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Jury Voting - Grand Final Dress Rehearsal - Live Blog

Jury Voting – Grand Final Dress Rehearsal – Live Blog

The Jury Voting Grand Final of Eurovision 2013 has begun. Garrett here and I will be blogging live from the Press Centre. Just refresh the post to get the up to date news on the performances.

Opening sequence – Am I at the Olympics? The giant walkway that Loreen walked on Tuesday night, is back with the Grand Final artists walking out to the Benny and Bjorn written song – Thankfully that wasn’t an Abba song as it was very Disney and twee. Not thanking them for the music! However stunning to see all the artists being celebrated.

Petra has secured her Barbara Dex award with a shocking pink dress – that is something for a color blind man like myself to admit to.

First up and we have La Belle France

France

Courtney Love has reinvented herself as Amandine Bourgeois. Hot, sexy and and full of french “Oh La La”. She opened the show with a bang. Best French song and performance in a long time. Not a winner but doing much better than last year.

Lithuania

I just feel nervous every time Andrius steps on stage. He looks like he just got off the train with us all at the stadium and took the wrong turn and landed up on the stage. A Eurovision tradition will be upheld and no country is going to win the Eurovision from position #2. He looked truly relieved to have the performance over with – as was I. Who is voting for this I ask myself?

Moldova

Aliona on next – though we have the French and Lithuanian teams dancing with delight and relief here in the Press Hall. Back to Aliona from Moldova. By far the most improved song since the national finals. Her hair is getting as big as her dress. Still this is stunning to watch and listen to. You can see every drag queen across Europe wanting that dress for Christmas. A sensational reaction in the hall as they were cheering for this before the song ended. Not a winner but 11-15 one thinks

Finland

All the news has been some TV stations (TRT) refusing to broadcast the show due to Krista’s kiss at the end of the song – are they missing the point of Eurovision – Camp and Current. Krista just rocked the Altar of Eurovision. This has shaken the audience up and that kiss just gets longer and longer each time. Does anyone remember Denmark and their kiss all that time ago?? Get stuck in their Krista I say. Top 5 for sure if juries from the conservative parts of Europe don’t object

Spain

Vocals were off key for the start of the song and it never really got any better despite the hundreds of Spanish fans willing them on. After Spain’s return to the Top 10 last year I fear it is bottom of the table again with this one. Nothing inspiring here.

Belgium

Roberto trying to look all young Bieber like with the big eyes. It looked like he was channeling Andrius from Lithuania as he was visibly scared. Well I would be scared if I had his 2 dancers crawling all over him looking like they are in pain. The make-up artist has not hears that less is more. So much rouge that they got the London, New York and Milan look and came out like Ronald McDonald. They are spoiling a potentially good song. Average reaction in the hall. Now some class – Estonia!

Estonia

Timeless, Elegant and Classic. Beautiful song, performance and song that will have the juries voting in their droves. Love it. Now from the sublime to the ridiculous – Belarus

Belarus

If this was 7 years ago it would have been my favorite Greek entry ever. Greek writers, dancers, choreography have made Belarus what it is this year. In fairness though Alyona puts in a faultless performance of this heartless song. Having said that my leg is tapping away – oh that is the side effects of all the Belarus chocolate that I just got in my pigeon-hole in the Press centre. The audience loved it – so glitter still works at Eurovision!

Malta

I make no secret that Malta is one of my favorite songs at this year’s contest. Gianluca is totally adorable on stage with his band. Still a performance that tugs at the heart strings with it’s gentle sentiment. Gianluca was “one” with the audience and when he went onto the catwalk into the audience the crowd loved it just as much as he did. Charming and you have to heartless not to like this song!

Russia

Gossip first. They have a sixth singer doing the lead vocals along with Dina off stage that we saw on Tuesday night. A simple song that if it was performed back in the 1990’s I would have been falling over this one saying “What a Eurovision classic” – however we are in 2013 – though I feel like I have been in this press centre for a millennium. One cannot deny that Dina is charming on stage and this will score high. Not a winner but will gather a lot of votes.

Germany

#WOW. Coming after the ballad of Russia – Cascada have absolutely rocked the stadium here in Malmo. Every single person were on their feet to this one. Nathalie gave this 150% and the crowd fed off her energy – probably to the disappointment of Margaret Berger’s “Love”. With a firework waterfall to match that of Denmark’s later in the show – this has just thrown down the gauntlet to the competition. German sausage and pretzel again anyone?

Armenia

Firstly let me say that I was disappointed last night when the crowd “booed” Armenia when they qualified for the final. If you don’t like the song fine – but to feel the need to boo – people need to remember why Eurovision was established – bring the continent together – Rant over. Armenia did a good job of a rock song. They are authentic. Not a winner but glad to see them back at Eurovision.

Linda Woodruff Time

The Netherlands

Anouk just proved why she is a super star. Haunting with pure class. You can see the Janis Joplin comparison here. Unique and haunting. If Europe does not see the genius of this song and artist then they “Should have gone to Specsavers”. I would have this in the Top 10 for certain. Amazing!!

Romania

Everyone knows that Cezar is my “Guilty Pleasure” this year and adore this song. Pure theatrics with this performance that people have not given him credit for. His operatic voice is amazing and I am so happy that Europe gets to see him in the Grand Final. The Romania delegation have just spotted me and have known that I am a huge fan and my table is full of sweets as a thank you. So I am on a sugar rush. Cezar was blood suckingly good – is that a word? All hail Cezar!!

United Kingdom

“Heidi Hi” – Bonnie – “I believe in you” my Goddess! What a true professional. This looked and sounded sensational and the audience were cheering before the song finished. One gets the feeling that not only will Bonnie be elevated on the platform on the stage but on the scoreboard. Best she has performed it so far. Good job UK.

Sweden

The last time Eurovision was in Malmo Sweden did not do that well and this seems to be the fate again. Pointless shouting and crazy dancing that does not add anything to the song. Sorry Robin but I cannot see this doing well in the voting. 12 points for effort

Hungary

Now for something completely different – a great song. Geek Chic as ByeAlex are charming the socks off the audience and the juries. The simplicity of the song and the staging stays with you. Looks intimate and charming that helps draw you into the song. Dark Horse – loved it! Now for the contest favorite – that nobody seems to think deserves to win – Denmark

Denmark

Someone has obviously told Emmelie to smile to the point that it looks like she has gone to the Lithuanian “I am scared look” school. Vocals were shrill at times and the mantle of being pre show favorite seems to be getting to Emmelie. This is like a Eurovision song by numbers. There are far more contemporary songs I believe in the contest that would be a more worthy winner.

Iceland

Eypor – coming after Denmark is a good thing as his performance is full of real emotion and heart. He sells his soul on stage and a far superior performance and song to Denmark. He deserves to make the Top 10 with that 3 minute wonder – something you don’t often hear!

Azerbaijan

Farid was far more confident on stage tonight, in fact he was electric on stage. Glass box, encased dancer and woman in a giant  red dress – it shouldn’t work but it does! He is a “Handsome Devil” as we say in Ireland and that twinkle in his eyes – well money can’t but you that – not even all the oil in Baku could buy you that. Huge reaction for this. Strong modern ballad.  “Hold Me” Farid – are the cries from Elaine (I can hear her scream from the UK still)

Greece

“Ska is” back – hey an anagram of “Sakis” – a good omen for a contender. The Press Hall and Audience were hopping to this song. If it is energy and fun you want – and think that on Saturday night most of Europe will be having a few drinks at a Eurovision party and I am sure this will have people reaching for their phones. Watch this one clean up all the votes in the Balkan region. Game on!

Ukriane

Gossip – Zlata was supposed to do a photo shoot with Ryan Dolan from Ireland at her Hotel. The delegation made the trip only to be advised that Zlata was asleep – almost like me during that performance. I love her voice and the song is somewhat interesting but the presentation is overcooked with Igor carrying her on stage. The steps were off beat with the camera shots. Not sure how this is third favorite to win – Answers on a postcard please!

Italy

Next up is Marco Mulhall – oops Freudian Slip – Marco Mengoni. After the gimmicks of Ukraine comes a soulful and truly authentic performance. I don’t speak a word of Italian besides pizza and vino but I believed EVERY word Marco sang. In his trade mark 1960’s styled suit he was still edgy with his large wooden earring but that was the only thing wooden about this performance. Another strong year for Italy. So glad they are back at Eurovision

Norway

Electro-pop never sounded so funky since 80’s kings Depeche Mode. Margret brought her “A-Game” to the stage tonight. Vocally on the money and when she looked down the camera I was on that stage with her giving it socks. By far the best of the Scandi/Nordic songs this year. She managed to get a bigger reaction than the host country. “I feed you my points” Margaret. Chart hit written all over it.

Georgia

The Georgians were in the Press Centre in force. Another strong vocal performance from Sophie and Nodi that should help them score well. This has Jury favorite written all over it. The firework waterfall is still stunning and captured well on camera.

Ireland

What a closing song for the contest. The last time a song from last place won the contest was in 1989 so it is about time it happened again! Many will say we are biased but let’s break Ireland’s performance down – lets scale it back to the bare essentials – yes bare chests and tight leather – #Sexy Irish Dancers is trending again on twitter – like it did on Tuesday. This is one of the few songs that uses EVERY inch of the stage in the performance. Ryan was note perfect and our sexy dancing duo were on fire along with Wolverine on drums. Backing singers were on point. The fire works at the back of the stage were FULLY LIT and looked amazing on stage. This went down a storm in the stadium. You just didn’t want it to stop. Ryan looks so comfortable on stage and gave his best performance to date. Job well done Team Ireland! They have used the clip of the climax of the song – with the fireworks – for the recap of the songs and it looks stunning.

INTERVAL ACTS

Loreen

Loreen is back with a rock-electro version of “My Heart Is Refusing me/Euphoria” mash-up and dressed like Dana International’s reprise costume – some ostrich is very cold at the moment! She is flanked by red huntsmen and the Eurovision snow storm is employed again – remember Linda Woodruff said Sweden “is famous for …..snow”.

Bellingham Barnaby

This is another comedy parody of a BBC Reporter looking to find out more about Swedish people – has to be seen to be believed. I will not spoil the show

Petra

Petra comes on a sings a comedy song – this is Sweden laughing at itself and it is amazing! The best interval act since Riverdance. “From Ikea to Mama Mia” says it all! Oh “Our roles are reversing and Daddies are nursing” and “You may now kiss the Groom” and gay marriage takes center stage at Eurovision! Speaking of gay rights on comes “Carola” with “Captured by a lovestorm” and she literally was as she gets swept off after 10 seconds – AMAZING!

Petra then takes her final look at Eurovision history that includes a look at Mr Eurovision Johnny Logan! Then we have Eric Saade live from the Green Room. He likes his HASH TAGS!!!

Linda Woodruff as Sarah Dawn Finer takes to the stage to perform ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All”.

Petra back for the voting with another dress that assures her of the Barbara Dex Award for 2014.

The mock voting started but was stopped with the first jury where Petra had to lift her dress up and a technician crawled up her legs!

The live TV link failed and Jan Ola Sand had to be all of the juries. Petra was highly entertaining and Jan was highly stoic!

As an FYI the first 12 points from Albania went to IRELAND!!

They then will go to a mid voting catch up where Eric Saade will have the Top 5 artists lined up – in typical Swedish controversy courting style they had Azerbaijan and Armenia sitting beside each other.

In summary Petra is an “AMAZING” host and SVT have put on one energetic and highly entertaining show. Tak for the music Sweden.

Garrett signing out for the evening – hope you enjoyed the live blog and you are in for a great show tomorrow evening. It is not going to be easy for Denmark to win hands down like the betting odds are predicting.

Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall

Source – Eurovision Ireland

28 replies »

  1. I really do not want to be nasty, but I can’t get the appeal neither of Ireland, nor of Romania. Come on, what is good about these songs ? Do people vote for drums, tatoos, or high-pitch (and off-key) voices? Well, maybe…

    In my view, you do underestimate Belgium. This one of the most eurovisionesque songs of the year, it could be a surprise contender.

      • Well, if dancing is beating drums half-naked or wearing the shortest jurk ever with a spanish belarussian accent, then I agree, Belgian dancers are not dancers at all.

  2. ok so you don´t like denmark and your vote for Azerbadjan? Ok song but you shopuld not win only because of the man in the box but because of the song and there are mush better ballads than this : Iceland, Russai so i don´t hope you in ireland vote for it. And the danish song sound a bit irish though you will be voting for it sham on you

  3. I like Denmark, but the way she smiled during the first semi-final, while singing teardrops, makes me feel that Emily feels herself as a winner already and doesn’t care much. This makes it just all wrong to me.. Also hate all those gosip about Scandinavian and Soviet teams. When you think about it, there will always be some neighbour countries in the final, Europe is NOT that big!!! Still love Geogia, Iceland and Dina… Agree the lyrics is too cheesy, but she is so llikable and sings so great. Honestly, guys, first time I feel like Russia really deserved qualification! For Belgium dancers – they DO spoil everything, I can’t watch them…

  4. Sorry guys but you seem to be the only ones saying ryan’s performance was great tonight. The consensus amongst the other journalists is that Ryan had his worst performance so far. Starting off key but getting back on key just for the end.
    I want to believe you but it’s negative almost everywhere else.

    Let’s hope he’s not as nervous for the final.

    • Hey Gav – all the sites slated Ryan for the Semi Final and through all the rehearsals yet he qualified and SVT gave him the honor of closing the show. The vocals were fine, the energy was high and the interaction with the band was string. Most sites find it easy to challenge the more energetic and performance based songs – Greece, Ireland and Romania fall into that category – yet all have qualified for the final, yet others which were seen as the quality songs failed to qualify eg San Marino and Israel.

      • I really do hope so guys. I’m not trying to put down Ireland. I love the song and the staging but as you guys know, back home we can only go by what we are told for the jury rehearsals.
        I really do hope he closes the show with a bang.

  5. Indeed,Cezar is my pleasure too!Not guilty,though!LOL!;)He is a delight!So talented and humble…i just love him!

  6. Oh I really hope our Jury rehearsal was as good as you say 🙂 getting trashed elsewhere but we got trashed prior to the semi and it was great!

  7. Many thanks to all the team for the reports, the news, the gossip & the laughs!
    Enjoy the build up and the show itself tomorrow!!

    Go The Netherlands!!!

    But mainly ABD (Anybody But Denmark)

  8. Hi Garrett, your review of Ireland is at odds with other reviews. Phil C from On Europe says it was awful. Mind you he got his knickers in a twist over some negative comments on ESCnation about Bonnie.

    • Hey Ger – Ireland is the easy option to slate as it goes the extra mile for the performance. Many forums said it would not qualify yet it did. Ah good old Phil C – we are sharing an apartment in Malmo 😉

  9. While all sites are positive about Belgium now, this one continues to break down Roberto, are you getting scared that he will steel votes from your entry. Please be neutral in your comments instead of riding your own and personal feeling.

    • I have to admit Goran that I still cannot see the attraction of the dancers for the song. We have always said that the song is good but the dancers spoil the song. That is our opinion. That is the joy of Eurovision

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