Welcome to Malta and welcome to our rolling blog for the Day 1 rehearsals of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014. You know the drill by now. Just refresh the page to get the latest news on the contestants and their performances.
We will also bring you some news on the opening ceremony from last night. It was a night to be remembered.
So we have Andrew, Phil and little old me commentating on the show.
Remember that our good friend Phil comes to us courtesy of OnEurope – so check him out too! No do it now!!
Phil : As there was only me here as the 2 writers of this site were slacking off, you, our dear reader, get a one sided view of this!! – Mine – Bwahahah! This song is not all about the bass, but all about the hook (no chorus?) – Its written and sung by Julia in exactly the way a hook is supposed to, and it gets in your brain and becomes an earworm. It’s dangerous being sung last and even more dangerous when the voting starts. Julia, it is rumored, has the JESC cold and sore throat so get well soon!, you might need to exercise that voice at the end of the contest come Saturday Evening.
Andrew : We of course were not slacking off but trying to source a digital mike to replace the one that Garret bought in Dublin but did not put in the box when leaving the shop. Duh! However I love the Dutch song and believe every word Phil has spouted forth and suggest Netherlands are one to watch on Saturday.
Phil : Mark II Julia, however, is not the updated version of the first. There is something missing with the song to my ear, and I don’t know what it is. It is supposed to be all professional and Swedish but comes across very…. unnatural and that is not because of the performer, I suspect, more to do with the song and the way the overall package is being presented on stage. I’m not sure what needs to be done here but it could well be the song that everyone “likes” but no one votes for, and that wouldn’t be a fair reflection on Julia’s talent.
Andrew : Julia has a great voice and the vocals are pretty much spot on already for a first rehearsal run through. The song itself is moderately catchy and contagious and indeed very pleasant to the ear. It is certainly one of the songs that I listen over and over and will probably get a good selection of votes but not enough to win methinks.
Andrew : Now this is classy. Krisia has a stunning voice for such a small frame. The back drop is very much fairy tale castle and all the colours of the rainbow. She has her two twin brothers on the old Joanna’s either side of the stage working those ivories furiously even though we know they aint really playing. Another song that could harvest lots of votes from around Europe.
Phil : Classy and, as they say, “smashed it”. Krisia and her bros did a good job at this one. Note perfect to my ears which is always a bonus and really really prepared for what may befall them at the weekend, they all clearly know what is going on. We hear that this is Krisia’s first time out of Bulgaria but there is no nerves here, unlike some of the Adult performers who need to be told where the red light is, Krisia doesn’t and it shows.
Andrew : Another tiny frame of a singer for Russia with a big voice. Her vocal is not completely spot on just yet a few wavering notes here and there. But she is belting it out and it’s another classy ballad from Russia with love. I feared she might get lost as she is the only performer on stage but the camera work helps it along nicely.
Phil : Vocal issues ahoy here – however Aliza has won The Voice of Russia……. so I am *sure* It will come right in the end. If it doesn’t, this could do very “not well” and there is a danger that it may fail because of a number of things outside the control of Aliza – however her voice has to overcome her slight frame and lack of presence on the screen and it does need some help but it’ll be ok… won’t it?
Andrew : This is the only song in this year’s contest that has a male singer. That in itself makes it stand out and will help to give it extra votes in the final mix. The fact that it is a classy Italian ballad sung by a confident young man only adds to the appeal of this song. His vocals are simply stunning and I am sure he is holding back so expect more still come Saturday.
Phil : As I have said on other places, all Italy have to do is to turn up and sing the song, and believe you me, that’s all he has done. Vincenzo *knows* how to perform. Giving us just one decent run through and then camera blocking the rest of them which shows a professionalism beyond his 14 years. He has the voice and charisma to get mums, dads, kids, the whole lot voting for this and rightly so as it’s the best song! RAI say, in private, they don’t want to win this contest. If Vincenzo bothers to turn up and sing, I suspect they may well have no choice *but* host next year. A week in Genoa or Rome??
Phil : This song wins the prize for being unsubtle, loads of Blue and Yellow colours here but sadly this frozen clone doesn’t make my heart melt. Your Esteem-ed editor has heard this song with his nieces before…. I think most of Europe has too so sympathy votes in double measure for this one. Performed well and “deliberately” on stage with lots of carefully thought out choreography for maximum effect, I still think it doesn’t *do* enough.
Andrew : This is so typical of Ukraine, taking what I thought was an ordinary kind of song and enhancing it to within an inch of its life with the staging of it. It is almost straight out of Frozen indeed but I also believe it falls short of the winners podium.
Phil : This has improved greatly from the preview video. Other webmasters that are covering this event have said that with this coming after Italy, it’s going to be a riot of colour and explode all over the stage. More is clearly more with this staging with Betty bouncing about and lots of dancing, just like at the party last night, and with the obligatory chorus in English it has, as has most of these songs, got potential to do lots. Can’t see a reason not to vote for it if you need cheering up on a cold November evening.
Andrew :This is bouncy and fun and colourful. Kids are going to love it in their droves and will be a potential contender on Saturday night.
Phil: This song is an orthodontists dream – rarely do you see a singer with braces on this stage and in preview its a great song – I do think, however, that on this first couple of run throughs there is a problem here, but not with her, It’s being lost amongst other good songs. She needs to have other people on the stage with her CyBC (Please take notes) even if its just a backing singer or 2 as a lack of dancing-ness means she is looking a bit lost of stage. Vocally though she has nailed it but I worry it now might get lost because she looks lost.
Andrew : My favourite song of the whole contest from one of my favourite countries. The vocals are strong and powerful and the dance track infectious and bouncy. My only criticism , like Phil’s, is she should not be up there all alone. A few dancers with some neat and slick choreography would have helped sell this more. But I still love it.