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Chat Awards 2017: The winners!

Chat Awards 2017: The winners!

Presenting the winners of the #esc and escgo! Chat Awards for 2017!

As a pre-Christmas treat, this year we held our annual Chat Awards ceremony in the 90 minutes immediately preceding the final of Festivali i Këngës, the Albanian preselection for ESC 2018.

The timing was ideal: what better way to welcome in the first entry of the new season than by reviewing and voting on our favourites from the past year from the nominees chosen by our chatters?

The winners of the individual live polls were:

  • Best official preview video for an ESC 2017 song: Belgium (“City Lights”)
    [also nominated: France, Belarus]
  • Best outfit(s) worn at ESC 2017: Sweden (Robin Bengtsson)
    [also nominated: Moldova, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Montenegro]
  • Best staging at ESC 2017: Azerbaijan (“Skeletons”)
    [also nominated: Bulgaria, Cyprus]
  • Best solo artist at ESC 2017: Salvador Sobral (Portugal)
    [also nominated: Belgium, France]
  • Best band or other non-solo artist at ESC 2017: Naviband (Belarus)
    [also nominated: Moldova, Estonia, Netherlands]
  • Best song at ESC 2017: Belgium (“City Lights”)
    [also nominated: Italy, Finland, Portugal]
  • Best national final of the 2017 season: Romania
    [also nominated: United Kingdom, Slovenia, Portugal, Sweden, Spain]
  • Hottest person at ESC 2017 or in a national final: IMRI
    [also nominated: Volodymyr Ostapchuk, Jon Henrik Fjällgren]
  • #esc cult of the year: Maltese public singing “Breathlessly”
    [also nominated: YouTuber, Georgian voting V-sign, FiK interval act fail, Etzia]

We also reconfirmed “Petale” by Instinct as our favourite non-winning national final song of the season following its victory in the 2017 edition of SongHunt earlier in the year.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all our chatters for their participation in another fun year of Chat Awards!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more

ABBA, Sobral. Why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision

The victory of Salvador Sobral is a turning point in Eurovision history. It’s probably the most important victory since ABBA. Felix points out what’s so important about Portugal winning with this entry, and why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision.

read more

Reviewing Eurovision 2017: Felix’s top three thoughts

Oh Eurovision, oh Europe. It’s 14:00 CET on day 1 after Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the first day of a new calendar. What a historic night! And impossible to narrow it all down to just three thoughts. Felix tries anyway.

read more

Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Congratulations to Portugal, which has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever, with Salvador Sobral and his song "Amar Pelos Dois". In the grand final, Portugal was the clear favourite of the juries and televoters alike, amassing a huge total of 758...

read more

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Madalena Iglésias (🇵🇹 1966). "Ele e ela" is an absolute TUNE.

https://t.co/Yn329chlyB

Meanwhile, @NRKmgp is busy revealing this year's Norwegian finalists. So far Aleksander Walmann is grabbing another moment, and Stella Mwangi is haba-haback!

Wipe that Blue Monday frown off your face with this post from @WhoopsDragovic - in which Martin from our team and various other Euro-friends choose their favourite songs for an instant pick-me-up! https://t.co/2KSOwVe4Pb #Eurovision

Our chatters' favourite tonight was Lisandro Cuxi's "Eva" with an average score of 7.32 out of 10! Let's see if the juries agree... 🇫🇷 #DestinationEurovision

RT if you remember #DestinationEurovision #Eurovision

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SongHunt 2018: Full results

SongHunt 2018: Full results

This page contains the full qualification list for SongHunt 2018 based on our votes in the chat, plus an overview of the heats and later rounds. Read what’s new in SongHunt 2018 here!

 

Qualification list

The number in brackets is the average score from the chat voting.

Red coloured titles are Eurovision entries (banned from entering SongHunt).
Green coloured titles are the songs that will enter the next heat according to the current standings.
Bold titles are songs that have already taken part in a SongHunt heat.
[EC] after the title indicates that the song reached a SongHunt heat as an editors’ choice.

[—] indicates that no one in the chat rated the songs in this show.

  1. [8.13] Inis Neziri – Piedestal (Albania)
  2. [7.85] Eugent Bushpepa – Mall (Albania)
  3. [7.52] Orgesa Zaimi – Ngrije zërin (Albania)
  4. [7.39] Artemisa Mithi – E dua botën (Albania)
  5. [6.68] Rezarta Smaja & Luis Ejlli – Ra një yll (Albania)
  6. [6.52] Denisa Gjezo – Zemër ku je (Albania)
  7. [6.18] Manjola Nallbani – I njëjti qiell (Albania)
  8. [6.04] Redon Makashi – Ekziston (Albania)
  9. [5.15] Tiri Gjoci – Orë e ndalur (Albania)
  10. [5.02] Grupi Na & Festina Mezini – Tjetër jetë (Albania)
  11. [4.98] Mariza Ikonomi – Unë (Albania)
  12. [4.66] Elton Deda – Fjalët (Albania)
  13. [3.76] Bojken Lako – Sytë e shpirtit (Albania)
  14. [3.24] Voltan Prodani – E pamundur (Albania)


Entries that were eliminated before their national final:

Masoe – Paradis (France Semi 1)
Noée – L’un près de l’autre (France Semi 1)
Enéa – I’ll Be There (France Semi 1)
Pheno Men – Jamais sans toi (France Semi 1)
Ehla – J’ai cru (France Semi 1)
Justin3 – Born to Be Wild One (Lithuania Heat 1)
Monee – Standing Here (Lithuania Heat 1)
Meda Meškauskaitė – Blood Roses (Lithuania Heat 1)
Dangė – Netikra Laimė (Lithuania Heat 1)
Natalija Chareckaja – Serious (Lithuania Heat 1)
Aušra Difartė – Someday (Lithuania Heat 1)
Evaldas Vaikasas – Blind (Lithuania Heat 1)
Lorela Sejdini – Pritëm edhe pak (Albania Semi 2)
Ergi Bregu – Bum bum (Albania Semi 2)
Akullthyesit – Divorci (Albania Semi 2)
Xhesika Polo – Përjetë (Albania Semi 2)
LYNX – Vonë (Albania Semi 2)
Endri & Stefi – Mesazh (Albania Semi 1)
Evans Rama – Gjurmët (Albania Semi 1)
Genc & David Tukiçi – Të pandarë (Albania Semi 1)

 

Heat 1

  • …will be launched on Sunday 28 January!
Chat Awards 2017: Your chance to crown your favourites

Chat Awards 2017: Your chance to crown your favourites

The escgo! Chat Awards 2017 are launched!

Over the past four years, this annual event has become a favourite tradition in our #esc chat, giving us a chance to look back on the Eurovision year gone by and welcome the new season.

This year, the Chat Awards ceremony will be held in the immediate run-up to the final of Festivali i Këngës on Saturday 23 December, i.e. in the hour or so before the show begins (exact timing to be announced!).

Nominations for this year’s awards are now open (see below), and we also invite you to join us in the chat on Sunday 17 December for an informal refresher as we watch some of our favourite moments from the 2017 on-season together. You can then submit your nominations to us directly in the chat via private message – or simply send us an e-mail as usual. Either way, nominations close at 23:59 CET on Friday 22 December.

Join in and help us to answer questions such as: Which entry had the most stunning staging at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest? What was the most notable cult moment or performance? Who was the best singer in Kyiv? We will soon find out!

How to nominate
You can submit 2 (two) candidates in each of the following categories by sending an email to vote@escgo.com or sending your nominations by private message to FelixK or MartinF in the chat. You don’t have to nominate in all of the categories, just as many or as few as you want! The categories are:

  • Best national final of the 2017 season
  • Best official preview video for an ESC 2017 song (must be the video as listed on eurovision.tv)
  • Best outfit worn at ESC 2017
  • Best staging at ESC 2017
  • Best solo artist at ESC 2017
  • Best band or other non-solo artist at ESC 2017
  • Best song at ESC 2017
  • #esc cult of the year (you can suggest anything that’s made us laugh in the chatroom, from ridiculous national final performances to amazing YT clips we discovered this year – it doesn’t have to be ESC-related or from 2017)
  • Hottest entrant in a national final or at Eurovision

Once the nomination lines are closed, we will take a look at the results and pick the most popular choices from each category. These will be the final nominees for the polls to be held in the chat before FiK on Saturday 23 December.

If time allows, we will also be taking a quick look back at the 2017 edition of SongHunt and seeing if our chatters still agree with the final results of the public vote back in May – but more about that later!

So send us your nominations by e-mail or in the chat when you’re ready – and we hope to see you in the chat for a fun evening of video-watching on Sunday 17 December and, in particular, for the Chat Awards themselves in the run-up to the Festivali i Këngës final on Saturday 23 December!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more

ABBA, Sobral. Why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision

The victory of Salvador Sobral is a turning point in Eurovision history. It’s probably the most important victory since ABBA. Felix points out what’s so important about Portugal winning with this entry, and why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision.

read more

Reviewing Eurovision 2017: Felix’s top three thoughts

Oh Eurovision, oh Europe. It’s 14:00 CET on day 1 after Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the first day of a new calendar. What a historic night! And impossible to narrow it all down to just three thoughts. Felix tries anyway.

read more

Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Congratulations to Portugal, which has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever, with Salvador Sobral and his song "Amar Pelos Dois". In the grand final, Portugal was the clear favourite of the juries and televoters alike, amassing a huge total of 758...

read more

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Madalena Iglésias (🇵🇹 1966). "Ele e ela" is an absolute TUNE.

https://t.co/Yn329chlyB

Meanwhile, @NRKmgp is busy revealing this year's Norwegian finalists. So far Aleksander Walmann is grabbing another moment, and Stella Mwangi is haba-haback!

Wipe that Blue Monday frown off your face with this post from @WhoopsDragovic - in which Martin from our team and various other Euro-friends choose their favourite songs for an instant pick-me-up! https://t.co/2KSOwVe4Pb #Eurovision

Our chatters' favourite tonight was Lisandro Cuxi's "Eva" with an average score of 7.32 out of 10! Let's see if the juries agree... 🇫🇷 #DestinationEurovision

RT if you remember #DestinationEurovision #Eurovision

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ESC 2018 to be held in Lisbon on 8, 10 and 12 May

ESC 2018 to be held in Lisbon on 8, 10 and 12 May

Image sources: visitlisboa.com, eurovision.tv

At a press conference today, Portuguese broadcaster RTP announced that Lisbon will be the host city of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. The semi-finals will be held on Tuesday 8 May and Thursday 10 May, followed by the grand final on Saturday 12 May.

The venue has been confirmed as the MEO Arena, popularly known as the “Pavilhão Atlântico” and originally constructed for Lisbon’s role as host of EXPO’98. With a capacity of around 20,000 (which will undoubtedly be reduced for ESC once the stage, backstage area and other technical equipment are in place), it had already been widely identified by fans as the only arena in the country that could realistically offer everything required of a modern-day ESC venue. It remains to be seen if the venue will go by a different name for the purposes of ESC, as the EBU often insists that sponsor names like MEO not be used.

Portugal will host the competition for the first time following Salvador Sobral’s historic victory at ESC 2017 with the song “Amar pelos dois”.

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more

ABBA, Sobral. Why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision

The victory of Salvador Sobral is a turning point in Eurovision history. It’s probably the most important victory since ABBA. Felix points out what’s so important about Portugal winning with this entry, and why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision.

read more

Reviewing Eurovision 2017: Felix’s top three thoughts

Oh Eurovision, oh Europe. It’s 14:00 CET on day 1 after Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the first day of a new calendar. What a historic night! And impossible to narrow it all down to just three thoughts. Felix tries anyway.

read more

Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Congratulations to Portugal, which has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever, with Salvador Sobral and his song "Amar Pelos Dois". In the grand final, Portugal was the clear favourite of the juries and televoters alike, amassing a huge total of 758...

read more

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Madalena Iglésias (🇵🇹 1966). "Ele e ela" is an absolute TUNE.

https://t.co/Yn329chlyB

Meanwhile, @NRKmgp is busy revealing this year's Norwegian finalists. So far Aleksander Walmann is grabbing another moment, and Stella Mwangi is haba-haback!

Wipe that Blue Monday frown off your face with this post from @WhoopsDragovic - in which Martin from our team and various other Euro-friends choose their favourite songs for an instant pick-me-up! https://t.co/2KSOwVe4Pb #Eurovision

Our chatters' favourite tonight was Lisandro Cuxi's "Eva" with an average score of 7.32 out of 10! Let's see if the juries agree... 🇫🇷 #DestinationEurovision

RT if you remember #DestinationEurovision #Eurovision

4
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“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

image source: Instinct (Facebook page)

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end: “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, has won the grand final!

Based on the votes of our chatters in the #esc chat and supplemented by our Last Chance poll, a total of 96 songs took part in the eight SongHunt heats between January and March, followed by four quarter-finals and two semi-finals. The 12-song final was open for the two weeks during and after ESC 2017 itself, and over the past week we have been eliminating one song every day until we got to tonight’s six superfinalists.

In a special event in the chat, our chatters voted in three rounds. Firstly, they chose their favourite of the three lowest-scoring songs from the public vote, which resulted in “Feel Me Now” by Ariadne going forward to the next round (with Holly Brewer from the United Kingdom and Inês Sousa from Portugal dropping out). Next, the four remaining songs were whittled down to two, which meant we said goodbye to Loreen and Roger Pontare from Sweden.

Ariadne and Instinct were then left to compete in the final duel, which ended up in a dead heat. According to SongHunt rules, we counted back to the previous rounds as the tie-breaker. As “Petale” had scored better previously, it was duly crowned the winner of SongHunt 2017!

Looking back at the full results for this year’s SongHunt, “Petale” actually achieved the highest chat score of any non-winning finalist during the respective national final show, so its victory didn’t come completely out of the blue. That said, it’s worth noting that “Statements” by Loreen received a higher average score during its Melodifestivalen semi-final – but that didn’t count towards the SongHunt master list as only finals are counted, not earlier rounds in the national selection process, hence she had to qualify for SongHunt via the Last Chance poll instead.

Here’s the reprise of the winning song and performance – many congratulations to Instinct, and we look forward to seeing which songs become our chat and poll favourites when SongHunt rolls around again in 2018!

 

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more

ABBA, Sobral. Why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision

The victory of Salvador Sobral is a turning point in Eurovision history. It’s probably the most important victory since ABBA. Felix points out what’s so important about Portugal winning with this entry, and why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision.

read more

Reviewing Eurovision 2017: Felix’s top three thoughts

Oh Eurovision, oh Europe. It’s 14:00 CET on day 1 after Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the first day of a new calendar. What a historic night! And impossible to narrow it all down to just three thoughts. Felix tries anyway.

read more

Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Congratulations to Portugal, which has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever, with Salvador Sobral and his song "Amar Pelos Dois". In the grand final, Portugal was the clear favourite of the juries and televoters alike, amassing a huge total of 758...

read more

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Madalena Iglésias (🇵🇹 1966). "Ele e ela" is an absolute TUNE.

https://t.co/Yn329chlyB

Meanwhile, @NRKmgp is busy revealing this year's Norwegian finalists. So far Aleksander Walmann is grabbing another moment, and Stella Mwangi is haba-haback!

Wipe that Blue Monday frown off your face with this post from @WhoopsDragovic - in which Martin from our team and various other Euro-friends choose their favourite songs for an instant pick-me-up! https://t.co/2KSOwVe4Pb #Eurovision

Our chatters' favourite tonight was Lisandro Cuxi's "Eva" with an average score of 7.32 out of 10! Let's see if the juries agree... 🇫🇷 #DestinationEurovision

RT if you remember #DestinationEurovision #Eurovision

4
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Five countries that broke new ground at ESC 2017

Five countries that broke new ground at ESC 2017

all images from eurovision.tv

We’ve had a week to digest the results of ESC 2017. Now it’s time to crunch the numbers and take a look at some of the countries that made statistical history at this year’s contest – one way or another!

Portugal joins the 2,000 club

There are lots of ways in which Salvador Sobral’s victory was a landmark, from the 758 points amassed by “Amar pelos dois” (the highest absolute score ever seen on an ESC scoreboard) and the 18 times it received douze points from one of the national juries, right through to the 53 years Portugal has had to wait for its first win in the competition. But how about this bit of numerical geekery? In its 40 previous appearances in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest before last Saturday, Portugal had received 1,256 points – in total. Now, thanks to Salvador Sobral, the country has leapt forward to an all-time total of 2,014 points. There have been vastly different voting systems over the years, of course – the current system is geared towards huge winning totals, whereas in the early days of the competition it was rare for more than a few entries to reach double figures in any given year – but it does serve to illustrate just how utterly exceptional “Amar pelos dois” is in the context of Portugal’s long and largely unsuccessful ESC history.

Not messing around

Bulgaria and Moldova hit new heights

The last time the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Kyiv, Bulgaria and Moldova made their debuts in the competition. Their fates could hardly have been more different: Zdob și Zdub’s drumming granny took Moldova all the way to 6th place in the final and remains a fixture of TV clip shows even now – while “Lorraine” by Kaffe made precious little impression with Europe’s voters, limping out of the semi-final in 19th place. The two countries do have some things in common, though. Both are still waiting for their first ESC victory – and both came closer than ever before when the contest returned to Kyiv this year. Taking the bronze medal, SunStroke Project from Moldova wisely put their Epic Sax Guy front and centre in order to attract a strong televote (as expected) and an awful lot of jury love (as definitely not expected!). Meanwhile, Kristian Kostov from Bulgaria charmed his way to second place with the slickest visual production of the night. It remains to be seen whether the parallels with the ESC career of his talent-show mentor, Dima Bilan, will continue with a victorious appearance at ESC 2019 – but we wouldn’t bet against it.

Dispirited

Valentina’s luck runs out

San Marino’s eternal participant had been on an upward trend. After she finished 14th in the semi-final in 2012, 11th in the semi-final in 2013 then finally squeezed into a qualification spot in 2014, the fansites who worship at the feet of Valentina Monetta were eager to see if she could continue the pattern of improvement on her fourth appearance in the competition. But it wasn’t to be. Indeed, it could barely have gone worse for Valentina and her duet partner Jimmie Wilson, as their “Spirit Of The Night” gathered a grand total of one point. One point! A whole 41 fewer than their nearest rival Lithuania. Not only that, the previously dependable juries abandoned the microstate altogether – their single point came from none other than the televoters of Germany, some of whom presumably wanted to bestow their countryman and veteran songwriter Ralph Siegel with at least some kind of reward for his effort.

And yet San Marino still didn’t finish last in the semi 2 televote. That fate befell Claudia Faniello from Malta, whose “Breathlessly” not only scored a big fat zero with the public, but failed to finish higher than 14th in any single country’s televote. We’ve seen zero scores in the semi-final before, of course – Piero Esteriore is and always will be the benchmark in that respect, but his was a multi-vehicle car crash of a performance. By contrast, Claudia delivered her entry perfectly professionally, give or take the looming boobs on the backdrop – which suggests that the televoters of Europe simply didn’t like the song at all. Ouch.

Breastfully

Armenia-Azerbaijan relations begin to thaw (sort of)

You can’t expect many signs of friendship between two countries in a permanent state of political conflict. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Armenia actually gave one point to Azerbaijan in 2009 – not least since this was understandably overshadowed by the fact that Azerbaijan got the police to interrogate the 43 people who had televoted for Armenia in return. Lovely. In any case, real-life tensions between the countries have escalated further in the meantime, and relations in the Eurovision world haven’t improved much either. Armenia withdrew from the Baku-hosted contest in 2012, before deciding to toy with disqualification by flying the Nagorno-Karabakh flag in the green room last year. Ever since the EBU started publishing the jury results in full, we’ve seen the Azerbaijani jurors consistently putting the Armenian entry in last place across the board, with Armenia always keen to return the favour. Fans are quick to cry foul, but really, what do they expect under the circumstances?

And then 2017 happened. OK, so the juries still did their usual trick of systematically downvoting the enemy in both the semi-final and the final – but take a closer look at the full results for the first semi-final and you’ll see a tiny miracle begin to emerge. “Skeletons” by DiHaj, the entry from Azerbaijan, finished 16th in the Armenian televote. Not 17th and last, like you might reasonably expect, but 16th – one whole place ahead of Triana Park from Latvia. Can we get a hallelujah? It turns out that the televoters of Armenia are not just an easily influenced mass of neighbour-haters; rather, some of them can recognise and acknowledge a well-performed, contemporary pop song even when it comes wrapped in the flag of their mortal enemy.

Either that or the Latvian entry was just really shit.

Still, thank you, Triana Park – yes, you finished last in the semi-final, but you might just have given a divided region a tiny glimmer of hope for the future.

 

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more

ABBA, Sobral. Why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision

The victory of Salvador Sobral is a turning point in Eurovision history. It’s probably the most important victory since ABBA. Felix points out what’s so important about Portugal winning with this entry, and why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision.

read more

Reviewing Eurovision 2017: Felix’s top three thoughts

Oh Eurovision, oh Europe. It’s 14:00 CET on day 1 after Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the first day of a new calendar. What a historic night! And impossible to narrow it all down to just three thoughts. Felix tries anyway.

read more

Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Congratulations to Portugal, which has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever, with Salvador Sobral and his song "Amar Pelos Dois". In the grand final, Portugal was the clear favourite of the juries and televoters alike, amassing a huge total of 758...

read more

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Madalena Iglésias (🇵🇹 1966). "Ele e ela" is an absolute TUNE.

https://t.co/Yn329chlyB

Meanwhile, @NRKmgp is busy revealing this year's Norwegian finalists. So far Aleksander Walmann is grabbing another moment, and Stella Mwangi is haba-haback!

Wipe that Blue Monday frown off your face with this post from @WhoopsDragovic - in which Martin from our team and various other Euro-friends choose their favourite songs for an instant pick-me-up! https://t.co/2KSOwVe4Pb #Eurovision

Our chatters' favourite tonight was Lisandro Cuxi's "Eva" with an average score of 7.32 out of 10! Let's see if the juries agree... 🇫🇷 #DestinationEurovision

RT if you remember #DestinationEurovision #Eurovision

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Some of our favourite tweets from last night’s show

Twitter is never more fun than when the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place. We collected some of our favourite tweets from last night’s show:

That dawning realisation that it could be a long night:

Romania made an impact in so many ways:

On Ukraine:

On Bulgaria:

Then the voting began:

And the sudden realisation that it’s nearly all over for another year…

…but at least we have this to look forward to:

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more

ABBA, Sobral. Why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision

The victory of Salvador Sobral is a turning point in Eurovision history. It’s probably the most important victory since ABBA. Felix points out what’s so important about Portugal winning with this entry, and why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision.

read more

Reviewing Eurovision 2017: Felix’s top three thoughts

Oh Eurovision, oh Europe. It’s 14:00 CET on day 1 after Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the first day of a new calendar. What a historic night! And impossible to narrow it all down to just three thoughts. Felix tries anyway.

read more

Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Congratulations to Portugal, which has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever, with Salvador Sobral and his song "Amar Pelos Dois". In the grand final, Portugal was the clear favourite of the juries and televoters alike, amassing a huge total of 758...

read more

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Madalena Iglésias (🇵🇹 1966). "Ele e ela" is an absolute TUNE.

https://t.co/Yn329chlyB

Meanwhile, @NRKmgp is busy revealing this year's Norwegian finalists. So far Aleksander Walmann is grabbing another moment, and Stella Mwangi is haba-haback!

Wipe that Blue Monday frown off your face with this post from @WhoopsDragovic - in which Martin from our team and various other Euro-friends choose their favourite songs for an instant pick-me-up! https://t.co/2KSOwVe4Pb #Eurovision

Our chatters' favourite tonight was Lisandro Cuxi's "Eva" with an average score of 7.32 out of 10! Let's see if the juries agree... 🇫🇷 #DestinationEurovision

RT if you remember #DestinationEurovision #Eurovision

4
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Five interesting bets for tonight’s Eurovision final

Five interesting bets for tonight’s Eurovision final

all images © eurovision.tv; all odds correct at time of writing

Tonight is the grand final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest! And while we all choose to celebrate the contest in different ways – voting sheets, flags, country-themed snacks and drinks, life-size cardboard cutouts of Jacques Houdek – there’s an entire sub-culture of fandom dedicated to betting on the competition. When re-watching old contests, you’ll often hear commentators talking about who the British or Irish bookmakers think will be the winner, as they were the only ones offering odds in those days. In this internet age, however, the winner is just the start of it – there’s a whole range of betting markets dedicated to all kinds of outcomes, from which countries will reach the top 5 or the top 10, right through to regional champions (e.g. the top Nordic nation), the number of 12 points a country will receive, or head-to-heads between two specific entries.

To help you navigate this complex landscape of betting opportunities, our resident gambler Martin has selected five bets you might want to consider ahead of tonight’s show. Needless to say, these are suggestions only – your bank balance may go up as well as down, and escgo! can provide no guarantee of future performance, as much as we’d love to.

As always, Oddschecker provides a good overview of the available markets here, and if you’re new to the concept of betting odds and what it all means, our good friends at Sofabet can explain everything right here.

Over to Martin’s thoughts, then:

Portugal to beat Italy

You all know your way around the winner market (and can draw your own conclusions anyway), so I’m going to focus on some of the more specific markets in this post. For example, head-to-heads are always a good way of playing it safe if you think Country X will definitely finish ahead of Country Y regardless of where they end up on the scoreboard in respect of the other entries.

Take the hot contenders for the win tonight, for instance. The betting markets are satisfied that it’s a three-way fight between long-term favourite Francesco Gabbani from Italy, the man with the momentum, Portugal’s Salvador Sobral, and young upstart Kristian Kostov from Bulgaria. I think it’s entirely plausible that any of those countries could win – indeed, if I had to pick a favourite right now it might just be Bulgaria, but maybe that’s because my brain refuses to accept the concept of Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest in the first place. (What next, Finland triumphing with a masked heavy metal band?) Alternatively, the fans and the markets could be completely wrong and we’ll see a total outsider stealing a march on the field, especially if there’s a big jury/televoting disparity like last year. So why not focus on the individual battles instead? In this case, I think Salvador’s narrative, his jury-friendliness and his ability to nail a more convincing performance when it counts all add up to Portugal finishing ahead of Italy on the scoreboard tonight. Odds of 2.0 (Bet365) are available if you agree – and you’ll win your bet regardless of whether Portugal and Italy finish 1st and 2nd or 24th and 25th!

ARMRI


Israel to finish in the top 10

Last year, Belgium’s Laura Tesoro barged her way to qualification from the last spot in her semi-final, was placed first in the final running order and still snuck into the top 10 thanks to a persuasive up-tempo performance. I think that’s exactly what IMRI from Israel offers this year, and while Laura’s song was probably more jury-friendly, this is the kind of year where the top three might suck up a lot of the points (hello 2015!) leaving things to get a bit more random in the mid-table area. Moreover, IMRI’s opening number is immediately followed by three less impactful performances all with a white-and-blue staging theme, which should make him stand out even more in hindsight. If I’m being completely honest, I feel like he probably will end up more towards the middle of the final scoreboard, but with odds in the 7s with most bookmakers and as much as 8.5 in places (e.g. MarathonBet), I think a top 10 punt on Israel constitutes a value bet at this stage.

Austria to finish last

Speaking of those early performers in white on a blue background… OK, let’s be honest here, we all know it’s probably going to be Spain and Germany battling it out for last place tonight. But I think their songs have at least as much quality to them as the Austrian composition, and they benefit from a much better position in the running order. If Manel Navarro in particular pulls out a vaguely charming performance and Levina from Germany keeps that engaging smile on her face, someone else will have to finish last, so why not Nathan Trent? We know from two years ago that friendless Austria are perfectly capable of propping up the table, and “Running On Air” is insubstantial enough that it could easily fall through the gaps with juries and televoters alike. More to the point, the odds of 29.0 (SkyBet) are extremely tempting. (It’ll probably still be Spain though.)

Show me a jury that can resist a good “jusqu’à ce que”


France to receive at least one jury 12

Here’s a brilliantly niche bet that Bet365 are currently offering at a price of 2.62. Last year illustrated just how wildly all-over-the-place the jury votes can be. Bear in mind that a jury is just five people in a room, each ranking the songs in full regardless of how much or little attention they’ve actually been paying attention to them all. Strange things can happen, in other words. Last year, jury 12s went to artists as varied as Barei, Joe & Jake and the Georgian band with the long name, none of whom made much of an impact on the overall scoreboard. So why shouldn’t “Requiem”, the kind of wannabe-classy song juries ought to love, come away with at least one top mark tonight?

I should point out that Bet365 have all kinds of interesting markets available. If you’re not convinced by Alma’s chances, how about Belgium to finish 6th or lower at current odds of 2.0? The bookmakers cater for all kinds of specific outcomes these days, so there are opportunities to be had left, right and centre. As if to prove it, here’s my final suggestion:

The juries and the televoting to agree on the winner

In the wake of Måns/Il Volo and the three-way Sergey/Dami/Jamala split last year, we’ve got used to the idea of the juries and the televoters disagreeing on the winner. But it’s not actually all that common – let’s not forget that they were happy to agree on Conchita, Emmelie de Forest and Loreen as the deserving champions in the three preceding years, after all. So what if you disagree with my above assessment of the tough fight we’re going to have on our hands tonight? Maybe you think Italy will sweep up the jury and public votes just like the markets have been assuming all season long (until this week); maybe you think “Beautiful Mess” is a jury magnet and the public will fall for Kristian Kostov’s camera tricks and angsty Bieber charms; maybe you just think yodelling is the hot trend of 2017 and we’re all fools for not having realised it sooner. Whatever your theory, bwin will give you odds of 2.0 if you think the jury favourite and the televoting favourite will be one and the same this year.

Beautiful bets

And that’s all from my series of betting posts on ESC 2017. I hope I’ve been able to give you a bit of extra insight and guidance (and that I haven’t misled you too horrendously along the way). Wherever you place your money for tonight and whatever you’re doing for the show itself, I hope you have a profitable and enjoyable evening!

Who will you be betting on for tonight’s grand final? Let us know!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more

ABBA, Sobral. Why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision

The victory of Salvador Sobral is a turning point in Eurovision history. It’s probably the most important victory since ABBA. Felix points out what’s so important about Portugal winning with this entry, and why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision.

read more

Reviewing Eurovision 2017: Felix’s top three thoughts

Oh Eurovision, oh Europe. It’s 14:00 CET on day 1 after Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the first day of a new calendar. What a historic night! And impossible to narrow it all down to just three thoughts. Felix tries anyway.

read more

Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Congratulations to Portugal, which has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever, with Salvador Sobral and his song "Amar Pelos Dois". In the grand final, Portugal was the clear favourite of the juries and televoters alike, amassing a huge total of 758...

read more

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Madalena Iglésias (🇵🇹 1966). "Ele e ela" is an absolute TUNE.

https://t.co/Yn329chlyB

Meanwhile, @NRKmgp is busy revealing this year's Norwegian finalists. So far Aleksander Walmann is grabbing another moment, and Stella Mwangi is haba-haback!

Wipe that Blue Monday frown off your face with this post from @WhoopsDragovic - in which Martin from our team and various other Euro-friends choose their favourite songs for an instant pick-me-up! https://t.co/2KSOwVe4Pb #Eurovision

Our chatters' favourite tonight was Lisandro Cuxi's "Eva" with an average score of 7.32 out of 10! Let's see if the juries agree... 🇫🇷 #DestinationEurovision

RT if you remember #DestinationEurovision #Eurovision

4
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It’s nearly Eurovision. It’s always Eurovision.

It’s nearly Eurovision. It’s always Eurovision.

Some people think the Eurovision Song Contest is a television show that takes place on a Saturday in May. But we know better.

From the moment in late December when the Festivali i Këngës theme tune kicks in, to the dying strains of “Te Deum” after the ESC credits fly past at supersonic speed and the lucky winner faces a blitz of cameras, this is how we spend half of our year.

And the other half is spent dissecting what we’ve just seen, and looking forward to what’s coming next.

For me, the week of the contest itself has become an excuse for a holiday in the sun with some of the great friends I’ve made as a result of ESC. Even from a distance, we’re as engaged as any other fans – printing out voting sheets, speculating wildly about what’s going to happen during the shows, and hoping and praying that our villa will have the right TV channels and internet that’s fast enough to support half a dozen nerds all obsessively loading and re-loading YouTube rehearsal videos on their phones while sipping a poolside glass of something chilled.

Press centre, Lanzarote-style, complete with deformed cake

It’s a fine habit and a masterclass in glorious geekery – where else but with this gang would you hear “Esmer yarim” three times in a week? – but it’s a habit that’s kept me out of the press centre bubble more often than not these last few years, and it’s the reason my blogging this year has been mainly limited to betting posts and some idle analysis here and there. While I can’t deny the merits of hot weather and holiday food, every year I do find myself jealous of the friends and fan-press colleagues who make their way to the host city for the contest, and (to borrow from Brendan Murray) I’m dying to go back again – even if it’s just for the first week of rehearsals, like I did in Vienna in 2015 before escaping to the sunshine for the shows themselves.

Thanks to the usual boring time and money commitments, these days the host city needs to be somewhere actively interesting to me in order to justify a visit. Hence Vienna but no Stockholm last year – I love the Swedish capital, but I’ve been there almost every year of my adult life, so I don’t need to pay inflated accommodation prices for the privilege of yet another swing around the cobblestones of Gamla Stan. If the bookmakers are right, next year’s Euro-circus might well be rolling into Turin or Milan (where I’ve never been), Lisbon (where I’ve been once, on a day trip as an already sulky 12-year-old) or Sofia (where I’ve been as recently as last October, but I’d be delighted to revisit). Any of those would stand a very good chance of tempting me back into the bubble, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings in that respect.

Sofia calling?

Regardless of where and how we consume the contest, ESC week can be a surprisingly strange experience for the hardcore fan. Because it’s nearly all over. All that waiting and wondering, a whole season of it, is channeled into the intense rush of three shows in five days. We juggle multiple webstreams and mourn for what gets left behind in the national finals; we obsess over, analyse and overanalyse the songs that do make it; we place our bets, hold our preview parties, share our toplists, pore over rehearsal blogs and videos. Then suddenly, within the space of barely 48 hours, we find that 42 songs have already become 26. Our lovers get lost in Verona; blackbirds fall down the rooftops. The final running order comes out and we rush to start obsessing all over again, knowing there’s only a day and a half left for us to truly indulge in the joy of anticipation before “Te Deum” kicks in one last time to herald the start of our Cup Final, our Olympics, the culmination of our religious worship at the altar of Eurovision.

Yes, it’s a strange week. But it’s still the best week.

Tomorrow, of course, is when we’ll get messages from our friends and relatives, asking us who’s going to win and who they should look out for. As if we couldn’t have told them three months ago, or two months ago, or one month ago, or one week ago. With a different answer every time.

They think it’s just a television show that takes place on a Saturday in May, you see. But we know different. We know better. And whether our favourites take home the trophy or crash and burn in the semi-final, we know there’s always a next year, and a next, and a next.

The cycle will begin again. The cycle never really ends.

It’s the Eurovision Song Contest, it’s bloody marvellous, and it’s ours. Enjoy it.

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more

ABBA, Sobral. Why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision

The victory of Salvador Sobral is a turning point in Eurovision history. It’s probably the most important victory since ABBA. Felix points out what’s so important about Portugal winning with this entry, and why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision.

read more

Reviewing Eurovision 2017: Felix’s top three thoughts

Oh Eurovision, oh Europe. It’s 14:00 CET on day 1 after Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the first day of a new calendar. What a historic night! And impossible to narrow it all down to just three thoughts. Felix tries anyway.

read more

Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Congratulations to Portugal, which has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever, with Salvador Sobral and his song "Amar Pelos Dois". In the grand final, Portugal was the clear favourite of the juries and televoters alike, amassing a huge total of 758...

read more

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Madalena Iglésias (🇵🇹 1966). "Ele e ela" is an absolute TUNE.

https://t.co/Yn329chlyB

Meanwhile, @NRKmgp is busy revealing this year's Norwegian finalists. So far Aleksander Walmann is grabbing another moment, and Stella Mwangi is haba-haback!

Wipe that Blue Monday frown off your face with this post from @WhoopsDragovic - in which Martin from our team and various other Euro-friends choose their favourite songs for an instant pick-me-up! https://t.co/2KSOwVe4Pb #Eurovision

Our chatters' favourite tonight was Lisandro Cuxi's "Eva" with an average score of 7.32 out of 10! Let's see if the juries agree... 🇫🇷 #DestinationEurovision

RT if you remember #DestinationEurovision #Eurovision

4
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Semi 2: Three bets to consider

Semi 2: Three bets to consider

all images © eurovision.tv; all odds correct at time of writing

So how was your Tuesday night? Did all your personal favourites qualify and, perhaps more importantly, did you make a bit of money with your bets? Of course, some of the betting markets – like the semi-final winner – will only be settled once the full results are presented in the early hours of Sunday morning. But in the meantime, let’s turn our attention to tonight’s second semi-final and some of the betting options you might want to consider if you have a few currency units floating around your online account!

As always, Oddschecker provides a good overview of the available markets here, and if you’re new to the concept of betting odds and what it all means, our good friends at Sofabet can explain everything right here.

Over to Martin’s thoughts, then:

Armed and dangerous

Israel to finish in the top 3 of the semi-final

There’s almost no point in looking at the “to win semi 2” market, as Bulgaria is far and away the favourite; the best available price for Kristian Kostov at the time of writing was 1.73, with the nearest contenders in the 9s and 10s. Of course, there very much is a point if you don’t believe “Beautiful Mess” will be tonight’s semi winner. But I do – it’s jury-friendly and televoter-friendly in equal measure. So let’s consider the “top 3” market instead. This is a tougher one to read, as entries have a habit of popping up into the semi-final podium places without that necessarily being any indication of great success in the final, as anyone from Paradise Oskar to Ira Losco will tell you. Factors that are diluted in the final, like the immediately surrounding songs, the composition of the voting countries and the running order, can be magnified in the unforgiving arena of the semi-final.

Last year, a bouncy up-tempo number from Belgium surprised many by finishing third in its semi-final from last place in the running order, and I can see IMRI from Israel achieving exactly the same thing tonight. “I Feel Alive” has enough real-world relevance to score well enough with the juries, and televoters will be desperate for a bit of fun after slogging their way through the teenage angst of Bulgaria, the telenovela drama of Estonia and whatever the hell Lithuania is. If you agree, Betfair Exchange will give you odds of 3.23 for a top three finish for Israel. Alternatively, you could take an each-way bet on IMRI to win the semi-final with one of the bookmakers who will pay out for the first three places, such as Coral (odds of 17 at time of writing).

Laying down my armour, packing up my case

Denmark to fail to qualify

While all of my betting suggestions are just that – suggestions – I’d like to make it especially clear that I don’t think this one will happen, as our escgo! prediction post will show. But there are signs that Denmark is by no means as clear a qualifier as the market thinks, and I’m surprised you can get NQ odds as generous as 5.5 (SkyBet). The country is on a losing streak, failing to qualify by some distance in each of the last two years, and tonight Anja will deliver a highly competent but not especially likeable performance of an identikit staging that might remind viewers too much of something they’ve seen many times before. I still think the solid quality of the composition will shine through in the end, but it wouldn’t shock me if Denmark ended up by the wayside for the third year in a row.

Whether you buy into this theory or not, it’s always fun to dabble in the non-qualification market – I’m tempted by the generous prices on the likes of Austria and Serbia too, for example. All you need is a rogue Jacques Houdek to bludgeon his way to a final ticket and suddenly things start looking dicey for several of his competitors.

Lights out

Lithuania to finish last in the semi-final

Yes, Lithuania has diaspora in some of the televoting countries. Yes, they tend to overperform in semi-finals. Yes, Fusedmarc are competing against “Spirit Of The Night” with its 47 key changes. But come on. “Rain Of Revolution” is the longest, loudest three minutes to disgrace the Eurovision stage in many a year. Surely it can’t come anywhere but dead last tonight? Odds of 3.28 (Betfair Exchange) are available if you agree.

Where will you be placing your money for tonight’s show? Let us know!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more

ABBA, Sobral. Why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision

The victory of Salvador Sobral is a turning point in Eurovision history. It’s probably the most important victory since ABBA. Felix points out what’s so important about Portugal winning with this entry, and why 2017 is a landmark year for Eurovision.

read more

Reviewing Eurovision 2017: Felix’s top three thoughts

Oh Eurovision, oh Europe. It’s 14:00 CET on day 1 after Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the first day of a new calendar. What a historic night! And impossible to narrow it all down to just three thoughts. Felix tries anyway.

read more

Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Congratulations to Portugal, which has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever, with Salvador Sobral and his song "Amar Pelos Dois". In the grand final, Portugal was the clear favourite of the juries and televoters alike, amassing a huge total of 758...

read more

Albania sends “Mall” and makes us glad. Here’s how!

Eugent Bushpepa will represent Albania at ESC 2018 in Lisbon with his song "Mall". Here's how that, and Festivali i Këngës in general, makes us glad. We're glad to see that Albania is trying something new at Eurovision. We're glad to see that one of our chat's big...

read more

“Petale” by Instinct wins SongHunt 2017

SongHunt 2017, our poll series to find the best non-winning national final song of the year, has come to an end – and “Petale” by Instinct, from the Romanian preselection, is the winner of the grand final!

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Madalena Iglésias (🇵🇹 1966). "Ele e ela" is an absolute TUNE.

https://t.co/Yn329chlyB

Meanwhile, @NRKmgp is busy revealing this year's Norwegian finalists. So far Aleksander Walmann is grabbing another moment, and Stella Mwangi is haba-haback!

Wipe that Blue Monday frown off your face with this post from @WhoopsDragovic - in which Martin from our team and various other Euro-friends choose their favourite songs for an instant pick-me-up! https://t.co/2KSOwVe4Pb #Eurovision

Our chatters' favourite tonight was Lisandro Cuxi's "Eva" with an average score of 7.32 out of 10! Let's see if the juries agree... 🇫🇷 #DestinationEurovision

RT if you remember #DestinationEurovision #Eurovision

4
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