Eurovision 2015 – Day 3 First Rehearsal LIVE ROLLING BLOG – START 12:00 Noon CET- JUST REFRESH
You remember that you wanted it yesterday? – And you certainly got it!! – Well, you lucky readers, you’re going to get it again today!!! If you want to see what you missed yesterday then take a look at this HERE
It is DAY 3 In the big Eurovision house and Eurovision Ireland will be here for you to whet your appetite for what’s going down, dow low in the old Wiener Stadthalle! We move on to Semi Final 2 today and the first 8 countries.
You can follow our LIVE BLOG HERE – You know the drill by now. JUST REFRESH the page for our live updates. We start at 12 noon CET. You are in capable hands of the team for the day – Garrett, John, Elaine, Andrew and Phil (our good friend from OnEurope) – So if you want an honest opinion of how the rehearsals are going then tune in here.
Who do we have rehearsing today?
1 – Lithuania
2 – Ireland
3 – San Marino
5 – Malta
6 – Norway
7 – Portugal
8 – Czech Republic
Very colourful is the theme of the first song in Semi 2. The backdrop is a kaleidoscope of colours and Monika has a lovely light colourful short dress on. They have 4 backing singers with them, two either side of stage. Vaidas has a matching light blue trousers and waistcoat on. There is lots of interaction and great chemistry between the two of them leading to the kiss. The performance is fun but does fall a little bit flat through the middle part. Although this is still a good opening number and will stand out before a host of ballads.
This is a very cheery and uplifting song to kick off day three in the Big Eurovision House. It’s definitely bright and breezy. Well, bright anyway. Monika and Vaidas are arguably the most photogenic couple of the contest. He’s sensibly-dressed in pale blue, and she’s in a kaleidoscopic dress that appears to be slightly feathery, or as if confetti has been attached to it. The back drop is equally bright with a sunrise look going on.
Visually, it’s very impressive. Audibly, I want it to be good but I think it needs some work. Not much, but they might just need to retune the microphones.
I love the Lithuanian song and I love Vaidas and Monika but I have been left a little underwhelmed by the first rehearsal. I cannot put my finger on what was missing but there was something. There is great chemistry between the two and I love the cheeky interactions between them. There are 2 females and 2 males on the stage with them and the performance is full of fun and colour. The staging is bright and cheery just like the song and the ‘Kiss’??????? well…………………… I still think I could do it better but I will show them what I mean when we interview them 😉
Phil : I have no problem with #lovelymolly. Thankfully there have been no issues with staging as there have been in the past and RTE have just sat her on stage, with a band, and gone “off you go, sing your lovely song” – and… it works. Big time. Coming after Lithuania which is big and poppy, there is a slow comedown that makes you feel all warm inside. The lyric may be more complex than the Eurovision crowd are used to but hey thats not that much of a problem when you can perform the song like that. She wrote and believes in the song, this shows on stage, this is qualifying clearly and that, dear readers, is how you do it.
Molly looks like she is playing outside not on the stage. The backdrop is of a wooded glade and looks great. Molly is sitting at the piano in a black lacey top under a leather waistcoat. She is backed by a 3 piece band and 2 female backing singers. Vocally its great and on the first run through got a generous round of applause from the press. The problem I had at the first run through was she did not look once into the camera, not even a glance.
However we are watching the technical guys telling her to look into it for the next time. When Molly smiles she is beautiful so she needs to show this in her performance. The second run through was much better as she did look into the camera a couple of times but she does appear nervous which is understandable.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Molly on stage for some time, as I really want her song to do well. This doesn’t need bells and whistles, and they’ve got it right by keeping the staging low-key. The woodland glade backdrop works, her band are visible but not intrusive. It’s quite captivating in that I couldn’t look away from performance. The ghosts of last year’s song have been well and truly exorcised.
The only tweak from Molly is that she needs to look at the camera. Not all the time, but just occasionally it would be nice for her to make eye contact before going back to her piano as she is really pretty. I’m quite happy with what I’ve seen.
My first thought when I saw the stage for Ireland and saw 6 members all on stage was – Yes!!!!!! There will be no Irish dancing involved in the performance.
Molly is joined on stage with 2 backing singers and a drummer, cellist and double bass player. The backdrop is beautiful. There is an autumnal feel to the stage and Molly’s beautiful vocals make up for the lack of movement on the stage. It does not need much work done to it except for some more interaction between Molly and the camera. On the first run through, Molly looked a little nervous and we were all screaming out for some camera interaction. We got a bit of this in the other run throughs and now she just needs to work on making it look more natural.
There is a shot when the camera pans right round Molly and the whole of the audience will be in view. If we could get the audience to light up their phones at this point it would be stunning.This was a very accomplished first rehearsal and with a little bit of work getting some chemistry down the camera from Molly it could be stunning. This is one of my favourite ballads in the contest and I am very happy with it on day one.
I’m going to give this one the benefit of the doubt. To start with, we have yet another globe in the background. However it’s in a more psychedelic kaleidoscope of points of light meant to represent candles. I see what they did there. For a Siegel song, it’s actually performed rather well and Michele & Anita are able to sell this to us. They can sing, although the harmonising may need a bit of work. I think the word ‘pleasant’ best describes the song this year. Pleasant doesn’t always do well, and I think it will struggle when you look at the songs either side of it.
Phil: Despite the writers of this song being Siegel and “John O’Flynn” – it appears they have found 2 of their back catalogue stuck in a draw, taped them together and presented two decent alumni of the Junior version of this thing with…. something out of a 1980’s German Final. I fear that the 12 points they get at Junior may not help them here and, whilst I have an affinity for both of them, I feel that a very poor result could well damage their fledgling careers. We’ll know who to blame!! – Vocally, though, yeah not bad, but there is hardly any chemistry between them… I always say that if you are going to sing a song with someone else, you need to look at them.. not be miles away from them. Worried now.
The vocals are a little bit out of tune at the beginning but do improve. The backdrop uses the earth sphere quite a lot. It is quite effective. They both wander around the stage quite a bit and are wearing Madonna mics. There is not a lot wrong with it and its perfectly pleasant in its own way without having any kind of wow factor in it. Whether its good enough to qualify, well that could be more problematic.
Eeeeeeeeew San Marino! I really don’t know what to say. I know these are 2 young performers and I would like to find something positive to say but this song leaves me cold. It actually makes me feel a little queasy and I don’t think that is the effect from last night’s party. In fairness, their confidence belies their years and they perform well to the camera however the vocals were a bit shaky at points. My main issue with San Marino this year is the actually song and not the performers and I don’t think there is much Anita and Michele can do to alter my opinion of this. Sorry San Marino but there is too much saccharin involved for my liking.
Phil : I’m looking at this and thinking ” Yeah, this is every Balkan song every written and performed on the Eurovision stage” – That’s not a bad thing to the wider world, but a bad thing for me personally… but it’s not about me! Knez does this justice and the whole performance is exactly what you would expect to see in your mind’s eye and whilst it’s certainly going to get its votes from the constituency that it is aiming for, for me it’s very formulaic. That’s not to say it won’t qualify, because it will. Movement a plenty and vocal range… yeah… it’ll do ok!
Montenegro is stunning. A typical Zeljko, Balkan ballad but it is staged beautifully as we would have all expected. There are 5 backing singers/dancers. The stage is dark blue to begin with and turns red as the song begins to build. Knez joins in with the dancers during the instrumental but it is done simply and avoids the risk of the “dad dancing at a wedding” look. The “arms out and turn” move will be recreated all over the Eurovlub I think (at least it will by me and Garrett) – I have not performed this move since Ryan Dolan in 2013 J
A big bundle of Gorgeousness from Montenegro
Andrew: There is something about Balkan ballads at Eurovision, they are never badly staged and performed and this is no exception. Knez is accompanied by 4 female singers/dancers and a violinist and it creates the right atmosphere visually to tie in with the emotiveness of the song. They appear to be standing on a water effect on the stage and hills in the backdrop. Its simple and effective and the vocals are warm and haunting. Should give Montenegro their second qualifier to the Final.
I love this sort of music, and with Zeljko Joksimovic behind it, what could go wrong? And I’ve not been disappointed. It’s a stunning setting of reds and dark blues and the stage gives the impression of gently rippling moonlit water which is very effective. I would have liked to have seen more Balkan instruments played by Knez’s five ladies. However their choreography and harmonies soon make me forget this.
The camera work seems pretty much there too, so, in short I think we can see this performance next Thursday.
Amber is dressed in a long black lace dress and is certainly in good voice here. The backdrop has been taken straight out of the ‘How to stage a Eurovision Song by Conchita Wurst’. We have flames and wings and more flames which we saw last year for Austria. It is effective and certainly gives Malta a fighting chance of progressing next Thursday.
Phil : Malta’s Amber looks like the blushing widow with her black veil and dress, but then again it accents her Warrior credentials. In an Homage to Yesterday’s warrior, there is a distinct similarity in the background – not totally the same but the same styling och consulting ideas are permeating. The song is strong enough to get through to the next phase of the contest but I do think in this stronger Semi final it may be fighting for a couple of places.
John: I can’t help thinking that I’ve seen this sort of stage show before. Amber is making this song very dramatic and has a lot of elements to this song that have done well for other songs. A certain phoenix-like backdrop, a dark black dress with a suggestive slit showing some leg, long hair combed down to the sides. It’s all good. Everything is there, and yet it’s coming across as an OK song, but not [yet] a winner. There is potential for it to do well (and I’m not mentioning another similarly-titled song in another semi-final) but it needs a bit of polish around the edges in time for the second rehearsal.
First up after lunch was Malta. This is our second ‘Warrior’ of the competition and it is difficult not to compare the 2 but I will try my hardest. Amber is dressed in a long black lace coat and they are the backdrop uses wing symbolism most of the way through although it changes from a blue backdrop to an orange/yellow colour. Amber is alone on the stage and most of the movement comes from her arms. There were a couple of dodgy notes throughout the rehearsal but she looks great on stage. I don’t feel that the staging has managed to capture the impact and power of the song.
I think Amber needs to perform a bit more to the camera and tighten the vocal on the higher notes but a good first rehearsal.
This is staged in the simplest way I think I have ever seen for a few years at Eurovision. Not relying on the backdrop until well into the performance its all about them and the camera angles. There is lots of sweeping camera work swirling around them and its so so simple that it is really rather great. Vocally it has lots of brittle moments that are so close to cracking but that is what makes this song work for me. It has the feeling that it could be a winner and I would like to think it will be up their with some of the other top songs this year.
I wanted to see some close camera work on this song, and I’ve not been disappointed. I’ll start by saying that there are some hidden backing singers, and I think that their microphones need to be turned down a tad. Now, the staging is simple. It’s dark until final soaring chorus when gold light fills the stage. It gave me a bit of a goose-bumps moment, and not because the air conditioning finally kicked in.
Mørland might be wearing an ice-cream salesman’s jacket where I think a dark dinner jacket and undone bow tie would be more appropriate. Debrah is in a thibk white fabric that looks like sheets of royal icing. It’s kept me transfixed from start to finish on every run through, even though I know how it’s going to look. I’ve said all along this could be the accidental winner. Not many 12s and 10s, but 5s to 8s across the board. I still stand by that.
Norway is sublime. Possible the most simple staging we have seen so far. There is very little happening on the stage apart from clever panning camera angles encircling Mørland and Debrah. Their outfits are made from white Neoprene so even the costumes don’t move J
The song has a sinister, chilling feel to it and the staging accentuates this. Some people got goosebumps in the press centre – but I advised them a jumper would help!
Debrah appears to be wearing what only can be described as a shocka! – She’s wearing the packaging from the inside of a laptop box and Meeeeeeeeeerland is wearing an neoprene suit…. what can I say apart from Fashion Disaster!!
Anyway, its the song that matters, right? – and the song is still a strong one. Camera shots in the Common Linnets mould and they both looked into the camera and sung the song well. It’s got a lot of connection with the audience because they look at the camera and scare the living bejesus out of me and say “Vote for me… do it, do it NOW!!!” – and Europe will go “ok…… where’s my phone… don’t kill me!!”.
Remember that NRK had a skit at the start of the MGP that said ” Vinn i Wien” or words of such effect? – That dream is still alive!
Phil : Leonor got so bored with this song, she gave up at the end and quite honestly that’s what Europe is going to do as well. This has classic “Toilet Break” written all over it. It just, in my opinion, has no redeeming features at all…. It has the kind of beat that should be left in the 1980’s and so should this song. She does know where the camera is, but only because it’s the one with the red light on it one feels but there is such a disconnect between her and the audience and the song it’s painful. It doesn’t make my ears bleed, but it needs a serious injection of something to stop it coming stone cold last.
John: Leonor has been squeezed into something sheer and black, and then bedecked in something else flowing and black with big shoulder pads. You wait ages for shoulder pads, and then two sets come along at once. This is another song I’m prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to, and I’m sorry to say that it’s lacking something. As a song it’s OK, but sadly it’s just not a contest song.
Leanor is wearing a black flowing cape which moves in the wind. The rest of her outfit is black and looks like PVC. She has 4 backing singers on stage with her. She is certainly giving her all both vocally and with enthusiasm. But the problem lies with the song as its got no oomph to it at all. I can see folk watching this next Thursday then deciding what else to vote for. It’s a shame as we would all love to see Portugal do well, but its not going to be this year, again!
Leonor Andrade gives a great vocal performance and she looks great – dressed in a long floaty black outfit with a train and big shoulders – they seem to be back in fashion. There are 4 backing singers on stage with her and a big waft of Wind Machine but unfortunately there could be 3 grizzly bears juggling chainsaws and I still don’t think this would be memorable.
It is nice, it is lovely but as soon as it is finished I have forgotten about it. I am afraid that Portugal is not floating my boat this year.
An accomplished performance from the Czech Republic as the last rehearsal of the day. BothMarta and Vaclav know how to work the camera and have a great chemistry on stage with one another. I LOVE when she flings her high heels off and throws them at the floor- I’ve don’t this on many an occasion (no the pain is not worth it girlies)
A good finish to day 1 of the second semi-final and I think this will qualify for the Grand Final on Saturday 23rd.
Both Marta and Vaclav are dressed in black. The backdrop seems to be tall cubic columns. They spend a lot of time at opposite ends of the stage. Before coming together. Marta then proceeds to take her stiletto shoes off and flings them away, bizarre! They finish the song centre stage in an embrace. Visually its good and vocally excellent. I love the rocky raspyness of Vaclav’s voice and this could actually give them one of their best results at Eurovision.