Ukraine

Ukraine First Rehearsal

Very impressive first rehearsal for Jamala.

Vocally and visually absolutely stunning. From the optic illusion of Jamal standing in toxic gasses, to the colours on the LED floor, which towards the hymn part are being pushed up by Jamala onto the LED backdrop.

Vocally also incredible.

Met with so much applause in the press centre. Will do very well.

Moldova First Rehearsal: Eduard's love/hate relation with the police

Moldova this year has the honour to open the semi finals, so they've grabbed every possible opportunity to make a huge show.

Their singer, Eduard, is flanked by three dancers, 2 male and 1 female, who are wearing leather police uniform albeit, short trousers. Eduard spends most of his time on a prop on stage, which lets him walk onto it, together with the female police officer. Beside the prop, the backing vocals are also present onto the stage, a technique which wasn't really used last year so glad to see these people, also dressed as police officers, being given their time in the spotlight; there's two of them.

It's high energy throughout for Eduard. He has a difficult routine, which he just brushes off with ease and he's not compensating his vocals either. So a very impressive start for Moldova, for which the backdrop is mainly Red in the chorus. Sex sells, as last year showed when Poland provided us with plenty of boob, so in my opinion a good old shot of a bum cheek and Eduard losing his shirt towards the end couldn't really be left out from the performance. I like it!

So, a very solid first rehearsal, which our Ukrainian-Moldovan friends should be very very very happy with, and should also easily see them qualify.

Huit Points!

Keith's impression of the second half of Friday's rehearsals

The catering area for the press is well stocked with lots of tasty lunch options and isn’t overly expensive. There’s also free water and coffee so well done Denmark. It compensates for dragging us out to the middle of a post-industrial wilderness.

AZERBAIJAN was first up after the break and Dilara is in a beautiful deep red dress that becomes quite revealing with the lighting. The backdrop goes from gothic to Gotham and avoids the obvious fire cliché. Vocally this is better than I’ve heard it before and Dilara looks beautiful on the close-ups. The only issue I have with this is the trapeze, which I think is too distracting at the start of the song. I would have used her for the last minute only, after the initial crescendo, to add variety. Sailing into the final and a good bet for the Top 5.

UKRAINE is by far the worst vocal of the day so far and no amount of gimmicks using a man running in a hamster wheel or wind machines or mechanical backdrops can cover over the screechiness. The basic song was never up to much and it comes to hiding the basic frailty, Russia has done a much better job than Ukraine. If this was almost any other country I would say it was a non-qualifier, but almost all Ukraine’s neighbours are voting in this semi so it will undeservedly make the final.

BELGIUM Performance as in the national final but there’s less focus on the dancer. It’s not vocally perfect, but it’s good enough. The main issue I have here is the placement of Axel’s mic, which hides his mouth when viewed from the centre of the screen. The staging is also too dark for my liking. I think this presses buttons that the other ballads don’t and as long as he can deliver it, it should make the final.

MOLDOVA Christina was a little wayward on the first run through but really got her act together after that. She’s mixing a blue and gold in her half and half dress. The gladiators are a bit unnecessary at the start but when the song gets going they add some nice camera shots, especially from the overhead shots. The key change with added wind-machine really adds something. This is dividing opinion on whether it qualifies but I think it’s in the mix.

SAN MARINO isn’t helped by coming after Moldova as it’s a little pale in comparison. Valentina looks fantastic and is note perfect. She really has matured brilliantly in two short years. The white dress and background look nice and the overhead swirl of yellow look great on screen. The problem is not with the singer or the staging, but with the song, which sounds far too like a song that would have finished 7th in Sanremo in 1988. Not qualifying, I think.

PORTUGAL comes after a long lunch and after an ad break on the night. Suzy looks comfortable and the “suzyshake” is back. The green, red and yellow backdrop looks fantastic. On the night Suzy will be wearing be wearing a red dress with tassels. I love this, although there are elements of the presentation and lighting that I would change.. It’s got great energy and it’s fun, which is very welcome after the songs that come before it. I have a sneaky hunch that this will do better than many people think.

NETHERLANDS is another complete contrast to what goes before it. The overhead road traffic effects and long camera shot which introduces the singers at the start is great. Having them face one another is an inspired move as it makes the connection between the singers that wasn’t there in Amsterdam. Simple, effect staging, no gimmicks but is it instant enough? This is more likely to be a jury winner than a televote favourite but it’s back in the qualification mix for sure.

Oikotimes Birthday Party and Opening night of Euroclub

Oikotimes birthday party and opening night of Euroclub

From Oikotimes and opening euroclub party

Well we finally had nothing to do in the press centre last night at around 9pm, so what’s a Eurovision fan in Copenhagen gonna do except go to the first party of the season

Dimi, Daniel and I rushed home to the apartment, changed, grabbed a quick vodka and then headed off in a taxi to deepest darkest central Copenhagen to Club Vega for the party

So the club?? Well it’s not as big as in previous years, but has a huge stage and seems to have various rooms upstairs and another room to the side. We didn’t venture in there too much as there were only about 350 people there….I know it's early days yet!!

Drinks are a little on the pricey side, but hey we are in Scandinavia so expect that, expect to pay around 50DKK for beer and 65-85DKK for shots and cocktails….Daniel and I started on the “Back Stage Pass” cocktail…..yum, Rum and green stuff…

Well the Party. First a huge thanks to Fotis from Oikotimes who invited personally the whole of the ESCKAZ team. Sadly Andy could not make it, he had too much work to do, but the rest of the team were all there. And another thanks for the glass (well nearly a whole bottle in the end) of champagne….much appreciated!!!!

Performances from the following delegations took place, Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, Russia, Azerbaijan and Alex Panayi (Cyprus 1995) Drama Queen (Denmark 2007) and DJ Ohrmeister. The video clips are on our usual youtube channel. A selection are here;

https://youtube.com/user/EurovisionKZ/videos

We also managed to chat to several other delegations too, Montenegro, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, San Marino, and a great chat with one of the Swedish songwriters Sandra Bjurman who co-wrote Running Scared, the winning song from 2011 for Azerbaijan. Maybe this for me was one of the most interesting chats to have all night, talking about the great relationship between Swedish music and the rest of the world of pop!!!

From Oikotimes and opening euroclub party

So that was it, first party of the season. Was just a perfect opener to the coming week or two and yes we were in bed by 1 am…..I know there is something wrong with us!!!

Anastasiya Petryk rehearsal 1

Andy on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 14:41

Nastya is alone on stage. That pretty much sums it up and is rather shoking. Especially considering she has backing dancers here in Amsterdam. Vocally perfect, but a solo act really looks empty.
Upd: Yes, as we were informed, basically 1 day before departure, it has been decided to change the stage act. Now Nastya will perform alone. Dancers still arrived to Amsterdam, just as guests.

Video reuploaded: