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Best in Eastern Europe in Eurovision 2018 Odds

Odds on Eurovision Song Contest 2018: Which country will be best in Eastern Europe?

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Eastern Europe hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 3 times in the last 10 year, following Dima Bilan, Ell & Nikky and Jamala’s victories for Russia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine in 2008, 2011 and 2015 respectively.

In 2017, Moldova’s entry “Hey, Mamma!” by SunStroke Project was the only top 10 presence of an Eastern country in Kiev. Moldova placed 3rd which is the best ever place since the country joined the competition back in 2005.

Ukraine are two-time winners of the contest – 2004 and 2016. In fact, for a country that has little music success, certainly in western Europe at least, they have a great track record, coming close to winning in ’07 and ’08, and not doing too badly in many other years as well. On home soil last year, with O.Torvald, it’s safe to say that the result was an anomaly; a rock song that failed to impress.

Iriao will perform for Georgia. ‘For You’ is a traditional, slow, slight jazzy number, performed in Georgian. The harmonies are pleasant, reminding of “Klapas Mora” for Croatia in 2013. The live performance should help its cause, as the atmosphere and staging will aid the song in standing out more than it currently does. ‘For You’ is another different track entering what is a reasonably diverse year for the music. In the weaker semi-final, it could qualify, but only if fans really get behind it.

Although Bulgaria has yet to win, a fourth-place finish in 2016 and the runner-up spot in Kiev last year suggests Bulgaria could be close to its maiden victory before too long. There was a great deal of hype surrounding this year’s act, with rumours Poli Genova or Kristian Kostov could be back in contention. “Bones” is the name of Equinox’s song, and it’s a moody, mysterious, menacing sort of track with a hint of Sia and Loreen’s ‘Statements’ thrown in. This is well-produced and has a current feel, and vocally everything appears to be strong. The chorus has a pulsating beat, but perhaps lacks a good enough hook. Still, it’s an accomplished, strong entry thrown into the bloodbath that is the first semi-final.

Russia has been highly successful in the Eurovision Song Contest despite only one win to date (2008). The country has not finished outside the top ten since 2011, and has secured a healthy collection of silver and bronze medals. Sticking to their word, the Russian broadcaster announced that Julia is back for 2018, with her entry ‘I Won’t Break.’ Twenty-eight year old Julia was the runner-up on the third season of Russia’s X Factor, and also appeared at the opening ceremony of her nation’s Winter Paralympics (she was born with spinal muscular atrophy and has used a wheelchair since her youth).

Armenia’s ‘Qami’ is well-performed, simple but effective. It’s slow to get going, but there’s a beautifully melancholic atmosphere about the song. Vocally, Sevak is strong – more movement around the stage would be nice. The song builds up towards the end with a powerful beat and vocals to match – a touch repetitive with the lyrics perhaps but not a major concern.