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Eurovision 2019 Rehearsals: Day 8 Review

Today we get to see the second rehearsals for this year’s automatic qualifiers which also brings an end to our daily reports. A preview will be posted for each of the live shows several hours prior. All other updates will be posted on Twitter.

The hosts were first to rehearse this morning. There are very few changes for Israel, just a few camera changes and more pyro for the close. This looks like a safe bottom-5 for the hosts.

France remains in first rehearsal form and is still ramming an equality message down viewers’ throats. It is most definitely a big improvement on the national final, but it’s too over the top in my opinion. Even so, Bilal gives a passionate and convincing performance. France will perform in the second half.

After a confusing first rehearsal Miki delivered the party tune we all knew he was capable of. The camerawork is more dynamic and perfectly captures the party vibe of La Venda. Spain now need a second half draw to maximise their potential… Spain got their wish and will perform from the second half and will likely close the show.

There are a few visual changes for Italy – all positive. However, there’s still lots of untapped potential here, which sort of sums up Italy’s approach to Eurovision; they always seem to undersell their entries. Mahmood continues his aloof anti-performance, but the backdrop visuals are more effective in narrating the pain of the lyrics. Soldi has its fans and it could still surprise on Saturday.

Michael is over-singing again, as well as giving diva looks to camera. Aside from the negatives, there’s a nice overhead shot of the circle of backing singers and floor LED graphics. The UK hasn’t made the progress of Italy and France, so it looks like they’ll be battling it out for last place with Israel and Germany. Talking about Germany, their performance hasn’t changed much either and is a rightful favourite for last place.

About Gavster

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


  1. Mike G'day Mate

    Any word on the additional Netherlands performance Gav?

  2. Morning all.
    Having been able now to see 3 mins and new version of France https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hJslLh3TbU and how it will look on the official shorter clip. Yesterday I flagged up France does indeed have a small real chance at the Trophy. But now this is a REAL big player. I was very much limited by the wave of Anti-France post 1st rehearsal sentiment and disabled by only having access to the the short clip:
    I love the drop out section. Both dancer’s stories are true life sensational and moving. Yes this is MacDonald’s style equality ramming but I feel it is from a genuine place especially given Bila’s death threats and abuse received.
    It is now indeed a 3 horse race (please make room if you don’t mind Duncan and Kate) NL v Fra v Oz and with France having already secured a second half draw they are (my gosh NEVER been a Eurovision like it) VERY VERY strong indeed.
    Anyone thinking this isn’t going to do EXTREMELY well and possibly win, well please post up a pic of your sand sculpture as you have your head so far down in the sand you could build several. Game on 👍😁

    • i honestly doubt France can get a big enough jury score if they are playing it fair. So many better singers and songs. Even if they want to throw it a bone because of the diversity angle I can’t see it with a better jury score than 6th. Still I did take out a small insurance……..

      • The song: pros – is good, piano parts classy and lovely. Lyrics empowering. cons – a good song but no real peaks or as Gavin would say sizzle.
        Performer: super charismatic and engaging – star quality.
        Staging: my oh my the rollercoaster takes another turn – it’s brilliant – whether you find it tasteful or not. Massively impactful.
        Juries will moderately award the song but the staging and BIG message displayed has really shifted things and will emote many more jurors in a positive way than a negative way.
        Public will LOVE and it really is a massive player.

        France WILL be favourite soon.

        • so I guess you’re all off Australia and Azerbaijan now? 🤦🏻‍♂️

          • Gavin I love your site but I don’t appreciate the sarcastic comment – no need really is there?

            If you read my post I’m calling a 3 horse race Oz v Fra v NL having myself seen Fra for the first time fully this morning.

            Az has been the Fuego drop but like many people I think it lacks the x factor to win tho it could be a compromise winner if the vote goes all over the shop.

            Enjoy your day in TA Gavin.

    • I’ve come round to it slightly based on the sheer televoting potential alone but I will be extremely shocked to see juries go for this and they will be the barrier to it winning.

      Assuming juries actually rank against the provided criteria, half of their scores will be for vocal capacity and composition/originality of the song. That’s a negative for Bilal. I also have reservations about juries going for the message and staging. You’d have to be some kind of sociopath to disagree with the message of the song but the way it portrays this message is a bit sickly and cynical. I can see it working more with younger and more progressive people but we must remember the average age of jurors is 40+ and I worry about its appeal to the East.

      I can’t really work out where it willl eventually finish with juries but I’m confident it won’t be high enough for the overall win.

      • Hi BT. I think juries ignore all that and actually just vote for the song they actually personally like. Whether it has hit potential or vocal is amazing – overall if they like a song they will vote for it (for whatever reasons that may be). I actually feel the song’s message and the back story of all 3 onstage will have a very strong pull for most whether we like it or not 😉

        • No one has ever liked Bilal’s song, except his fans. No one ever paid any attention to it, because it’s a weak song and Bilal is fairly weak singer, even in France’s NF context. The staging is effective but it’s also pandering and yes, juries are 40+ on average and not into the progressive clique this much. France can’t reach top3 in juries. If we’re generous, they could get something around 6th. That’s not enough for the trophy. I understand your reaction because the press (especially LGBT+ personalities) hypes it up and bettors get FOMO, but it’s not strong enough to be the winner. Take this from someone who backed France for this same “LGBT+ potential” on a whim at 43/1 and wouldn’t oppose him winning.

  3. The Big 5 haven’t left many second half tickets for the favourites. If the draw goes a certain way it may leave room for a long odds surprise.

    • Draw will be interesting as comments above mention. If this continues, expect a similar situation to Bulgaria 2017, producer favourites in semi 2 being announced as qualifiers first to give them the best chance at second half.
      Germany deserves second but as a big Ebu country and no other big 5 in first half I expect they’ll be used as filler between the favourites in 9-13.

      There’s a fine line between being stubborn and blind to your own predictions and following the latest trend and market mover. I don’t think France will win, but its not a certainty they won’t. I don’t fully trust juries to place this where it deserves (lower than 10th at least) nor do I trust the public not to fall for it. I don’t think they will in large enough numbers but the key word is ‘think’. At this stage, I think France finishes 6-10 with both.
      It’s worth remembering whilst this has the momentum in the odds, it has no semi final to launch it like Conchita and as an entry relying on narrative that is a huge disadvantage. It captures it’s target audience very well but I agree it’s probably too much for most of the public.

      • Think that is a good point Hippo about there being no semi final to showcase France. I compare the restraint, poise and class of Conchita 2014 (similar message) with this French sledgehammer and really HOPE it doesn’t get anywhere near winning. Which doesn’t mean it won’t, of course. I think the money for Sweden is because they have eliminated uncertainty about their product and that they are “ready to go,” unlike the Neths. We await leaks about the technical rehearsal. I am satisfied they’ll get the shots right on the night, but I am still worried about Duncan not selling the song enough with connection. That said, I think the song is so good, it may even break with recent tradition and win despite that. But I can see why the market is easing on the Dutch. If you’re a true believer it just may be a good time to buy??

        • Agree. I stopped buying the Dutch at 6s just because my tactic is always to look in the longer odds and I already had enough on it. I’ve not really felt the need to get anymore on at any point and probably won’t until after the semi at least.
          I’ve always been against the Swedish compromise winner angle that has been pushed for maybe the last 5 years but this year is different even before rehearsals given the high chance of a jury win.
          A lot of us here, whether we rate their chances or not seem to dislike the French game plan and see it with cynisism. The fact the dancer is deaf should be irrelevant and unknown, the fact it is used as a novelty really bothers me but who are more reflective of the public, us here or the fansites? And that’s not a rhetorical question. Will it be took at face value by enough?

  4. After this day allocation draw, there are still 12 places left at 1st half and only 8 places in the 2nd half.

    Germany draw at 1st half, will probably guarantee them performing from number 2. Björkman can be quite vindictive when he want to shaw his dislike to a song.

    • When SF1 qualifiers pick their draws, the distribution of available places in 1st and 2nd half will be more even. Most of SF1 qualifiers will get 1st half. That is the most likely scenario. So the favorites in SF2 should have more or less equal chance to pick any of the halves.

    • however – if you are SF1 qualifier, when you draw from the hat, there are more 1st half than 2nd half in the pot – therego, SF1 qualifiers have a higher chance of performing in 1st half

  5. Eurovision Value

    I’m a bit lost like the market at this time, have to wait for the full performances and reaction on the semi’s now.

    Honestly, I missed France and underrated the effect after the first rehearsals. Luckily I did get some quick market-value at the bookies @50, so wouldnt be a drama if they won.. Can it win? I’m not sure, I’m not making huge statements at this time. Pre-rehearsals I had positions on Italy, Spain and Azerbaijan, keeping those and happy with my situation atm…

    I hated all the talk about top 3’s from everyone involving NL and SWE on both the jury and televote side, it was too easy… SWE is not nice to vote for, because everyone know it’s a powerhouse and it’s just too slick maybe. NL doesn’t connect good enough and doesn’t have a magic feeling yet. They can both slip quite big in the televote imo, and this leaves room for others like I said. This will be for either 6/8’scrapers on both the jury and tele (Azerbaijan I think, could’ve been Italy but the clip was shit), or a big televote hitter (France, or maybe even Russia when diaspora hits in full swing?).

    I hope Iceland will use a media-trick to get some attention of France and pick up some momentum. A fun theory is that they will pretend to withdraw from Eurovision, but obv. they won’t, but the media will pick it up. Even if something like this happens, Iceland def. won’t win, but maybe could see some change in the market.

  6. People all need to relax a bit. Remember CYPRUS 2018 becoming 1st in the betting odds last year? Or what about LITHUANIA 2018 storming into the TOP 10, and at one moment IRELAND 2018 was even 3rd in the betting odds with their ‘truly marvellous LGBTQ-spirited staging/choreography’.

    To me it still is SWEDEN or THE NETHERLANDS.

    –> AZERBAIJAN? Could be snapping away a bronze medal, but not more.
    –> ITALY and RUSSIA? Perhaps 4th is the maximum they can score.
    –> AUSTRALIA and FRANCE? They are in with a shot to become 5th, thus TOP 5, but not higher than that.
    –> MALTA? I could call this one a dark horse to be honest, more so than France, but not winning.
    –> SWITZERLAND, CYPRUS, GREECE, ICELAND, NORTH MACEDONIA, AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, SPAIN? All in with a chance to end on the left hand side of the scoreboard, but not the top positions.

    Anyway. Relax. Breathe in, breathe out :-). And let’s not forget that during rehearsals song-quality is being put away in the debates and discussions we have. That’ll matter again during dress rehearsals and TV-shows. Hugs from Gert

    • Hugs back at ye Gert 👍😎 Hope you having a good day.
      Good post but France for me will be very very big in televote and could muster a strong jury Top 5 and your Top 5 ceiling for me is way off and they are much more of a threat. Oz still in with a serious shout though France’s ‘ready mix’ message may have an equal if not stronger televote impact.
      Draw really will be key for NL’s chances. Could still win from 12 or 13 but, like Dami, more difficult to remember that ‘top quality song and vocal’ after 26 songs have been and gone.

      There’s has NEVER imo been a more rollercoaster series of changing picture ala rehearsals revealed and I think you will only do well heeding what dear Daniel would suggest -t to stay objective at all times and be open to what is actaully going on and drop set mins and styed opinions about how you feel things should be as opposed to how things actually are turning out 👍👌😉

  7. Mike G'day Mate

    How did we all miss France?? It’s rising so fast it’ll be favourite soon!

    • G’day Mike 👌 No-one ‘missed’ France because the staging has taken a touch of class nice but nothing great song into a tour de force. The new version has more oomph to me and a bit more drama but of course it’s the staging. Anyone being ‘smart’ on France would have had some on them ahead of staging reveal some more on upon reveal and on ‘full reveal’ (to those not in TA) even more.

    • Catriona Colville

      Because it’s not real. We’ve seen this story before. It isn’t a contender. This year’s big red herring.

      • Story old as time Catriona underdog wins: Conchita, Salvador, Netta etc etc. This story does not grow tired.

  8. It’s funny to see how quickly France is rising in the odds and I won’t be surprised to see them even at first place after semi 1. The buzz is there and it’s very real.

    I strongly disliked the French entry when it won their NF, but I have to admit I’m very positively impressed with what I’ve seen at the rehearsals so far. Yes, it’s indeed too much in your face, but it doesn’t come out as offensive, and I believe that the narrative translates very well on stage and screen in a way that is accessible to both East and West – a value that is very important for a real contender. I still can’t see it winning though (not that this is impossible anymore) and I can’t assess their real televoting potential before I see the full 3 minutes. I expect rather a lower top 10 with the juries.

    I’m certain that we’ll witness some more crazy ups and downs in the next few days, but for me it’s still the Netherlands vs. all the rest!

    P.S. Are there any news from the Dutch delegation on the additional rehearsal?

  9. I guess I’m talking to walls hehe. Obviously we couldn’t see France coming, because the song is too mediocre. Lovely how they elevated this with staging, like Ireland 2018. But in the end the market calms down again and then the song quality is in plain sight again 😊.

    • Well, some of us (modestly pointing at myself) shared last week that France could be top 10 and even top 5 with some luck. This was before the staging reveal. Actually all the way back in February I wrote a few paragraphs on the France page here explaining why I thought it could be top 5 and why I was betting on it.

      Please do not take this as boasting. Rather as a mother of a boy on the spectrum I could always relate to Bilal and his message. I thought he looked symbolic and iconic for the younger viewers and their moms whether we like and accept it or not.

      I do not see this as a winner necessarily but it’s top 10 or top 5 (with some luck) potential has always been there (I see him as Italy 2018). Eurovision viewers love underdogs and their success stories

  10. I’m surprised how Russia is being dismissed so confidently. Most bloggers yesterday saw a big improvement which is reflected in the Press Poll which Russia won. Betting forumites however are happy to reject it on the basis of a 20-30 second clip? Every country this year has negatives, but there seems to be a willingness to overlook those of Sweden and Netherlands at the same time as being totally unforgiving of Russia’s.

    Sergey is a world class performer in a league of his own in this company. He will connect with the audience and provide three minutes of solid entertainment that everyone will remember. People will also remember him from three years ago, and commentators might mention how he was an unlucky loser. We all know he is a televote magnet in the East and Russia has the biggest diaspora vote of any country, so anyone expecting him not to win the televote is relying on him getting virtually no points from the West. Fair enough if that’s what you expect, but I think that he will get some, for example he has just completed an arena tour in Germany.

    That leaves the jury vote. It feels to me like they have done their homework and decided to go down the Sweden 2018 route to try and win over the juries. Regardless of what you think of the song, if you’re looking for a slick, professional MTV ready performance like ‘Dance You Off’ was last year, ‘Scream’ is probably going to be it. Benjamin’s vocals were acceptable at best, yet he came within a whisker of winning the jury vote. Sergey’s will be outstanding, a million times better. So that leaves ‘the song isn’t good enough’ argument. That’s a matter of opinion and in my experience plenty of people disagree with that, but that aside ‘Dance you off’ was a bit of a feeble song, but that didn’t put the juries off.

    Russia haven’t gone the route many of us expected with the staging, perhaps they feel they can sacrifice a little televote in exchange for putting together the most jury friendly package they can. I feel like a lonely voice, but they are still the most likely winners for me.

    As for France, yes it will pick up some televotes from people who are won over by the story of the supersized dancer and forget to listen to the song, but there’s nothing here for the juries. Amazed anyone could think otherwise.

    • Hi Milton.
      Russia’s Hitchcock looking man in white clothes screaming in shower x 10 is a huge disappointment for me.
      I thought it would be, as rumoured, a light and shade puppet theatre type thing with Sergey slaying the dragon/saving the day and defeating the ‘screams’ etc. It’s so done by Fokas already and gives nothing to viewers what on earth he’s going on about and it reaches no conclusion. Russia for sure big shot at Top 4 but I see Fra way above Rus in the jury vote – Fra will touch the jury passion/compassion button big time.
      Fra have created their own ‘Conchita’ moment with their staging of this and the amazing large sized and deaf dancers championed by a passionate Bilal and I think Fra is much much stronger than Rus.

      • Hey Showlad, you beat me to replying, but I see we have exactly the same opinion about Russia’s staging. I have already described it as an excellent depiction of a psychotic episode, so the Hitchcock analogy fits also very well the description!

    • Hi Milton. You’re right about noticing how easily the ESC betting forums get influenced by the current trends in the market. We’ve seen it happening before and will see it happening again.

      Russia has always been and still is a contender – I expect them to win the televoting and many juries in Eastern Europe. The potential was always there since Sergey’s name was announced but there are 2 major problems that damage significantly their winning chances. The first is the actual song – well, obviously it has a lot of drama and it’s well performed, but it’s dated and the lyrics are mediocre at best. It was never going to be a jury winner, but the top 5 potential was there and they thought that this would be enough. In my opinion though what ruins completely their chances is the staging… Dark, uninspired (Fokas’ ideas have been losing steam in the last years), and failing miserably to tell a story. I really can’t get the narrative behind a man standing alone on the stage, along with 9 mirrors/screens showing him striking dramatic poses and expressions, while shouting “They scream”… Honestly, is that the best they could think of?

      As for France’s possible jury appeal, I was very perplexed when I saw the results of the Eurojury (https://eurovoix.com/2019/04/21/eurojury-2019-breakdown-of-the-jury-results/) where France finished 9th(!), just 2 places behind Russia, and much higher than Madame Monsieur did last year. Since the results of the Eurojury have been quite good in predicting the actual jury results in the last years, I wouldn’t be surprised if France gets in their actual top 10, or even higher given that the actual performance benefits the song.

      I still expect Russia to finish higher than France, but for me so far, they have gone in completely opposite directions when comes to how the staging can make the best possible use of the song’ s potential…

      • Cheers for responding Thorn/Showlad.

        I was disappointed like you when they didn’t go the route we all expected. I guess him slaying a dragon will have been YATOO part 2 and the team wanted to be more restrained than that.

        From the snippets that I have seen of the performance I get the feeling of a tortured soul fighting with his personal demons, represented by the many versions of him that we see. He has the performance skills to deliver the intense performance that communicates that message. The whole thing has the feeling of a music video brought to life on stage, exactly like Ingrosso last year, but it seems far more interesting, thought provoking and artistic than Benjamin’s effort that the juries loved so much last year.

        Why do people keep talking about the lyrics? What makes anyone think they matter? Are there any examples of songs that fell short because they had weak lyrics? ‘Dance You Off’ wasn’t exactly poetry and the lyrics to ‘Heroes’ were complete garbage.

        • The idea that this Conchita part 2 is appealing and accounts for the seriously low price, which could go lower still, but there was much more to Conchita than the beard. Personally I don’t find Bilal as warm and empathetic as Conchita, I appreciate that’s a personal thing but its my opinion that most people who don’t have a vested interest in this will agree with me.

          That’s a minor point though, the main issue here is that Conchitas had an extraordinary voice and an epic song to sing, one that is still covered by artists to this day. Bilal’s voice is far weaker and Roi a far inferior song. Would Conchita have won singing Roi with Bilal’s voice? No chance imo.

        • Cheers Milton.

          Well, I don’t really mind shallow or uninspired lyrics, but there is definitely some amount of surrealism in some of the lines in “Scream” that doesn’t register very well with my non-native English-speaking brain. I guess this is a deliberate effort to add some more drama to the song, but oh well…

          What bothers me a lot is the narrative of the performance. If they indeed wanted to depict a man fighting with multiple voices that “they scream” inside his head, just like having a psychotic episode, then well done, but that’s not the best possible story-telling behind these lyrics. Even the fact that in the end he synchronizes with the ‘voices’ looks like being defeated by them…

          Anyway, it’s pretty clear to me that Fokas just wanted to bring the staging to his comfort zone, involving mirrors and boxes, because that’s all that ever works for him. He did a great job with “Hold me” back in 2013 depicting the idea of inner conflicts by the use of a box, so now he just multiplied it by 9, added some video footage instead of a dancer, and there you have it…

          The song just needed an honest approach with some nice and inspiring story-telling, but this opportunity has obviously been completely wasted.

          • Your English is extraordinary if its not your first language Thorn. Apart from offering my congratulations I imagine that it would be superior to the great majority of jurors and public, most of whom would be unaware how weird the line ‘my eyes will get drier’ sounds to us.

            We were lead to expect a movie set staging. He said at one point they were considering featuring his son in the presentation, so there clearly has been a big shift in direction somewhere along the line. I’m sure they didn’t make this change lightly. We’ll soon find out if it was the right move.

          • Many thanks for your compliments Milton.

            I guess you are probably right about the jurors. I’m just hopeful that they will reward more some better thought and written lyrics, but it’s true that it doesn’t happen all the time at Eurovision.

            Well, I always like to keep an open mind until I see the finished product, so I might be convinced by the production quality in the end. It’s just disappointing to me that they wasted all their advanced technological capabilities in such a dim and uninspired visual concept. In my mind some ‘brighter’ ideas -simple or not- would work better for the song, but I guess we’ll never find out what the alternative staging approaches could bring for Russia this year.

  11. Netherlands extra tech rhrsl supposedly Duncan not there just camera angles etc.

    • You’re just buying into niché demographic’s emotions. It’s not a good review mate, it just feeds your confirmation bias.

  12. My First 2 didn’t change. My biggest green is still on the Netherlands. Slight profit on Sweden. For the 3rd place, it can be Russia, France or Azerbaijan (I’m breakeven on these). I believe France will take a respectable place probably Top 5 but I can’t see France in Top 2. It’s hard to rule out Russia specially when we remember russia diaspora. Russia got a big advantage when it comes to televoting so I’m keeping some funds on Russia as well.

    Orange carpet about to start! See you guys!

  13. I’m not dismissing Russia. I think it’s a dark horse for victory, but the entry had a deficit from day #1: the song. It simply lacks development. On top of that, with so many ‘wonderful stage props’, Russia now lacks a certain uniqueness in the field. Malta and Azerbaijan to me do it slightly better. Perhaps it’s overstaged a bit. To me Russia would have worked better with a band setting like Polina in 2015. Also, other ballads like Netherlands, North Macedonia and Hungary know ‘less is more’ and emote more from the actual composition and vocals. Still, Russia could seek in a bronze medal win.

  14. By the way, I was just checking esctracker.com. Only one country is charting on iTunes and Apple Music outside its neighbouring countries. Its charting in Portugal, Norway, and Sweden currently.

  15. From the minute I heard Switzerland I had it down as the winner and I still have at the moment. The catchiest song this year and did well enough in eurojury. Think it wins the tele vote and is top 3 with juries. Other contenders for me are Netherlands probably nailed on to win jury vote so has to be considered. Azerbaijan personal favourite this year, so finding it hard to call it the winner. Just like I was with Israel last year. Having seen the full version last night it gives me winner vibes and will only look better on TV. Will do well in both tele vote and jury could do a Ukraine and finish 2nd in both. Sweden not sure what to make of it myself I can see the jury appeal but not so sure about tele vote level stakes for me. Russia just because it’s Sergey Lazarev and potential massive televote. Can’t see anyone outside them winning including Italy which is a max red.. The France drop in price is crazy it came 5th in the jury vote in its national final against 8 songs. Can’t see it doing any better than that against 26 songs. Also max red at the price it has gone to. Roll on the live shows when all of this could change

  16. had a better look at France and the rest of the automatic qualifiers and can comfortably say none of them are winning. Sweden seems a too safe, by the numbers effort. Australia is marmite. Netherlands still looks to be a justifiable favourite to me with only Azerbaijan looking like a real challenger. Of the potential outsiders I think only Switzerland, Greece, Serbia or North Macedonia could spring a surprise. Speaking of Macedonia, in terms of song and staging quality, it absolutely slays France in the diversity stakes.

  17. The only consensus emerging from the above 42 comments is that there is no consensus. I eagerly await Gav’s Semi Final previews to restore a bit of sanity to proceedings.

    • I cant remember a year like it and iv been following ESC since around 1985 and can remember it back to around 1976.Every entry has red flags and none of them look like ESC winners,or even close.
      Nl is like an induced coma.Russia like they missed the last 20 years,Sweden great staging,but a none song,France is sickening the fat girl cant even jump 3 inch high hence you cant be a dancer love,get fit and dont blame your glands,Azer nice enough,great staging,but not much song,Italy,great song,RAI worried they might win and have to host pull that old Italian trick of not bothering with much staging.Australia,is fantastic,but there is a long where nothing happens bit ,will the jury go for it in any way?,Malta,decent filler thats all,Greece,great song,but maybe not Katerines comfort zone and hard to stage,Swiss,nice pop song,but etc etc.
      Slight gut feeling is it still might be Italy or a shock like Aus,lively outsiders Serbia and Macedonia.I have zero confidence though.Main aim is keeping my book where it wont hurt too much whoever goes in.

  18. Zero confidence = a win bet on Zero Gra-a-avity!

    Look at how powerful the subliminal messaging of the song is…

  19. I was watching Orange carpet show yesterday. Sergey Lazerev was looking very nervous. He was looking very serious and nervous in reherseals as well. Definetely, this man is under a heavy stress. I don’t think it will effect him well. There’s too much negativity around him. I can’t take winner vibes from Russia.

    Yes, Duncan Laurence’s Arcade is a not party song either but it doesn’t give you negative vibes. It’s a very emotional song and when you’re listening to it, you feel the emotion. Scream gives me zero emotion.

  20. Good morning Gavin and Team – Happy Semi Final 1 Jury Rehearsal Day 😎
    Funny looking at the market. Whether we like the song or not, whether we like the staging or not France have delivered that Wow package. The market for them shortens then goes out and reaches for seemingly sanity safety net choices like Russia then France contracts again then goes out again…
    Funny when we talk about songs. When RLAP was revealed as Conchita’s song it went out to 3 figures. Deemed as, for what it is, a rather old fashioned James Bond genre number not winning ESC. Even as Conchita rehearsed it sat at 40s. I was quite a lonely voice and clung to my gut that she could win. It was CONCHITA that made the song have meaning – her story, her performance. The song on its own was good of its genre. Bilal’s song on paper is probably as ‘good’ as RLAP was but he, as surprisingly passionate as he delivers this onstage at TA, is no Conchita. However, add to Bilal the amazing 2 dancers and their back story, headlines showing on screen (hello Italy last year) and we have what could well be the killer blow.
    In France we have seen the impact of the equivalent of the act that then wins Britain’s Got Talent with the public going Wow – emotional heart string chords pulled and all. It’s such a shock and turns-everything-on-its-head-in -the-last-batch-of-rehearsals punch. But for me I can’t deny this will do very well with juries – well improving on its 9th with Eurojury and probably winning the public vote.
    France is going to be Top 3. I think it’s still NL shading it and Oz are right up there too. The others that could win will only do so by default and compromise and as Durhamborn strategises yes you really do have to cover for that.
    The Big favs ONLY HAVE THEMSELVES TO BLAME and hats off to Bilal for going for it big time dramatic where others are still fiddling with the light they bought from John Lewis and going on about ‘it’s all about the song’ which it is in part but it’s also a stage show. Hope we can remove any heads that may be in the sand and get there together as a team. I think Fra will contract big time come late Thurs night after Semi 2 as out of Rus, Swe and NL possibly only 1 will get a 2nd half draw.
    Have a really good day all 😎😁

  21. Guys, is Netherlands banging a piano a winning performance?

    See the behind the scenes footage – https://youtu.be/SYS7th7dlhk?t=82

    To me it looks a little over-exaggerated…

  22. There was no doubt France was a good buy, sledgehammer tactics or not. People that pick the winners have opposingly different views than the author Gavster. Shoving it down your throat is their favorite.

  23. I would say the result of France in televote could be similar or better than Italy’s last year. I think remember that Italy took a bad jury vote. Do you know the results of Italy in eurojury last year?

    I think it is a race between France and Netherlands right now. I think NL is the only one that can win since the first half of the draw.

    • Italy was 18th with the ‘expert juries’ of Eurojury last year (full results here: https://eurovoix.com/2018/04/28/winner-eurojury-2018) and eventually was 17th with the actual ESC juries. France has done much better this year, finishing at #9…

      Well, always try to take the Eurojury results with a pinch of salt – they are not the actual juries (although made up of similar people) and of course they haven’t seen the staging yet. I tend to read them as a good indication of how music professionals rate the actual songs but that doesn’t mean that they are accurate predictions. I’ve never seen a song though that finished very low in the eurojury ending up in the jury top, while I’ve seen the opposite happening quite often. Very good staging usually gives some extra boost to poorly ranked songs, like it happened with Moldova 2018 which was dead last at the Eurojury (Australia 2019 maybe too?).

      France is currently in a good position to create a momentum: big jump in the odds and large number of views in Youtube (at some point the first rehearsal video was trending around #30 -if I noticed well- in the UK). But that doesn’t mean they will do equally well in the end – it may very well be just an LGBT-enhanced red herring. But tbh I don’t expect the juries to bury their chances, as many people may think, for the reasons I explained before.

  24. There was an amazing reaction towards Australia. Won’t be surprised if they’re Jury#1.

    If Dami Im can be Jury#1, Kate can be too. Actually, I think Kate can get more points then Dami Im.
    Televoting is another story but this situation can cause Australia odds to drop!
    Don’t be surprised if you see Australia priced under 10 in Saturday Night!

  25. Oz went HUGE in the Hall at the Jury rehearsal 2nite. Vocals AMAZING and staging is sensational!!

  26. Australia can win it all guys… There is no other song that has generated as much hype in the last week for good reason!

    Everything about the staging, the song and the whole performance is so personal and creative and UNIQUE. These are the qualities of a winner!

  27. Guys, relax and don’t get carried away by the crowd reactions. I remember in 2016 seeing Barei going huge in the hall and I thought myself that they are contenders to win. I guess many people did the same, because Spain climbed at #3 at the odds. She ended up finishing 22nd…

    Australia will do better than most people expected before the rehearsals started. They are ranked though very low at Eurojury this year (29th out of 41) and ‘Zero Gravity’ is not the type of song to be appreciated so much by the juries for being modern or original. The staging is amazing and Australia will be rewarded for that by the juries, maybe with a lower top 10 position. The public will probably not give them first place too – it’s Australia after all and even the excellent Dami Im finished just 4th in the televoting. I think top 5 is the best they can get this year, with a lower top 10 being more likely.

    • Agree.

      Breath in and breath out punters. Australia is not a contender to win. Pop opera too divisive. Top 10. Possibly Top 5 but that’s it’s limit.

      Don’t read so much into press centre reactions all the time. Azerbaijan, France & Australia all getting good receptions but it doesn’t mean they’re all contenders now.

  28. Based on info so far (and ok admittedly that’s limited), Greece or Serbia appear best placed to win the jury vote in SF1. Reportedly their vocals were top notch, they both seemingly have excellent presentations and neither suffer from the marmite factor. I have a sneaky feeling Iceland might win the televote in Lordi type ‘i’m Going to vote for the WTF moment’

  29. Guys, it’s not just the press centre that erupted for Australia, the audience did as well! There’s a video going around on twitter…

    Don’t underestimate this guys. There’s a ground swell of support that has slowly slowly been increasing each performance.

    After tomorrow it could be challenging the favourite… Probably will be less than 6 – 1…

  30. Ignore the Oz momentum at your peril is my thought.
    Breath in and breath out – as Oz drop to single figures 2mo night.
    I think we may be in somewhat denial about the HUGE reaction and momentum that has been created by Oz and France and are still clinging to the favs coming into to this ESC who have FAILED spectacularly to deliver…
    2 words coffee and smell…

  31. Guys! Do you know what Kate Miller Heidke’s leg injury? She is injuried, maybe thats why she makes flying staging.

    I read as She is only recently out of a week-long hospital stay to treat a foot injury that almost dashed her hopes of walking out on stage in Tel Aviv.

    She said: “I had a potentially deadly foot injury. Horrendous timing!”

    The injury, a bacterial skin infection called cellulitis, happened while she was wearing “stupid stilettos” on Tel Aviv’s cobblestone streets, she says, while filming Australia’s Eurovision “postcard” – the introduction before each country’s song. The theme, to her dismay, was dancing. “Not my skill set,” she jokes.

    Salvador had heart problems. Kate has cellutis. Can this work like salvador effect?

    • And Tamta had a slipped disc in her back 2 months ago that damaged the nerves and she couldn’t even walk for 2 weeks, and the first time she managed to stand on high heels was during the rehearsals. Why not Tamta winning then?

      Mikolas from Czech Republic suffered an almost serious injury during the rehearsals last year but didn’t win.

      I doubt that even Salvador’s heart problems was the main reason that he won the contest.

      People don’t really care about the artists’ background stories, except if they are shown during the performance (eg Germany 2018, or France 2019).

  32. Aus is a player here.I have a big green on it at big odds and although i sold just over half im keeping the rest.Kate is the most talented artist this year and has incredible staging on top of that.The weakness is that the refrain is probably far too long,and that means not much song before it.Before Youtube etc back in the day my main thought on who is the likely winner is who do the crowd want to see again.?.Then you couldnt go and watch the winner online so people tended to vote for the one they wanted to watch again at show end.If that were still true Aus would probably take this,though the juries might or might not go for it.Its a stunning performance whatever happens.

    • i don’t think Oz can win because i’m doubting the juries will play ball. however, i am expecting a sudden price crash after tonight’s performance, so i suspect, DB, you’ll be in an even better position come the final 🙂

  33. I’m sure juries wil go for it but Australia is not a powerhouse in televoting. If Kate Miller Heidke was russian, she was the winner already 😀

    I like to rule out Sweden at the moment. Zero Gravity is much more original and creative product then Sweden’s uninspired generis gospel pop.

    I still see Netherlands as the most powerful contender. Australia can end up like Dami Im but remember Dami Im was 4th in televoting and she lost by only 24 points. What if Kate Miller Heidke gets 24 points more? Remember Dami Im’s performance. There was nothing spectacular about staging. I think Kate Miller Heidke can score more in televoting then her. Juries, I really don’t know. Too much contenders for the Jury Win this year but Australia is a serious contender at the moment.

    I changed my position to Australia, France, Netherlands (biggest) Green. Sweden, Azerbaijan breakeven.

    Btw, I’m expecting Azerbaijan to get a better rank then Russia. Sergey’s Scream is not a pleasant song. Too depressive.

    • Hi Sawyer. Hope you enjoying this rollercoaster of an ESC 2019! 👍😎
      Kate has a much stronger ‘general starting point’ with the televote than Dami, as unfortunately, like others, I feel the race card did affect some of Dami’s televote pull. It’s a disgrace but to some – the ‘bigoted’ minority – the shiny white princess that is Kate is far more palatable.

      • I don’t really agree on the race card. Dami Im did pretty well with the televoting, getting almost 200 points equally distributed all over Europe. It was just the fact that her song, although very well produced and performed, was just not instantly relatable like Jamala or impressive like YATOO.

  34. Bookmakers completely overreacting again. They’re scrambling around in panic now because of Duncan’s staging.

    Australia 9/4 to win Semi-Final 1 yet single figures to win the Grand Final. Just another hype train. Much like Bilal. Pop opera is too divisive for both Jury’s and Televoters. Just because people cheer for it in the hall and in the press centre doesn’t mean it’s a contender to win.

    People will go crazy for Israel in the arena doesn’t change the fact that’s it going to finish on the right hand side of the leader board.

    Punters throwing money away imo

    • Since rehearsals began we have now seen Azerbaijan, France & Australia all hit single figures.

      Is Australia going to be charting around Europe – NO

      Is Australia the sort of song people would be listening to a studio version after ESC 19 – NO

      Is Australia the sort of song people would listen too without seeing the stage show – NO

      Single figures based purely on the staging. It’s another hype train. Azerbaijan will win due to robots, France will win due to Bilal’s staging, Australia will win because Kate is swinging on a pole in front graphics on the LED screen.

  35. Hey Daz, did you tried to ask this questions for Amar pelos dois too? 😀

    3 No again but Salvador won. Kate can win this too. This is definetely 2nd most powerful contender at the moment. 1st is Duncan, yes.

    Robots in Az are distracting and unnecessary. The mugham part shines in that song..and Chingiz.

    Bilal’s staging is good and his character, personality shining. I can’t see Bilal being Conchita v2.0 here but I see France finishing in Top 5.

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