Eurovision 2013: Semi 1 Dress Rehearsal 1

The opening is a moving one with Loreen and the children’s choir. It didn’t seem to impact too much on Austria’s Natalia Kelly who had her best rehearsal to date with ‘Shine’, although the staging remains as static as before. Juries and televoters have a clear question early on: whether they prefer this more contemporary number or the greater vocal power and personal warmth that Estonia’s Birgit brings to her following number.

Slovenia’s Hannah also had her best rehearsal yet. The backing dancers wore masks for the early part of the song. Significantly, Hannah was more convincing vocally during her catwalk strut. The backing singers were slightly higher in the mix and she’d finally changed the way she sings ‘Straight Into Love’ to fit in with the performance. Croatia were very much as before: vocally sound.

It was fascinating to see how Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest came across. It’s still a little short of the Danish national final, and it’s hard to put my finger on why. It’s looking better from previous rehearsals with some nice golden spotlights on the drummers before the first chorus, for example. I think it’s because Emmelie is still fishing for a few camera angles and isn’t owning the stage as much as she did on home territory.

Russia is generally professional, apart from one notable missed note and when the cameras caught the production assistants handing the balls to the male backing singers. They should just ditch the whole idea. Otherwise, it’s very sound. Ukraine’s rehearsal was not without glitches. We had to start again with the opening sequence when the giant caused a problem with Zlata’s audio equipment. It’s still a baffling introduction that ‘Gravity’ takes time to recover from.

Netherlands’ Anouk was as she has been throughout rehearsals this week, and in the same casual outfit. No changes here. Montenegro too although I realised the opening is rather off-putting because we can hear Nina singing but she doesn’t appear until her second solo moment.

Lithuania’s Andrius is a pretty unpredicatble performer. He was in space cadet mode this afternoon, who knows how he’ll be next time. Alyona Lanskaya was looking a little awkward and forced for Belarus, and she really needs to nail it given a song as dated as ‘Solayoh’.

Aliona Moon stood out as strong at this point, and I don’t envisage any problems for Moldova qualifying. It was a very good run-through for Ireland’s Ryan Dolan as well. His stage is far too dark and he sometimes gets lost visually, but otherwise it’s full of energy and it’s contemporary, which means it’s beating Belarus right now. Handily for Ryan, the main break comes after ‘Only Love Survives’.

I thought this was an improvement for Despina Olympiou from Cyprus, the question remains whether the song is going to grab televoters. Belgium’s Roberto Bellarosa has upped his game a little today in terms of stagecraft. The production of ‘Love Kills’ fills the arena very effectively, but I’m still not convinced by the choreography. Finally, I’m enjoying Serbia more with every rehearsal, but perhaps that’s because I’ve got over the outfits and finally have a grip of what’s going on.

Do feel free to ask further questions and make points below. 


30 comments to Eurovision 2013: Semi 1 Dress Rehearsal 1

  • Justin

    Dan I am hearing that Anouk has been rather aloof during Eurovision week so far and perhaps acting disinterestedly. You mention the casual outfit … is the potential lack of interest coming through in her performances? If so do you think it will have a negative effect for juries and/or televoters?

    • Daniel

      Hi Justin, it works quite well in the context of the semi given what’s around it (Ukraine and Montenegro). But it is a casual approach.

  • john kef

    Hi Daniel! If you had to choose an underdog to qualify or not to qualify after the dress rehearsal which one would it be?

  • andre

    hi Daniel – many thanks for all feedback. Is there any sign of how they plan to reprise the songs and which come across most or least effectively?

  • Henry VIII

    Thanks for the tweets Dan and Gav.

  • Boki

    Thanks indeed !
    Daniel, was Anouk wearing the same again tonight?

  • zoomraker

    Anouk looking very emperors new clothes to me at the moment. A dull and dreary song.

  • Austria, Estonia, Lithuania seemed to be getting laid to Q at the moment.
    Only noticed Ireland backed tonight

  • Sorry I may have missed this, but do the qualifiers get drawn into the first and second halves tomorrow night right after the semi final?

    • Daniel

      Yes they do Tim. Will either tweet or post here in the comments section as it happens.

      • How exciting! Especially for Denmark and Russia backers….and Ukraine layers!

      • Roach

        To be clear, I am assuming that’s 5 drawn for each half, Daniel? as opposed to the possibility of them all getting 1st half draws? i.e. tonight has no impact on Semi 1 qualifiers chances of a late draw…

        • Roach

          *or rather Semi 2 qualifiers chances of a late draw!*

          • Daniel

            Hi Roach, it hasn’t been officially confirmed that this will be the case tonight, but I suspect it will be given their similar treatment of the Big 6.

        • hansenus

          I think tonight has to be 5 for first half and 5 for second half with a 10 balls draw.
          Otherwise they can fake it using more balls of one half.
          The conditions of this draw change dramatically respect other years and in order to prove fairness they can only use 10 balls today. Otherwise with 20 balls they could send all songs for example if they want to the second half and change the balls for second semifinal and send them all to first draw.

          • Hi hansenus, a counterargument is that people wouldn’t have any particular reason to smell a rat if qualifiers from one semi end up disporportionately in one half, would they? Whereas there would be a distinct smell of rat if all the big 5 ended up in the second half – which is presumably their thinking behind using a subset of the draw there.

            I don’t see any particularly compelling reason why they couldn’t just turn up tonight with a pot of 20 balls, then put the pot away again till Thursday. (Although, equally, there’s no compelling reason for them not to do the five-and-five thing, either).

  • dicksbits

    I think Belarus may struggle to qualify. Seems only value left in that category at 2/1.

  • dicksbits

    I also think San Marino might get squeezed out on Thursday. Again being offered at 2/1.

  • Boki

    Hi Daniel, any thoughts who might get top3 in the jury vote?

  • eurovicious

    I have turned up in Malmö (which is a hole) and will be watching the third rehearsal of each show in the arena. Not for any particular insight (though that always helps) but because I’m a cheapskate and didn’t want to pay for tickets for the actual shows!

    • Henry VIII

      Lucky man Eurovicious. Can non press people get passes then? I know certain fans get in but I don’t know how they are allocated.

      • eurovicious

        Hi Henry – no, I don’t have a pass, I bought the tickets for about €10 each. The third rehearsal is billed as the “family dress rehearsal” and is for families with younger kids who can’t stay up late for the main show. This may be a Swedish innovation, I certainly don’t recall public access to the first and third rehearsals in Düsseldorf.

    • hansenus

      Hi eurovicious. I have two tickets for semifinal 1 in category 1(A16). I planned to travel with my ukranian girlfriend but then we realized she couldnt enter EU until middle june because of the 90-180 schengen days rule.
      I didnt manage to sell the tickets either in viagogo website even at a very low prize because i didnt know how it works and i didnt know it would be hard or impossible to list the tickets the last 3 days.
      So now i am giving them for free rather than wasting them.

      I have offered them at first to my ex-coworkers from my last company which is in Copenhaguen. If they are not interested on them, i will contact you in some hours to send them to you free cost 😉

  • hansenus

    Hi they would be for free and in pdf format but finally one guy in my old company was interested on them and i offered the tickets to them at first place.
    So sorry very much for the false expectations.

  • hansenus

    Well i guess it is a pitty i didnt ask first here around if someone would want them for something like 30-50 euros. Shit…

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