A reminder that I will once again be tweeting my thoughts from the crucial jury rehearsal tonight which runs from midnight-3am local time. I will also provide a summary in the comments section to this article.
We got used to seeing the songs in their semi-final running orders. Now the deck has been shuffled and a few jokers added. How does it fan out? It’s not easy to tell based on this run-through. Many of the acts were taking things easy. After all, at least ten of them had a very late night yesterday. Many were not in their proper outfits and plenty were sensibly saving themselves for the juries.
The feed also went down in the press centre so we got nothing of the UK and Hungary. We had a picture but no sound for Albania (though I swear I could hear her 500 yards afar in the Crystal Hall anyway) and were then largely blind for Lithuania’s Donny. I was gutted. Our account only begins with Bosnia.
Maya Sar was much as we saw her last night. The effective camera shot that sweeps back for her nice note towards the climax is now repeated again shortly afterwards for the following big moment. It’s well presented if unexciting which tees things up very nicely for the Russian Babushki, with whom we get some excellent shots of the cute small one. Though drawn early, their appearance and the disco beat gets the ‘Party for Everybody’ started.
Iceland is very serious in comparison. The last minute remains powerful between Greta and Jonsi but it feels like a while before we get there. It’s a good lead-up for Cyprus’s Ivi Adamou and the bouncy ‘La La Love’. I take back most of my extensive critique of her routine on Tuesday. It’s actually come together really well, and the sense of movement is just what’s needed after ‘Never Forget’. The vocals are also being more effectively mixed. This doesn’t feel like such a bad draw after all.
I hope that Anggun was saving herself for the big moment because her vocals were underwhelming. The same could be said of Italy’s Nina Zilli who was only in second gear this afternoon. I’m not sure her silver dress, which competes with Greece’s Elftheria on shortness, is particularly wise.
Due to technical problems with the feed, we got nothing of Estonia’s Ott and not much more of Norway’s Tooji, who I couldn’t really judge on the interrupted sound I was getting. He was followed by a break where they will be interviewing Engelbert Humperdinck.
Another one not putting in her all was Sabina Babeyeva who was shrill in parts and hit some bum notes for the host country. Her backing mugham singer is still wailing in a way that won’t be doing her televote appeal in the west any favours. Romania’s Elena also felt like she was not at full throttle but Mandinga and her clearly liven up the show.
Denmark’s Soluna Samay was clad in scarf, pulling out of notes and clearly trying to save herself for when it matters. Greece’s Eleftheria was breezily efficient in selling the ethnopop ‘Aphrodisiac’. Sweden’s ‘Euphoria’ has a completely different feel so neither song feels particularly compromised being next to the other. Loreen has the routine down pat.
Turkey’s Can Bonomo offers a welcome change in style and temperament too, and this was just as we have seen it all week. It suits Pastora Soler being drawn after this, the opening piano riff ushering in a more somber tone. She’s in a thin pale blue dress and sings the final big minute in the teeth of a wind machine that’s going like the clappers. She wowed the press centre once more with her vocals.
They appear to have gone for the blue top over white vest with grey beanie for Germany’s Roman Lob. This was another workmanlike performance of ‘Standing Still’. Malta’s Kurt Calleja brings a welcome change in energy at this point. He was understandably going through the motions this afternoon after his late night in yesterday’s semi.
The same goes for Macedonia’s Kaliopi, though she still managed her trademark scream. This fits in well with what’s around it. She’s followed by Jedward who are in the same Power Ranger outfits from the semis. This was another easy-going rehearsal – they didn’t even bother with the fountain.
The appearance of Serbia’s Zeljko Joksimovic is another striking change in mood. Ukraine’s Gaitana was saving herself, though the opening riff also felt like the herald of an ideal draw, whilst Moldova’s Pasha will be a fun climax to the show.
Let me know if you have any further thoughts on the final below and don’t forget to check back for news on the jury rehearsal tonight.