Eurovision 2013: Semi 2 Dress Rehearsal 1

“First stage dive in Eurovision history!” Latvia’s Ralfs summed up the fun he brought to the arena as he crowdsurfed his way into the audience’s hearts. It’s a great opening to the show. San Marino were much improved today. The stage is not so dark and they’ve added some extra bling lighting-wise for the gear change. Valentina was in good form vocally.

Lozano was also sounding excellent. If he was singing alone, Macedonia might stand more of a chance. Heroine though Esma is, her parts just don’t mesh with the rest of the song and she stops it in its tracks. Azerbaijan’s Farid is a bit nervous at the start of ‘Hold Me’ but recovers quickly to give a very powerful performance, all cheekbones and tortured love.

Finland’s ‘Marry Me’ is as strong as before. Krista has been dogged by rumours of ill-health over the last few days but she was in great form here. There seem to be no worries on that score. Handily enough for her, she’s followed by a short break. Malta’s Gianluca was his usual charming self, and the nerves were rather less obvous than they have been earlier in the week. ‘Tomorrow’ does feel slightly anonymous in this line-up though.

There is a lot going on in Bulgaria’s act. Whilst Elitsa and Stoyan are doing their best to sell ‘Samo Shampioni’, I have to admit it can seem rather disjointed compared to what comes around it, including Iceland. I hope Eythor will ditch the outfit he wore for this afternoon’s rehearsal as the grey jacket, trousers and red shirt he wore didn’t flatter him. Nonetheless he was as vocally effective as before.

Greece’s ‘Alcohol Is Free’ gives the semi a kick up the backside again, and the Koza Mostra boys show great energy. What they’ve done with the staging makes sense, but I’m not sure it’s executed quite as well as it could be. Still, you’ll be seeing it on Saturday night too. Israel’s Moran Mazor is an ideal change in tone; ‘Rak Bishvilo’ looks and sounds great.

I actually forgot Armenia in doing this write-up, that can’t be a particularly good sign, but nonetheless they were very competent at doing what they do.

Hungary’s ByeAlex started off-key, but there’s something about the beat of ‘Kedvesem’ that does get to you, and he even had a few waves for the audience today – the most animated he’s been. Norway’s Margaret Berger was as effective as she’s been all week, and her fans should be encouraged by that. Whether ‘I Feed You My Love’ has the mainstream impact to go all the way is the question.

There were all sorts of sound and camera issues at the start of Albania’s number, and it really detracted from the impression given by ‘Identitet’. These were technical problems for SVT to solve, and it should be alright on the night. This remains a borderliner. Georgia’s Sophie and Nodi were in fine form for ‘Waterfall’, I just worry that the build-up is too slow before we get to the impressive power notes and fireworks.

Switzerland’s Takasa were a bit more effective this afternoon than I’ve seen them otherwise this week. It’s a great draw for this singalong melody even though the act is underpowering. Finally, Cezar’s backing dancers were in their undies and painted gold. I’m not sure that helps matters, but Cezar was giving it his all as always.

The initial conclusion? This is a brutal semi that will take no prisoners. Do continue the debate below.

9 comments to Eurovision 2013: Semi 2 Dress Rehearsal 1

  • dicksbits

    It’s almost worth abandoning any further betting on this semi final as it depends how it looks on the night (as always), but as you say, it’s cut throat and hard to be certain who will go through etc. Only bet I have stuck on is Greece at 10/1 ew.

  • Simon "le european" chat

    Azerbajain is the cast iron top 3. I see the money is still pouring on the favs who are 8/11 with Ladbrokes. Must be mad. “Hold me” has many more hits on youtube. But then I’m biased. I just listen for something different in these songs and the second verse harmony on Farid is a female 5th/6th akin to the haunting effect on Duran’s “Ordinary World”. So long as he isn’t too nervous ont he night he’ll give us a really good run.

    • Henry VIII

      Simon your last sentence contradicts your first 😉

      I’m very interested in Azerbaijan but if he visibly shakes performing in rehearsal what’s he going to do performing in front of millions.

  • Tim B

    I just typed “Fan Marino” instead of “San Marino”. Perhaps that says it all?!

  • sonovox

    I was at the jury show tonight, with half an eye on the stadium TV feed. Great performance from Iceland, outstanding from Greece and stunning from Israel. San Marino absolutely forgettable and surely the fanwank semi casualty of 2013. Georgia bombed with a poor start from Nodi and a horribly out of tune third minute from Sophie, including multiple missed big notes (interested to see if Daniel thought the same). Armenia beige. Switzerland annoyingly good, with the intra-group chemistry much improved.

    My ten:

    Azerbaijan
    Finland
    Malta
    Bulgaria
    Iceland
    Greece
    Israel
    Norway
    Georgia
    Switzerland

    This is a dogfight though and Romania and Albania seem well-drawn enough to edge out any of Finland, Malta, Bulgaria, Iceland, Switzerland or, gulp, even Georgia. Strongly feel the other five are doomed.

    • DashBerlin

      Music to my ears Sono, I have Iceland and Israel to qualify as I think vocally they are top 5. I kinda like the San Marino tune, but I don’t think its anything special and drawn 2 is going to hurt it. Compared to Estonia in SF1 its worlds apart.
      I have Swiss and Romania as outsiders in last 6 to Q, Swiss tune is just a catchy pop tune which going late might be good enough (2 of my female housemates favourite out of 39). Romania….said it before, you love it or hate it. It will get enough televotes to get it through, but if the jury hate it, its doomed.
      Finland and Bulgaria are questionable for me, but I can only really write off Latvia, the rest have a shot

  • eurovicious

    Koza Mostra give me a “brutal semi”. AHAHAHAHAHAHA

    *tone lowered*

  • Henry VIII

    So everybody assumed Serbia would sail through. Some were backing it for SF Top 3. Is this an example of the vote tallying changes – that subdues vote blocks?

    I fortunately couldn’t back bring myself to back it in anything because I found it a horrible unmusical noise. But that’s not stopped vote powerhouses in pimp slot before.

    • DashBerlin

      I think the jurys hated it, nobody outside of its voting block would have got it at all. I showed it to my housemate last night who was on holiday during SF1 and she was puzzled. The outfits didn’t help, if you were a male voting for the “hot girls”, then you’d have voted for Ukraine

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