Latvia

Latvia First Rehearsal

ChrisB on Mon, 05/01/2017 - 15:29

I have only seen one runthrough for Triana Park so far, so take everything I'm going to say with a grain of salt.
I was very optimistic on Latvia's chances going into the year, but at the moment there are quite a few things that don't work here:
- It looks overchoreographed, Agnese is trying to interact with the camera too much, which doesn't make the act look as credible as we have seen in Latvia's NF. The impression is that they are suddenly begging for votes instead of just doing their own thing.
- The moment of her usually breaking into the dance routine during the instrumental is preceded by a silly paper streamer gimmick trick, that is shooting out of Agnese's hand. And it seems to irritate her and malfunctions also. The Latvian delegation should really consider dropping this gimmick from their act as it doesn't add anything and makes the entry look less cool than it is supposed to be.

I understand the Latvian delegation are trying to provide a little more fun and reduce the bands edgyness, but they are basically shooting themselves in the feet if they are trying to appeal to mainstream audiences, instead of just believing in themselves and their song.

Now I have seen a second runthrough and it improves slightly but my previous points remain.

Latvia first rehearsal

Desiree on Mon, 05/01/2017 - 15:25

The Latvian rehearsal is now way overtime - I missed a first runthrough and a second one took a long time. It's really all very similar to the national final, including the colourful props that were already there at Supernova. Agnesa's look is different.

It comes across well on screen, but she has a special voice - whether you like it or not is a matter of taste. The same goes for the song itself, it's different but it might be a bit too weird for the common viewer.

Semi two predictions from us two.....

From Mike;

Latvia Yes
Poland Yes
Switzerland No
Israel Yes
Belarus Maybe
Serbia Yes
Ireland Yes
Macedonia Maybe
Lithuania No
Australia Yes
Slovenia No
Bulgaria Yes
Denmark Yes
Ukraine Yes
Norway No
Georgia No
Albania Maybe
Belgium Yes

I am really unsure about Ireland so may swop that with Macedonia or Belarus

From Daniel;

Latvia Yes
Poland Yes
Switzerland No
Israel Yes
Belarus No
Serbia Yes
Ireland Yes
Macedonia No
Lithuania No
Australia Yes
Slovenia Yes
Bulgaria Yes
Denmark No
Ukraine Yes
Norway No
Georgia No
Albania No
Belgium Yes

Daniel is unsure about Albania and Belarus and might swop those with Slovenia and Latvia

Live blog second Semi Jury Show

Rolling live blog of Jury Show Second semi

Keep Refreshing this page;

Opening;

Views of Globen and crowd shots and COME TOGETHER. Seem like quite a crowd in the area too which is nice.

Now we have lots of Swedish humour and comedy form the hosts, but this washes over me and leaves me very cold I am afraid. All a bit too much MF for my liking.

Both hosts resplendent in silver jacket for Mans and a dress for Petra....all very sparkly. And now we have a duet from the two of them....very smorgasbord like in Malmo

Latvia

Justs creates this emotional monster on stage as he leaps around and gives everything to the performance. For me it is slightly over doing things. Yes he has a great voice but this is not how to perform an Aminata song. That said the backdrop is just perfect for this. Sure fire qualifier but no winner....
Lots of crowd cheering for this though...
The graphics look amazing too

Poland

Michal always hits the spot for me. Simply effective staging for this seems to work. Nothing none of us have not seen on the promo tour or the rehearsal clips so far. He does seem to come to life on stage with his powerful voice and presence. The real issue is that the song is a bit weak both lyrically and musically. He tries his best but given what he has to work with this is not really doing it for me.
Juries should fall in love with this though.....the emotion in his eyes and connection with the camera is one of the highlights this year.
And words on the backdrop are always a no-no in my world, sorry

Switzerland

Sorry but this is going no where fast. No charism, no charm, nothing at all really. Tonight the blue hair is still there and this time it’s curly, but no amount of whacky clothes, designer hair or anything is saving this from being one of the 8 that go home.
3 minutes I will never get back

Israel

Simply perfection from Hovi, great presence, great voice, perfectly suited to this song…the stage really lifts this too, this could really scoop a lot of votes on final night. Yes qualifying and with a good draw on final night who knows?
The earnest emotion that he's given tonight does make me think that Hovi has a lot more to gibe as an artist in the future....and seeing the acrobats on screen for the first time I now get the the inclusion of them on the stage.
Oh and a pyro waterfall.....always love them.....can we have them in every song please?

Belarus

Amazing staging totally distracts from the weak song here, though IVAN does make good use of all the stage and performs the hell out of it. What would have happened if the guy had been given a half decent song to sing? Oh and the baby is still there. Weirdly.
But it's not all about the staging, it's about the song and this is getting totally lost after Israel and before Serbia
Also we have some missed camera angles tonight with his.....but he bring sit back by hitting all those important notes at the end of the song
And he does look amazingly cool on stage

More Eurovision Taxi moments, with some folks that we know.
While this is quite funny the guest appearances from Lordi really give away that this was totally contrived and constructed, which steal the magic for me

Serbia

Great song and great vocal BUT and it’s a small but, the staging is so dark that it loses something for me here. I feel ditched from the performance and slightly distracted by he dancer. But toward the end it starts to lift and when the backing vocalists gather around her it pulls it back a bit for me.
She is giving her all to this tonight though. however like Belarus we do have a few missed camera moments tonight too.

Meet and Greet with Justs from Latvia

Liza on Wed, 05/04/2016 - 11:36

Wow! Justs blew my mind away with an acapella version of his ESC entry. And I'm rather sure, I'm not the only one. However when he sings: "Feeling your heartbeat. That's what I want", it sounds more like: "That's what I won't". He said that he enjoyed the first rehearsal. He was comfortable on the stage. In fact he was more freaked out by facing all the press and fans at the Meet and Greet.

First Rehearsal Latvia

Kicking off day 3 rehearsals is the ever so charming 21 year old Justs from Latvia.

Just like the Czech Republic yesterday, Justs is treating us to an absolute power vocal on 'Heartbeat'. You can not fault him there.

The overall staging is kept pretty simple, staying true to the feel of the national final. Dark blue colours, with hints of red during the chorus, set the atmosphere for this uptempo start. Justs is also appearing on stage alone. A little change in the outfit however, as the brown jacket has been swapped for a black one.

The negative is really the camera work at this stage. There's too many strange side angles, especially first verse, which I hope the Latvian broadcaster will make SVT aware of. Im also not very sure on some of those long shots, as it really puts an emphasis on Justs being all alone on that big stage.

Not that that should be much of a trouble, Justs is a great performer and throughout the runs, he's proven to have pitch perfect vocals and fantastic stage presence.

Great first rehearsal!

2nd run through from Latvia.....

Well I am feeling his heartbeat

Love this song from the very beginning, even though we are to realising anything on stage that is different too much from the National `Final or the promo tour

Nice leather jacket, colours work on stage soooooo much better than the Estonia mess from yesterday. Full use of the stage and delivering the energy of this song perfectly with a mean and mood stare right at the end to finish off the whole thing...

Sailing through this semi....

Review of the second semi-final by Keith Mills

I decided not to hang around for the qualifier press conference tonight as I have a pretty hectic day tomorrow, but I have now caught up with the halves of the draw that the ten countries will perform in. It really has ended up as a show of two halves with most of the uptempo songs in the first half and the ballads and slower moody songs in the second.

Overall I think tonight's show was far better than Tuesday's. The songs were better, the pacing was sharper and there was less of last year's winner, though still far too much. The camerawork was also improved, but the issue with flags blocking the screen is still a major problem and has to be sorted on Saturday.

As for the seven songs that went out, only Switzerland and Ireland can feel hard done by and Poland qualifying was a bit of a shock. Some are suggesting it was a sympathy vote, but it was also helped by the draw so perhaps not totally unpredictable.

My thoughts on the seven that went home;
IRELAND: I think Molly performed well and for once I liked the Irish staging. However I thought we were probably doomed on the day we were given the awful #2 draw and so it came to be. I may sound like a broken record here but once again can I suggest RTÉ looks at its selection process. The current formula is giving is the worst set of results we've ever had in the contest.

SAN MARINO: Dreadful patchwork of a song and no amount of youthful enthusiasm can replace a lack of stage craft. It was always a no-hoper. It deserved to finish last and being honest, if this is the best that they can come up with, San Marino has no place in the contest.

MALTA: A much better performance by Amber tonight but there was far too much going on to distract you in the presentation.It was as if no lessons were learnt from Olivia Lewis in 2007. The song was always too weak for this semi, but might have had a chance in the first semi. No surprise this lost out.

PORTUGAL: The Portuguese chose the wrong song in the Eurovision selection, it's as simple as that. No matter how good Leonor was tonight (and she was very good), the song was just poor. Like Ireland, Portugal needs to re-think its selection process. There's enough talent there to do very well in the contest but RTP are not tapping into it.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Whoever decided to add the ridiculous shoe throwing to the act should never be allowed near the contest again. Until that point the performance was solid, even if the song was always a little dull. I fear that we may never see the Czechs back in the contest.

ICELAND: Not only the worst vocal performance of the night, one of the worst of this century. It was always a big heap of nothing of a song, with basically a repeated chorus and no verses but everything about this was absolutely dreadful from he staging to the costume, but especially the off-key performance.

SWITZERLAND: I really feel sorry for Melanie, because this was a terrific performance and hugely improved on the national final. Switzerland just doesn't have friendly neighbours or a diaspora, but if Austria can win, so can they. Really disappointed not to see this in the final.

The following countries are in the first half;
 Armenia
 Australia
 Belgium
 Cyprus
 Estonia
 France
 Israel
 Lithuania
 Norway
 Serbia
 Slovenia
 Sweden
 United Kingdom

That's a lot of up-tempo and mid-tempo songs. Personally I'd probably open with United Kingdom, then go with Armenia and Sweden, for contrast. I would have Israel at #13

At #14 it's Austria

In the second half you have the following countries;
 Albania
 Azerbaijan
 Georgia
 Germany
 Greece
 Hungary
 Italy
 Latvia
 Montenegro
 Poland
 Romania
 Russia
 Spain

There's no up-tempo song in there at all, but Georgia, Germany and Montenegro are at least mid-tempo. Hungary, Greece, Russia and Spain need to be kept apart. The director will certainly earn his money tonight.

Tomorrow I will review the running order, as I fly back to Dublin.

Latvia- Second Rehearsal

CostasP on Sat, 05/16/2015 - 14:21

I thought that the Latvian song was too weird to qualify till now but after what i've seen i am changing my mind.Some really impressing lighting with red and white backdrop that changes with the melody of the song. I have an issue generally with her voice but that is just personal taste;i think she really delivers for those that liked it all along.The dress does seem a bit odd, however there is use of it in some amazing camera angles with the floor from above.So yeah,i do feel it's a qualifier afterall.