2nd rehearsal to favorites to win. The Netherlands still leading according to all the bookmakers. The rehearsal went very well. On top of the keyboard player, they've placed a transparent plastic cube and on top of it a round shaped lamp, instead of the lamp that was there before. The stage is moody with heavy clouds in sunset blue. Duncan sounds magnificent. The colors of blue and purple contribute to the melancholy atmosphere, and the backdrop really enhances the drama.
It's now the turn of the favorite to win according to the bookmakers, Duncan Laurence. He's sitting beside a small keyboard and plays, wearing a purple suit. The stage is dark, with lights of blue and purple. The video art is showing us a storm, also in blue and purple. At the c part, two projectors lighting on him from two sides. The camera focuses on the audience at the last chorus. In the last few notes of the song, the camera comes back to focus on him and zoom out slowly, which once again makes the stage look huge and makes Duncan look like a small town boy in a big arcade.
Postcard: It's a day on the golf course for the Finn femme.
Performance: Saara belts it out and the staging continues to enhance the song. Probably the best climax of the final due to her stage dive before being caught by her dancers...even though it always looks worryingly as if she might be dropped.
Postcard: It's a tram ride for Equinox and then the downtown viewing point in Lisbon.
Performance: As can so often be the case with five-piece groups in this contest, it seems it's more a case of competing rather than synchronisation. Strong vocally but what was seen as a top-three certainty may just be a top-ten finish now. Having said that...
Postcard: A little bit more sightseeing
Performance: A light, fun song with very entertaining staging (if a little slapstick), this may see Moldova trouble the top five for the second year running. Certainly ranks in many people's favourites this year due to the cabaret feel of it all. DoReDos dos what they dos best.
Postcard: It's off to the farm to make some cheese for Benjamin...no reflection on Swedish pop music of course...
Performance: The lighting is impressive and Benjamin glides effortlessly through the performance, as vocally smooth as it gets. More than likely another top five result for the Eurovision powerhouse. If it weren't for Cyprus, Israel and France this may have just sneaked it...
Postcard: Chocolate making and a wander about for the hard rock AWS boys.
Performance: If Sweden, which precedes it, is smooth and refined, this would be its antithesis. Rough rocking it as much as you like, AWS really take the decibel level up to like it has never been seen before at Eurovision. The sreeches and screams and pyrotechnics would scare Lordy away any day of the week. Given the fact that it differs to everything else in the contest this year and the band's energy on stage, expect a solid finish for it - top ten in all likelihood.
Postcard: A Lisbon rooftop DJ set for Netta (and a few eager facial expressions too).
Performance: This could be a talking point from the first rehearsal. Netta's mike seemed to be set into the off position for the intro and the first verse. We were expecting a re-run but no such thing happened. The so-long favourite, now relegated to second place on the list, has it experienced an Italy-style YouTube burn out? If it does, it won't be anything near as dramatic and probably still not wise to bet against it. A top three shoe-in but will it win?
23. The Netherlands
Postcard: Just as well Waylon wasn't waylaid in his semi and came out tenth - he was tasked with baking the pastel de natas (custard tarts in a filoux-style pastry and Portugal's signature sweet).
Performance: His first time on-stage before proving the Dutch (and much of the) media wrong, Waylon isn't likely to get anywhere near to the highs of 2014 but perhaps sitting somewhere between 10th and 15th may suit him fine.
Postcard: It's a walk along the beach and deep-sea diving for Ryan.
Performance: Well, it's the luck of the Irish for the draw. Really the only out-and-out ballad in the second half, its understatement may stand out and take them to a slightly higher finishing place than expected when it qualified on Tuesday. The market is certainly hotting up for it.
No time to keep thinking of what happened yesterday as the first dress rehearsal for tomorrow's semi-final is already in full swing! Later on we will fill you in on what happens on the postcards as well..
This is becoming a solid favourite for the win, the performance is slick and it's a cheerful opener. But the question remains how much juries will take this song seriously. Alexander seemed to be saving his voice.
Vocally this is very strong again, but the performance is too theatrical, too kitsch for this song. I will not be surprised if this will be the end of Romania's perfect streak.
Good performance in this rehearsal, it keeps getting better and better. After Romania I think this has a chance.
04 San Marino
The robots and Jessika and Jenifer as well are back! Size doesn't matter was one of the messages on the cards held by the robot. It may distract from the sometimes weak vocals at the end.
Another good and solid performance from Rasmussen, really not much to say about this, it looks and sounds very well, no issues at all here.
The vocal arrangements in the chorus seems to have been altered a bit, it sounds a lot more shouty now especially during the long notes. Really hard to predict what will happen here.
Time for a little break now in the greenroom, with a little game with Alexander Rybak among other things..
Not sounding that great today in the hall, could be that they are saving themselves for tonight. It's still a fun performance though.
08 The Netherlands
Putting Waylon's stage together apparently takes a bit more than the time of the postcards, as just after the postcard we got switched to one of the hosts in the audience for a very awkward conversation that went completely wrong. Let's say "It's just a rehearsal" as San Marino reminded us a few days ago.
Now, to the actual performance. Vocally it sounds really good and it is not completely my genre but I feel we're back to real music after a few weaker songs. There are far less shots of the crumping dance right now, so it looks better. I think there's still a chance for the Netherlands.
Back to the greenroom again! That's how they fill three extra minutes it seems being this the semi with one song less.
Very strong vocal performance from Jessica. It's one of the few straightforward pop songs and still think this could really have an instant appeal. I do think however that the shots during the bridge where Jessica is dancing are not that great.
There seemed to be some issues with the sound at the beginning as it started a bit weak. Iriao soon got back on full strength though. With a few of the ethnical entries out from the first semi-final gone it could really stand out in the final if it qualifies, which I hope, as the last part was absolutely beautiful.
Vocally not the best performance. The many pyro fountains and the catchy song might distract from it.
Lots of flames at the beginning of this performance, very strange, likely to be a technical mistake. There seems to have been done a lot of work on the lighting of this song as there are now many laser effects. The light show could get the audience to go for this more than we expect now.
After these 6 songs it's time for another break in the greenroom.
Those were three very intense minutes - very energetic performance as always and it does stand out.
Still a very theatrical performance as well even though Laura seems to have toned the hair swinging down a bit and that's only for the better. In the bridge she struggles vocally.
15 Sweden.. or maybe not as we switch to the greenroom and then go to:
Next up is Waylon for the Netherlands, whose first rehearsal was very critically received due to the stage act. Honestly I am not expecting any changes, but we will see in a few minutes after the first run.
No changes indeed - in the hall the first part of the performance is everything you'd expect this song to have as a staging, but later on when the crumping gets in it starts looking stranger, even though it seems to me it has been toned down a bit..
Yesterday the delegation from The Netherlands held their reception at the sophisticated Premier Palace hotel in a nice atmospheric restaurant at the roof. The splendid weather and the attending delegations added all that was needed to make it a great evening. OG3NE really took their time to speak to all the press, both national and international as the sunset made the view from the rooftop even more stunning than it already was.
We also met with Slavko from Montenegro, Brendan Murray from Ireland and Martina Bárta from the Czech Republic and spotted Lindita from Albania who joined Slavko to sing for the birthday of Itai Eithan Shamir.
All in all a wonderful evening and we'd like to thank the Netherlands delegation for inviting us.
Check all our photos here!
Here are the Day 7 rehearsals winners and losers of the day.
- The Netherlands. Strong reception in press centre indicates some real momentum for NL. Will it transfer to votes?
- Bulgaria: The high concept stuff considerably improved from 1st rehearsal and they removed some flaws with staging and styling.
- Denmark. The fan favourite red dress makes the act look too ordinary and old-fashioned. Sometimes it is better to ignore fan opinions.
- Israel: You got a pass for off-key notes in the 1st rehearsal. Not fixing these problems for the second rehearsal is not good.
No changes in the Dutch rehearsal at all it seems, but there wasn't any need for that in my opinion. Lisa, Amy and Shelley are still wearing the same dresses in the first rehearsal, the choreography is the same as well. The sisters sound perfect each and every time, no exception there either.
Not much more to add for me, just that I still love it and yes I know I'm biased on this one :)
Usually early morning rehearsals end up being a bit underwhelming. But not for OG3NE, they look very comfortable on stage and the overall impression on camera has been more powerful than their first rehearsal.
Vocals are on point again. But this is no news.
The people here in the press centre really like the Dutch entry.