Eurovision 2017: Second semi-final dress rehearsal

After some technical issues, the first dress rehearsal of the second semi-final kicked off with Serbia’s Tijana. After disappointing earlier in the week, ‘In Too Deep’ is now at least meeting its low expectations, with the vocal better than before. But Austria’s Nathan Trent is a much-needed injection of charm and easy listening straight afterwards.

There’s improvement from FYROM’s Jana, with the effects on her mic turned up, and the backing singers higher in the mix. Malta are never far from qualification, and Claudia is putting them in contention with the way she sells the dated ‘Breathlessly’. Romania’s Alex and Ilinca are in good voice until the bridge – when it gets a little messy – which is part of the genius of wheeling the cannons on stage. Still no effects to go with the prop, however.

It felt like The Netherlands’ O’G3NE took the first verse for their vocals to warm up, but once that happened, they were as impressive as ever. There is a break afterwards, during which Romania, Austria and Serbia got brief shout-outs by Timur in the Green Room, but no interviews.

Hungary’s Joci is looking and sounding far more confident than he did a week ago. The rap still comes across a little aggressively, but it’s all part of the passion he’s putting into the performance. DRK are sparing no cost on Anja – her pyro curtain fires up with the bridge and continues right through to the end of ‘Where I Am’. The backing singers started a little off, but Anja has been very reliable in rehearsals, and was again here.

I’ve been increasingly pessimistic about the qualification chances of Ireland’s ‘Dying To Try’ during rehearsals. Each run-through has some ropey moments, but Brendan’s big brown eyes look imploringly down the camera, and I remind myself that all hope is not quite lost. San Marino’s Valentina and Jimmie are still your fortysomethings having a date night at the local disco.

They’ve changed some of the staging for Croatia, and it’s back to being a cult classic. Our friend is now alone on stage for the first two-thirds of the song – aside from the appropriate opera/rocker Jacques on the backdrop. The camera angles are more effectively showing the half-and-half outfit. He’s only joined by his backing troupe from the instrumental, which gives us a greater sense of development. The pyro curtain feels earned.

Norway’s JOWST have also made improvements: Aleksander is looking happier and in better voice, and his face is no longer completely in darkness for the bridge. Switzerland’s Timebelle are still very yellow and purple. Much depends on how Miruna gets on with the final 30 seconds, and she wasn’t great here, despite being in fine form up to that point. There follows a break, including short interviews with San Marino and Denmark.

Belarus is as before, though Artem was in slightly rougher voice this afternoon. Bulgaria’s Kristian was in great form. The staging has become more polished, and the whole package is very strong. Then Lithuania happens, even though every fibre of my body resists it.

Estonia’s Koit and Laura are adding more telenovela hair flicks and glances, and it’s getting better and better. Israel’s Imri is also looking more comfortable, now receiving greater vocal support than previously.

After the semi-final participants finished, we got the rehearsals from the other half of the automatic qualifiers. Alma is carrying the French staging on her own, but growing into the role with each run-through. They try different pyros each time for Germany’s Levina, as if it’s going to make much difference to the result. O. Torvald were much the same as before for the hosts.

Feel free to let us know your thoughts below.

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19 comments to Eurovision 2017: Second semi-final dress rehearsal

  • Look on the bright side Daniel, you only need to listen to Lithuania 3 more times 🙂

  • PurpleKylie

    Brendan’s brown eyes? I thought they were very much blue, haha

  • markovs

    Ireland is clear as my worst of the year. It’s just awful in every way. Even Lithuania is vaguely listenable to but the Ireland song has been removed from my ipod. Ghastly!!!

  • Mark-Jay

    As a longstanding ESC fan from Ireland- I’m so annoyed that our Broadcasters are inept and outdated when it comes to anything modern. It’s not surprising when our infrastructure is several years behind other former war torn countries. So it’s not surprising that we can’t send a decent song.

    Brendan seems like a nice lad with a great voice (although not fantastic). I want Ireland to do well but I know in my heart of hearts, it won’t.

  • Some 2015 Dihaj for a Thursday morning – eerie and exquisite…

  • Keanu

    The Netherlands’ O’G3NE should qualify today right ?
    And are we looking at a top 10 place ?
    I feel is good enough .
    11/8 betway and found it go in with others to 5/4
    Apart from not qualifying are there any reason for it not to be in first 10 places I mean it does not have a specific allies and a block voting .
    I like to hear if people would back this as a top 10 contender like I have already and b4 inevitable price shift upon qualifying for grand final
    (Belgium were still 2/1 before the semi
    For top 10 now something like 1/3)

    Otherwise back to drawing board if the Dutch are really not to be played .
    Just wanna know from you guys if I’m missing something!! Many thanks on any info or thoughts.

    • The Netherlands will safely qualify, but the final position in the GF may well play out as to position they sing from. If it gets 2nd half draw, I’d say yes it should finish top 10, but if it’s first half and gets slot 3-5 then it will be a lot tougher

      • Keanu

        Thanks great info . I think if I wait for after semi odds will decrease and Less value . I will take gamble and continue to pile on Netherlands off setting any potential loss in play on other strong top 10 players who don’t start off scoring in the final

        Go Netherlands ! Top 10 please !

      • RonH

        I agree the draw will have an effect on the final outcome Dash Berlin. But I don’t think the effect will be as big for the entry of the Netherlands as you predict. Normaly people thinking ‘what a nice song’ or ‘what a funny act’, will be gone once many more nice songs or funny acts follow. Og3ne’s score however, at least to my expectation, will depend on people getting goosebumps from their harmonies or tears from a personal connection with the theme of the song. The song itself isn’t that memorable in the first place. Og3ne’s fame back home is based on their capacity to touch people in live performances. I think (and hope …..) people will still remember those feelings when the voting lines open. The chance many more songs following that tick the same box is not that big (Portugal and perhaps UK?). Remains the open question how many people will be touched.

    • Keanu

      I like the mention of the Netherlands in this article too ! Good signs though concerned the guys never tipped it up ! But I definitely understanding in play betting is a real player during the final scoring when odds fluctuate. Exciting stuff and interesting reading thanks for sharing article. Under stood most even though my Dutch isn’t great

  • Keanu

    Paddy power have an 8/1 offer on these 6 nations qualifying to the grand final from tonight’s semi :

    Is this good value ? I have concerns over Israel and Croatia but don’t mind having some on these 6 to qualify .

    Though already I backing Croatia to qualify as a single bet.

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