” as an explanation for Saturday’s disappointment may be just a small part of the story. Felt sorry for her and supporters of this song, as it was a long way short of expectations.

  42. Eurojury: to clarify 1 or 2 former ESC stars are AMONGST the national jury of each country – they’re not the ONLY people making up that country’s national jury are they? How many are in each ‘national jury?. Thanks in advance.
    Monaco vote in and Top 3 absolutely barking ESt, Bel and SER. Lol 😉 No NL, Swe, Swi or Ita 🙂

    • It’s clearly written in every eurovoix article, those ‘former esc stars’ are the EJ members, most of the time 1 or 2 of them per country.

  43. Severine is the only member of the Monaco Eurojury.
    The national juries in eurovision consist of 5 members.

  44. Here’s a quick Excel-file I made from the EuroJury so far:

    https://imgur.com/3GmEFYu.png

    It appears 2 jury’sa day will be released. PS: Severine, how old is she nowadays?

  45. Hey Gavin. I would like to use some of your expertise, with regard to Italia. I wrote this piece myself last week. Do you think that, despite (traditionalist) odds, Italy could actually do tremendously well in the televote this year?:ç

    ” However, Eurovision has changed tremendously in the past few years. Traditional tropes do not always apply. Each year offers us a new competition and an entirely different lineup. Emotions combined with a short attention span might be the key to success with the televoting audience. And although at first this doesn’t seem to apply to Mahmood, it could become the prime reason for a much better televote in this year’s competition. Mahmood’s cool, ‘street/rapper’ vibe combined with the way he more or less ‘explains’ the song with his head mostly faced down, could be exactly that kind of ‘meme’ people love. Very much like Blanche’s somber, gloomy appearance (Belgium 2017, 4th place); traditionalists despised it, but the more anti-elite televoters loved it. Can it win? Currently I’d say no. But Eurovision has its unpredictable moments too. “

    • If we’re going for the unconventional winner than Soldi would, in my opinion, need to emulate Toy in some way. It has to be an attention grabbing tour de force to overcome its emotional connection deficit.

      I still think it’s an edgy 4th, or somewhere around that mark.

    • We’re still waiting for the shortened song version, aren’t we?

  46. I think Italy is a big danger to the Netherlands in the jury vote (along with a couple of others).It might even win that yet depending on staging.That could open the door for Russia if it can get the televote.Both look too big in the context of the book now IMO while other contenders look too short.
    I was blindsided by Mahmood at SR expecting a good show in the Newcomers,but not winning the bigs.However iv followed Friends etc in Italy a long time and iv never seen a reaction or perhaps performance as strong as this there ever.
    https://www.wittytv.it/amici/mahmood-soldi-16-marzo/
    We could see a situation where Italy goes 3/1 in running during the jury vote IF its ahead of the Netherlands or close with two out in front,assuming the Netherlands is in the jury top 2,and im not 100% sold on that yet.
    If i was approaching the market now id be taking Russia and Italy from the top of the market and waiting on the rest based on price and interaction across jury/televote.
    If Italy brings the staging sell some in running during the jury vote.If they dont sell it during rehearsals if needed.

    • Guys, isn’t important to wait for the shortened version of the song first? That will make a difference of how the song sounds. And I think no matter what they do the original version will still be better. What I’m saying is it’s too early to predict how Italy will do in the contest.

    • Durham, did you base that big jury score assumption on current EJ scores or something else?
      EJ was badly wrong in the past, like Mikolas last year…

      • Watching all the lives available so far from the artists mostly and the context at the top of the market.EJ scores are a smaller part,they are decent at picking up on challengers though tend to miss some each year and poor around places 5 to 10.I didnt rate Mikolas much myself.London will give a good idea on Mahmood with the fans as Duncan and John are performing.If i was starting a book from today id take Russia at 8.6 Italy at 13s and go from there.Oh and Serbia at the 500 area.Out of all the big outsiders i think there is potential and i took the 20s+ that was available top 10.

        • There a reason why a few posts back in this topic (scroll up), I wrote two pieces. 1. A post about the stats of the EuroJury since 2014 and 2. A post about how most people tend to underestimate Italy so far. Thanks Durhamborn for realizing that too now hehe ;-).

          1. Regarding the EuroJury stats, certain outliers always happen. That doesn’t exclusively happen to real challengers, but also to the ones who eventually end up 6th to 13th. Czech Republic last year came 2nd in the EuroJury, and 15th in the Eurovision jury. Cyprus and Estonia however came 12th and 13th in the EuroJury, but ended up 5th and 6th with the real jury’s. In the end it’s about trends, not about exact mathematics.

          2. Regarding Italy I think it’s exactly about what I mentioned earlier. People sometimes need to think out of the box and judge performances not that traditionalist. Mahmood is a cool, rapper-style bloke (big earring, looking down, instead of in the camera, looking bland at times, like Blanche). It’s the kind of stuff that televoters nowadays eat up easily. And let’s not forget the song; sometimes song alone can make up for some deficits in the staging.

          That’s why I think it’s wise indeed to use those 13’s now in the odds. I think Italy could very well be a danger on not just the jury front –that’s more or less a given fact- but also on the televote front.

          But we shouldn’t be surprised about any ‘act’ for Mahmood. And certainly not how fans response. What you saw in San Remo is what you get in Tel Aviv. It’s the kind of song / artist that doesn’t need expensive staging graphics. Just good camera angles. With Sweden you also know pretty well what to expect Durhamborn. What you saw on MF is what you get in Tel Aviv.

          Having said that Netherlands finally rose to the occasion last Saturday, performing the studio version, with already some staging graphics on display. I got tired of those radio studio versions. Plus, Duncan is a singer that now knows how to captivate both televoters and jurors.

          I therefore think Italy is a real danger to The Netherlands winning chances, but certainly also vice versa. Russia and Sweden then. They have one problem that Italy and The Netherlands don’t have: a banger of a contemporary, unforgettable song.

          To summarize things: EuroJury is a perfect instrument to discover trends with the real Eurovision jury’s.

  47. It’s only 20-seconds, which can be sorted with a slight BPM change or a shorter first pre-chorus and chorus. It wouldn’t fundamentally alter the song. It’s much less crucial than it was with occidentalis karma or grande amore.

  48. A jury top 3 without any of Italy, Sweden and Netherlands looks hard at the moment moment. Italy the likeliest to underwhelmed with the staging but its pretty clear the jury appeal of Soldi was not just a San Remo thing. Sweden is just exceptionally competent and hard to knock but that said it will be undeserved when this cruises home with 300 jury points or so. There’s nothing special at all about it and it will be an achievement if this can capture the imagination of the public enough to make the televote top 5.

    The televote is definitely harder to predict this year.
    How far can Lazarev and whatever Fokas has up his sleeve drag ‘Scream’? Can it capture any significant votes in the west?
    Is “Soldi” too much of a grower or how far can his San Remo televote be explained away?
    How much support can Iceland get?
    Will the guy ballads just cancel each other out and what about the “Fuegolites”?

    It feels like there’s a lot of songs with a very large range in terms of how well they can score.

  49. The televote winner is easiest one to guess. Hatari from Iceland! They’re definetely the most interesting thing in Eurovision this year. They have a message. They’re sympathetic. They have a stage show. They have the WOW factor. Definetely 1st in Televoting. What about juries? Well, some will like, some will not. The success with jury votes will determine Hatari’s success. I think it’s between Hatari and Duncan Laurance.

  50. Gosh you would almost think there was a pr exercise lol to sell off Italian odds at a lower price on here today lol. 🙂 👍😎
    Eurojury can get some good placements of the eventual result that a lot of intuitive betters could easily arrive at too. 1 or 2 people of ESC performer background (not necessarily general music biz pro) is not to me the cross section diversity that the real thing offers.
    Italy has no great usp for televoters for a song sung that’s not in English. Italy could do very well in the jury vote but in public vote anything between 8th to 12th is possible. It’s not a winner. ‘Cashing out at a super low 3s etc’ may well not materialise either in the jury vote where I feel both NL and Swe will be ahead of Italy.
    Sweden is stronger for me with juries and much stronger with the public vote and I think the ‘top up on Italy now’ advice is a red herring.
    Eurojury can get some placements accurate but the scale and margin can be well out. I expect NL to lead the scoreboard by quite some way after juries and I also think they can win the Televote. I see Rus, Swe, Swi all much more of an overall threat than Italy.

    • I’m -at this stage- not sure which will be higher with the jury’s: Sweden, Netherlands or Italy. I sincerely think………these three could create some sort of an ‘ultimate celebrity death match’ hehe.

      Televoters vote more with their heart, less with their head. They are sensitive to heartfelt emotions, whether it’s melancholy, sadness, excitement, or happiness……….it needs to draw them to their mobile phones. I like to add that also a certain ‘memes’ or ‘background info’ (the so called ‘stories’ behind the song) will help, a chicken dance choreography (‘Toy’), some motorical ticks (‘Amar Pelos Dois’), singing about all the shitty stuff oppressors do, putting it in the song title (‘1944’), heartfelt interaction with a cartoon boy (‘Heroes’).

      The country who does that best, in whatever combination, will win the televote. I have some clues which countries those might be :-).

  51. As Italy shortens and Sweden drifts a little I think now is a actually great chance to top up on Sweden before it contracts again.

  52. Announced: Sweden to make brighter, stronger, more impactful staging at Tel Aviv. Great news as for the song type the staging was unnecessarily blacked out and dour. This shift up I think will add a welcome edge and dynamic when the chorus bursts in. Around 12s on betfair looking quite generous at the mo especially once final Eurojury results come in Swe will shorten further.

  53. Swedens price pattern is the most predictable of any country and has been for the last few years. Whatever favourites dissapoint or dark horses appear they’re always a safe bet and if one did nothing else but back and lay Sweden throughout the season they could still make a tidy sum.

  54. Hey there everyone. I made an update of my Excel sheet of the 2019 EuroJury. 13 out of 37 jury’s (if you should call them jury’s hehe, most of them consisting of 1 person). Anyway, I have used my own system of points, since the exact ranking won’t be revealed until April 20th. 10th to 4th place: 4 points. 3rd to 1st place: 10 points. Here is the sheet:

    https://ibb.co/RgFCRqp

    Also, has anyone from you seen the poll from that other string of INFE fanclubs? Apparently, the fanclubs belonging to INFE all were founded after 2011. The results are a bit more…peculiar (and exciting) compared to the OGAE Poll. Here are the results after 4 out of 22 fanclubs have voted:

    http://esctoday.com/174001/infe-poll-2019-germany-has-cast-its-votes/

    • Thanks Gert. INFE may well be more on the money than OGAE or Eurojury lol 😁👍😉

    • Gert, many thanks for the table (very useful). The only thing: a little tweak is required to the Armenian jury vote (the numbers in the table do not match the published result). The rest is on point, thanks again

  55. Good point Gert re sparse Eurojury numbers – why on earth they don’t have their ‘previous ESC connection performer’ and add 4 other music biz pros (songwriters/djs etc) to broaden and deepen each national vote and give more accuracy perhaps, beats me.

  56. 3 minute version of Italy is out

  57. And here is the FINAL version of Italy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeCDq8r1CIo

  58. Latest Eurojury result in from Germany. No Italy or Sweden in Top 10 at all and the entire result comes form Faun a band in the German national selection in 2015 who perform medieval, darkwave and pagan music…says it all.
    Eurojury REALLY has to try harder and expand this to at least 4 or 5 music biz pros and even the pro performer side doesn’t in anyway have to be a performer with a previous ESC connection – this in now way correlates to the real thing that makes up Eurovision juries. 3 words come to mind: Huge – Pinch – Salt.

    • They might as well not have bothered with Germany if that’s the best they could do.

      • Come on, Anthony Granger is not doing this for us, the betting nerds. They are, like always, doing this foremost for the fans. There are, so far, a few more 1-person jury’s compared to last year. Again, it’s just a handy instrument that shows you some trends. Don’t take it like a 100% facsimile of the real Eurovision jury.

        Anyway, here an overview of the contents of the jury’s for EuroJury that still need to vote:

        –> MALTA: 8 jurors (of which Miriam Christine, ESC 1996)

        –> NORWAY: 5 jurors (of which 1 member of Charmed, ESC 2000)

        –> AUSTRALIA: 4 jurors

        –> UNITED KINGDOM: 3 jurors

        –> BULGARIAN TELEVISION (BNT): several jurors
        –> UKRAINIAN TELEVISION (NTU): several jurors

        –> CZECH REPUBLIC: 2 jurors
        –> ISRAEL: 2 jurors (one of which Noa, ESC 2009)
        –> ITALY: 2 jurors
        –> SLOVENIA: 2 jurors
        –> SWEDEN: 2 jurors (from 1 duo)
        –> SWITZERLAND: 2 jurors (from 1 duo, ZIBZZ, ESC 2018)
        –> THE NETHERLANDS: 2 jurors

        –> BULGARIA: 1 juror
        –> CROATIA: 1 juror
        –> ESTONIA: 1 juror
        –> FINLAND: 1 juror (Norma John, ESC 2017)
        –> ICELAND: 1 juror
        –> IRELAND: 1 juror (Eamonn Toal, ESC 2000)
        –> LITHUANIA: 1 juror (4Fun, ESC 2007)
        –> MONTENEGRO: 1 juror (Vanja Radovanovic, ESC 2018)
        –> PORTUGAL: 1 juror (Sara Tavares, ESC 1994)
        –> ROMANIA: 1 juror
        –> UKRAINE: 1 juror

  59. First post on here – always check in each year for advise for my (limited) bets that I place, and I need someone to talk me down from backing Greece even more after the duff performance at Eurovision Live. At 25s, it seems a great bet for the top 4 for me, and those odds will shorten if it is proven her last performance was due to a cold/dodgy backing track audio. And the slot in semi 1 means it should win that heat, giving it a good shout for a good slot in the final, no?

    Here are my takes on the songs above it – please disagree at will! And you will all know far more about the likelihood of jury votes, so please advise!

    Netherlands – beautiful song, but on one listen on the night, do people pick up the phone for this? Is there precedence of a song of this ilk winning? Solo male vocal…

    Russia – the staging will likely be epic, but the song itself feels like a mid-musical badguy solo, and doesn’t inspire any positive emotion at all. An odd selection, given the artist, and not a likeable as his last run out. Solo male vocal…

    Switzerland – interested to hear thoughts on this, but to me, the message of this song is totally the opposite of what 2018/19 has been about, and is focused on a guy hanging out at a bar by himself buying drinks for unsuspecting women. Not very lyrically progressive? Solo male vocal…

    Italy – love it. Probably my favourite song this year, but I’ve read up on here as to how many listens it took for it to eventually win over the Italian vote. Will it catch people on one listen? Solo male vocal…

    Sweden – Eurovision by numbers, really don’t get the hype here. It’s far too safe, and I think will end up outside the top 5. Solo male vocal…

    Iceland – great stuff, but is it really voteable? Maybe it is, and this is a real challenger? Solo male vocal…at a push… 😉

    Cyprus – first female vocal in the odds, so already, differentiates itself, and I just personally feel the Greek song has a better message, a better vocal, some memorable lines (no pain, no gain)…

    Please feel free to expose my ignorance!

    • Not surprised here. They were already way too quiet the past weeks, even skipping EiC. And for good reasons. However, let’s not forget these same Loreen-people also staged Malta last year. In the end it’s about the song though, and if Ambra Succi / Front Pictures can create something that reflects the colorful and choreography-driven vibe of the videoclip, then I can see Malta doing very well. As long as they don’t copy paste Sweden 2012 or Ukraine 2016: Malta 2019 is an entirely different beast.

      Let’s not forget that everyone in here had some kind of negative vibe with regard to Malta (the Maltese betting bots, the Maltese ‘bribing’ and cheating of jury’s, etc, etc), thus forgetting some clear facts: The Maltese entry is perhaps the best of the ‘Fuego’s: Cyprys 2019 — Switzerland 2019 — Azerbaijan 2019 — Malta 2019. ‘Chameleon’ also adds a cheeky ‘Toy’-like feel to it.

      Also, in the EuroJury 2019 Malta is doing very well.

    • When Malta were summarily dismissed on here – I flagged up for us all to watch out. Very wise move their intense rehearsal time out and don’t forget this girl has 2 great assets this year in sparse supply: 1 of the few genuinely youthful performers and she’s a brilliant singer – Luca take note 😁👍

      • I think it’s unwise to get too excited with PR speak. Unlike last year, Malta are trying just like they did in 2016. Their staging was meant to be ground breaking in Stockholm but was redesigned on the back of a fag packet following a poor first rehearsal. Their result relied on some dodgy jury trades. The whole delegation was fired after that saga, so I would be cautious in predicting a similar push for victory.

      • You cant polish a turd.She is a good singer,but she seems very wooden and doubt shel be moving much.Staging magic might help,but that chorus is as cheap as you will hear.The push might be to qualify and try for left side,the top places look well out of reach.

        • Malta is very strong and by no means a turd. One of the best pop songs and one of the best singers this year. The song has the best bridge going into the chrous this year and admittedly one of the most annoying ‘Baby Shark mega hit’ style choruses. But it does get in your head – depends what the choreo and backdrop are doing at the ‘Chama-Chamelon’ chorus repeats whether it’s effective.
          Michela just needs to deliver strong vocals and absolutely should not run around like Luca, who has to compensate for not being a strong singer.
          With Jamala’s winning VT crowd and Euphoria’s choreographer, Malta, I don’t mind sticking my head out and saying, is definitely in the shout easily for Top 10, Top 4 a decent chance, even the win is not ruled out if all comes together spectacularly. I think this will be single figures following rehearsal.

          • Sorry I agree with Durham entirely on this one and Michela does not suit this type of song. Not attending any pre events is smart from the delegation as I fear this is the sort of scenario where the singer is in over their heads. There’s a lot of money and pressure being thrown at her and it’s not clear when exactly Malta decided to go for it this year. I hope they don’t piss away their funds for the next few years here (looking at you Bulgaria).
            We always need to be cautious with all these returning background names. It’s easy to remember the successes and ignore the mediocre or fails. Past triumphs guarantee nothing. Same goes for Pannecouke who’s had more misses than hits or Fokas/Kontopoulos coming off their worst efforts.
            Malta’s team is just as likely to deliver (or not) as those of all the other countries high in the odds too.
            Regardless there’s something jarring about the song and I don’t know how well televoters will respond. A strong jury score could see this get a low top 10 but that’s as far as I can see them getting this year. A 2016 esque result with a big split is quite likely I think.

          • I have a feeling they will try to get a sort of Dua Lipa look to the staging where the choreo is more walking than dancing and she interacts with the others who are doing more than her.

          • Dua Lipa can move a bit e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbH6ra5UUzs , first random clip I get on google.

            Is there any clip of Michela doing something else than a ballad?

          • Durhamborn is right just as I see it – have Michela doing a low effort interaction and let the dancers do what they do – dance and her do what she does – sing. Contrary to what many think Whitney and Donna were both very wooden at times but choreo was cleverly put around them so they looked ‘cool and diva like’ and just put in a touch here and there and they focused on their amazing vocal.
            Gav right too (morning Gav hope you well) let’s not get carried away with Malta. But IF they stage Michela to deliver great vocals, look cool and the show to be staged to be a timely explosion of colour then Malta could do very well.
            Super bridge, catchy verses and annoying as hell playground chorus. Luca may falter vocally and Tamta for me is charisma free and here Michela could step into the top pop/dance song of the year slot.

  60. It may be that, as a not too techno-savvy person, I am the last on here to come across this, so apologies if you all know about it, but I am finding this ESC app a real delight:

    http://www.myeurovisionscoreboard.com/

    All the song clips, odds, Spotify etc all gathered into one neat place……

    The one think is does not do is give an Oracle-like accurate prediction of the 2019 winner….

  61. Thanks to all on here ‘Team ESC Tips’ and to Gav for making it all possible 👍😎
    Hopefully all of our different angles – as Daniel would encourage – have helped us to see outside the box, especially outside our own initial conclusions to develop the best informed and evolved view of this year’s field. I know you have all helped me.
    I hope to post up my pre-Eurovision rehearsal tips this weekend. Durhamborn and Gert have helped me look again at my initial pigeon holing of Mahmood and that revisitation has actually been that last gem of ‘awareness/revelation’ that you hope to get ahead of rehearsals so that I feel now my jigsaw is pretty complete.

  62. Gav do u pay much attention to the results of Euro jury?

    How relevant are their results compared to the final result?

    • I think all Eurovision polls are great and working out what might prompt market moves on Betfair. Eurojury is often cited as the gold standard, yet I find it just as erratic as OGAE. Eurovision polls often make sense in hindsight because people look for the springers in the pack and say “ah haa! the polls guessed it.” What they fail to notice are the other songs the polls got wrong (fanwanks not counted in this). It’s mostly hindsight.

      But let’s look at the stats for the last 5-years:

      Eurojury:

      2018: 2/5 of top-5 & 5/10 of top-10 correct
      2017: 4/5 of top-5 & 6/10 of top-10 correct
      2016: 3/5 of top-5 & 7/10 of top-10 correct
      2015: 4/5 of top-5 & 6/10 of top-10 correct
      2014: 2/5 of top-5 & 6/10 of top-10 correct

      OGAE:

      2018: 1/5 of top-5 & 4/10 of top-10 correct
      2017: 2/5 of top-5 & 5/10 of top-10 correct
      2016: 3/5 of top-5 & 5/10 of top-10 correct
      2015: 2/5 of top-5 & 7/10 of top-10 correct
      2014: 2/5 of top-5 & 6/10 of top-10 correct

      The only year both polls called the winner was last year.

      • Thanks for that simplified, effective at-a-glance overview Gav. Backs up what I said the polls are no more effective in their predictions than what an informed intuitive backer may well arrive at. With Eurovision you sometimes need to set the trend, not follow it 👍😉👌

        The lesser success of OGAE at Top 5 predicted outcomes I think clearly highlights the OGAE being highly susceptible to the fanwanks each year to more of a degree than Eurojury.

      • But, when you take the polls this black-and-white -only looking at exact/correct ‘predictions’- then obviously they might look erratic. But I think that gives a rather false perspective on these polls.

        You say in Eurojury that least year it got only 2 out of 5 in the TOP 5 correct. Strictly looking in a black-and-white way to Eurojury, that might be true. But let’s not forget they had Austria 4th in their Eurojury, which eventually came 1st. Not an ‘exact’ prediction, but the trend was already there: only 3 places difference between the eventual Eurovision jury result. OGAE had them 14th, and they ‘forgot’ the charisma of the songer and the fact that the song was strong.

        Eurovision Jury 2018, TOP 5:
        1. Austria
        2. Sweden
        3. Israel
        4. Germany
        5. Cyprus

        Eurojury 2018, TOP 5:
        1. Israel
        2. Czech Republic
        3. Sweden
        4. Austria
        5. Australia

        And that’s how you should see EuroJury. Even if you say Eurojury 2014 got Netherlands dead wrong, it did put Netherlands quite a bit higher then what previously the OGAE Poll and Escstats Poll had them: 12th (68 points). Same with Austria: 9th (77 points). The UK was a big outlier that year, but like I expected ‘Iceface’ wouldn’t appeal to anyone eventually. Let’s also not forget that the point totals in the earlier Eurojury’s were fairly equally spread out: 65 points for the 14th place to 108 points for the 6th place.

        Eurovision Jury 2014, TOP 5:
        1. Austria
        2. Sweden
        3. Netherlands
        4. Hungary
        5. Armenia

        In the Eurjury 2014 it was:
        9. Austria
        2. Sweden
        12. Netherlands
        7. Hungary
        3. Armenia

        So in the end it’s -again- about discovering trends. Not about discovering the ‘correct’ predictions between the real stuff and the Eurojury or OGAE Poll. Because strictly spoken they aren’t predicting anyway.

        Having said all that, I still think the Eurojury Poll is a slightly different beast when compared to the OGAE and INFE Polls. Ex-Eurovision participants are mostly the kind of people who have made a career in music afterwards. They obviously judge the official video’s differently when compared to Eurovision fans.

        Yes, both the OGAE Poll and the Eurojury have their outliers, but perhaps Eurojury is more in line, trend-wise, with what the eventual Eurovision jury might rank, whereas the OGAE and INFE fans, and online fan polls, usually show a bit more the behaviour of the generic televoter.

        To get an even better idea of how jury’s might vote in May, YLE’s ‘Da Eurovisa Jury’ (Finland), RÚV’s ‘Alla Leið Jury’ (Iceland) and ARD’s ‘ESC-Songcheck Jury’ (Germany) also could be perceived more in the light of Eurojury.

        So again: Use all this polls/jury bonanza to discover trends. Obviously you shouldn’t look at them after the contest has taken place, so you can find your own confirmation for your earlier predictions.

        • But rather than trying to decipher some mystical pattern across the various polls, it’s best to just get the money down based on form, quality and gut instinct. Sometimes the analysis can get too deep and convoluted.

          • That I agree. Though talking about ‘mystical patterns’ escapes me a bit. In the end I think most people have a fairly good idea of what will do well, and what will not. The difference is that not all of us are professional betters and earning their lives with it.

            Also, during the first rehearsals in Tel Aviv, all of these shadow-jury’s don’t matter anymore. Then every total package will be in full display.

            Having said that……..despite you being a professional Eurovision better……….do you like Eurovision? Do you listen to some of the songs on your mobile Phone…when at work?

  63. I don’t listen to ESC music anymore. I find that most of the annual lineup of songs lack originality or even a reason to listen to them. So it’s mostly about the money nowadays.

  64. For every ‘trend’ you feel Eurojury ‘uncovers’ Gert then there is the huge whopping winner or high placer that they missed completely eg missing Salvador or having Common Linnets and Conchita way down. I think that’s what Gav was meaning – let’s not look for mystical clues and interpretations in Eurojury: they may have an unexpected great result for the odd country on their ‘radar’ but then at times they totally miss massive, even more important trends like the actual winner etc.
    Their ‘national juries’ are not a cross section of music biz pros enough or are too small in number which I think is the main problem.

  65. Euro jury are good at spotting the complete package ready entries,but they miss the works in progress that come to life with staging etc.Common Linnets being a prime example.Highly likely they are missing Russia because of this sort of thing (though not an outsider of course).To be fair they are simply judging on what they see/hear right now.They arent gamblers like us and they dont need to try to see potential in entries and price that potential.
    10 years ago when it was more niche ESC betting was pretty easy for people who took it serious,but its getting more tricky as the years go by,though the price swings across the season help to mitigate things.Polls help with those price swings.

    • Damn, exactly what i was going to write mostly :)). It’s hard for the Eurojury to be accurate since they can’t judge the staging also…

  66. London Eurovision Party update:
    Duncan just brilliant, oozing confidence and charm – really coming into his own.
    Mahmood, so slick, stylish, fun and cool.
    Could we see the beginning of a 2 horse race? Tonight I think I saw the start of it…

  67. It’ll come down to Italy vs Netherlands. Italy the televote winner and Netherlands the jury winner. Netherlands wins overall!!

  68. Good morning Showlad & Deltafox!

    Like I mentioned a few posts back, I indeed think Italy is a dangerous beast this year hehe. Just read back my post from April 9th:

    ” However, Eurovision has changed tremendously in the past few years. Traditional tropes do not always apply. Each year offers us a new competition and an entirely different lineup. Emotions combined with a short attention span might be the key to success with the televoting audience. And although at first this doesn’t seem to apply to Mahmood, it could become the prime reason for a much better televote in this year’s competition. Mahmood’s cool, ‘street/rapper’ vibe combined with the way he more or less ‘explains’ the song with his head mostly faced down, could be exactly that kind of ‘meme’ people love. Very much like Blanche’s somber, gloomy appearance (Belgium 2017, 4th place); traditionalists despised it, but the more anti-elite televoters loved it. Can it win? Currently I’d say no. But Eurovision has its unpredictable moments too. “

    Regarding Netherlands yesterday during the LEP…I just can’t judge performances from this small ‘living room’ setting in Cafe de Paris. It’s just so small…totally different from the bigger stage at EiC. I think Duncan was admirable, but I have to say that Duncan is not overly confident on stage. He touches his earphone too much, and after each performance he mostly seems relieved….which could be a sign of being a bit nervous during the performance.

    Perhaps his fragile performance, dito with his fragile vocals, are fitting to this total package, but I prefer a Duncan oozing more confidence. Let’s hope Duncan will use one of the two front satellite stages (see link: https://eurovision.tv/gallery/eurovision-2019-stage-renders).

    Having said all this, I’m coming around with Netherlands and Italy as the two real frontrunners for the trophy, but my gut feeling tells me Italy has a tiny advantage over Netherlands. But let’s face it, with a stage reminiscent of 2014 (full of LED’s), staging could matter more than in 2018. And from both Italy and Netherlands we simply don’t know that much what to expect for their staging.

    Russia (not good enough song), Sweden (not contemporary enough song), Switzerland (no jury song), Iceland (too divisive for jury’s) simply have a bit too many ‘problems’ for me to become real contenders.

    Perhaps Greece and Malta can heavily surprise staging-wise? Regarding Malta being an ‘ugly turd’…just be careful. There’s a reason the Maltese singer skips the ‘live’ concerts. Rehearsals can do wonders. Yes, she isn’t the most charismatic performer, but so wasn’t Blanche either.

    • But Soldi couldn’t win it’s own televote after several attempts right? What will be different in May? It won’t be the song, which still loses its drive in the back 60 seconds. I wouldn’t mention the infernal lazy Clap Clap. I mean Ale! didn’t do Gabbani any good.

      I really think juries are bouying Italy, this year, like every year (except last year).

      This feels like a year for tearing up early assumptions. Like 2011.

      • Well John, regarding ‘Soldi’:

        A) A completely different playing field? I think ‘Soldi’ would feel more at home in a Eurovision line-up than a San Remo line-up. The San Remo jurors have been more contemporary, forward-thinking people I think, and perhaps more in line with the European televoter? Let’s not forget San Remo isn’t like Melodifestivalen -just yet-.

        B) A different televoter bucket? I’m not sure how much the Italian televoter is a good representation of the average European televoter. Maybe Gavin can answer that? If I look to the Spotify streamings for ‘Soldi’, then I think it’s safe to say these people aren’t really watching San Remo? Old vs. Young?

        C) A younger, more anti-elite demographic? The ones that have voted for Blanche in 2017, could very well put ‘Soldi’ high on their lists as well. Like I said before.

        What do you think Gavin? If you have to choose between Italy or Netherlands -at this moment- (and let’s be careful here, because both entries need to up their game once on stage; we haven’t seen any real staging concept yet for both entries), who would you choose? With Switzerland, Sweden, Russia you can be less worried for them crafting a magical stage show.

        • I think the concern over Soldi’s ability to appeal to the Sanremo televote is still relevant (1.74% vote share on the first night in a field roughly the same size as Eurovision and from the pimp slot! There will be many more songs with bells and whistles to compete against in May, so I remain unconvinced over this so called two-horse-race.

          Soldi is an unconventional song that doesn’t tick the traditional ESC boxes. There isn’t a climax, it isn’t explosive or impactful, it doesn’t connect on an emotional level and viewers won’t really know what the song is about.

          One might argue that viewers didn’t know what Salvador was singing about, but that was all about Salvador taking viewers on a journey and there was a huge emotional connection.

          Juries – maybe. Televote – yes, but from Italian diaspora areas which is huge when motivated.

          • Morning Gav. I think the San Remo audience may well have been an older demographic – or less representative of Mahmood’s younger, cool powerbase than will be the case at ESC. But for sure Soldi will be stronger – I feel at this stage – with juries – where a 2 horse race could well ensue with Ita and NL.
            Can you provide your overview of how you see the field just now Gav, prior to TA rehearsals? Your big hitters, favs and dark horses etc. Would be great to read.

          • I’m not sure there’s any firm audience metrics to support either contest is influenced by older or younger voters.

            I’m working on my pre-rehearsal preview now. Probs published back end of next week.

          • Thanks Gav. Helpful insight from your side. Well, perhaps we should really think there’s no clear frontrunner then. Even at this stage…

            It will, like always, all depend on what’s going to happen during the rehearsals.

  69. Bare in mind Salvador Sobral didn’t win the televote in the Portuguese national final and we all know how that worked out…

    • Exactly……although I do think Mahmood’s televote was considerably lower:
      https://songfestivalwerk.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/mahmood-1.jpg

      But I agree with your sentiment. A bad televote in a NF can change more dramatically in a completely different Eurovision lineup.

      • That is True Gert, Salvador came 2nd in the televote in the national final, however he came 3rd in the televote in the semi final.

        On the flip side, look at Benjamin Ingrosso, wins the televote at melfest, then majorly flops with the televote at Eurovision.

        So overall I don’t think it’s fair to say Mahmood doesn’t stand a chance of winning Eurovision based on the fact that the televote was poor in San Remo.

  70. Evening all. My 2 horse race vibe is more for the juries than the public vote – though NL I feel will have a better and more ‘dramatic’ setting to the passion and angst of his song and will still win the jury vote.
    Televote I’m not discounting Mahmood but the song particularly drags on in a rather uninspiring middle 8 section and the drop out following is a bit dull and (for the public at home) no English to latch on to – and no he doesn’t communicate effectively the song message in his actions simply because it is too sophisticated a message to convey with your actions alone. I think the younger cool kids will vote for it and, although I’m not discounting a very strong result with the public, you could see possibly Rus, Swi and Ice doing better.
    For me there is only 1 song alone that I can see doing really really well with both the public and the juries and that is NL. I think NL could win by quite some way this year.

  71. Is it my mistake, or simply the point of view of this image that makes me think the Tel Aviv stage could be one of the smallest, more intimate stage designs in recent history? Perhaps the 2013 stage in Malmö was one of the most intimate stages in my memory. I also heard that the space for the standing audience has become much smaller and instead the tribune is now more closer to the main stage and has some kind of a diamond/amfitheatre shape. I also discover again a satellite stage in the same diamond shape, where the standing audience will be surrounding it:

    https://i.imgur.com/tqzsPMz.jpg

    Ooowh, and like in 2013, there’s now a separate greenroom again. I think the Tel Aviv Expo Centre really is pretty small…..

  72. If my spreadsheet is correct this is the current top 10 for Eurojury, based on 10 points for top 3 and 4 points for top 10.

    Sweden 146
    Netherlands 124
    Italy 108
    Switzerland 80
    Russia 70
    Greece 66
    Armenia 62
    Malta 56
    France 56
    Czech Republic 50

    So many people have expressed their opinion that the Russian song is simply not good enough that it has become almost a universally accepted truth. To repeat myself, I don’t agree, I think its strong, haunting and dramatic – its one of my favourites this year. Given the general mood I didn’t expect ‘jurors’ listening to the studio version of the song and with no hint of the stage show to rate it so highly. As people feel that the jury side is very much the Achilles heel for Russia this year, does this worry anyone?

    • Hi Milton. No need to do points calculations ;-). I am updating everyday an Excel file. Here are the current results after 25 jury’s, including Estonia this morning, have voted:
      http://i63.tinypic.com/j9sswh.png

      Mind you: These points still can change dramatically, as we don’t know what 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, 10’s and 12’s were casted. Anthony Granger told me that the reveal of the results so far has been done in such a way that some ‘drama’ can be expected on April 20th. So hold your breath!

      Regarding Russia I think it’s best not to focus too much on your own personal music taste. As a movie score ‘Scream’ actually works perfectly. Could be a great season opener for ‘Game Of Thrones’ no? And I tell you, I adore movie scores.

      However, as a Eurovision song I think it falls short a bit. Too me it’s a bit too much a long 3 minutes chorus in which the belting of ‘Scream’ gets a bit tiresome. Obviously, visually that can still tremendously impress. Count on Russia being in the TOP 7 of the Grand Final for sure!

      But I do think there are better, more contemporary, ballads this year. ‘Ballads’ that have more variation melody-wise (verse vs. chorus, bridge, climax, building-up) during the short time span of 3 min’s. Within the genre of ‘ballads’, or slow tempo pop entries, I think The Netherlands, Greece and North Macedonia have more melodic variation than Russia.

      BUT I must say that this year the competition among these slow-tempo ballads isn’t that competitive (Maybe even Austria and Hungary can stand out a bit because of this?). The biggest contenders are basically all up-tempo in a way. Italy, Switzerland, Malta, Sweden, Iceland, Cyprus & Czech Republic are all up-tempo and will perhaps fish for similar vote aggregates (televote & jury). That does leave space for Russia to fully bloom during the rehearsals.

      • Thanks for your reply Gert and for the reminder of your very useful link.

        I think your reply sums up what I was saying. There is a perception that anyone who thinks this is a good song is wrong because they are basing it on their own musical tastes, and anyone who doesn’t rate it is right, because they are able to detach themselves and judge it objectively. Perhaps this is the case, but music isn’t about rules, it’s about emotion and impact, which is a personal experience.

        My point is that some betting people are recognising the strength and intent of Russia this year, but feel that the perceived weakness of the song will scupper their chances. Whereas the polls which are based purely on the studio version of the song don’t support this. The people who have so far voted Russia 5th in Eurojury 7th in OGAE and 4th in INFE are basing this on the song alone and rate it very highly, much higher than I expected. If these polls are in any way representative it’s a rock solid foundation on which to build come the contest.

        • I think Russia should maybe be favourite and it might be before kick off.The Netherlands could produce a magical staging and win,but i find the song an utter bore and he hasnt reached ESC ready performance yet for me.Russia also has a much more talented artist.The Russian song is lacking as a song,but when you see it with more going on it works.If Italy bring the staging for once i think they will hugely damage the Netherlands jury vote as well.I dont think the Netherlands are a bad favourite,its a very rational position for it in the scheme of things,but its there to be shot down.At this stage i see it as Russia and Italy the main players with Netherlands a danger.

          • That’s the thing. Never let your personal taste cloud your judgement ;-).

            I don’t say Russia can not win. Not at all. Same with Italy. Same with Netherlands (what’s so rational about the status of a favourite? It’s never a black-and-white thing at this stage. Rationalism kicks in when the points are dropped on the scoreboard…).

            Could you actually elaborate on why you think Russia lacks as a song? And why you think it’ll do much better than 2016, and subsequently, easily, improves on both the televote (even more points) and the jury (the latter is uttermost necessary)?

            If you purely look at readiness as a performer, then I personally think Sweden has a better, more uplifting package.

            Actually……….I have no clue anymore who will win haha.

          • I think it lacks as a radio/contemporary song,but its a different beast with performers around it on stage.John isnt in the same league as Sergey for me.I dont know if Russia is winning,im more an odds/value person and the price looked far too big in the context of the field,touching 9s was a gift.Iv kept my book this year with a decent cash out number and i might actually do that yet.Its a dangerous year at least until staging to fully commit to a couple.Iv won 9 out of 10 years on ESC betting,i dont fancy turning that into 9 out of 11.I had a small red on the selection shows this year and im back working for an old employer and self employed so havent had the time for ESC i usually have.

          • Hi Durhamborn. I couldn’t echo your comments on Russia, my book too and this year more affirmatively.

  73. Just saw the HQ-video’s from the London Eurovision Party uploaded by the organization itself. Now here I can give a slightly better judgement about the performances. And about Duncan Laurence. I think…he’s more charismatic than I previously thought. It’s so soothing to see him perform this song…in this particular way, with his facial gestures and arm movements. Hmmm…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex4fTvGF2A8

    • Thanks Gert for posting this video. I am of the view that Duncan’s London effort was not quite as “on point” as his performance in Amsterdam. He has an unusual voice in that he is much more comfortable in the middle-high and higher registers. If you listen to the first 25 seconds or so, he is struggling a bit to find his lower range and his intonation suffers. He doesn’t quite ground himself securely and if this is repeated he may lose a fair bit of the audience. It only really gets into gear when he starts up with, “I’m afraid of all I am.”

      He’ll need to stop fiddling with ear pieces and averting/closing his eyes at the outset as well (I am sure the technicals will be vastly superior on stage in Tel Aviv.) I could be wrong, but closing or averting your eyes on stage is often a symptom of shyness, being overawed and a low-level fear. (it can also be used to great effect in a song to convey other emotions, but I am not sure that is going on here with him.)

      I’m intrigued to see what this will look like in early May. Two more weeks of waiting before all is revealed.

      • I agree with Duncan touching his ears and so on. He did the same during EIC. The thing is…certain songs lend themselves pretty well for an introvert performance (closing eyes etc, just look at Portugal 2017, or even Sweden 2012 where we barely saw any eyes from Loreen). This is usually the case with slow-tempo songs, ballads, melancholic entries, or songs that have an artsy choreography etc.

        Actually, what worries me slightly more is when Duncan lets the audience participate in a clapping moment, or when he smiles just too heavily. This understated entry needs an understated, yet charismatic performance. Having seen Duncan perform at both events, made me realize that when he truly indulges in his own song, strengthening it with his arm movements and so on, it is a good example of emoting it. I think in the past years we have seen numerous examples of such entries.

        Yes, he needs to show a bit more confidence. But even then the things you are mentioning might be too minor to cause any direct danger. Also, let’s not analyze too much out of these performances. There’s plentiful time to erase all these flaws. It were only fan concerts anyway…

  74. I have written a very useful post with all the important data and stats for the semis. I believe it as some interesting facts and conclusions that could be handy before placing our bets this year.

    Gavin, if you don’t mind i will leave the lnk here.

    https://eurovisionbetsandpieces.blogspot.com/2019/04/eurovisionbetsandpieces-one-eurovision.html

  75. Hey guys,
    I can see why Netherlands is the favourite for now. But….the song reminds me Aram mp3 and ”Not Alone”. At the moment, I would easily lay Netherlands as I clearly see a connection between ”Not Alone” and ”Arcade”. Yes, Arcade is a much more accesible song than ”Not Alone”, its a great song to listen to your mobile or your car, but….it just lacks something, same case as ”Not Alone”. I’m a ballad guy and I love ballads, but…it just lacks something to become a Eurovision winner. There is no ”meme”, there is no ”explosion”, and very recently we had a guy with a non-explosive ballad who won ESC (Salvador, but he was SO charismatic, Salvador won, not his song, lets be honest). Duncan is not Salvador by any means, and even though he has a very accessible song, he reminds me Aram Mp3, who went to Copenhagen with the label of the favourite (if I remember well his odds were 4/1), but we all know the end. I can see also a connection between Duncan and Amir (J ai cherche, accesible song, fan favourite,but when voting comes, it didnt make you grab your phone and vote). Maybe I am mistaken, but staging will clear things even more. In my opinion and as an ESC-veteran, I can see Netherlands winning only if they stage their performance with something truly ”wow” and memorable. Their advantage however is that no song this year ticks all the boxes. In my mind, alla of them have a red flag in front of them. Greetings!

    • Well, then Netherlands would score a wonderful 4th place then no :-P?

      But seriously, song-wise you compare ‘Not Alone’ with ‘Arcade’?? ‘Not Alone’ comes right from the more rock-esque tracks from Michael Jackson. It basically is a pop/rock entry. Staging-wise Armenia was fantastic in 2014: big, loud, flashy. With Aram mp3 shwoing off his masculine charisma and loud vocals.

      ‘Arcade’ is much more current; it’s a soft modern ballad reminiscent of ‘Beautiful Mess’ (Bulgaria 2017). Vocally Duncan is being compared a bit with Sam Smith, or even Coldplay’s Chris Martin (albeit solely his softer/slow-tempo work).

      You are right on one thing: Staging will eventually be key to the contenders.

  76. I’m surprised nobody mentions Hatari. I’m expecting Hatari to win televoting. Yes, jury can slash them little bit still they can stay 1st. Why not? And I don’t think all jurors will give them low points. Some jurors will credit this interesting, distinctive performance. Remember, to win EUROVISION, you must be unique and interesting. Jamala was telling a story. Conchita was a woman with beard. Lordi were monsters from hell. Rybak has violin. Salvador was a freak, very interesting person with heart disease. Netta was a chicken. HATARI is unique. When the show ends, most people will forget duncan’s boring song, Sergey’s super stage lights etc but everybody will remember Hatari. I think first 3 place will be between hatari-sergey-duncan. For the win, it’s between Iceland and Netherlands..

    • I’m not so sure about Iceland. I think they have all that it takes to qualify for the final but then I don’t know if they have the mass appeal as Lordi. For me the biggest obstacle is the song. It’s really not that good. Strangely the chorus is not the best part of the song. I like verses more. Also the key change is never a good thing in a song. After two minutes of listening I want it to stop already. In other words Hatari is eye catching but not very ear catching if I can express myself like that.

      • I agree Montell. I am so glad Iceland WILL be in the final after their recent bad run and for varieties’ sake, I am also glad this kind of song will be there on Saturday night to give the show some sense of contrast. I feel it’s a Top ten banker, but also agree that the song is somewhat lacking. Let’s not forget, LORDI were visually STUNNING, whereas Hatari are just, well, “interesting.”
        Be careful with dismissing “Arcade” as just “boring”….it may bore you, but the overwhelming evidence is that the song hits peoples’ emotions…even if if leaves you personally cold.

    • I also think that they will be strong in televoting.

  77. Iceland: I think the momentum during the rehearsals and after Semi1’s live show will explode for Iceland. The new jury system is more heavily favoured to the juror’s top picks and dilutes their least favourite choices. I think Hatari’s stage show will win over many jurors – more so than shown currently in Eurojury etc.

    Their stage show with bondage, female dancers looking like the walking dead etc etc will be a massive talking point with viewers. As for the song I love the hard drive club techno number – it’s a great track.

    • Iceland will do very well this year. I say minimum 7th place, but also maximum 3rd place. I can’t see Iceland win. And I have to agree with Gavin though. It’s still a bit divisive with 50% jury’s attached to it. If we had a pure 100% televoting system in 2019, then Iceland would have gotten more Wings to do well.

      Something nice I picked up though. You gotta love Icelandic people for turning hate into love this way. Really cute. Perhaps less divisive as we think ;-)? Anyway: Iceland? Welcome back in the TOP 10 of the Grand Final!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkGfH7IllXA

  78. Here are the results of the jury-part of Eurojury 2019 (eurovoix.com:

    https://postimg.cc/njgPZ23X

    Some key conclusions:

    –> The jury’s can’t agree on which country is the best: Sweden, Netherlands or Italy.
    –> The TOP 3 has gained many points, but each of these didn’t get a slam dunk victory like Israel got last year.
    –> Sweden will most likely win the jury-part tonight at 8:00 PM.
    –> Netherlands and Italy will most likely battle out the public vote poll of Eurojury 2019.
    –> There’s little difference between the 6th placed entry until the 10th placed entry; they are very close, points-wise.
    –> From the ‘Fuego’s’, Switzerland obviously did best, but Malta still is 2nd best.
    –> Greece came 5th so far, and could still surprise in May.
    –> Also, United Kingdom and France did surprisingly well in the jury-part of Eurojury 2019.
    –> Could Russia not have ended higher in the Eurojury-list? Why ‘only’ 86 points so far and not, let’s say, 120 points?

    01. 194 points: SWEDEN
    02. 182 points: THE NETHERLANDS
    03. 164 points: ITALY
    04. 110 points: SWITZERLAND
    05. 102 points: GREECE
    ————————————-
    06. 092 points: ARMENIA
    07. 088 points: UNITED KINGDOM
    08. 086 points: FRANCE
    09. 086 points: RUSSIA
    10. 084 points: MALTA
    ————————————-
    11. 068 points: CZECH REPUBLIC
    12. 066 points: AZERBAIJAN
    13. 066 points: CYPRUS
    14. 064 points: DENMARK
    15. 062 points: BELGIUM

    For all of you, I have also been following the national preview shows a bit (Germany, Belgium, Norway, Finland and Iceland). Here you find the current tally with points thus far:

    https://postimg.cc/sMxHBbbM

    • Thanks for sharing all of that Gert, I’ve been keeping a close eye on all of this and it’s quite interesting.
      If there’s one thing it does show it’s the weakness of semi 1. Just Greece in the top 10 before we see the breakdown is quite incredible. Cyprus also doing much better in the preview shows is notable but neither Iceland nor anyone else in that semi has much to shout about either. Iceland shouldn’t really be that far behind if they want to threaten the win.

  79. Eurojury jury results a little different from your link Gert…

  80. Russia 7th with Eurojury juries without the revealing of their stage show that will influence juries whether we like it or not…higher than expected for Rus and rock solid foundation to build on…

    • But the televote result for Russia is pretty much abysmal, it should have been in the top 5 to stand a chance…

      • The televote prognosis (or rather fandom’s en-vogue of the moment) is irrelevant at this stage; the actual televote will sway with staging, presentation, live vocals and show

        • That’s true, maybe with exception of those who’s staging will not change significantly like (I guess) Sweden or Iceland. John doesn’t poll too well for a contender, while Hatari looks to be far from the televote magnet it needs to be to overcome jury deficit.

      • Hi Dreamster. Yes Rus televote came in after I posted (which was at time of Jury results). Think this way off from actual tho. The NL huge win DOES resonate tho…best song by a MILE.

  81. I don’t think the full breakdown has changed much from what was clear anyway. Sweden and Netherlands’ difference is statistically irrelevant. So the breakdown is pretty much a top 2, Italy and then a chasing pack. France and the UK do appear to be at the very limits of a likely jury score in Tel Aviv here. I also think Armenia will underperform from that too, and I think they’re a value nq bet in that semi but that’s a different argument. The writing is also on the wall for another German last place too.
    Like always though we’ll all read these results in our own way especially from that group from 4th-13th were most of the chasing pack are.

  82. I thought the general consensus of opinion was that the jury aspect of eurojury whilst inevitably flawed is the best/only guide we have of likely jury voting patterns, whilst the televoting aspect of it can be safely dismissed as a completely worthless tool, far worse than OGAE, which is limited enough itself. Does anyone have confidence in it, if so on what basis?

  83. Iceland steals the show at Madrid tonight! Full Hatari line up tonight (though without staging props). V powerful. 4th in Eurojory Televote could well be improved on. I think this will be much higher with juries when they judge on full Tel Aviv show. V strong.

  84. Should we not take all fan polls with a huge grain of salt? The OGAE and INFE polls, albeit very thoroughly organized and executed, still are…..fan polls. The public vote poll of EuroJury 2019 still is: a fan poll set in a specific moment in time (mid April). The fan polls from scorewiz.eu (ESCnation.com) and escstats.com are, again, fan polls, in which the largest bunch of voters already voted within the March/early April timeframe. Same with the eurovisionworld.com fan poll, which barely gets new voters. Even the odds in a way represent more and more some fan-favouritism.

    Having said that…….until May 4th the current status quo…stays the status quo. In short: I think all contenders are very much aware that they have a good shot at winning. And all people involved, staging directors to head of delegations, will do their uttermost best to become victorious.

  85. If it weren’t for the high profile, professional nature of the Eurojury presentation and the keen interest punters place on the jury aspect, no-one would rightly pay any attention to the Eurojury televote poll. In the 18 hours or so since the televote was revealed Netherlands, the big winners, have seen their price fall considerably, whilst one or more punters have built up something in the region of a 5 figure liability on Russia, presumably due to their very low televote score. The market already knew where the jury vote was heading, so people have seemingly made these investments based on a poll that experienced and successful punters ignore. Welcome to the wonderful world of Eurovision betting!

  86. That time of the year again.
    The greatest demonstration I have been shown from Australia this year is that the general public are much more likely to go for a spectacle than a quality song every time when voting.

    If you have a show that insists on playing previous clips that focus on the outrageous – your Lordi, Conchita, Babushki, Verka etc – they will in turn look for something that then fits in a similar vein.

    So following this example, I have every belief that the televote – at least in places like Australia, United Kindgom – will send their 12 points straight to Iceland. My gut says televote top 2 are Russia and Iceland.

    Jury-wise, I am looking at the likes of Italy and Sweden to be up the top. I am somewhat doubtful that juries will overcome their politics biases to reward Sergey, but the song is more jury fodder and showcases vocals far better than his previous attempt in 2016.

    As for Icelands’ jury potential – given their unique and memorable act in the field, I don’t see it being as low as many say it will be on jury. Looking at their national final, you had 7 of the 10 international juries award them top scores. Two scored it on the bottom, and then one mid-table. If this was replicated in the individual country 5-person juries, that still gives them an average 6-8 points. Obviously it was a different field to judge on, but its the best indication we have of its appeal which is more positive than negative.

    Netherlands might have a fine song, but the team have had far more losses in staging than wins. When surrounded by so many other male soloists in a similar style I find that it is quite forgettable. I also have huge question marks over his performance ability. Whilst Luca Hannis’ vocals are messy at best, its far easier to cover those vulnerabilities in that style of song than in Duncans’.

    I just don’t see juries and televoters being in agreement on a winner this year at all. It will all come down to whether Iceland and Russia manage to do a jury top 5 followed by a hefty televote score to top it up, or if there is some kind of top 3 consensus on the likes of Sweden, Netherlands and Italy.

    We shall see how it all unfolds when rehearsals kick off in under a fortnight. This year feels like an open field, and staging is the big question mark.

    • Hey Sharleen. Great post. I agree that staging is indeed the decisive factor Sharleen. But I also agree on the notion that results from the past, including staging efforts from the past, are by no means warranty for any outcome this year. It’s 2019. A new playing field, a completely different line-up as compared to 2018 and 2017. Mahmood’s low televote might be greatly improved in a line-up that’s vastly different from the San Remo-style songs. On the other hand this year’s rather ‘safe’ Melodifestivalen-line-up could have resulted in John Lundvik’s grand-slam victory with both the televote and the jury-vote, whereas the Eurovision line-up is quite more diverse…radically diverse. So everything can happen.

      Staging is every year a big question mark. Especially this year, when the big LED-walls are back. However, on the whole, in the past years, staging has become very important. Everyone knows that. But in the end, we also saw that during the Eurovision rehearsals, and shortly after the results come out, it wasn’t an open year after all. In the end, a clear winner will bubble up anyway. We saw in the past years some good examples of disagreement between jury’s and televoters. But in the end the winner is that nation with the least amount of disagreement between jury’s and televoters. That has been the case all the time.

      Even if you take out Sweden 2015 (3rd televote, 1st jury’s), Ukraine 2016 (2nd televote, 2nd jury’s), Portugal 2017 (1st televote, 1st jury’s) and Israel 2018 (1st televote, 3rd jury’s), then in all instances you basically can say there was no disagreement at all. Now that’s the route towards victory. Topping both the jury and televote as much as possible, without too much disagreement between televoters and jury’s.

      I will give some pro’s and con’s to the nations and their entries you mentioned, based around the chances it will be TOP 5 with both:
      .
      .
      ICELAND:
      Chance Top 5 jury’s Grand Final:……….40%
      Chance Top 5 televote Grand Final:…..90%

      PRO’S: I agree that in a 100% televoting era Iceland would be the one to beat. This could be very well 3rd, 2nd or even 3rd. It’s uttermost remarkable and brings some Lordi-vibes to the table. In its genre -the more average techno-underground scene- it’s actually a fantastic song. Just look at all those adorable Icelandic kids loving this.

      CON’S: I think you underestimate the televoters for solely being individuals choosing the big staging acts, the fun camp here and there, and not much else. Look at Italy 2018 and Portugal 2017. Emoting is equally important, so it’s not a done deal that Iceland has the televote in the pocket. Jury’s are the biggest challenge IMO. Just look at how they treated Russia 2012. Like Gavin said…it’s a bit too divisive. On the whole, I think it’s a bit pointless to predict what a national jury or national televote aggregate will do. In the end it’s about the whole thing.
      .
      .
      ITALY:
      Chance Top 5 jury’s Grand Final:……….70%
      Chance Top 5 televote Grand Final:…..50%

      PRO’S: What a fantastic, contemporary piece of music. The first of its kind bordering rap-culture that could do really well. Mahmood’s is a striking performer, and it could create a special ‘clapping’ vibe in the hall that brings about some magic in the living rooms of Europe. It’s the most popular Spotify track too.

      CON’S: Like I said above in the Eurovision line-up this could do way better than during San Remo’s televote. Yet, that fact still is a problem. In order to win, one has to perform tremendously well with televoters, most likely TOP 3. Given Mahmood’s body language -rap style face down mode- it could be struggling to connect with the more traditional televoter.
      .
      .
      SWEDEN:
      Chance Top 5 jury’s Grand Final:……….90%
      Chance Top 5 televote Grand Final:…..70%

      PRO’S: The biggest pro here is obviously John Lundvik. What a performer, so much charismatic gravita on display when he performs, rousing vocals, exceptionally telegenic. We all knew that already from Melodifestivalen, we know it still will be the case in Tel Aviv. Add to that the large-shaped gospel backings and a stage act that’s already top notch while we speak, and this will be another TOP 5 placing for La Suede.
      CON’S: If there’s a con, I am merely talking about the song. Having the most unique, most original and, simply put, the best song is not always the most important asset to win a contest. But in this case it could be the biggest negative for Sweden. Song-wise it’s well-build, but lacks contemporary quality. And in a field with more up-tempo contenders than ballad-contenders, it could eventually become an (mild) Achilles heel.
      .
      .
      THE NETHERLANDS:
      Chance Top 5 jury’s Grand Final:……….90%
      Chance Top 5 televote Grand Final:…..70%

      PRO’S: The song, and especially how it builds. I disagree with the notion that it’s just a ‘fine’ song. It’s much more than that. In this year’s 2019 line-up it’s perhaps thé best song. The way it’s structured, from the high falcetto echo’s at the start, followed by understated verses, to the radical key changes leading into the rousing emotive chorus…it’s a song made to emote. Duncan is by far not a John Lundvik or Luca Hänni. But his vocal fragility and the way he indulges himself -mostly eyes closed- in this song is the prime reason people relate to this entry. It emotes…times a hundred. People observe, and get goosebumps or teary eyes. That’s very much this year’s story. People like you and me have perhaps over-analysed this entry to death that we have become like Vulcans. But for outsiders that effect is still there. Hence I think, like Sweden, this could easily be TOP 5 in the jury vote ánd the televote.

      CON’S: There you mentioned some valid points Sharleen. Hans Pancake is there. And after several misses -Netherlands 2015, Spain 2017, Belgium 2018 and Netherlands 2018- there are some big question marks here. It worries me too. However, my feeling so far is that the Dutch delegation is aware of this, and the fact they are contenders. Less is more could be the key here. And regardless of emoting this song, Duncan does need to catch at some key moments the televoting audience with his eyes.
      .
      .
      RUSSIA:
      Chance Top 5 jury’s Grand Final:……….40%
      Chance Top 5 televote Grand Final:…..60%

      PRO’S: Another rousing performer on display here. The almighty Sergey Lazarev. He will be key in all of this. He’s a charismatic performer. He knows to find the camera’s. And let’s not forget that ‘Scream’ is not a bad song and that it lends itself perfectly for a rousing stage act. With clown Kirkorov behind this entry, you can be assured of a ‘wow’ performance. No matter if augmented reality or paper toys are used, the staging team will elevate this entry to TOP 3 levels.

      CON’S: I’m saddened to say this, and this should not be the case in Eurovision. But Russia’s influence on the world stage, especially post-2014, did damage its own status with jury’s. If all that political hadn’t happened in 2014, then I think Russia would have had a better chance of catching the jury vote in 2015, thus ending as the eventual winner. I don’t see Russia doing a TOP 3 with jury’s again this year, even if the stage act is sublime. Then there’s the song ‘Scream’. Like I said before, vocally this will be perfect, and will even emote wonderfully. But I keep looking at Ukraine 2011 here. In order to win it needs to do minimum TOP 3 with televoters and jury’s alike. I don’t see it -yet- with Russia this year.
      .
      .
      SWITZERLAND:
      Chance Top 5 jury’s Grand Final:……….60%
      Chance Top 5 televote Grand Final:…..80%

      PRO’S: Switzerland is back! With a banger. After Sweden I consider this the up-tempo entry to beat. Great fun song that screams for a wonderful salsa-esque dance choreography. Make no mistake, that will happen. With SJB onboard, SSR is, like Netherlands, hungry for a victory. It could happen. And Luca is the one person who can add more winner vibes to it as well. Vocally entries like these only have to be OK and not great. As long as Luca can show his all-round performing skills -being sexy, telegenic, vocally OK, and a great dancer- this will be big in the televote.

      CON’S: I don’t think this entry will fall down by the jury’s as much as Russia and Iceland. But in order to win Switzerland needs to show off a commendable TOP 5 jury vote. Not so sure if that will happen, but never say never. Let’s also not forget there are many similar entries this year (I don’t believe so much in this fact that there are many male performers this year): Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Malta, Belarus to name a few.
      .
      .
      Having said all this Sharleen, I think in the end it won’t be an open field. In such a large contest it’s also statistically very much impossible to see such an open field on the scoreboard until the last televote points will be dropped. During the rehearsals all insecurities we have, all the question marks that we have now, will be answered / go away.
      Having said that I think you can already see the con’s with above list. And to me Iceland doesn’t arise above this pack so clearly. Personally, I really hope Iceland will do a TOP 3. And don’t get me wrong, it still could.

      If I have to predict a 100% jury outcome:

      01. SWEDEN *
      02. THE NETHERLANDS *
      03. ITALY *
      04. GREECE *
      05. SWITZERLAND *
      06. MALTA
      07. CZECH REPUBLIC
      08. ICELAND *
      09. RUSSIA *
      10. NORTH MACEDONIA

      And same for a possible 100% televote outcome:

      01. SWITZERLAND *
      02. THE NETHERLANDS *
      03. ICELAND *
      04. SWEDEN *
      05. RUSSIA *
      06. ITALY *
      07. SPAIN
      08. NORWAY
      09. GREECE *
      10. CYPRUS

      • Yes, staging makes a big difference but I there are examples when even a captivating staging doesn’t work. Semi Final 1 of 2016. Can someone explain me how Israel was 16th in televote table? The staging was amazing, the song was good and still 16th. It has to be the draw, right? I have no other explanations.

        • Well, to me the biggest problem about Israel 2016 was the singer. He looked like a scary James Bond villain, ready to kill everyone who didn’t vote for him. Some performers are just pretty much…scary on first sight. I recall UK 2014 as well. Molly -such a sweet name- to me looked like an ice queen ready on poisoning everyone who didn’t like her.

          I heard some posts above that in some cases even staging can’t change an ugly turd. Well, here you are :-).

          • That’s the thing, too often it’s overlooked the actual appearance of the singers. It’s sad but true that some are not vote able for whatever reason, lacking star quality, charisma, confidence or whatever else. The UK is a good point here and its a problem that has been going on for too long.
            Electro Velvet- amateur awkward goofy
            Joe and Jake- amateur
            Lucy Jones–overacting,
            Surie- actually a great job on this front, no complaints about her, just a nothing song. It was thanks to her being so professional and likeable she got the ticket against better songs.

            Again this year, it’s a similar problem with Michael Rice which has been well documented on this site.

            There’s plenty this year from other countries where I have similar doubts about how vote able a singer is despite no worry over vocals or technical ability–Srbuk for example.
            Nothing objectively wrong, but televoters don’t vote objectively.

          • Actually, that is a good point. What appears as attractive to the viewer makes a difference.

            I would adjust it to say that what feels comfortable seemingly gathers more votes.

            PKN were highly tipped. I never expected them to qualify because I think general viewers feel ill at ease looking at people with obvious disabilities. And yep, thats somewhat a con for Hatari (well, for those who don’t like BDSM imagery), and Michael Rice with his awkward hand waving… etc etc

            Gert, you made some excellent points. Utterly agree. But I just am not seeing the appeal of Duncan in the Netherlands. Honestly, I think people got far too carried away with it on release and I can’t imagine how he will stay the favourite unless the Dutch really have some kind of amazing staging to elevate it.

            I’m awaiting something like last years Fuego to come and surprise us all upon rehearsals. Seemingly Ola on production has placed his bets on Switzerland, which may indicate the faith he has in the staging.

            One of the points I failed to mention in what I feel makes a big difference is who has the mainstream media narrative leading up. We all know that the whole fan favouritism and storytelling means very little to what the general public who make up 99% of the vote think. If we look at the past, we saw Conchita, Jamala, Netta, Salvador all break through before contest time with coverage outside the fan media. Jamala had her political/historical lyrics with Crimea, Salvador had the serious health issues, and there was all that chatter about Netta having an anthem for the #metoo movement.
            I see this as really important. The public take their cues from these media – it’s building recognition.

            If my gut is right , and the media can avoid plastering Madonna all over the place about ‘what to look out for at Eurovision’, that title is likely to fall to Hatari. The most likely to be splashed across those Saturday papers previewing the show. And prior, we are already seeing them feature as their own articles across mainstream media in UK, Australia, Israel.
            Thats why I really have them down as a top 2 in televote.

      • Hi Gert, Great in-depth summary which I agree a lot with. I think the jury element of the Eurojury poll gives a lot of good pointers as to how the jury vote will go. Sweden and Netherlands out in front followed by Italy and then Greece, Switzerland, Russia and (maybe) Armenia in whatever order. Russia are unlikely to be better than 5th with the juries, no matter how well Sergey sings it. At the end of the day Scream is a theatre song and that is not going to stand up well compared to the more modern pop fare being served by competitors.

        Anyone else is likely to be too far back in the jury vote to manage to win overall, irrespective of how well they do in the televote and the hard evidence we have points to that including Iceland. (If any entry can build momentum during the contest this year it is probably Iceland but that currently remains a big IF)

        The televote is harder to call at this stage but based on fan polls, youtube hits and my hunch, The Netherlands are likely to be at or near the top. Russia could challenge for the televote win (but we are all assuming the staging will be absolutely spectacular when it might disappoint). Switzerland look strong as do Iceland (albeit that it will be coming from a long way back). I suspect Sweden will be a lot lower in the televote than the 4th you have it.

        Talking about entries coming from a long way back after a poor jury score, I suspect the casual Saturday night viewer will go for Norway – which will take them into the top 10. The other one, in my opinion, to watch soaring up the board is Estonia – which is slipping under the radar a bit. As Gav has pointed out this has all the elements of a cleverly structured, (relatively) modern Eurovision song, and good and tried and tested staging which will appeal to the casual viewer. When I last looked there were odds of over 10/1 for top 10 on the Betfair exchange which looks like excellent value to me.

        In terms of the overall win I believe it’s The Netherlands to throw away with the only viable alternatives that will be strong enough in both jury and televote being Switzerland, Russia and Italy. Personally, on song quality I would add Greece to that list but the stats don’t back me up that one.

  87. https://eurovisionbetsandpieces.blogspot.com/2019/04/eurovisionbetsandpieces-one-eurovision_23.html

    A very useful guide for Semi Final 1 with all the numbers and stats gathered. Let me know what you think.

  88. Hi, does anyone know if juries are provided with TV commenting during jury rehearsals?

  89. Good point Hippo. In the same way, for singing a sexy song, Tamta leaves me cold for her ‘sexy’ Fuego style number. Totally lacks Luca’s (or Eleni’s by a country mile) sex fuelled charisma and cheeky, seductive style. Tamta also can’t tie Michela’s laces vocally – so I see her doing worst of the 3 Fuego style songs by quite some way.

  90. Has anyone asked himself how the nordic televote(!) is going to play out in the final?

    There are quite a lot of people that believe Norway this year could pull off a Denmark 2018 (Rasmussen). There are a lot of people who think Iceland will have a very strong televote result, maybe even threatening the televoting win. And most people think Sweden won’t do as bad with televoters as in 2018 and a top 10 televote should be a sure thing.

    Let’s pretend Finland belongs to the nordics (like the betfair market) and look through the years from 2004 on when Eurovision started to get a lot bigger. We will realize we never(!!) had more than 2 nordics in the televote top 10. (FYI we had 3 finals with less than 3 nordics).
    In 2006 we had Finland and Sweden in the televoting top. In 2009 we had Norway and Iceland. We can’t be completely sure about 2013, but we probably had Denmark and Norway in the top 10. If I am not mistaken there isn’t any other year with more than 1 nordic in the top televoting top 10. Isn’t it quite funny that in these 3 years with 2 nordics in the televoting top a nordic country won Eurovision?

    Lets go even deeper into the analysis and look at the other countries in these years when we had two nordics in the top. We will realize we mostly had no other ‘western’ country in the top. In 2006 it is Ireland on a 10th place. In 2009 it is United Kingdom to come next on a 10th place.
    This year we have The Netherlands as the huge favourite. We have Italy which is considered to be a contender. We have Switzerland which is considered to be a huge televoting favourite and so on.
    Isn’t it somehow very unlikely we get 3 nordics in the televoting top 10 in such a lineup?

    So what happens if one of these 3 nordics fails to hit the top 10 with televoters? It would hurt Sweden the least because a good jury result is pretty much guaranteed. Overall top 10 should still be no problem, but top 5 could be in real danger.
    If the other two are not within televoting top 10, they probably won’t be in the overall top 10. Even a top 15 placement would be in danger for them, more likely in the case of Norway than of Iceland.

    I am really eager to see the televoting results if all of them make it to the final.

  91. Hey Gav,

    When can we expect your traffic light overview of the semi finals? Usually this was pre-rehearsals right? We can’t wait for your insights 🙂

  92. Hi Sharleen. I just love discussing hehe. And I shall tell you this. The Dutch are carried away heavily this year. In such a way that makes me feel a bit…ashamed of my own nationality. The constant talk in my country about which Dutch city will organize the 65th contest -all of which think we have the trophy in our pockets– is bordering arrogance and insanity.

    When you talk about ‘story’, then you have one here and it’s certainly not going down well with the fan community – professional betters included.

    However, I do like to say something about what you consider a clear-cut ‘story’ and how that is year after year the defining aspect for a victory. Personally, I prefer talking about ‘message with no words, except emotions’. Songs in itself lend themselves pretty well for that.

    All the backstory about Eurovision entries – the #MeToo movement for Netta, Salavdor’s heart surgery, the whole anti-Russia tale from Ukraine 2016- to me is only something that will be picked up by commentators and will pass by by most televoters.

    I think messaging works much more simple in the minds of televoters. It wasn’t the #MeToo tale IMO that co-propelled Netta to victory.

    It was that ‘eye crossing chicken’ from Israel that fabulous. Netta conveyed the very raw emotions of whacko-fun and retarded happiness.

    It wasn’t Salavdor’s heart disease or anything related to his health issues. It was an endearing performer, whom most televoters thought he had a mental handicap. That on-stage effect conveyed emotions of pure ‘aaawh, isn’t that lovely??’ and pure cinematic melancholy. Caused by those 3 mins on stage, not by Salavdor’s large backstory.

    It wasn’t the controversial historical perspective of ‘1944’ that made Ukraine win it. It was Jamala’s emotive, almost desperate, and therefore relatable, plea of her song. Combined with her high-register vocals, her 3 min message was plain and simple: ‘Hear me out! I am dying! Help!’. And that grabbed the televoters by their balls (and other genitals).

    So I think I see the definition of ‘story’ not so black-and-white. Music is all about emotions; it’s all about messaging with performance and melody. All the backstories are nice for the commentator boots, but in essence most televoters do not really notice is that intensely.

    Having said that I think Hatari should be seen in that light as well. It’s a whacko act that creates a huge WTF-moment coming May. Watching a bunch of people in gay leather wear doing ‘this’ will create similar emotions as back in 2006 Lordi did. And yes Sharleen, I therefore have Iceland in my TOP 3 of the televote.

    However…….jury’s. The key word. Jury’s rate songs not solely by their emotions. They rate the with their heads as well. How difficult that may see, these music pro’s need to use rational and pragmatic judging and will therefore not rate as televoters. They tend to tone down their emotions a bit. And that will be Iceland’s pitfall for a really high score. A medal might justtt happen though.

    There you have it. ‘Stories’ should only be seen in the light of emoting. Not because of all the background info we hardcore Eurovision junkies know about. Well, at least that’s how I see it. Don’t make those 3 mins bigger than it is…..I think 🤔.

    • I agree completely, Gert. A lot of Eurovision analysis talks about the story and the messaging behind songs when I really think it’s HOW those stories and those messages are conveyed (emotion, staging etc.) that is important rather than the story itself. I think we can see that in recent entries that had a strong story or message but didn’t do well/underperformed (OG3NE, Gabbani, Madame Monsieur and so on) and also in entries that had a stronger message yet could not match the emotion and staging of the winner (Romania and Serbia 2015 off the top of my head). I’d also point to Cyprus 2018 and Moldova 2017 as some limited evidence that a song’s message, or lack of, doesn’t seem to matter so much (at least to televoters)

      A story is definitely a plus for a song but I tend to think its importance is overstated by some bettors. Emotion, staging and song quality all count more for me and we can’t look at any one quality in isolation.
      Subsequently, that’s why I really can’t see past a Netherlands victory should the staging be up to par. It draws you in emotionally in the first few seconds like no other song, Duncan’s perceived vulnerability on stage complements the song perfectly and it obviously has the song quality. I can’t see there being any problems with the staging, the song lends itself to simplicity and that should be quite obvious to the delegation. It needs no more than a focus on Duncan and some form of ‘moment’ or build-up from the bridge onwards.

  93. Rehearsals start next week right?

    • Rehearsals should be starting next Saturday, suggesting at least one day off during the rehearsal period. This is yet to be confirmed.

      • Yes, all yet to be confirmed, but have been told by SBS (Aussie broadcaster) its a Saturday kick off this year. And it appears that Thurs 9th May is the day off – which coincides with Victory/Independence Day. All Govt buildings and the like will be closed as its a proper national public holiday.

        • I had heard the day off was Wednesday, which would allow for four days of first rehearsals, a rest day, and then straight into second rehearsals and the auto-qualifiers. Either way, a day off is welcome!

  94. This is an informal assessment of Tel Aviv staging from Spain Eurovision. Allegedly the guy has seen these four stand in rehearsals, all the comments are copied as is:
    Cyprus – 5/10 (okaying)
    San Marino – 6/10 (expected)
    Montenegro -2/10 (bland)
    Belgium – 8/10 (surprisingly good, can be improved and more dark)

  95. Just to have some fun in between -excruciatingly long- waits…the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest :-D! Isn’t it wonderful to hear these songs accompanied by such a great rich-sounding orchestra:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJvubxHPvo4

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