All Kinds Of Everything for Eurovision

The build-up to the 57th Eurovision Song Contest in Baku

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Press Rehearsal for Semi Two - rolling blog
Keith SP
akoe07
I'll go through the highlights (such as they were) of the EBU Press Conference later on. Andrew and Elaine are in the Arena. I am watching from the Press Area

Nice brisk opening to the show again. The first song is on four minutes after the Te Deum.

SERBIA
Lots of early focus on the violinist. Zeljko in a dark jacket over a white t-shirt. Lovely calm lighting, with greys and yellow spotlights. Too many camera changes for my liking, but vocally perfect. Certain qualifier.

MACEDONIA
Focus on Kaliopi who's in a dark suit until the tempo changes and then there's more of the band. Kaliopi is engaging, vocally perfect and smiles at the end. Likely qualifer for me. 

NETHERLANDS
Joan in full Indian headress and bright blue frock (and I mean "frock"). She looks like she's having a bit more fun and I still think she's shrill. The backdrop is a bit too busy and having the band coming on stage late is pointless. It's forty years too late for me and an unlikely qualifier.

MALTA
Kurt in a dark suit and grey t-shirt. Full of action and a very good use of the backdrop. Kurt looks fantastic and really engages with the camera.The band add life and with the exception of the backing vocalist still singing "This is the Nigh" it's pretty faultless. This one could go either way.

BELARUS
Two false starts to this. We finally get going on the third attempt. Industrial chic in the stage costumes and backdrop. Vocally strong. They stick with the trick of the guitars going horozontal. Some dodgy vocals and I keep hearing "we are the weeners" in the vocal. Least impressive rehearsal so far and and unlikely qualifier.

The interval has the presenters giving out flowers to various people involved in the show. Classic Eurovision ad-break stuff.

PORTUGAL has Filipa in a full length silver dress. The backing singers in dark outfits. THe use the Lisbon backdrop beautifully for the bridge . Lots of streadycam shots giving the performance a lot of movement. Filipa's hair iss a bit flat, to my eye and I would give her a more dramatic hairsyle, but it's vocally strong. Another one that could go either way.

UKRAINE Gaitana is a full length dress that looks like it's made for paper that been through the shredder and a head-dress of pink flowers. Gaitana is shouty at times and the camerawork is all over the place. When she goes to her knees it looks awful. A really underwhelming rehearsal. It should stil qualify, but it's not a challenger for the win.

BULGARIA has sofy in an awful out fit of tea coloured leggins, short shirt and boob tube. She's also off key at times. Her worst rehearsal of the week. Certain non-qualifier.

SLOVENIA
The run of female singers continues with Eva is her big white dress anmd floral gardland. It's all very Molitva-lite but it's sung well and the colourful background sets off the whites dresses nicely. Nice use of wind machine. Likely qualifier.

CROATIA
Nina looks much better today in her black gown and the routine looks better. Good camerwork. Back in contention. Possible qualifier.

SWEDEN has brought in lighter shades or blue and pink light and there's more concentration on Loreen's face in the first minute. Loreen is vocally better than before but by no means perfect. Still some poor camerawork. Vastly improved, but still not totally there. Certain qualifier.

GEORGIA Anri in full flow. Some really shaky camerawork and far too many camera changes but it's vocally fantastic. I could do with some ethnic elements in the backdrop rather than the anonymous pink and blue shapes. This could go either way.

TURKEY Best stage show of the yearand Can has now added a sailor style peak hat. This is Turkey doing what it does best, hiding a mediocre song in staging and choreography. Vocally it's fine and this is a virtually certain qualifier.

ÈSTONIA Dreadful rehearsal as Ott goes walkabout on some notes. He's still wearing that awful t-shirt and waistcoat combo and the lighting is most unflattering. Unlikely qualifier.

Green Room break.

SLOVAKIA and Max Jason Mai is back to his former shaggy dog hairstyle. It's too much focus on the back of his head and the drummer, in my opinion. Is the market for this big enough to push it over the line? Unlikely qualifier.

NORWAY and Tooji and his team are in black and gray with the lighting in red and yellow. The female vocalists are now carrying more of the song but Tooji is vocally ok and the routine is fine although the camerwork could be better. Competant, if a little underwhelming. Likely qualifier.

BOSNIA-HERZ. Maya is her fabulous black sparly dress and the lighting has hugely improved making her stand out on stage. Best use of a wind machine this year. Sweet vocal. Likely qualifier.

LITHUANIA and Donny is vocally strong and smiling. This is another lesson is how to transform a very average with a great stage performance. This could go either way.

This is a MUCH harder semi to call than semi one. Interval with former winners coming up.

The winners' interval is a thoroughly mixed bag. Dima Bilan, Maria Serifovic, Alexander Rybak and Lena all get to do their winning songs with the addition of traditional Azeri instrumental and each of their performances are very interesting takes on the songs. However when Ell & Nikki come on stage we switch to all six singers doing "Waterloo" and this is absolutly dreadful.  

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Belarus as bad with weener as the presenter with superWiser ha

Commercial break

(Anonymous)
Can you confirm that commercial break in the final is before Azerbaijan?

photos

(Anonymous)

PHOTOS?

Beforehand, I thought this was the easier one to predict, but after getting 10/10 yesterday I'm not so confident to say that anymore :D

Disappointed to hear the Ott is more Off than Onn at the moment! I love this song and have high hopes for it but if he's still playing around with it then it could come crashing down if he doesn't nail it tonight. Hopefully he's just having some fun and will be bang on when it comes to the serious business.

Glad to hear the Loreen is improving on her vocals although if you even listen to the preview video (live from the MF) she's not the clearest in any of the verses. I was initially very cold on this song but its gradually hooked me in and if its a choice between this and the grannies then lets go to Sweden next year!

I just saw the video of Estonia's rehearsal and can't see anything wrong with it. I think Ott is trying to create more power in the song by pushing certain notes at various moments, which means it sounds different to the studio version. I'm not sure it works but it doesn't hinder either IMHO. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I do agree with the comment about the outfit. It's a little dull.

you are gorgeous.. sorry just had to say it..

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