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Best in Western Europe in Eurovision 2018 Odds

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

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Before Salvador Sobral brought Portugal’s first ever win last year, the last time when a Western European countries triumphed was back in 1997, when United Kingdom got the honour of hosting the next year’s edition in Birmingham 1998. After that year, Eurovision travelled all around the Europe: from North to South and from centre to East, but it is still deeply missed by the Western European citizens. Last time when a Western country was close to winning the ESC was in 2014 when the Netherlands placed 2nd in Copenhagen.

Lisbon will host 8 countries from the West: UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. While France, Portugal, Spain and the UK are already qualified in the Grand Final, the others have to get through qualification: Belgium, Switzerland and Ireland will perform in the opening semi-final, while Netherland will give its best in the second semi-final.

Spain may have competed in almost every Eurovision to date, but they’ve only won twice. In 1968, Massiel pipped Cliff Richard to first place, and they retained their title the following year, tying for the win with three other nations. In recent years, Spain’s form has been very poor. They flopped in 2015 with Edurne and ‘Amanecer’, and again in 2016 with Barei. Last year, after a controversial national final, Manel Navarro finished bottom.

Madame Monsieur, formed in 2013, consists of Émilie Satt and Jean-Karl Lucas. The song is entirely in French and regards a girl named Mercy who (roughly translated) was ‘born this morning’. The lyrics regard the refugee crisis. Vocally, lead singer Émilie is superb, though a bit more movement would be welcome – Jean-Karl does little besides pretend to play the guitar. Mind you, it ought to be pared back. It is simplistic and beautiful, and there is no need for any flashy tricks. A strong showing from France after their revert to a national final, and a popular result. Hopefully ‘Mercy’ won’t be forgotten in the grand final line up this May. It’s the sort of song that would do well in many an international chart.

Debuting in 1964, Portugal finally secured its first win the in the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev last year, as Salvador Sobral’s ‘Amar Pelos Dois’ romped to victory, its simplicity winning over many viewers. This May, Lisbon will stage the competition, and last night the host nation chose its entry for the upcoming show. Cláudia, a former contestant on the Portuguese edition of The Voice, performs othe song that will represent Portugal this year “O Jardin” very nicely. It’s a ballad, and a melancholic but pretty one. Simple and delicate, as it should be, she’s alone on stage besides the songwriter Isaura. The pink-haired frontwoman had a pleasant voice, and the atmosphere is quite dreamy and ethereal.

Ireland is the most successful nation in the Eurovision Song Contest’s long history. Since Butch Moore took to the stage in 1965, the country has won seven times, most recently back in 1996 with Eimear Quinn’s ‘”The Voice”. Ryan O’Shaughnessy with the song “Together” hopes to bring back this year Ireland in the Grand Final for the first time since 2013.