Eurovision: May 6 rehearsals

Today we got the last 15 songs of the second semi-final, which in general is a more enjoyable experience than sitting through the first heat. Take The Netherlands with ‘Lights and Shadows’, a song which I had no particular fondness for before rehearsals. On the Kiev stage, it’s looking and sounding fantastic, and should be sailing into the final.

Hungary’s ‘Origo’ was better today than in the first rehearsal, with Joci looking more at ease, and the camera angles being tightened up. It’s still not capturing the intensity we saw in the smaller studio of the national final, and the rap remains excessively long. But it’s making progress.

Denmark’s Anja has resorted to her winning DMGP red dress for ‘Where I Am’. She looks right at the camera throughout, has been vocally very consistent, and provides some much needed emotion by kneeling for the middle eight, as a big pyro curtain starts up behind her.

Ireland have improved their staging by marking the big key change with a different colour: we go from white and black, to red and black. Brendan’s voice divides the press centre, but he is at least engaging with the TV feed. This will be a performance to watch during the jury rehearsal.

I was prepared to enjoy San Marino’s ‘Spirit of the Night’ as trashy disco performed by highly competent singers. But it doesn’t feel like the two protagonists can rescue the song at the moment. The generic staging does nothing to distinguish it.

Croatia on the other hand, have decided to go the whole nine yards, with Jacques in a half-and-half tuxedo/leather jacket. His two alter egos are also represented on the backdrop in the first verse. This turns the corniness up to 11, which may help its televote but damage its jury score.

Norway felt a bit flat today, with Aleksander not always vocally perfect. I can’t say I’m a particular fan of the stylised graphic of his face that appears every time the sampled vocals come in. The middle eight now puts his face into darkness so we can appreciate a lighted mic-stand.

Switzerland is still a dubious yellow and purple confection. The plinth isn’t doing any favours, because it’s awkward for Miruna to move the mic-stand away, and later walk down the stairs. She ad libs during the climax, and sometimes this worked effectively (in the final run-through), and sometimes not (the first two efforts). Meanwhile, Belarus is as before: still a happy pill of folksiness. I personally get a little tired of all the “Hey! Hey!” moments, but Naviband are certainly enjoying themselves.

Bulgaria’s Kristian is in very fine form vocally. The creative team are making small tweaks to the tasteful monochrome staging – the scribble effects are now in a thinner font, for example. Because of its contender status, the watching press are hoping for a “moment”, when ‘Beautiful Mess’ offers three minutes of extremely well-executed balladeering instead.

Lithuania is not just the worst song of this Eurovision, but any recent Eurovision. It was a relief to move onto the telenovela drama of Estonia’s ‘Verona’. Koit is giving plenty of Blue Steel looks to the camera, and now strokes Laura’s hair near the climax. She was backing out of a big note on each run-through, but otherwise this was as enjoyable as before.

Singing and dancing, especially at the same time, isn’t an effortless task for Israel’s Imri. I’m not sure why he’s been given such a tough task with both in ‘I Feel Alive’. Some of the badly biffed notes we got during this rehearsal, could easily be avoided if a backing singer was carrying the big moments.

Do let us know your continued thoughts below.

15 comments to Eurovision: May 6 rehearsals

  • fused

    A week to go to the grand final! It feels like it’s come round fast this year.

    I suppose I should say the similarity with my username and the Lithuanian entry is just a coincidence. To be honest though, I….don’t mind their song. At least it isn’t boring.

    While I’m here, I’ve done a couple of ranking posts on my blog about the last 20 years of Eurovision which might interest some of you.

    Eurovision Winners:

    UK Eurovision Entries:

  • ronny

    the netherlands are so good and they are the best live …. top 10 for sure

  • A great picture from the Dutch delegation this year. Everyone is on there: O’G3NE, make-up director, choreographer Saskia, Head-of-Delegations Emilie Sickinghe (AVROTROS), Rick Vol, manager, celebrity photographer William Rutten and many more. Only stage director Rolf Meter is missing.

    • Congrats, Gert. I love what The Netherlands have been sending to Eurovision in recent years. Birds, Calm After The Storm and now O’G3NE. I love what these girls managed to do with this sort of song. It just proves me that more often the artist is more important than the song. Think about Belgium and Netherlands this year. City Lights is way better than Lights And Shadows and yet Belgium will struggle to qualify whereas O’G3NE is already in the final and I love them even though being skeptical before.

      • Thanks Montell. By the way, you are from the UK no? If so (or otherwise in general), do not underestimate the UK this year either. Also the BBC got a bit infected by the ‘stage-it-into-perfection”-virus ;-).

        • No, I’m from one of the Baltic countries. Figure that out yourself 😉 Regarding the UK, I think it will not be bottom 5 this year but also not top 10. Something in between. I love that the UK is trying to improve in Eurovision. Actually, I love every country that takes Eurovision seriously. Eurovision must return a good image.

  • RonH

    I believe a bigger rise of Og3ne in the polls is to be expected on thursday. The Common Linnets rose from 25th to 18th place just before the semi final. It was after the live broadcast that they jumped to 5th place ending up on 3rd place on the day of the final.
    Og3ne never had large hits, neither did they sell large amounts of records. Their live performances however have always been stunning and are, with few exceptions, viewing hits in the Netherlands on Youtube. Their presentation and harmonies move people. I don’t know many people that don’t like their performances. Especialy for us critical and opinionated Dutch that says a lot.

    Glad to see the visuals also fit the song very well.

    • Phil

      I’ve seen “og3ne” so many times here and I haven’t a clue what it means…

      • RonH

        The name is not the smartest choice since no-one knows what it means. The explanation the girls give : they share the same genes as they are sisters. The O comes from the bloodgroup of the mothers (Before Eurovision the name actualy was spelled O’g3ne).
        Since they are three sisters they changed one e to 3 as a gimmick. The name is pronounced as Ogene.

    • Is that true Ron? I thought that the rise already started to happen after the first two rehearsals and that around Friday, the week before the semi-final, The Common Linnets were already in the TOP 10 of Oddschecker.

      Regarding ‘viewing hits’, it is important to note that Netherlands is a densely cabled country, meaning that an incredible amount of Dutch people have internet nowadays. That’s reflected in many global internet stats.

  • RonH

    Interesting to see the Netherlands are the first of the Western contenders to score in the East Block: third place itunes Slovenia (source: Eurovisiontracker).

  • Hippo

    Do we know when the big five are allocated their half today?
    Any clues as to whether in the post rehearsal interview or at the opening?

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