Eurovision 2017: May 7 rehearsals

A short rehearsal day started with Ukraine’s second set of run-throughs. Lead singer Yevhen is now in a better grey top, and we got extra polish, with more effects on the big head prop. Moving on, there are little niggles you can make about the Italian rehearsal, but they pale beside Francesco Gabbani’s charisma. He was mugging for the camera almost too much today. But right now, he’s the one you most want to see again in the winning reprise.

Spain’s ‘Do It For Your Lover’ is spectacularly poor. Manel and his band mates still spend the first verse with their backs to the audience, the vocals were badly off-key today, and the whole package felt like a school assembly performance. Germany isn’t bad, just spectacularly bland as before. There’s no inspiration in the grey staging once we’re done with the opening shot from above.

UK have managed to get their staging completely right, mixing both the epic and intimate in the mirrored fan and exploding gold cosmos effects. Lucy is in a new gold dress, in fine voice and looking right at the camera throughout. The French on the other hand, have done nothing but provide a backdrop that tends to overshadow its singer. Alma is generally adequate, but it’s a shame she’s been left so exposed.

Keep your thoughts coming below. Tomorrow evening sees the jury rehearsal for the first semi-final. Eurovision week is upon us.

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81 comments to Eurovision 2017: May 7 rehearsals

  • RonH

    Good to see UK in top 10!

  • markovs

    2nd half draw should help the UK and already all the other poor big 6 songs have drawn 2nd half, so will make it look even better.

  • markovs

    …and how bad is Spain?? Surely a cert for last place?

  • Hippo

    Can’t believe how France have just left poor Alma on her own with just a dizzying backdrop, really thrown any chance of a good result.

    Uk should get top ten from here, maybe higher -best female ballad.

    Ukraine, Germany, Spain all struggling – Spain lools ridiculously bad.

    With Italy, the general maximum televote of around 360 has gone down by about 50 with that first half draw looking at previous results. Should have drifted more. Only 8 second half spots left though. Let’s see where the other contenders draw, also Romania, Moldova and Croatia qualifying and getting second half as fun songs would hurt Italy. I also think Italy looks a bit dark, with the colours on the backdrop distracting from the Gorilla and the dance. That might be nit-picking though.

    • Tim B

      Hey Hippo, may I ask how you came up with that potential -50 televotes for Italy? I totally agree with you about it being too dark and the backdrop being busy and distracting. However, if it’s as amazing as people are saying it is, it will win despite these staging nitpicks and the first half draw.

      • Hippo

        Just going off previous results really. 360-370 seems like a realistic maximum for a televote winner and this has only ever been acheived from a late position. I have reservations Francesco was making it that high anyway but for arguments sake, he might have. With an earlier draw, at best he’s looking at 280- 310 or so in my opinion (Conchita, Mans levels of support). “Super memorable”/”hyped”/”standout”packages too.
        Still a great score but might not see him to 500 or so overall which would make things interesting.

        The draw has hurt him, of that I have no doubt, to what extent in terms of points, and how many he could afford to loose anyway I’m not sure, the 50 is a rough guess depending on where the other contenders draw and what follows.
        If there’s a nightmare scenario of Portugal, Sweden, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Croatia second half the effect will be much bigger.

  • Black n Blue

    Italy looking solid as expected, although I agree with Hippo on the colours. The Gorilla seems to blend into the darker lighting, when it needs to pop out. For the bridge, I’d like to see a spotlight on him as well as Francesco next time.

    The UK looks extremely professional and the vocal is flawless. Juries could place this deep into the top 10, but the televote is still a bit of a question mark.

    I don’t see any of the other four today making it onto the left hand side. Spain and Germany are poor, but Ukraine is god awful. I’ve a few quid on the hosts to come last.

    Italy were always going to be impervious to the draw, so the 1st half doesn’t change anything as I see it. From a producer’s perspective it would have been better for them to be late in the order, so as to build up excitement. You ideally don’t want people to have already heard the best one by slot 10/11. There’s a cruel part of me that wants Italy placed at number 2 in the order, just so that the superstition can be put to bed!

  • peterrehberg

    How will politics influence voting patterns this year? Is a probable Macron-victory tonight creating a sense of Euro-phoria that will also help Alma’s performance with the backdrop of a Paris as the only future EU global city? Which also brings me to my second point, what will be the impact of Brexit on the voting?

    • James Martin

      I don’t think Brexit will matter too much. There’s a lot of anti-EU citizens within a lot of the countries. The Aussies will have our back, as will the Le Pen supporters in France regardless of tonight’s result.

      Last year we did realtively well with the juries but bombed on the public vote.

      I have money on it.

      • eurovicious

        I really wouldn’t rely on Le Pen supporters watching Eurovision let alone picking up the phone and paying to vote for Britain…

    • eurovicious

      I think France will do badly. The vocal isn’t secure, the performance isn’t that appealing or charismatic, and the swirling cityspace visuals both dwarf her and are nausea-inducing.

      Brexit, as a Trump-level event that even the least politically aware Europeans are aware of, may negatively impact the UK’s result in that Europe (correctly) perceives Britain as having said fuckety-bye to it out of spite and hubris. There’s no motive for televoters to reciprocate by supporting the entry, or any reason why they should consider it sincere or relevant.

  • RonH

    The only disadvantage for UK might be the direct qualification. I believe these kind of songs are helped by the support built up during the semi-final and the extra media coverage. Don’t think the previews during the semis have the same effect.

  • The odds on Italy getting the Dami Im slot 13 must be fairly short I would have thought…..if not that, 11.

  • Here is a question…
    What happens if both SF winners get 1st half draws? Would they want to put the 2 SF winners and Italy back to back to back? If not, surely Italy is more likely to get the less favorable position.
    Just a theoretical thought

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Yes, that’s a great point and a very possible scheduling conundrum. I think a good argument could be put forward for Italy to be favoured or disfavoured.

      In the era of ESC producer manipulated running orders this is the first time that the hot favourite has been one of the Big 6, isn’t it?

      The producer would have to make a decision about whom to favour, so that is another potential factor to account for in Italy’s odds.

      Any of the big gun, big-achieving contenders coming through from the Semis and drawing a 1st half slot will be disadvantaged from proximity to Italy (with the jolly suffering, too) in that end stretch 2nd half log jam.

      So far the draw has unfolded as a dream for the quality package that has emerged for the UK.

      • Ron

        I think the producers would favour Italy in that scenario. It’s common knowledge that the song is the red hot favourite in the betting and leading all the fan polls by a big margin. I don’t think there is any particular responsibility on them to give a semi final winner an outstanding draw and they would probably feel justified in favouring Italy over the two semi winners.

  • Let’s say the UK gets 10th or 9th place overall in this year’s Grand Final, thanks to a good jury-vote and a not-so-bad televote, do you guys still think such a result is mostly caused by incredible staging and Lucie’s incredible belting? Or is it also caused by the UK actually choosing a very decent, if not good, song, that is both pure and emotional as well as the best meldoy for the UK since Jade Ewen’s ‘My Time’?

    Personally, I think the UK will be back in the TOP 10 with this one. Not just because of juries, but also because televoters at home will relate to Lucie’s charm and emotive power to a certain extend.

    IF the UK comes 11th, 10th, or even 9th or 8th next week? I sincerely hope it will be the kick-off to a better Eurovision future for the UK in upcoming years. Similar to what Anouk did to The Netherlands starting in 2013.

    One last remark: Bravo UK. Bravo.

    • wef

      @songfestivalwerki… as usual I find myself in total agreement with you.

      The song is decent- One of the best 15

      The staging is one of the best 5

      The performer is one of the best (Imo rivalled only by Italy/ Netherlands)

      I think it will be left hand side/ probably Top 10 and possibly Top 6…..

      I hope you’re right that about the UK being on an upward curve, god knows it’s been downward for long enough…

      Final thought on th UK for now, personally I think It’s better than 2009 but we shall see….

      You’re right about the Netherlands as well.

  • Do you know if you can watch Eurovision on Youtube LIVE?

  • Dana

    Having watched all the rehearsal footage, there really isn’t anything that is screaming winner to me at the moment. I thought Italy and Belgium would be contending but Blanche has been massively disappointing and I was not really that impressed with the snippets I have seen of Italy either- how high will the juries really place him?

    I’m wondering if we might see a repeat of 2011 with Armenia being Azerbaijan ( low scoring ex-Soviet country that has never won before, expected to go top 5 but wins due to lack of competition and scoring solidly enough), Portugal as Italy ( jazzy song not performed in English that the juries love but televoters place outside the top 10) and Sweden as…Sweden ( trashy uptempo number performed by a bunch of extremely smug looking Swedish pretty boys).

  • niko

    I find the snippet of the UK from the official feed very effective indeed. Pitch perfect goosebump inducing vocals and the staging is attention-grabbing. There’s even a little bit of the supernatural god-like manipulation that eurovicious wrote about in his article, Lucie’s singing seems to make stars shoot in all directions. I’m not so sure anymore that this can be written totally off as a dark horse, this could come off as a show-stopper on the night.

    On the other hand, I am completely underwhelmed by Italy. Francesco’s singing sounds flat to me and the staging does not seem that fun. To me, the studio version is light years ahead of when he performs it live. If they just played the music video, I would be pretty sure of an Italian victory, but with this live version? Can a gorilla really win you Eurovision?

    (It should be noted that I am normally pretty keen on the favourites, I thought Sweden would win in 2015 and Russia last year, but this does not seem like a package which should have such low odds…)

    • Black n Blue

      I agree. The UK really do have a chance to stand out. I can’t see it being used as filler, unless Bulgaria, Portugal, Sweden, Romania et al draw second half which seems unlikely.

      Regarding Italy, I played it to my dad for the first time today, and after the first chorus finished he said “It’s fantastic, that’s going to win”. He didn’t need to hear any of the other songs to say that either. However, I gave it the mum test straight after and she wasn’t taken by it at all, going on to describe it as “silly” and after seeing the Gorilla she looked to me and said “oh the judges won’t like this”. So yeah, very contrasting views. I wrote a comment up here a while ago saying a couple of my friends weren’t too impressed either, which I think goes to show that this isn’t perhaps going to be as popular as the experts say it will be. That said, I’m personally convinced there’s enough there for Italy to win, owing to what is a box office banger of a song, and the lackluster competition it’s up against.

    • Black n Blue

      Another thing about the UK is the syncing of the graphics with the music, something I’ve never seen them do before. Last year, they just plastered selfies over the backdrop and even with Molly the LED effects didn’t seem to match the music that well. It looks like Lucie and her team have configured a Jamala-lite moment too. Just as Jamala had a tree grow from behind her on the power note, so too does Lucie with the exploding shards of gold.

  • Alpie

    Johnkef, may I have your thoughts on especially the semi 1 & the final?

    • johnkef

      Regarding Semi 1 i believe that Armenia will be the winner, followed by Portugal and then Sweden. I have Armenia as winner @ 7.20 and 6.50 buying it pre-rehearsals.

      The other certain qualifiers imo are Belgium despite all the fuss, Greece, Azerbaijan, Finland and Moldova. The other 2 probably are Cyprus and Australia. But i wouldn’t be surprised if the lattest fails to qualify.

      About the final, i do think that Italy will win but not tha easy as the odds or bettors imply. Portugal and Armenia are the only countries that can threaten it and Sweden and Bulgaria look like a certain Top5.

      I have bet on Italy and will get some decent money money in case it wins but i will win even more if Portugal or Armenia cause an upset. My biggest bets though are Armenia’s Top 3-4-5 (3.45-3.75-2.24 respectively) , Portugal’s Top 3-4-5 (3.76-3.15-2.49) and winners without Italy

      • Alpie

        Thanks for reply. However, those are your picks before the rehearsals. If you had not placed bets, would your picks have been the same after the rehearsals? Portugal is still unknown how it is welcolme.

        • johnkef

          In Semi 1 we had some changes that have to do with the dynamics of the songs but not the countries that would qualify. Belgium might not be Top3 but will qualify and the same will probably happen with Australia. Finland looks stronger than we thought but was also among the qualifiers. We haven’t seen a country that nobody was counting on to step up and secure its place to the final.

          In Semi 2 i have to admit that there are countries that i can make it to the final even though two weeks ago looked doomed or borderline. I only have 5 definite qualifiers ( Bulgaria, Romania, Denmark, Netherlands, Estonia) and only 2 doomed entries ( San Marino, Lithuania). We have 11 countries fighting for 5 tickets. If i had to pick 5 i would choose Malta, Croatia, Belarus, Israel and Austria.

          Regarding the final during rehearsals i made my position stronger in Portugal’s and Armenia’s Top 3-4-5, and now that Sweden is @2.20+ in the Top4 market i will probably invest some money there. The additional bets are Finland’s top10-15 and Nehterlands Top10. Usually i try to find some value before the semis so my game does not change a lot during rehearsals. I did some laying in Australia’s Top5 and Hungary’s Top15 and that’s it.

          Portugal is an unknown factor but i believe that his story and song cannot be forgotten.

          • A lot of sense in this comment. We have the same picks for the first half of SF2 (Austria, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, Denmark) but, aside from Bulgaria and Belarus, different picks for the very weak second half. Other than that I agree with your tips and everything you’re saying. I think Netherlands and Austria are smart picks for top 10, I’d say Moldova too.

          • johnkef

            Believe EV i would be more than happy to see Israel and Estonia as NQ. I really hate these songs.

            I have Moldova in my Top15 market but i believe that that’s the highest possible outcome. It is far too cheap to enter Top-10 especially when Pasha Parfeny and Aliona Moon didn’t make it in the past.

            And one question. Do the Italy’s backers in prices lower than 2.25 feel comfortable with their investment?

  • James Martin

    So the big question with my tinfoil X Factor hat on.

    Do TPTB deramp Italy and put Francesco on 2nd?

  • James Martin

    Also taking what we have learnt from X Factor, what wouĺd you guys determine to be Eurovision’s pimp slot?

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Perhaps 24th, or whatever the ante-penultimate slot is in a given year.

      The final / last spot would be another possibility. Il Divo smashing the televote would support that position.

      The penultimate position might be the best of all. Especially if it follows Manel, with Manel then returning for a producer-instructed reprise for the last slot!

      • Ron

        The last performance slot isn’t guaranteed gold – and I’d be happier to consider Il Volo’s televote win from 27th place as a fluke.

        Consider that in 2014 Molly performed last but only managed 17th place – and back then many considered that she’d been deliberately given the “pimp slot” to set up the UK for a win.

        But if there’s any “pimp slot”, it might just be anywhere in the second half. Since 2009, the televote winner has always been an act that’s performed in the second half of the grand final (the one exception – Conchita in 2014).

        So the question is, will Francesco be a Conchita or will he be a Måns? Will he sail through with the help of a good jury result, or will he languish in the top ten?

        • johnkef

          Actually the ideal slot for the second half is somewhere between 17-24. All these slots have provided at least one winner in the televoting era. Actually the only slot in the second half that does not have a winner is No16.

          In the first half the best slot is No10 with 2-1-1 medal record, followed by No13 with a 0-2-2. I believe that Italy will get No10 and if Portugal is drawn in the 1sth half No13.

          In the second half No17 has a 3-0-0, No20 2-2-0, No22 1-1-2, No 24 1-1-1 and No 18 1-2-0. No22 is out of the equation so i would give Portugal No20 or No22.

          • I still think the producers think slot 26 is a “good slot” though.
            Last year Armenia finished 2nd in their SF and were given slot 26. The year before Italy were given slot 27 – and were a strong 2nd Favourite to win

            I’m talking about the last slot, since we normally have 26, but 2 years ago there were 27 because Oz were an auto Qualifier

  • Augustas

    Hello Guys,

    2 things.

    I was really wondering what do you think about Portugal? Why it is placed so high in the bookies? Am I too young for that kind of music to understand or is it something wrong with bookies?

    Another thing is Norway’s chances to qualify. Would you bet on that?

    • I think Norway is modern and more likely to qualify than not, but it’s very short for a song/performance no one seems to care about either way!

    • Ben

      Portugal song will probably do a ‘Jamala’ from last year.
      I am only 24 and can not fully appreciate this kind of music, however when any one of my family listens to this, they love it.

      This will do VERY well (potentially win) the jury vote and will be top 5 in televote, hence the high odds.

      Do not be shocked to see a convincing Portugal win in 5 days time 🙂

  • Sawyer

    PORTUGAL odds dropping fellas! I suggest you to pick it at 10 now. We can trade later at much better odds in Grand Final Night.

    I think portugal song is nice, charming and will win JURY votes but will fall short in televoting odds since it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Most people who listen to song think it’s boring. But some people very charmed, attracted and find it magical. Francesco will slay in televote:)

    • I don’t think every song is “everybody’s cup of tea”. I have no liking for Italy at all, and you’d need to point a gun at my head to vote for it ahead of 10 of the other songs. Nothing will appeal to everyone.

      • That Salvador polarises the audience is not in doubt. But for televoting purposes, you don’t need to enthuse 100% of people, you need to induce a passion to pick up the phone. A song that splits people 50/50, where all 50% of positives vote by phone is better than song where 90% say, they “quite like it”, but do not, in the end commit. Portugal has its constituency, of that there is no doubt. Just a question of how big it is. The coverage of the health story between now and Saturday may still be the key factor.

        • Ben

          Have to agree with you 100%!

          Portugal song will make people pick up phone to vote for it.

          Whereas Sweden, ‘ahhh I like that’, but you would not neccessarily vote.

          The health issue, I agree, could be huge.

          I posted earlier that my Mum, who has no interest in Eurovision, said to me this morning about the poor Portuguese guy who could not rehearse.

          Would not be shocked in slightest with a comfortable Portugal win this weekend.

  • Ben

    Okay, going to place my prediction here 🙂

    I have got the last 6 years winner right from Azerbaijan in 2011, so here is my stance this year.

    I honestly believe Portugal will win this by a SMALL landslide (2014 style)

    This will probably win the Jury vote by a comfortable margin. In addition, his health problems will be an obvious talking point during his postcard and has been covered in press.

    My mum who has no interest in Eurovision, mentioned to me this morning that she had read about the poor Portuguese guy who could not rehearse. Depending on how true this is, this will still cause people to vote for Portugal.

    It is also a completely different song, and will appeal to a huge majority and even the non usual voters who will vote for something different.

    I see this topping Jury vote (Not quite like Dami, but by a comfortable margin) and then coming top 3 with Televote.

    My main issue with Italy is….When ever I have played this to friends/family/non eurovision fans….I get a negative response, they want it turned off asap. Bulgaria and Sweden for example, they enjoy.
    This, along with the first half draw, i really can not see this winning.

    My final Prediction:

    1. Portugal

    Small GAP

    2. Italy
    3. Bulgaria

    Large GAP

    4. Sweden
    5. Armenia

  • Sulman

    Portugal win? Guyscmon! This song is boring and slow. And nobody gives vote to portugal in televoting they dont have much neighbors. Pls dont throw your money to toilet

    • johnkef

      So let’s all play Italy in 1.68 to win the contest when you have at least 20-25 better odds going after 3-4-5-10-15 places and not just one…

      Odds can’t be wrong!Right Russia 2016 and Armenia 2014? Money in the pocket!

      • Fully agree with johnkef here. Italy represent no value whatsoever at the current price. If and its a big IF for me, they do win, they will trade higher than Evs between now and the end

        Nobody gives votes to Austria either, yet they won it recently

  • John

    Apologies but I feel I must burst the UK bubble.

    This is a competent entry but we are still looking at right hands side of the scoreboard here folks. It loses its way about just over 2 minutes in and then gets a bit repetitive. Top 5 is unthinkable to me.

    I am coming round to a Portugal win though. It will be a moment of calm in a final with a few dodgy numbers. It’s unique and I’m getting used to it cos I still think it’s a dull dud but it feels like I’m deluding myself to believe otherwise.

    • eurovicious

      Portugal is my winner too. Agree with the comments on this page. Re: the UK, a lot of people seem to be saying that it’ll place better than recent entries but still not top 10, which sounds sensible to me. Hope it doesn’t come over as too overwrought. I’d anticipate quite a jury/televote disparity – it could easily come top 10 in the jury vote and bottom 10 in the televote for a mid-table finish overall. I’d cap it at about 13th. If that.

    • I appreciate the sentiment on the UK, however I can’t help but think that if this song was being sung for Sweden, or indeed anywhere else, it would be a runaway favourite like Undo was.

      The song has poor odds and expectations because it’s the UK, not because of the song. And that’s very sad.

      We are also forgetting the Emmelie DeForrest factor. Many International commentators will be picking up on this during the postcard.

      • eurovicious

        >99% of viewers won’t know who Emmelie de Forest is.

      • johnkef

        James, this is the reason why in order to win the contest you need to establish a brand name. It happens everywhere. Sports, politics, retail. This is the reason why Sweden is Top4 favourite every single year. Unless you can send a song or a phenomenon like Conchita, Lordie, Salvador Sobral…

        I agree with Eurovicious that viewers don’t know and don’t care who Emmelie Forrest is.

        It really amazes me every time that UK sends a decent song, the amounts of enthusiasm the british bettors show. Personally i like the song but don’t think that can do much better than a 12th-13th position. In fact i think that televoting will cause great damage to its chances. I currently place it 16-18.

        • I don’t disagree with you john, but if you are using a betting exchange, there is an obvious investment there/here.

          • johnkef

            Personally i will stay away. If someone believes that there is value he/she should follow the instinct.

        • Ande

          I don’t buy into that UK needs to establish a brand name, they just need to get their shit together. UK has suffered in Eurovision because of a bad selection procedure (well, that and being seeded directly into the final). Even when they do come up with a decent song (2013, 2014, 2016) they’ve still competed with sub par production, presentation and performers.

          This year the UK has upped their game somewhat and will definitely be in the top 20. But the UK’s production is still not up there with the best and Lucie’s vocals are too monotone compared to the top ballad soloists.

          This is the real reason why Sweden is top 5 almost every year, their standout selection procedure ensures that they will send a well produced entry performed by a competent artist.

          • The UK’s approach to Eurovision since the millennium (excepting the Andrew Lloyd-Webber year and the Blue year) has mirrored its approach to Brexit: self-sabotage then blame it on Europe when we do badly.

  • Sawyer Emre

    Eurovicious, you on Portugal boat too? It increases my confidence level on Portugal then. I was on Italy boat first, picked at 2.90-3.00 but now I started to think this song won’t get much points from jury. And when you listen song first time, it doesnt catch you much. Portugal’s song is very different. I have both action on Portugal and Italy but I think i will increase Portugal part.If everybody voted for Conchita, then they can vote for Portugal too.

    • eurovicious

      I’ve never been on the Italy boat and have been saying “Bulgaria or Portugal” of late; before that I was saying Belgium on the basis the performance issues would be worked out. I’m not the only one who’s long been skeptical of Italy’s jury appeal. His vocal in the official rehearsal clip the other day was rough as. A first-half draw harms the televote-reliant and non-vocally-driven OK more than it harmed Måns, who juries brought over the line. It’s coming over as a novelty entry in the Verka/grannies sort of way. I think it’ll be 2nd-4th, Ben’s comment above makes a lot of sense to me.

      • James

        I don’t see the first half draw harming Italy. Strong entries with a visual hook like Conchita, Mans and the Russian grannies can overcome an early draw. You call OK televote-reliant and non-vocally driven but I think most people would have said the same thing about Heroes pre-contest.

        • PurpleKylie

          I disagree with Heroes not being a vocally-driven song, I highly doubt Heroes would’ve done so well especially with juries if they got a much weaker singer performing it, say what you want about Månsbot but there’s no doubt that he can sing live

          • Lia

            Yes, there’s no doubt Mans is a competent and capable singer, at least as far as Heroes went, but Heroes is hardly a vocally-driven song, in the sense that the vocals aren’t anything special. It doesn’t appear to be a challenging song to sing, and the vocals don’t stand out in it and are not a USP. You could say that nearly every single entry ever would’ve gotten a lower placing if it was sung worse than it was on the night, but that doesn’t make a song vocally-driven.

          • Ande

            Guys, there’s a middle ground here. While Heroes USP will never be the vocals there was enough of a vocal appeal for both juries and audienes to check the “Excellent vocals” checkbox.

            Compare this to Sweden last year. Despite having perhap the strongest tune in contention (like OK now), challenging and well performed vocals were two of the key ingrediences missing.

  • eurovicious

    For all the anxiety over Blanche, I think Dihaj is in far more danger of the two of not qualifying. She’s vocally worse, the song is less popular and more difficult and edgy, and the staging presents her as disturbed and dangerous, even malevolent – convulsing, writing on the walls, going along a line of people stood with their backs to us (as if awaiting execution) and chalking an X on each of their backs (symbolically killing them), combined with offputting styling (hair, lipstick and white coat) that doesn’t portray her as beneficent, needy or innocent but instead an agent of chaos. I think it’s fucking fab but televote suicide. Belgium has it easy by comparison. You want to help Blanche and reach out to her as she, looking vulnerable, sympathetic and in need of help, appeals to the viewer take her hand, whereas you want to run a mile from Dihaj and her deranged world. Blache seems frightened and you wanna hug her; Dihaj by contrast is angry and spurning of human contact.

  • annie

    Italy´s strengh lies in a lighthearted message combined with a catchy tune and a charismatic performer.

    But sadly I don´t think the sound/performance come across good enough neither in the rehearsal footage or the sanremo show. I don´t think he would havesuch succes without the music video (or without understanding his lyrics, which won´t happen on first listen for most europe)
    Which brings me to the staging. I don´t think what we see on stage conveys the message, attitude, the essence of the song, that thing that made many of us fall for it. On first look and listen I fear it can be perceived as a poor novelty whatever.
    Thus my faith in italy winning is weak.

    Portugal seems to stand out both in look and sound, without understanding a word of it. I do wonder if this uniqueness in enough people´s cup of tea for it to win.

  • Rob4

    portugal v italy is a moot point if you were on italy early enough. i’m happy to protect my italy investment with portugal back up.

  • Shall we first await ALL semi-finals, and ALL final running orders of the grand final on Friday morning?

  • After the rehearsals many things seem to have changed. Some in a good way, some in a bad. Let’s see…

    The better ones(only two):

    1. UK: I always thought this would do well, because it is a decent ballad, with a singer that gives a 100% of what she can do every single time she sings it. The staging and the 2nd half draw give the final boost for a top 10 finish. Had this been sent from Norway or Russia, top 3 would be the worst result. But it’s the UK… although I won’t be surprised if she reaches such a good result as third place. She deserves it.

    2. Norway: I like this a lot. Before rehearsals begin, I thought that many stagings would be better than this, but not many songs have uptempo rhythm, positive vibes and smart staging(not to mention sampled vocals…). By the way, the last time Norway sent a song that there was talk about following the rules or not, they’ve won it… (Nocturne, due to its “poor” lyrics). Now, I don’t think that this can win, but the resemblance to Daft Punk’s “Discovery” album songs can ring bells to many televoters. It could be top-10, maybe top-8.

    The worse (more than two…)::

    1. France: For goodness sake, what did you do with the staging? Where are the dancers? Where is the french aura that the videoclip had? The Eiffel Tower moving around in the background is just ridiculous… Out of the top-10 and heading for bottom-5…

    2. Belgium: I love the song but as I have written in my previous post, I didn’t think that it would be at the top 10. Now the rehearsals’ videos are so bad, I can’t even stand watching them… It might still qualify, but if it does, last place won’t be easy to get for other contenders… Got that, Manuel?

    3. Latvia: The rehearsal videos aren’t as good as the national final performance. Estonia can gain from this, in terms of diaspora vote.

    4. Greece: I can’t tell if the vocals are Demys’ or the backing singers’ fault. But since they found a way around it at tonight’s jury rehearsal, they won’t lose much ground.

    So here is my top-10 prediction after rehearsals and before the live-shows:

    1. Bulgaria
    2. Italy
    3. Portugal
    4. Greece
    5. United Kingdom
    6. Armenia
    7. Sweden
    8. Australia
    9. Norway
    10. Estonia

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