HI, Join me Phil Colclough from OnEurope at 2100 CET for the live rolling blog of the Jury Final of the First Semi Final of Eurovision 2014. As Normal, just update the page for your comprehensive coverage!!
20.35 – So we are ensconced in the press centre ready and waiting for the First Semi Final Jury Final. It begins at 21.00 CET and we’ll be raring to go….. You can contact us at the usual channels but stay tuned!!!
21.00 – We’re starting on time with the Eurovision Logo and all 16 bars!
21.01 – Introduction to Eurovision – She’s (Emille) she’s bouncing to the hall and off we go with a video montage of “fans”singing some sort of tune!!
21.04 – Emillie singing Teardrops and lots of pictures of people singing the theme……
21.06 – Presenters now on stage. Him from Borgen and 2 other Danes!!
21.09 – Armenia. Aram looks pained when singing this song and from our ears in the press centre it is a tad sharp or flat. It’s qualifying but its certainly not the best thing I have ever heard.
21.15 – Latvia. It is what it is. It’s a chummy campfire song that is somewhat, again, out of tune – this makes me wonder if the mixes are slightly out on our feed. I’m not sure thats qualifying on this performance to be honest. Its almost like they are trying too hard to impress the juries.
21.19 – Estonia. The crowd do not appear to be feeling it and we aren’t feeling it in the press centre either . It looks messy and she sounded, again, out of key but we’ll give her the benefit of a dodgy sound link.
21.25 – Sweden. Sanna now looks professional. The lighting effect of people’s mobile phones looks great on stage and the lights are still in the MF mould. This is aimed at the same constituency as always and they will be lapping it up. Juries and televoters are going to go for this in a big way. Best of the first four.
21.28 – Iceland. That’s the best they have performed it. It’s not jury friendly, granted but its vocally the second best song of the first five. we’re having a break now in the real thing.. Stay awake Europe!!!
21.34 – Albania – This is the best performance she has produced but, this is the 3rd best song of the first 6 so it has an outside chance of qualifying.
21.40 – Russia. Qualifying certainly now. No booing in the audience tonight which is good and, frankly, because it is average and the rest have been sub-optimal, this is going straight through.
21.45 – Azerbaijan. This song has only just begun to impress me. It’s the safe option from ictimai but, and this is key with this song, it connects with the audience (i.e me) and it has none of your usual Azeri shenanigans….. sans one trapzist that isn’t seen much. Confident and classy, scoring jury high and qualifying.
21.50 – Ukraine. The Eurovision Acrobatic show continues with the Ukrainian hamster wheel but, unlike other Ukraine props, this actually works. Maria should be qualifying through on her strong vocals and the stage show helps no end. A certain qualifier.
21.53 – Belgium. Despite my personal predisposition, this is a class vocal performance by Axel. He knows how to sing and he has hit every note, unlike 5/6 of the first performers. This has jury bait written through it but, be careful, this should be rising up the jury votes.
21.57 – Moldova. What do you say when words are not enough. She underwhelmed vocally, screamed a lot and, in a cynical attempt to get jury votes, ripped her hair piece out. I’m stunned and so will Europe be!
22.03 – San Marino. God loves a trier…. Even Siegel on stage is having trouble saving this from being a three-peat of relegations. Valentina is in her shell and slowly comes out of it through the song but I fear nothing can save this!
22.06 – Portugal. This is rising up the jury rankings, not on merit, but by default. It’s a very bad song (in my opinion) but she did nail the performance and the juries are running short of songs ranking 7-10. This could fill one of them.
22.11 – Netherlands, The. Well it *looks* good but why would you televote for this. Indeed why would you jury vote for this. It is just boring and a background song that could well be ignored, even for all its earnest-ness ( if thats a word!!). It does tick some jury boxes – but not enough for me.
22.15 – Montenegro. Qualifying, definitely. It has a great running order and, as been pointed out, it’s one of two sings not in English and it would be a bit odd if they both fail to qualify. Good draw, strong song and might well do it.
22.17 – Hungary. This, for me, Is winning this Semi final in front of Sanna. Andras gives this a raw performance of a song that he has a personal connection with. It is, unlike Sanna, a real song and not a Eurovision song. This is easily qualifying through on his vocal performance alone, which is great.
22.27 – So, my 10 to qualify are:
Armenia, Sweden, Iceland, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belgium, Portugal, Montenegro, Hungary.
That’s it from me – Thank you very much for watching and guffawing along with me. Hopefully you’ll be back for some more soon!