Semi-final 1 dress rehearsal 1 - live blog from the hall: to be updated!

Desiree on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 13:49

In a few minutes the first dress rehearsal for semi-final one will start and we just heard that the opening act will be done twice. I'm live in the hall where I will keep you continually updated, so please refresh from time to time to read the latest news!

The start is delayed for a few minutes. Spain, Italy and UK will also perform.

And we're off! just 5 minutes later than initially planned We start with women wearing traditional gear and Ukrainian folk music in the background. Then a dancer on stage to be joined by Monatik, who proves to be very versatile: rapping, sing and dancing a very modern song that could've been a nice participating entry. Unfortunately I haven't been able to catch his name yet. I hope to update you on that after we have seen him again.

After the second run his name is not mentioned, but instead he introduces the hosts who are in casual clothes for this rehearsal. Some introductory speeches later the lineup for the semi-final is shown on screen and the voting is explained. No surprises here.

Next: song 1 from Sweden!
Post-card: Stills from Robin and his dancers, rehearsing, motor riding, getting ready to perform.
Performance: The lights seem to flicker a bit in the beginning. First time I notice it, not sure it's meant to be like that. Once again a very solid performance so it's bound to at least qualify and possibly do very well. On the other hand, there is still the issue with the 'OK' sign he makes with his hands that means something different in other countries.

song 2: Georgia:
Postcard: Rehearsing with Anri Jokahdze, running in the park, getting ready to perform and walk on stage (which seems a common thing already for all countries).
Performance: There's a delay in the start of the Georgian performance, so stay tuned! A solid performance by Tamara, who has no need at all to hold back.

song 3: Australia
Postcard: Isaiah in Melbourne and in a car, getting on a stage, watching the stars.
Performance: In the hall Isaiah really seems a bit overshadowed by his own images on the screen. A very good performance again. No further issues here.

song 4: Albania
Postcard:Running, singing with a band, doing sports, working on her dress and making the heart sign with her hands.
Performance: Vocals a bit shaky in the beginning. Only yesterday evening she was going all out in the Euroclub.
The long note is not working completely as it should so she sings it lower to save herself. Will be something to look at tonight and tomorrow evening.

song 5: Belgium
Postcard: Blanche playing the piano, reading, doing press conferences, autographs.
Performance: Blanche wears a different dress now - in black! so her nickname nnow no longer fits her outfit. The black dress is very dark, as the staging is as well. I know the white one was criticised a lot but I prefer it to what she wears now. The high parts near the end still sound very weak. However, a good reception in the hall.

Song 6: Montenegro:
Postcard: Slavko in the park, in a theater.
Performance: The visuals of Slvako while he lays on the floor have changed now. In blue, no more bright pink lipgloss. Looks a lot better and a bit less over the top. Slvako still fills the stage on his own, Could be better vocally. I am quite worried about its chances but I still enjoy this song a lot after a few ballads.

First break: Hosts on stage (minus greenroom host Timur). App mentioned. Timur in the greenroom speaking with who performed.

Song 7: Finland
Postcard: Norma John working/sitting together, walking in a building, shopping sunglasses, playing the piano.
Performance: Dry ice. Looks beautiful at the start. Vocally it seems not as solid as we have heard before. Big applause though.

Greece Ambassador's Reception Party

ChrisB on Thu, 05/04/2017 - 22:53

Shortly after Demy had her second rehearsal on Thursday we went with the Greek delegation to the private home of the Greek ambassador in Kyiv, Vassilis Papadopoulos, who received Demy, her dancers, backing singers, and the rest of the Greek delegation to his private home for a welcome reception party.

First order of business was Demy meeting with the ambassador who was clearly proud to welcome her and her team to his private home. They had a quick chat and as it turned out, the ambassador's son goes to the same law school as Demy, and they even knew each other! What a coincidence.

Right after, the invited guests enjoyed the prepared buffet of appetizers and drinks, and a lot of Greek officials took the opportunity to take selfies with Demy, who kept up her good spirits despite surely having had an exhausting day of rehearsing in the arena.

We also had a chance to speak to Demy's team of backing singers, Paris Paraskevadis-Planets, Erasmia Markidi and Evgenia Liakou, all three of them have never performed on a Eurovision stage before, are excited and looking forward to their performance. The backing singers told us that today's rehearsal helped them a lot, as they got better and more confident with one run through after another.

We also had a chance to speak to Demy's make up artist, Roula Marinopoulou, who told us that the make up for Demy's Thursday rehearsal was right on point and that we shouldn't expect any changes in that department as they were really happy with how it looked on camera. At an event like this, you really get an idea of how many people are contributing to bring us the perfect three minutes on the eurovision stage.

The two dancers ,who will be performing with Demy on stage at Eurovision, Marcus Giakoumoglou and Iasonas 'Jason' Mandilas are very entertaining guys. They told us in case of the stage being too slippery and one of them falling down, they made an agreement for the other dancer to fall down as well, to have complete symmetry on stage. Staging director Fokas Evangelinos surely approves this, as symmetry on stage has always been a concept he liked playing around with in his eurovision entries.

If you want know more about Demy and her team hitting the stage on Tuesday's Semi-Final 1 make sure to check out our video and photo material from the event with a recorded video

Greek reception

Greece second rehearsal

Desiree on Thu, 05/04/2017 - 12:58

It seems there are no big changes for Greece either. Here in the hall it sounds rather shrill but she seems to be singing well. The backing vocals are still not helping her though, rather the opposite.

The beginning looks really nice as Demy stands on stage on her own with a starry black background, soon the stars turns into rain (yes still rain falling from above despite the lyric change). Then just before the chorus starts, Demy steps on her platform to 'reach out for the stars'. I must say they have nicely combined both lyrics here.

The panel that gets installed before the 2nd chorus, in front of Demy's platform, is a bit distracting in the hall - but then, it's all about the tv visuals of course. While panel placed on the front of the staged displays a hologram of a Greek goddess, Demy moves to the side of the stage for the last part of the song.

There's one main thing I don't like about this performance when I see it in the hall, and that's the choreography with the two dancers. It probably still looks great on screen, but I remember being a lot more enthusiastic with the first rehearsal. Might also have to do that that was the first of the day, so it set the standard at that time.

Rehearsals Day 2 Summary

ChrisB on Tue, 05/02/2017 - 00:30

I had a few issues with Ukrainian internet since leaving the press centre, so I apologize for the delay of this Day 2 summary.

I just wanted to give you a quick overview which entries stood out the most today in the press centre:

- Armenia won the press centre poll for day 2. It looks modern, sophisticated and professional, and Artsvik performs it really well. My only caveat would be that it lacks a real climax at the moment.

- Moldova received the second highest score. The staging is fun and upbeat, that should certainly help in a semi full of ballads.

- Iceland and Czech Republic the losers of the day based on the press centre poll. But there is still enough time to turn things around. And the press centre has gotten things wrong in the past, so fans of these entries shouldn't lose hope.

We will see what kind of adjustments the delegations will make later this week.

Have a good night and see you tomorrow!

Greece First Rehearsal

ChrisB on Mon, 05/01/2017 - 08:24

Here we go. 2nd day of rehearsals and we are starting with Greece and the highly anticipated Fokas staging.

Demy starts on a pedestal in front of a backdrop of raining stars. Visually it is as clean as Demy's skin. The raining stars turn into golden drops of water and Demy is joined by two topless dancers, doing excercises in a little water pool, a water fountain hologram starts shooting out of the pool.

Vocally the harmonies of the chorus don't quite work yet, but that could be due to the soundmix and probably not something to be concerned about just yet.

Greece first rehearsal

Desiree on Mon, 05/01/2017 - 08:21

Another day at the press centre has just begun with the Greek rehearsal. Already the first runthrough got a modest applause from those present in the hall and I have to say it looks really good indeed. Demy's wearing a long golden dress and focuses mostly on her vocals.

She starts alone on stage against blue sparkly background. During the chorus she steps on a platform that then rises up and dancers appear to join her and the colour scheme changes into golden. Lots of great visual effects of water everywhere. Maybe a reference to the original lyrics of the song 'rain falls from above'?
Especially during the verses she sounds great, later in the song could be a bit of an issue.

After having seen 2,5 runthroughs (as part of the last one wasn't shown on screen) I would say that Greece can do very well this year. One thing that needs to improve is the vocal mix as the backings make it all sound off key instead of improving. All in all, a great start of the day!

Semi One predictions from Daniel and me


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

Press Conference for Greece

Liza on Fri, 05/06/2016 - 10:09

Argo told that their costumes are white and very light in the fabric, because they want to symbolize innocence, and they have to be able to move easily. Especially the dancer. The dancer Bill told me afterwards, that he have a minor problem with his knee. Nothing dramatic, but he does wear a knee pad at the moment. And he revealed, that he will take off his shirt on stage.

Rehearsals from Finland, Greece and Moldova

Ok so this is kinda competent but that's all really. Nothing much else to say, the vocal could do with some work really, but in the arena it looks nice as an opener to the show. Still in the cat suit, still using the whole of the stage hope this works out for them

The big surprise for me so far, was never going to give this much hope tbh, but it looks really cool not he stage, and we have short ripping off moments so early in the show which is always a good thing

Starting to come together for Lidia now, vast improvement on her first run through. Well done.