No rest for the wicked during Eurovision week. Whilst we’re still digesting the first semi, preparations are well underway for the second heat – the first dress rehearsal has just finished. As before, I will tweet my impressions of tonight’s jury performance.
Malta’s Firelight are wonderfully effective as an opener, setting a happy tone for the rest of the evening. The backdrop and lighting is warm, the band are glowing, and there are plenty of smiles to the camera. ‘Coming Home’ is not to be underestimated. The camera angles have got a lot tighter for the first part of Israel’s ‘Same Heart’ although there are too many long shots in the second half for my liking. Mei is doing a great job of selling this.
Norway’s Carl Espen got a big reaction in the press centre. I find him a little diffident in the first half of ‘Silent Storm’ before the arrangement is cranked up. Georgia are still in a world of their own. Although there’s an authenticity to ‘Three Minutes To Earth’, it’s not one that most viewers will relate to.
Poland’s Cleo was not note perfect, but I’m not sure that makes too much difference here. The show remains as smutty as ever, and it’s just a question of how juries and televoters respond to that. She does get the benefit of being followed by a break. Austria’s Conchita Wurst was in better form today and the camerawork for the reveal has also improved.
Lithuania’s ‘Attention’ continues to baffle. It’s an esoteric song by Eurovision standards and the presentation with the space-age outfits only reinforces this. Finland’s Softengine are stepping up nicely. Topi has had a New Romantics makeover, is finding the camera, and the song fills the arena. Ireland’s Kasey wasn’t firing on all cylinders with a vocally inconsistent performance of ‘Heartbeat’. She’s going to need to improve on this in the jury rehearsal tonight.
Teo is far more vocally assured in comparison. There’s a nice swagger about ‘Cheesecake’, and they’ve improved some of the early camera angles, but again there are too many long shots in the second half. I think FYROM sounds flat and looks messy in comparison, but ‘To The Sky’ is improving from a low bar. Switzerland is still charming in comparison with a lovely stage show.
It was a slightly messy rehearsal from Greece as well, with some off notes and the very dark arena not picking up the audience well enough in the necessary camera shots. The Freaky Fortune boys have to be tighter for tonight’s performance too. Slovenia afterwards comes across as far more traditional, which is not necessarily a bad thing if it’s going to sneak through. Tinkara is solid enough in a worthy package.
We had lots of technical problems before Romania finally got going. Ovi is channeling David Copperfield with his glamorous assistant Paula. The stage show still doesn’t hang together at all, but they came good in 2010 after some less than stellar rehearsal reports.
The two reprises: Ireland starts with a bum note on the first one, both of Romania’s feature the icky embrace, the others seemed fine. Once again, no interviews with any contestants before the phone lines close. Let us know your thoughts on this semi below, and don’t forget to follow tonight’s jury performance on twitter.