Eurovision 2015: May 22 rehearsals

The first final dress rehearsal is always a little ragged. The second semi-final qualifiers are getting over a late night, and there are usually technical problems for the new running order.

We started off with Slovenia, which feels like a decent opener: a solid song that’s chilled but has a beat. There wasn’t any change in today’s performance. It’s followed by France, whose war anthem is in the death slot. It’s largely relying on jury support to help it on the scoreboard. Israel’s ‘Golden Boy’ feels like the real opener of the show, and I still think it’s getting a fair few televotes even from this early slot.

Estonia is the classiest song among the first eight, and whilst it’s winning chances may have been hampered by this draw, it would be a shame to see this strong entry fall too far down the scoreboard. The United Kingdom came across better this afternoon, though Electro Velvet have more than a few staircases to climb here. Still, the final minute of Armenia manages to grate more.

Lithuania feels too lightweight to make any significant dent on the scoreboard, but I certainly welcome it at this point of the show after Armenia. Bojana is pleasing the crowd as before with ‘Beauty Never Lies’ – it will be interesting to see how much it’s televote/jury ranking gap widens in the final compared to the semi.

Norway is nicely placed as a return to gravitas, and starts off the strongest section of songs in the contest. Sweden’s Mans wasn’t putting in all his vocals this afternoon and we know exactly what to expect from ‘Heroes’. I think Cyprus feels a little dated in this part of the draw, but John should be happy with qualification.

Australia’s camera angles are coming together, and there’ll presumably be pyros for tonight’s jury performance. Guy is winding up his performance at the right time. It is to Loic Nottet’s credit that it feels like he can compete among this company. Belgium’s stage show came together at just the right time. Austria’s The Makemakes don’t disgrace themselves either, and there’ll presumably be a big crowd reaction, especially when flames start licking out of the piano.

Greece’s Maria Elena is as effective as ever, but the song feels like a weaker link now that it’s in the final. Montenegro’s effort is nothing original in Eurovision terms either, but the final minute is a rousing call for Balkan votes. Germany’s Ann Sophie still spends too much time with her back to the audience at the start of ‘Black Smoke’, yet on the plus side, she toned down some of her more aggressive-looking poses.

Poland feels like a weak link at this stage of proceedings. It’s followed by Latvia’s Aminata, still enthrallingly esoteric. Romania’s Voltaj are as solid as ever, and their song is clearly aimed at the diaspora audience. It’s right at this point I’m in the mood for some costumes being ripped off, so Spain’s Edurne is at a welcome moment in the running order. It feels like Hungary’s Boggie is a return to the balladeering that we’ve become slightly inured to by now.

The running order has done Georgia a few favours, however. It will be interesting to see how much it stands out when Nina is at full throttle for the juries tonight. Azerbaijan feels less impactful for televoters, but much depends on whether the country’s ambitions on the scoreboard return to 2013 levels.

Russia’s Polina wasn’t trying too hard this afternoon, and therefore not at her best. The jury rehearsal will tell us much more about just how close she can come to victory. Albania’s Elhaida will just be happy to be in the final, and she’s chosen a slightly more flattering outfit for it. That leaves the Italian boys to give us a rousing finale. Il Volo are improving with each run-through though I can’t decide if Piero’s little-boy-lost persona are a distraction or even more of a vote-grabber.

I’ll tweet my thoughts on tonight’s crucial jury rehearsal, which starts at 9pmCET. Keep your thoughts coming below.

43 comments to Eurovision 2015: May 22 rehearsals

  • Natasha

    Looking forward to watching tomorrow and good luck to everyone financially involved

  • Tim B

    Does anyone remember what time the voting order came out last year? Some hideous time in the middle of the night or a bit earlier?

  • Peter

    Hey Daniel, the crowd in the arena reacts super strongly to Israel. Is tat just a fanboys phenomenon or will it cross over to a broader TV audience. Can Israel be top 10 or even top 5. In the arena I had the impression that enthusiasm for it is equally strong as for Sweden, don’t you think?

    • Peter, the same can be said about Serbia. This is the order of fan reaction in the arena…
      Bare in mind, there were a lot of swedes and aussies in the arena
      I’m discounting Germany and Austria, as they got huge cheers but where homer cheers

  • tpfkar

    Is X Factor back anytime soon? 😉

    I haven’t seen much beyond last night’s semi – Israel the stand out for me. good luck to everyone paying more attention and with serious cash down.

  • Back to predicting! This time around, I will post my TOP 14 prediction (left hand side of tomorrow’s scoreboard) of the 60th ‪#‎Eurovision‬ Song Contest grand final….before the jury-rehearsal. Smart? Not really. But hey, it’s also fun to see what happens ;-):

    01. SWEDEN (gold)
    02. BELGIUM (silver)
    03. RUSSIA (bronze)
    04. LATVIA (3rd runner-up)
    05. AUSTRALIA (4th runner-up)
    06. Estonia
    07. Georgia
    08. Norway
    09. Israel
    10. Italy
    11. Slovenia
    12. Azerbaijan
    13. Austria
    14. Romania

    After this prediction I will make no changes anymore. Perhaps only France and Cyprus can surprise for the TOP 14, but I’m not sure. This is it ;-)!

    • This is my best prediction ever. 9 of my TOP 10 countries ended in the evntual TOP 10. I predicted the rankings of Sweden, Australia, Norway and Israel 100% correct. Estonia and Latvia only one place different compared to my prediction. In the TOP 14 I predicted the exact ranking of Azerbaijan correct. Georgia is just outside the TOP 10, while I had them 7th smile-emoticon. Romania got 15th place, while I had them 14th. Slovenia got 14th place, while I had them 11th. Andddd, Germany last, I had that correct too.

  • Mr Wolf

    Hi everyone,

    does anyone has Itunes charting statistics from last year?
    Ofc Netherlands, Sweden, Armenia, Hungary and Austria ruled, but what about others? How much value and solidity we can pull from it according to past?

    Current standings:
    1. Sweden (in 26 countries)
    2. Russia (22)
    3. Estonia (20)
    4. Belgium (19)
    5. Israel (16)
    6. Australia (14)
    7. Slovenia (12)
    8. Italy (12)
    9. Latvia (10)
    10. UK (10)

    Interesting note would be that Latvia and Norway have cringed after a great start last night while Israel and Slovenia have been in rising gradually.

    Since probable success with juries, maybe we couldn’t rule out Slovenia’s TOP10 finish yet? I would guess their result would be around spots 8-14.

    I think UK is definately underrated. I wouldn’t consider them to be contenders for the last place. They’re definately stronger than last 3 years.
    Live performance seems to be rather dissapointment, but they have still huge televoting appeal (like Serbia and Israel).
    Televoting TOP8 would be probable.
    So far as I have asked “avarage viewers” opinions (who have great liability from past years), most of them have liked it (and as we see they have a good feedback in Itunes as well, although it’s rather kind of act which would get high reaction in part on tv-show (like Serbia) not on charts).

    From jury point of view I think we can pull comparisons with Romania 2013 and Turkey 2012, although UK 2015 has more originality and style.

    TOP10 is still rather improbable, but 16/1 on Betfair is a hell of a good value.

  • Chris

    I’m not so sure about Belgium. They have fallen spectacularly in the odds and must have gotten good jury marks but I suspect that they could be edged out in the voting by Latvia. Both songs are very contemporary (the latter probably even more so) and are fishing more or less in the same waters but I feel that the Latvian song is more accessible. The presentation is warm and inviting whereas Belgium seems somewhat clinical and detached.

  • John

    Any bookies doing odds on a Straight Forecast for 1-2? I remember they did last year at this point?

    • I would be taking Russia/Sweden straight forecasts myself, if I could find any

      • chewy wesker

        gun to your head Tim which one is going win?

        • Tim B

          Russia, because it has a much better draw and all of Sweden’s uptempo contenders are drawn nearby in the first half. I believe they will take points from each other. It looks to me like in 2011 when Azerbaijan won and 2008 when Russia won, mainly because they ended up being the contenders which had the latest draws. I don’t believe Italy is much of a threat. Sweden, on the other hand, are a definite threat and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they won. Being an Eastern country with a huge diaspora, I think Russia could be being underestimated on ESCtracker, and they are absolutely smashing the YouTube stats compared to all other countries.

          • Boki

            Russia last year with poor entry had two times more YT hits than Dutch entry who won the semi, you have to take to account it’s a big country and that’s always reflected on YT. We miss those ‘views per country’ stats.

  • Russia win this for me, closely followed by Sweden… backed both accordingly

    I wouldn’t mid a trip to Moscow, as I’ve already been to Sweden

    Anyway here’s the full reasons why I fancy Russia –>

    • Chris Bellis

      Hopefully, if Russia does win it, they’ll suspend their nightmarish visa requirements (for UK citizens) for a few days either side. They have done in the past with sporting events.

  • Natasha

    A Russia win with Australia taking 2nd 3rd or 4th spot is the best possible result for me. Good luck all x

  • Ande

    Voting order:

    1 Montenegro
    2 Malta
    3 Finland
    4 Greece
    5 Portugal
    6 Romania
    7 Belarus
    8 Albania
    9 Moldova
    10 Azerbaijan
    11 Latvia
    12 Serbia
    13 Estonia
    14 Denmark
    15 Switzerland
    16 Belgium
    17 France
    18 Armenia
    19 Ireland
    20 Sweden
    21 Germany
    22 Australia
    23 Czech Republic
    24 Spain
    25 Austria
    26 F.Y.R Macedonia
    27 Slovenia
    28 Hungary
    29 United Kingdom
    30 Georgia
    31 Lithuania
    32 The Netherlands
    33 Poland
    34 Israel
    35 Russia
    36 San Marino
    37 Italy
    38 Iceland
    39 Cyprus
    40 Norway

    Russia has definitely not won the jury vote.

    • Ande

      If you look at the last countries voting, Sweden is the spontaneous reaction, but could it possibly be Italy who sneaks by unnoticed??

      Voting in the OGAE poll:

      12 – Italy
      10 – Australia
      08 – Sweden

      12 – Italy
      10 – Spain
      08 – Israel

      12 – Italy
      10 – Australia
      08 – Norway

      12 – Norway
      10 – Slovenia
      08 – Sweden

      12 – Italy
      10 – Sweden
      08 – Estonia

      12 – Italy
      10 – Estonia
      08 – Sweden

    • Ande

      Disclamer: This is as of yet not an official running order. The source is found here:

    • Alen

      Iceland and Norway as two of the last 3 juries screams Sweden obviously but it’s a bit too obvious for my liking.

      Don’t forget: the order is there to make the voting as exciting as possible. So probably Sweden will try to catch up in the end and succeed or just not.

    • Iceland and Norway are two of the last three countries voting, both of whom will have given Sweden 12 points in Semi Final 2. I think it’s very likely Sweden will win.

    • Nick D.

      The run of countries at 23 to 28 is absolutely sceaming at me, but I can’t work out what it’s saying. Serbia? Romania? Somebody else?

      • Mr Wolf

        It’s screaming Italy. No other way. Austria, Slovenia,’s highly probable their 12 points go to Italy.
        It’s always been between Sweden and Italy.
        Russia would never get to Jury TOP2 with this song.
        Russia may have won 2010 or 2011, but Sweden and Italy are too hard to beat this year.
        And press voting has been highly accurate last couple of years as well (although Russia has always been underrated there, but we still can pull things into spective).

        • annie

          But I just can’ see Italy topping or Top2 of televote. People will be too drunk/impatient by running order no 27 to passionately dial away for some classy pop/opera…

          • Mr Wolf

            I wouldn’t call this year’s Italy too classy. Italy has had much more classier songs 2011-2012-2013. I think it has even more televoting appeal than jury, but probably gonna win both of them.
            Italy is just the “alpha act” this year. In a context of competiton, the strongest.
            People are usually pretty objective, they vote for the best and most outstanding (in a context of competition).
            Italy’s statstics on Youtube, Twitter etc are also pretty impressive..(and not only based on their fans)

  • Ronnie

    What’s the consensus on the UK entry? Seems to be doing OK on iTunes but would success merely be not finishing bottom or can it dream of threatening the left-hand side of the board? Looking at the H2H markets and UK is 7/2 v Germany, 3/1 v Greece, Evs v France or even odds against to finish 23rd or higher. Fair reflection of its chances?

  • Ben Cook

    A lot of Italy-friendly countries in the first section suggests they make take an early lead.. and therefore not win at the end of the night. Russia has surely got to be ruled out unless they’ve been very clever in this voting order.

    Did some number crunching and Sweden’s votes are looking to be very balanced between the two halves which suggests they haven’t run away with it – because if they have, they’ve not tried very hard to hide it, apart from Iceland and Norway being at the end.

    I think it’ll be closer than usual, but still expecting Sweden to win now. I was nervous about Italy last night but not so much after seeing the voting order.

    • Avitas

      Norway and Iceland at the end doesn’t necessarily indicate Sweden. It could, but it it could also be anorher country. Norway and Iceland often vote similar. Last year 10p from both to Austria, 12p from both to Netherlands. Sweden 7/8. Moreover, if indeed both countries award Sweden the 12 there’s still high marks to be given. Norway’s 10 would have to go outside the Nordic. So instead of saying Nor and Ice giving Sweden a final push to victory at the end, it could just as well mean giving Belgium or Italy or Australia a final set of high marks.
      (But it most likely won’t be exciting at all ’cause Sweden is probably the winner by the time Poland has voted…)

  • annie

    …and maybe i’m biased because I like him, but could the same countries that we associate with voting for sweden mean actually votes for Belgium? i think belgium has a good chance of doing well with juries and i think the emerging pattern would fit with them too.

  • Ben Cook

    Belgium complained to EBU that the smoke from Australia affected their performance last night. They weren’t allowed to perform again, but the juries were asked to disregard it. Seems a bit unfair to me.

  • stoney

    Sweden momentarily went 2/1 with betfred which i took advantage of. Thought it was a mistake

  • Ron H

    I find it hard to interpret the voting order. Does is make any sense to conclude the juries favoured Australia?

  • Tpfkar

    I listened (watched on stage performances) to everything in order last night, most of the songs for the first time. I’m probably the nearest thing to a casual viewer here, who will make up most of the voters tonight. So with that in mind – I’d say it has to be Sweden. There is nothing that comes close. Russia is the best of what felt like 15 dull female led songs but isn’t distinctive enough, and juries have better on offer throughout. Italy a bit of a mess actually, and the second half drags so badly I’ve given up before they start – last place is a sabotage act. My personal favourite was Belgium but no illusions it’s winning.

    Hope that helps.

  • Guys, I really don’t know how to interpret the voting order. And frankly, my advice would be: Don’t look too much into it. Don’t try to find patterns and so on.

    Netherlands last year got 8 times 12 points (for example from Norway, Iceland, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania). But based on that running order they could also have gone to Sweden…

    The only thing I usually can conclude, based on the exact scoregrid of only 100% juries last year, is this:

    The EBU divides the voting in roughly three parts. With 100% juries last year the scores would have looked like this:
    –> Part 1 (first 12 juries):
    57 points: ARMENIA
    52 points: AUSTRIA
    49 points: HUNGARY
    48 points: SWEDEN
    46 points: THE NETHERLANDS
    44 points: MALTA
    –> Part 2 (after 24 juries):
    133 points: THE NETHERLANDS (sudden huge rise in points)
    113 points: SWEDEN (also moved up to 2nd)
    110 points: AUSTRIA
    107 points: HUNGARY
    091 points: ARMENIA
    090 points: MALTA
    –> Part 3 (after 36 juries, Georgia jury eliminated):
    214 points: AUSTRIA (now Austria started to surge)
    200 points: THE NETHERLANDS
    199 points: SWEDEN
    138 points: HUNGARY
    119 points: MALTA
    114 points: FINLAND (sudden increase in the 3rd half)

    What can we conclude on this? That we really need to see that running order in the light of pure 100% jury results. BUTTT once the televoting is included, the overall “effect” of making the voting tense and exciting is already gone.

    Because last year, in the mixed (50% televoting, 50% jury) official result, Netherlands could not overtake Austria at all during the 2nd of 3 parts of the voting.

    On top of that, thanks to the 50% televoting, the surge for the eventual winner Austria kicked in way sooner. Also, other small surges, like the one from Finland at the end, and a very good start for Armenia, were erased by the televotes. So on average this appointed voting order is complete nonsense. You simply can’t “read” from it which countries will do well and which ones not.

    So take the voting order with a grain of salt. Most likely, the eventual winner will surge already quite early, thanks to the televotes, making the impact of this appointed running order draw rather pointless.

    Leaves me with another remark: The current voting procedure really needs to be changed, to retain some of the tense fun and excitement. Tonight I expect a rather dull voting. And IF for whatever reason the voting really is tense? THEN that is pure statistical luck.

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