Eurovision frenzy begins each year several weeks before the official opening of the event. The fight is not only on stage but also at the bookmakers. In recent years, nine out of ten cases the predictions were correct, but Eurovision remains an unpredictable contest, where everything depends on the three minutes that competitors are on stage.
The national final season is over and now the focus goes to the betting odds. Italy remains the hot favourite followed by Sweden and surprisingly by Belgium and … Portugal. After announcing its song, Bulgaria also topped the favourites table ranked as 5th to win the contest. In terms of the semi finals Armenia, Sweden, Greece, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Montenegro, Moldova, Slovenia and Latvia are the predictions for the qualification. Armenia is topping the predictions most likely due to the diaspora and it is somehow surprised seeing Poland and Montenegro in the list. In the second semi final Bulgaria, Hungary, Denmark, Ireland, Belarus, Russia, Croatia, Romania, Israel and Lithuania are between the predictions as qualifiers. Croatia and Lithuania are the questioned countries in this list with Russia bringing questions on whether their entry can be used to psychologically force viewers and jury to vote in a participation which will take place inside Ukraine.
Italy looks by far to be the country which has a good chance of achieving a top 4 placement in Kiev. Francesco Gabanni and his ”Occidentali’s Karma”, together with the enthusiastic monkey on the stage (which is most probable to be in Kiev too, as it impressed in the final of San Remo) are keeping a top place on fans’ ranking which looks to have been consolidated after oficially announcing that the full song will be in Italian, a language which impressed at the Eurovision in past years.
Belgium is blowing in Italy’s nake. Blanche sings of being alone in the danger zone. But it seems that the danger is for her competitors in the contest. Her song leaked on Spotify and sent shockwaves across the betting agencies, catapulting her odds to win quickly. Blanche has some real momentum carrying her in to Kyiv. Both Loic Nottet and Laura Tesoro made the top ten in the last two years and the country will hope for the same again, not to mention that her entry is definitely something unique which never been in Eurovision.
France has chances to bring the Eurovision to Paris in 2018 too. Even the things look slightly worse after releasing the official entry for Kiev with a mix of English and French lyrics, Alma’s ”Requiem” is still a fan favorite and an entry which will most probably be liked by the juries too. Moreover, the singer is enjoying a good support from Amir, the singer who represented France last year.
It is being said that in ESC media there is no good publicity nor bad publicity: any kind is a good publicity. That’s what recently happened with Portugal, a country ranked with very good chances of finishing in top 4 this year. Salvador Sobral’ unique ”Amar Pelos Dois”, depsite being the only one entry which has no English lyrics in the semi-final 1, is by far a song which can not be forgotten. More than that, in the mid-March there were some news, which were afterwards denied by the Portuguese national broadcaster, that the singer may not physical appear on the stage in Kiev as his emotions need to be kept under the control in order to not put his life in danger.
Another important contenders for top 4 are Bulgaria, Romania, Denmark, Macedonia, Australia, Poland and the host country Ukraine, which has the advantage of singing between the last in the Grand Final.