Viktorija, the singer of Fusedmarc seems to be having some sound issues today. During the first run she didn't sing most of the bridge and at the start of the second one she sounded very soft. Other than that, it still looks and sounds the same. Not surprising as they are completely focused on this song.
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!
The staging of Lithuania is similar to their NF performance, but it looks much better on the eurovision high-tech stage.
The song has a very unusual structure and might not be everybody's cup of tea, but I must say that the passion Fusedmarc are bringing to the stage is respectable.
The staging for Lithuania is very similar to the national final. Lead singer Cilia (Viktorija Ivanovskaja) is again dressed in red. On stage are still the guitarist and backings of Fusedmarc. The turning pyro-graphics on the floor and on the wall are also still there. There's really not much else to say about this than we have all seen before, so I don't think there will be any changes in the chances for Lithuania. I'm not impressed.
I am really unsure about Ireland so may swop that with Macedonia or Belarus
Daniel is unsure about Albania and Belarus and might swop those with Slovenia and Latvia
Rolling live blog of Jury Show Second semi
Keep Refreshing this page;
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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.
Donny's experience from 2012 is that you have to enjoy, what you do. Sometimes you feel fear. Especially with so many viewers. But you need to enjoy yourself. He wasn't prepared for all the attention at Eurovision either, because Lithuania is a small country. He almost felt relieved, when he came back, at nobody wanted to ask questions all the time.
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;
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;
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.
We had a chance today to see the opening ceremony of the Eurovision Village at the City Hall Square with a unique show idea FASHION FOR EUROPE. The idea is about designers and brands from many different participating countries building bridges through fashion.
In total it took 1.5 hours to present 14 brand: Agnesa Vuyhaj (Albania), Sinoian (Armenia), Lena Hoschek (Austria), Fakhriya Khalafova (Azerbaijan), Bernard Depoorrter (Belgium), Ivana Helsinki (Finland), Atelier Michalsky (Germany), Galia Lahav (Israel), Calzedonia (Italy), Daili (Lithuania), Sanja Matijevic (Montenegro), Blessus by Michael Hekmat (Poland), Adelina Ivan (Romania), Julian Zigerli (Switzerland).
Lithuania get to kick start our second day of rehearsals and they do so with plenty of enthusiasm.
Again, the chemistry between Vaidas and Monika comes across so well in on screen. Good vocal run for the Lithuanian duo too. There have no changes been made in terms of the backdrops, which is a good thing, and really adds to the performance.
I don't think we could have had a better opener for semi 2 then, Lithuania, and judging by the rehearsal seen today, I think it's very likely we'll see Lithuania in the final, Saturday May 23.