Latvia

Onto semi two, but first....

Congratulations to the delegations that made it to the final, but more important heartfelt commiserations to all the singers that did not make it to the final. You were all winners and all did an amazing job in front of the crowd and to those watching on television - you can all be very proud of yourselves today.

We hope that you will now all take the time to relax a little and enjoy Kyiv and remember that this is not the end but just the start...

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.

Latvia second rehearsal

Desiree on Fri, 05/05/2017 - 09:06

So Latvia probably has one the best backdrops this year. It's all very psychedelic, bright neon colours - of course based on what they already showed in the national final. There's obviously a lot of camera work here moving from one side to another, zooming in and out so it's not always completely and/or clearly visible on the tv-screens, but I especially enjoy the drumming robot(s) on screen.

Now while we are waiting for TrianaPark to do their second run, the drummer is showing that his drum does work despite the music not being live. Always fun when performers do such things in the middle.

In the meantime, Angesa looks completely different from last time, now with long hair, with two buns/pony tails, dark on her head and platina blonde further down. It looks like a ready look for the big stage to me, but I guess we never know what will be next when it comes to Agnesa's looks.

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!

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.