Azerbaijan

Eurovision 2015 – Day 4 First Rehearsal LIVE ROLLING BLOG – START 12:00 Noon CET- JUST REFRESH

Day 4 of Eurovision Rehearsals

Day 4 of Eurovision Rehearsals

Eurovision 2015 – Day 4 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 4 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 9 countries that complete the Semi Final.

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 – Israel

2 – Latvia

3 – Azerbaijan

4 – Iceland

5 – Sweden

6 – Switzerland

7 – Cyprus

8 – Slovenia

9 – Poland

ISRAEL

Andrew:

Well Nadav is wearing golden boots on stage today which have wings on them. He has 3 male dancers and 2 male singers on stage with him. This got a good reception from the press on the first run through. The staging is a bit cheesy but I do like the song and apart from a few iffy notes he is pulling this off well enough I feel. Certainly good enough to go to the Final.

Phil :

The resemblance to Diggi-Loo and his shoes would be well noticed about now but they are, sadly, silly.  His eyes look fearful and they keep flitting around the stage as if he is looking for the camera as opposed to *knowing* where it is.  The backing dancers and the selfie at the end are high notes but vocally, as Andrew said, there is a bit of a problem with a few of the notes.  It looks messy and is in trouble BUT if the things are ironed out in the viewing room, it stands a chance.

John:

Nadav kicks off day four in very uptempo fashion. I missed the first run through but arrived to a huge round of applause. This song is a crowd pleaser. It is the sort of thing the contest needs, bearing in mind what comes before it. Nadav moves around well to this, with a collection of male singers and dancers helping him out, The golden winged trainers he wears are noteworthy, although the dark suit he wears seems to be really making him sweat. There maybe needs to be a bit more coordination from his dancers, but there are some interesting touches in the form of the pyros used and the selfie from the roofcam taken at the end. A qualifier for the final? I think so.

Elaine:

Well we don’t like clichés here at Eurovision so surely there was no way that the ‘Golden Boy’ was gonna go all ‘camptastic’ on us was there??? WRONG!!!!!!

The Golden Boy has given us golden shoes, a golden background and golden shower pyros. I really love this song and it is fun energetic and makes you wanna dance, however the staging of it looks messy. Nadav looks in pain at the start and not through heartbreak but more like he has been kicked in the golden balls. He spends a lot of the time hunched over and the backing dancers are a bit “all over the place.” This performance needs a lot of work but it sure is one of the most fun songs in the contest this year.

 

LATVIA

Andrew:

Aminata is wearing a beading headband and her hair is long and flowing. She wears a scarlet dress with revealing cleavage and tight until the knees then it puffs out like a pom pom in lace and radiates all over the floor. Lots of red lighting along with patterned white backdrop. She has 3 backing singers on stage with her. This is a great vocal performance of a modern song. Nothing else like it in the contest.  Another decent reception in the press centre. This could either bomb or soar into the final and I hope for the latter.

John:

More applause for the diminutive Aminata. I saw her on a Danube boat cruise yesterday and she looks really young. The outfit she’s wearing doesn’t appear to be the most flattering. We get more cleavage and huge amouns of red netting around her legs. From above she looks like a remembrance poppy. Personally, I’d like to see her dressed as she was in the national final.

The overall effect is quite striking. Behind the red-clad Aminata are bursts of red and white. I personally love the song and want to see it qualify. With a few tweaks I think it can, but it’s a bloodbath of a semi and something likeable will not make it.

Elaine:

Well that was not what we were expecting from Aminata! I was thinking she would go with an ethnic look with some backing dancers but she is stood still in the middle of the stage in a bright red, Barbie style dress with a huge mesh fishtail. Her vocal is brilliant. The wind machine kicks in and Aminata’s hair and dress flail around in the breeze which looks great and the backdrop adds the drama with red and black flashes. This song is so powerful and so different to everything in the contest that it had a great chance of making a huge impact with the correct staging. Having said all of that, there was rapturous applause in the press centre. This definitely has potential.

AZERBAIJAN

Phil : Great song, shame about the Interpretive dancers mincing about on the stage.  Elnur has the power and the presence to get away with him just singing the song with some backing singers either on or off stage, the one thing that this song didn’t need is a distraction by two dancers that are supposed to be “Wolves” – shame really as it is a stand out song…  It’s not snatching failure from the jaws of qualification, but I’m saddened by the way its staged and it could well lose points.

Andrew:

Elnur is joined on stage by 2 dancers(male and female) who crawl around the stage like wild animals. The staging is quite dramatic and the vocals are already on point.  The backdrop has a big sphere backlit with a forest of twigs around it. The backdrop sphere then goes blood red as does the stage. Simple but dramatic. It’s a safe bet for the final but not convinced it’s a winner though.

John:

Eldur has a fine voice, perhaps the best of the contest. The song is a great one. He’s flanked by two dancers that spend most of their time on all-fours. I actually found them quite distracting and took the emphasis away from Eldur doing what he should be doing. I also think he’s holding back a little, as his unseen backing singers seem to be louder than they should be.

Setting wise, it is stunning. The majority of the time the backdrop is a solar eclipse seen through a petrified forest. It then becomes  a large red moon which finally fades to black with a single white dove flying from left to right. The good and bad seem about equal in my opinion and Azerbaijan has a 100% record for making the final. A finalist? Highly likely. A winner? Not on what I’ve seen today.

Elaine:

I love Hour of the Wolf. I think it is a stunning, haunting ballad and I love how they have staged it. They are using a wild forest backdrop with an eclipse at the beginning and there are 2 contemporary backing dancers who represent wild animals in the forest. I think this adds to the haunted feel of the song. As the song builds the dancers become more dramatic and at times they risk distracting the viewer from the song but all in all I really loved this rehearsal. The performance ends with red staging and a giant red moon which then slips away to a dark sky and a lone owl swoops across the sky.

Elnur is a great vocalist and looks professional and comfortable on the stage. I was perhaps expecting a bigger WOW factor than I felt but this still has a great chance of a top 5 finish.

 

ICELAND

John: María transports us to Iceland, with a stage setting of lava floes and Aurorae Borealis. That aside, there are a few things that I can’t really warm to. First, her dress is a pink affair with a lot of netting below the waist. It looks like it needs some more adding to it. María has five backing singers (including Hera-Björk who arrives tomorrow) who are stage right. She moves around the stage, and maybe should someone moving around with her. I realise that many people do like this, and I want to. But I think this will just get totally lost.

Andrew:

Maria is barefoot on the stage and is wearing a rather bland fluffy dress. It is really quite awful. She has 5 backing vocalists on stage with her. The vocals start very low and soft. But open out quite nicely. The stage goes all golden later on in the song.

Overall as a package there is not a lot wrong with it(apart from the dress) and it gives Iceland the chance to progress again(probably as the last country to be announced).

Phil: RUV have made Maria look like one of the minipops in a dress from C&A’s kids section.  She has no connection with the audience, the song is too light to get any big scores and I just don’t think that there is any opportunity for them to get them back.  The backing singers aren’t helping this at all and It’s in severe trouble.  If it were me, I’d not be 100% happy with anything that has gone on, but sadly it’s too late to change anything and as such you have to polish what you have.  Even if she nails it, it’s getting lost.

Elaine:

I have music box sitting at home that is missing its ballet dancer and I think I know why!!!!! Maria Olafs is dressed in a short pink puffball ballet dress and looks about 10 years old. I find it a little inappropriate if I am being honest. She is barefoot on stage and has 5 backing singers to her left.

It looks like Iceland have tried to go for the Emmelie De Forest look and have landed way off the mark. Maria can sing this song well enough but it does not translate to the large stage well. This would be a good radio song but it is not making an impact on me as a live performance.

 

SWEDEN

Andrew:

We have basically the same performance seen in Melodifestivalen. The wee man has been beefed up a bit with some clothes and is now white not blue. The screen that is used for the projecting is an oval shape. The staging is basic apart from the graphics  and I am not sure it transfers onto the bigger stage. The vocals are fine and it will certainly appeal to many.  It is one of my favourites but its possible not the shoe in winner that I first thought it would be now.

John:

I’ll admit in advance that I’ve never been a fan of this song. It’s very heavily dependent on the visuals and if you take them away it’s just a little bit too ordinary for me. Having said that, the visuals are very good although again I think the MF visuals were better. Måns is able to work the camera well however there are some very wide shots being used which detract from the effects being used. He is a good singer though I think that winning extra mile isn’t there.

Phil:

It was more of a technical rehearsal than a full blown full on rehearsal.  They have, as everyone has read by now, changed the character of the little man but it is exactly the same performance that you have all seen by now.  He is a very good singer, a little lazy looking in parts, almost as though he isn’t trying, but it is a rehearsal so he doesn’t have to I guess.  It’s good… but is it right to win? – Head says “yes”, heart says “no”

Elaine:

Sweden is qualifying with ease – there is no doubt about it. The stage show is second to none and they have changed the stick character to a “Billy Bunter” lookalike figure. Mans is extremely easy on the eye and this never does any harm. This show will have no surprises. It is clever and impressive and will be a great TV show and the votes will pour in for Sweden. I cannot see this being out of the top 3.

SWITZERLAND

Phil: It may be her time to shine, but the song is heavy on the symbolism and light on the substance.  It has drums and trees….. and Wind… and dresses….. but you seem to miss the most evident thing about this…. the song.  In all the shenanigans behind her, you miss the fact that Melanie is singing an average song averagely and thats the worst thing you can do in a Song Contest.  It’s not qualifying, despite being a cracking little song, because it doesn’t have the spark to get anyone voting.  Average does averagely…. and this is very average.

Elaine:

 

I am a fan of the song from Switzerland and  I am pleasantly surprised with the staging this year. There is a forest backdrop and Mélanie René is very beautiful. She has the frock of the contest so far with a black floaty cape that is pulled back to reveal a white glittery tight fitting dress underneath and the reveal is done in time with the first chorus and a burst of dramatic lighting. Mélanie is joined on the stage by 4 female drummers who have given me my first ever example of drumsticography!!!

Great rehearsal from Switzerland but probably a borderline qualifier at best.

Andrew:

Well we have 4 large  drums on stage and the drummers also cover as backing singers. Melanie is in a long flowing dress with flowing sleeves. The backdrop is another forest in blues and whites. Its perfectly fine vocally and could qualify but may be slightly borderline.

John:

We have another dark stage with silver birch trees and people playing luminous drums. The very pretty Mélanie starts in black and then reveals a long flowing silver number that is very striking. I didn’t rate this song before now, but now I think it could be in with a slim chance of getting through. Switzerland has done it before. My only criticism is that it’s like a lot of other songs this year, where the female singer stands still and gives a powerful performance.

CYPRUS

Elaine:

The Cypriot entry is very endearing. John looks forlorn and vulnerable in keeping with the song and has a great connection with the camera. I am glad they have not decided to do too much with the staging as it is a simple beautiful song on its own.

John starts out in black and white and slowly comes into colour however I feel that the black and white changes too soon. It should change at the end of the first chorus. I like the firework effect that happens during the 4 beats in the bridge leading to the final chorus.

Summed up Cyprus is simple, beautiful and adorable.

Phil : Now either Elaine is wrong (but don’t tell her I said that), or i’ve completely missed this song (it happens ok?) – The forlorn and vulnerable look translates to me as a bumbling apology that he doesn’t really mean (c/f Shaggy’s classic “It wasn’t me”).  John doesn’t look at the camera, appears insincere and just doesn’t connect.  If *I* was the person he’s trying to make it up to, i would have to slap him and mince out.   Nah… It’s too cold for me.

Remember, opinions matter and they will differ….. this is all good… but I’m prepared to be beaten up by Ms Dove later.  It’s all for you readers!!

Andrew:

Lovely simple staging for John from Cyprus here, it’s a lovely song and needs to be kept simple. He stands centre stage and the first part he is in monochrome, it switches to colour a tad early in my opinion. We then get various colours in the backdrop, blue red purple orange mixed in with whites. However there is not a lot wrong with it, it has some nice exploding swirls nearer the end. But overall a decent presentation and this could do rather well with this.

John:

When I hear this song, I still think of Lisa Andreas in İstanbul in 2004. It does, admittedly, have the same author but I don’t think it’s quite as good. John sells it OK and it’s nice how this goes from black & white to colour. So much so, they need to make more use of it. He also appears to be alone on stage and it seems it be very big as a result. It’s a very nice song, but I think it might struggle as it’s just too nice.

SLOVENIA

Andrew:

Maaraya on stage now where Marjetka stands in the centre with her headphones on in a pretty long cream dress. Raay is sat at a grand piano and wears headphones too. They have a female dancer who imitates playing the violin. A bit bizarre in my opinion. They do have backing singers but they are not on stage. It’s a good quirky song both vocally and musically but I am finding the presentation a little bit flat.

Phil:

For a song that has all the hallmarks of a good song I am a touch underwhelmed by what has just happened.  Marjetka looks grand and the lovely Raay looks fine and the woman with the air violin and the RJ45 cables on her arms looks fine but, when you add them up, something is missing.  They need, in the viewing room, to get the mix better.  Marjetka needs to be heard because she has all the right looks, but you just can’t hear her (Even in the press centre now Måns has a conference and its deathly quiet). They stopped their rehearsal clock at 4:28 while they corrected that mix…  I’m concerned about this.

John:

This is one I’d been awaiting all day. Sadly, I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very good. However, there seem to be a few issues with camera angles that are being addressed it seems. Marjetka is in her long quilted gown and Raay is at his long piano, and the air violinist plays her air violin. The sum of the parts is very good and I again want to see this do well. I think it will make the final, and then it’s game on.

POLAND

Phil – This song has snuck up and slapped me firmly between the eyes.  You have a perfectly serviceable song that is good out and in the contest arena.  The fact that the lead singer is disabled makes no difference at all (as it should do) and the background in contrasting shades of purple looks really engaging.  It’s a soft song with a hard edge and that’s what will draw people to it.

John:

Last on today sees Monika in her wheelchair. She’s a great singer and tries to sell this song. But after a series of strong contenders, Poland appears to have a challenge ahead of them. The backdrop is nicely pink, flowery and contains more trees, and at one point we see some black & white footage of her in former times. I thought that was a bit unnecessary and brought the positive vibe of the song down a little. I seriously think that, whilst it’s pleasant enough, we won’t be seeing Poland in the final on 23 May.

Andrew:

A lovely gentle ballad to close the show. Nothing too dramatic and lots of pink flowers and flowing fabric in the backdrop. Guy playing a white piano and some backing singers. Monika is sitting in her wheelchair showing off her legs. She wears a white flowing dress which is strategically placed either side on the stage. It’s a lovely song and sung well but my only thing I have against it is it may be a lot of folks 10th or 11th song and may not get enough actual votes to get through.

 

1 reply »

  1. I won’t lie…my heart was in my throat reading your thoughts on Sweden’s rehearsal. I have way too much invested in Måns (including unconditional love for his leather pants). The fact that the presentation isn’t screaming ‘winner’ worries me, but if I could cheer for Sanna’s bronze in Copenhagen, then I can be satisfied with a top 3 finish for MZW. I’ll be shocked if he’s not at least 5th. I can’t even tell you how many IKEA meatballs I’ll have to eat to get over it.

    Melanie Rene’s outfit gets the thumbs-up from me. It reminds me of Danijela’s from Eurovision ’98.

    I LOVE that your views on Cyprus somehow managed to contain a reference to Shaggy’s seminal ‘It Wasn’t Me’. If ‘OTISHD’ was more like that, I’d be a bigger fan, to be honest. I’m still struggling to see why so many fans think John is a sure qualifier. This is Cyprus we’re talking about, people. I think he has a great voice, but this song does not show it off particularly well.

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