Let's gag hanita till eurovision is over
Holland (full rehearsal non tv here)
Hungary (full rehearsal non tv here)
Denmark (full rehearsal non tv here)
Ireland (full rehearsal non tv here)
San Marino (full rehearsal non tv here)
Croatia (full rehearsal non tv here)
Norway (full rehearsal non tv here)
Switzerland (full rehearsal non tv here)
Belarus (full rehearsal non tv here)
Bulgaria (full rehearsal non tv here)
Lithuania (full rehearsal non tv here)
Estonia (full rehearsal non tv here)
Israel (full rehearsal non tv here)
Holland: They went fully on the stage with the back story of their mother's passing and maybe because I've been there this kind of touched me more than what I thought it would. Might be my biggest grower of the year.
Hungary: I don't really like the song and his voice isn't working this time around. The staging is what I expected although the random violin player doesn't do it for me.
Denmark: Bland song good singer. I don't think this will have any trouble qualifying the stage is simple but works if they manage the camera angles right. Not a fan of the kneeling down.
Ireland: He sings it well, I could do without the Jonny Logan style of clothes and hair. I like the backdrop but I wish the balloon would do something more than just stay there.
San Marino: I don't know what's worst in this, the singers, the song, the vocals, the clothes, the backing singers, the clothes of the backing singers, the staging, the dance movements or the awkward comment at the end of the official Eurovision video.
Croatia: That outfit with two sides that go with the voice is cringy, the whole thing is cringy. He can sing but it's all very awkward and weird.
Norway: Voice is okay the song still doesn't do much to me. I like the masks but I'm not sure how this could go.
Switzerland: Teaching us how to go from a potential qualifier to a potential last place of the semi like only they can do. I never really saw the appeal of the song but I could understand why other people would like it however, the staging of this is just weird and bad and her looks makes her seem much older.
Belarus: I enjoy the staging of this and the backdrop as well, after Switzerland this will seem fresh and it might help it get through despite the fact its so repetitive.
Bulgaria: Not as good vocally as the other times, the staging and the clothes are all a bit too dark. The staging is nice but only nice nothing really outstanding.
Estonia: I'm starting to think that this might stay in the semi. Not that strong vocally specially Laura. It's all very cliche and the staging is really simple and nothing really goes on.
Israel: His voice is bad, but people like it given the spot it got in the semi and being a dance song I doubt this will fail now. The staging isn't strong but it works.
Holland O'G3NE second rehearsal was just perfection
now i'm pretty sure they will be in the top 3 this year
Holland: I'm happy with this. It's quite simple and they show the connection with their mother's illness. The background with the hands holding each other, as well as the angel on the floor - I think the stage director did a good job here. Vocally I'm impressed as well. I'm starting to hope that we'll make it after all.
Hungary: As Hungarian as Hungary could get. I really like the song and it clicks on stage. I think it's smart they put the violin player on the satellite stage. This should really qualify easily.
Denmark: I like the song, I like her voice, but it all just leaves me a bit cold. It's the classic Danish problem - it's all just a little too cold and clinical for me. She lacks the passion to do the knee drop.
Ireland: I get the staging now. The balloon with the hope, the background, the angles. Not a bad idea. Vocally he's decent. Just one minor issue: It's coming after four songs I now think have a better chance of qualifying. And that might just have killed off Ireland entirely. Sadly.
San Marino: This song needed a batshit crazy staging and it just didn't get that at all. It's too normal. The song really isn't hurting my ears, I quite like it. But I think there's very little chance San Marino will be in the final.
Croatia: Now this is crazy. I can't believe he's doing that all vocally on that level. This should qualify. I at least hope it does. The camera angles and background work quite well too.
Norway: I heard they're using a vocal sampler. Not a fan of that at all. Just a step in the direction of playback. Stage wise, this is decent. It should make it, but I somehow have some doubt in the back of my head. Will the juries get this?
Switzerland: She looks like Belle from the beast. Not a fan of that staging at all. Really horrible. There's too much chance of her going arse over tit on those stairs. I like the song a lot, but I doubt this has a chance in hell now.
Belarus: One of the best rehearsals of the day. It's happy, it's cheerful, it's cute and obviously they connect with each other on stage. They've done a perfect job on this, with the ship as a prop there and the white everywhere. Janet will be unhappy, but I'm pleased. Should qualify now.
Bulgaria: Often I think these directors in Ukraine are messing up enormously with the wide shots, but for Bulgaria, it works a treat. It's the apocalyptic space feel I think we need with this, with the black and white. The wide shots only help to make that feeling even more powerful. Probably the winner of this semifinal.
Lithuania: It's all very red and they're very much in the danger zone. There's not a hope in hell this will qualify. Diaspora can't even save this. I absolutely detest this. She looks aggressive, her voice is grating - No thank you.
Estonia: They're supposed to be really cold towards each other, but that's not really benefiting them at all. Koit can't help smiling all the way through, so he messes it up for Laura, who's already causing herself trouble with those vocals. I'm glad she lost her audio thing from the arm. I'm starting to think this is in serious trouble.
Israel: Yeah no. If you're vocally underwhelming in a party song, you need a party on stage. This is not a party. There's no redeeming factor here, as even Imri doesn't look like he's enjoying this. I hope this is in trouble.
First things first, yesterday's rehearsals:
The NetherIands: This just works live, and I'm happy with it. I'm not a huge fan of lyrics on the backdrop, but it gets the point across. They have some subtle choreography, but thankfully it's not overdone.
Hungary: I don't know what the song is about, but the staging does bring some emotion. I don't get the pyros mid-song and they can drop the milk can he's drumming on, but otherwise it's fine.
Denmark: They finally brought a dress back, but someone should tell her that sitting on your knees in a long dress makes you look like a midget. The staging is very Danish with the pyro rain in the end, and she can sing, but I'm not wowed.
Ireland: I enjoy the staging a lot, and I prefer the live version over the studio version, but after a while I feel like I've seen it all and it lacks something.
San Marino: The clothing was a poor choice. A glittery cap for Valentina, a backing singer with a top hat and Jimmie who takes 10 seconds to get rid of his jacket all make the song look even less professional than it already it. Watching this is quite painful.
Croatia: Watching this is also painful. Not one but two Jacques are on the background and then make room storm and sunflowers. The staging itself is decent, but the background is a joke. At least he can sing live.
Norway: The lighting is a bit poor during the bridge but otherwise I like the staging. The camera angles seemed to work, and the vocals were good. It'll also seem more credible and fresh after San Marino and Croatia.
Switzerland: I don't get this at all, it's way too colourful and she reminds me of Big Bird. The background is an odd mashup between pastel colours and Greek statues. Vocally it's fine but the staging makes you forget about her vocals.
Belarus: I wasn't a fan of this in studio, but they nailed the staging. It's cheerful and it has just the right amount of props and gimmicks. They don't look like two singers randomly brought together and for not being in English, they get their point across well.
Bulgaria: He's alone on the stage, but their use of screens and background is done clever enough to not make it look empty. It's modern and professional without being too predictable or clean. I'm not sure how everything with the effects will look on television, but I expect it to be done well.
Lithuania: She's just shouting yeah yeah and I don't see any appeal in this song at all. The background is decent but doesn't really connect to the song. What a mess.
Estonia: It's not memorable at all, the vocals aren't perfect and it lacks connection. They only join each other for the last 15 seconds so they constantly have to use weird camera angles, and it's not telling the story of the song.
Israel: It sounds shouty, which distracts a lot. Visually it's alright although I can do without the sight of a hairy armpit. The best thing about this is not being a ballad, really.
The finalist second rehearsals:
Ukraine (non tv full rehearsal here) *performing on the second half
Italy (non tv full rehearsal here) *performing in the first half
Spain (non tv full rehearsal here) *performing in the second half
Germany (non tv full rehearsal here) *performing in the second half
United Kingdom (non tv full rehearsal here) *performing in the second half
France (non tv full rehearsal here) *performing in the second half
Here goes my thoughts:
Ukraine: I really don't like the staging they came up for this specially that bust in the stage it's just very creepy.
Italy: His vocals don't seem as strong as the national final and I still find the staging way too dark for the song. Being the only big 6 country to perform in the first half plus the staging is probably not helping this.
Spain: Not much to say regarding this vocally expected and the expected staging as well the use of the floor stage is clever however.
Germany: Not that strong vocally to a not strong song. The staging is bad and she seems lost in the big stage the wide shots don't help it.
UK: Clever use of the stage and she delivers it with a great vocal and the facial expressions and movements go well with it, this is how you stage a song. The fact it got a second half should help this.
France: So, at first they had a good song then they destroyed the song. Now they destroyed it even more with that staging. The backdrop doesn't work and again she looks scared and lost in the stage.
So this is yesterday:
I didn’t think the performance was as good today but this is certainly much better than I expected from the original song release.
Oh God, that bloody woman and her violin and her dreadful dress. Can’t see the point of the miserable-looking dancer, other than to have a woman in a see-through skirt, displaying her midriff, wiggling around on stage.
Utterly forgettable, whiny song.
At least he’s in tune, which is more than can be said for many people, but I’m not a fan of the song. I can’t see the point of the balloon, other than the lyrics talk about learning to fly. I know there are clouds on the background but the other stuff looks like the sea and i feel he should be standing on the bow of a ship rather than on or in the basket of a balloon. It’s all a bit boring.
They look a mess, it looks a mess. Everything about it shouts mess! I was so busy goggling in incredulity at her that I missed him taking his jacket off. Having wound back to watch this for some reason, he really needs to practise.
Oh My God! He has actually done what I jokingly suggested he would do and turns sideways with different clothes for each ‘voice’. The thing is, I would probably really like this if two people were singing it and I really like the staging. (Is the cello player ‘playing’ with a broken bow string or has he just got a whippy bit on the end?)
Need to sort the sound out. I really like the song, so I hope they’ve got some interesting camerawork because it’s looking tedious at best at the moment.
She really hasn’t got the legs for that dress and why does it stick out on the left (As you look at it?) The song is dreary and then shouty. Switzerland is often friendless in Eurovision; I see no reason why this year should be any different.
Well, he looks like he’s prancing around in an effort to stop his trousers falling down. They perform it well, with lots of energy and look like they’re having fun, which should translate to the audience. I’m not sure about the randomness of the things flying round in the background (but I think that about many of the entries). I do wish he’d get a proper pair of trousers though.
So, young Kris has lost the white shirt that really showed up the asymmetry of his jacket (maybe he’d just dropped his dinner down it and needs it washed - but now he looks like another one in danger of losing his trousers). Don’t think he was singing quite as well today and it all looks a bit static. Hopefully the camera angles will rectify that.
Sound is all wrong on this one, too and, at times, she looks like she’s in danger of being blown away by the wind machine. Seems much less edgy today.
Another one where the sound levels seem all wrong. Koit’s got dressed up a bit more for the occasion but he’s still Lost On The Stage at points. It sounds good though and providing we don’t get pictures of empty stage where Koit should be, it should look good, too. No chance of pictures of Verona flying through the air..?
Don’t think he was at his best today
And this is today:
They sound OK but you can’t see them. I really think (she says, repeating herself) that this huge projected backdrop is a mistake for so many countries.
Well I thought his vocals were fine; the backing singers, on the other hand, were way off. They can’t sway or wave in a coordinated fashion and are a distraction and they really need to lose them from the stage. Above all, though, the projected dancing gorillas are not in time with the music and look awful. They need to sort it out.
I think the background works for this - there’s not too much going on. He performs well again and, despite the disdain for the song, seems to have enhanced his reputation throughout Europe with his performances (of other songs!)
It’s all very grey isn’t it? She sounds good vocally but, like so many others, it’s forgettable song.
Why is she wearing a nightie? It seems the UK is going for some classical image: something like Botticelli’s Venus, but more angular and wearing a nightie (difficult to tell properly without the camera angles). It still a dreary song and she still whines.
Oh dear. Bad vocals, more random things flying through the air. She’s lost among the night-time buildings with lit up windows. (Is that the idea, with that dress? There has to be some thinking behind it.) By 2 minutes I’m bored rigid. Maybe she and Blanche should audition for a live action version of The Woodentops.
Belarus seem to be emerging.
But I fancy the Dutch
These are my thoughts and predictions for semi final 1 (I know I am bad at predicting )
1. Sweden; They haven't changed anything in comparison to the MF performance, but I think that is ok, because it was a decent act. For most of the viewers it will be the first time they see it and I think it might appeal to many of them. I expect a good score in televote. The song might be a bit too safe to get Italy in difficulties, but I expect this to do very well.
Prediction: easy qualifier, top 5 in the final
2. Georgia: The performance is still very James Bond for me. It's difficult to say what this would do. My first thought says they won't qualify, but I have thought that in the past too from Georgian entries and they got through anyway. Also the fact that they are in the same semi final with Armenia and Azerbaijan will also advantage them. Still I think it is too forgetable.
Prediction: non qualifier.
3. Australia: Another safe song, but not as impressing as their former attempts. The staging is rather simple and I also don't get why he has to appear in the backdrop. He will qualify, but I don't think he will play any role in the final voting.
Prediction: qualifier, 11th in the final
4. Albania: I have been a fan of this song from the beginning, even when it was still in the Albanian version. I think the act with the cape is silly and that she should put more drama in the performance. I still think this could be a surprise qualifier though.
Prediction: Borderline qualifier, around 16th in the final
5. Belgium: It is difficult to be unbiased here and I won't pretend to be. After the rehearsals I am not sure which way this will go. She needs improvement on singing and playing with the camera. The dress is nice, but I would have picked something else. I still think we can qualify, but I wouldn't be surprised if we don't.
Prediction: qualifier, 14th in the final.
6. Montenegro: I liked this song in studio version, but it's not a piece of excellent music. This could have scored in the 90's or early 2000's, but I don't think Europe is waiting for a singer with a skirt, a long braid singing a song with ambiguous lyrics. I can't see juries voting for this either.
Prediction: Non qualifier, last place in the semi final
7. Finland: I liked this song from the beginning, but I can imagine it doesnt appeal to everyone. However, they managed to put perfection in the staging. It's decent just like the song.She is also a good singer and the staging with the piano harmonises it. I think this will do well with juries and average in televote.
Prediction: easy qualifier, 6th in the final
8. Azerbaijan: The song sounded good in studio, live it's a bit less. The staging is weird and I simply don't get what the meaning of it is. The song is good enough to let them perform in the final, but I'm not sure how it will do there. Seen it's Azerbaijan it won't sink, but I can't see it sneak in the top 5.
Prediction: qualifier, 10th in the final
9. Portugal: The song is very Eurovision old style and that might be an advantage, because there aren't any other songs in this style. I also think it might do better than it should just because it's Portugal and that they never had a song that was considered to be a favourite (except Vania). Also the fact that all commentators will mention his health issues might help them. I really hope this does well, because I grant Portugal a good result and even a victory. The staging is rather intimate which is good for the song. In general I think this song is a bit overhyped by Eurovision fans. Should get many points from the juries, televote I am not sure about.
Prediction: Qualifier, 7th in the final
10. Greece: I found this song cheap from the beginning, the lyrics are crap. This is so 90's. The staging did not make me change mind. It might get some televotes, but I think juries will (or should) kill this.
Prediction: No qualifier
11. Poland: Another song I don't like from the start. The staging during the rehearsals wasn't impressing either, while I expected they would do more effort. You never know with Poland, especially in televote as proven last year.
Prediction: no qualifier
12. Moldova: I think this song is horrible and I never thought it would do well, but I must admit their staging is very good. Seen the boring songs they are surrounded by in this semi, I think this will stand out. I think that expecially televote will like this and send them to final.
Prediction: qualifier, bottom 5 in the final.
13. Iceland: In Dutch we would call this ' a dragon of a song'. This is my personal toilet this year. The song is boring as hell, the lyrics make no sense and Svala's voice isn't appealing. I don't think this song has any chance of qualyfying.
Prediction: No qualifier
14. Czech Republic: This song is such a snoozefest! The staging is also not impressing me and what the hell is she wearing? This is just too weak.
Prediction: No qualification
15. Cyprus: It's a decent song, a good singer, but this song doesn't do anything to me. It will certainly sound well between the songs that came before him. Bit bland but ok.
Prediction: qualifier, bottom 5 in the final
16. Armenia: The song and performance are very Armenian, it's decent and so is the performance. I expect this to do well in televote and with juries.
Prediction: easy qualifier, top 5 in the final
17. Slovenia: Personally i like this song. I don't think this will do a lot as it sounds a bit oldfashioned. I read in some opinions that the backdrop uplifts it all a bit, but I don't see that. I think it's just a dull background.
Prediction: non qualifier
18. Latvia: This song is a bit weird and I don't think all kinds of viewers will like it. The performance is powerfull, but the staging is a bit too chaotic, a bit too full.
Prediction: non qualifier
Final bit for me, the big 5 and host from yesterday:
Ukraine: I wish that they kept their performance from the national final which made much more impacts. I don't completely get the image of a giant robot head suddenly opening its eyes to emit light, but it catches your attention.
Italy: The staging is colourful and the combination of the background and the occasional word you can hear explain the meaning of the song. I hate the sweaters the backings are wearing. The overall sounds has been better but I'm sure it'll be fine for the final.
Spain: They did they best they could with this song, and I enjoy what they did with it, but I doubt using multiple camera angles and the floor surfing gimmick will distract from how repetitive this song is. Vocals were a bit rough near the end especially. The acting like they're all best friends on the beach is a bit fake and manufactured, not sure how that will look on camera.
Germany: The staging doesn't look bad, but it's incredibly bland. Levina isn't an outstanding performer, though not bad, and the song is very in line with this all. The final bit is barely as exciting as a first chorus should be. This really needs some colour.
United Kingdom: The staging looks professional, clean and modern. Its only downside is that it doesn't allow any walking around, but Lucie still manages to bring the song alive on stage, so that's no big problem. She's a good singer too, so I expect a decent performance.
France: Her vocals are far from perfect still, but she has absolutely improved. They took the Parisian feel of the song very literal displaying a lit up Eiffel Tower. She's there alone, and the camera angles for the full 3 minutes of the song will determine how lost she is - not in Verona but in Paris - because I feel like that can go either way.
Dress rehearsal before the jury performance:
My top 26 after rehearsals
I got a few wrong in the first semi final. So here are my thoughts and predictions for the second semi final. A lot more difficult to predict, so most likely many will be wrong
1. Serbia: Another one with a white dress. Personally I am no fan of this song and her vocals are very weak. I don't see this do a lot, but it has quite some befriended countries in this semi final, so you never know. It could do a Greece.
Prediction: Qualifier, bottom 5 in the final
2. Austria: This is my personal favourite of this semi final. A few weeks ago I would never have thought this had any chance. The staging is perfect, he is a good singer and he knows how to play with the camera. This should easily qualify.
Prediction: Qualifier, around 12th in the final
3. Macedonia: This was an okish song for me, based on the studio version. On stage I ecpected her to come over more stylish then she does now. She's dressed like she is on a street looking not to dance alone. It looks rather cheap. I have no idea what this can do. If it qualifies, it might be borderline.
Prediction: non qualifier
4. Malta: This song is oldfashioned. Nothing new there. She sings it well though, so again, I have no idea how juries will react on this. The song is a bit repetitive as well. You never know with Malta, they qualified in the past with songs I think wouldn't.
Prediction: non qualifier
5. Romania: I admit that this song is crap, but it's like a guilty pleasure for me. I don't think this song will have any difficulties to qualify. Televote might go for it. Being right ight after Malta will also advantage them.
Prediction: Qualifier, 15th in the final
6. Holland: I still think this song should better have participated ten years ago. Their Dutch accent annoys me in the song, but that is personal. They are 3 good singers, which should be enough to gather jury votes. Televote I am not sure about. I hope they qualify though, as they are our little sister baby in Eurovision. If they qualify, I can't see this doing a lot in the final.
Prediction: qualifier, around 19th in the final
7. Hungary: I don't like this song at all. It's boring and I don't like the rap parts. I think juries will go for the etnic part of it though. I hope i am wrong but I think this will qualify.
Prediction: qualifier, around 15th in the final.
8. Denmark: The song is ok, not super, she can sing and shout and she is beautiful. This should be enough for Denmark. I don't consider it as a sure qualifier though.
Prediction: qualifier, bottom 10 in the final
9. Ireland: I like this song and I think it should be in the final. I am not sure it will though. I like the staging and he can sing.
Prediction: non qualifier
10. San Marino: This is just crap. The song would be a lot better without Valentina. Also her silly dance moves make me cringe.
Prediction: non qualifier
11. Croatia: What a joke! The act is ridiculous and also the song. I think this jumping and missdressed 'singer' might surprise, but I hope he doesnt.
Prediction: no qualifier
12. Norway: This is a bit of a weird song, but I think it might appeal to televoters. I think it's one of the most modern songs of this year's contest.
Prediction: qualifier, around 18th in the final
13. Switzerland: I like this song. I think they have been trying to include too many gimmicks though. Probably they thought that would increase their chances. I think it started to look like a mess on stage now. They'd better have kept it simple, no special acts.
Prediction: qualifier, 17th in the final
14. Belarus: This was an okish song to me, till it became one of my favourites after i saw their rehearsal. What an act! They are just two happy people singing a 'positive' song. I don't know what they are singing about but it seems to be a happy song. It's just energetic.
Prediction: Qualifier, 8th in the final
15. Bulgaria: I don't dislike this song, but I dont think it will do as well as predicted in many polls. It's sung with power and he can sing, but his attitude also annoys me.
Prediction: qualifier, around 6th in the final
16. Lithuania: This song is just weird and shouty. I think it might do better than expected cause Lithuania often does, so no last place here. I still remember how attention almost qualified. Still I think this is even worse.
Prediction: no qualification
17. Estonia: It looks a bit messy on stage and I think the song is a bit too 'oldfashioned' to do as good as OGAE and the bookmakers predict. It might slip into the final though.
Prediction: non qualifier
18. Israel: I like this song from the video, but the rehearsal was just a pain to my ears. I don't understand why a catchy and happy song gets staged so dark.
Prediction: no qualification
I'll be back for the final