Croatia

Day Two of the First Rehearsals

So, here we are for day two of the first rehearsals. A first opportunity to see Croatia, Greece and Cyprus, none of whom took part in the promo parties in the last month. We'll also be seeing how Macedonia, Austria, Finland, Armenia, Switzerland and Ireland have adapted their songs for presentation on the Eurovision stage. Stay tuned for updates throughout the day from the team.

Croatia second rehearsal

Desiree on Sat, 05/06/2017 - 11:21

Croatia is very impressive in the hall. I hoped that being here would give me more of an idea of what is going on at that stage but it doesn't really help at all! At the start after all we get the very distractive video backdrops of Jacques singing..

One trick is already revealed though.. Jacques is wearing two outfits in one. For the Italian opera parts a classic black smoking (on the right side of his body) and on the left a more casual black/white leather suit.

It is still completely over the top but sounding and looking great. I'd be surprised if it doesn't qualify..

Day 4 review

Desiree on Wed, 05/03/2017 - 17:01

So all semi-finalists have rehearsed once now. Today we got to see the second half of the second semi-final, starting off with some of the songs that are not viewed as the biggest candidates for the top positions this year. San Marino comes across professional, both singers are good performers but the song is still a big question mark. Croatia was completely over the top, in my opinion it looks great but it's still a very cheesy song, might do better than we all think (and maybe hope?) but it could also be disregarded for being just too much.

When it comes to Norway, Estonia and Lithuania - they gave similar performances to the national final, solid for what it is but maybe not enough to stand out. Disappointments for me were Bulgaria which feels a bit cold but has some really nice graphics and Israel where a lot more can be done with the choreography, as long as the vocals are kept into account as well.

I can't say too much about Switzerland as we have hardly seen it, it's colourful and bright but maybe a bit too much. Then finally to my highlight of today, Belarus. Songwise it stands out for me being sincere, happy, upbeat, warm and it was so much better on stage than I had imagined it would be.

So from tomorrow I will spend a lot of time in the hall as the second rehearsals begin and we can see and hear what it sounds like from there. I'm excited, can't wait so stay tuned for tomorrow!

Croatia First Rehearsal

ChrisB on Wed, 05/03/2017 - 09:23

Jacques Houdek is a very secure vocalist and the schizophrenic elements of his song are caught from different camera angle shots. I feel like they could have done a bit more to make this entry fun, but they probably don't want to be considered a novelty entry, so one should respect that.
The imagery of sunflowers and rainbow gives the performance a cheesy touch, but also provides uplifiting sense of feel-good.

Croatia first rehearsal

Desiree on Wed, 05/03/2017 - 09:04

Next up is Croatia where Jacques Houdek finally made it to the Eurovision stage with a very peculiar song. It has been mentioned a lot already how weird it is to realise this song is not a duet.

So another huge reaction from the press hall after the first run but I have the same question about in how far it means anything. I have to say it has been done very cleverly and people may really think there are two singers (twins?) on stage. Jacques is joined by his backings and two instrumentalists. Absolutely great camera work here. Among other thing the backdrop features a mountain with a parasol on top of it and sunflowers.

Vocally amazing, but it's all over the top. The question remains if people are going to look through this cheesefest.

OK, so now with the 2nd and last run - a bit more about the actual staging. We start with the violinist and cellist (reminding me a bit of Croatia 19995 there) - then without a warning we zoom right into Jacques' face for the Einstein's quote. When the singing starts, the camera comes from a different direction with each language change, making it seem there are 2 singers on stage.

The bridge and last chorus feature a lot of pyro's, making it even more over the top. I still have my doubts about the song, it won't ever be my personal favourite but this is one of the songs that year that is really making the most of its staging and it will impress a lot more than people expect.

Semi One predictions from Daniel and me

Mike;

Finland No
Greece No
Moldova Maybe
Hungary Yes
Croatia Yes
The Netherlands Yes
Armenia Yes
San Marino No
Russia Yes
Czech Republic Yes
Cyprus Maybe
Austria Yes
Estonia Maybe
Azerbaijan Yes
Montenegro No
Iceland Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina Yes
Malta Yes

So someone will miss out from my predictions, and sadly I think it will be Austria

From Daniel;

Finland No
Greece No
Moldova Maybe
Hungary Yes
Croatia Yes
The Netherlands Yes
Armenia Yes
San Marino No
Russia Yes
Czech Republic Yes
Cyprus No
Austria Yes
Estonia No
Azerbaijan Maybe
Montenegro No
Iceland Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina Yes
Malta Yes

Some slight disagreements here, but more or less we agree this year

Anyway what the hell do we know.....though we usually get 7-9 out of 10