EUROVISION 2015: Day 12 First Dress Rehearsal of the Grand Final from 14:00 CET
It is DAY 12 In the ‘Big Brother’ Eurovision house and Eurovision Ireland will be here for you to whet your appetite for what’s going down, down low in the old Wiener Stadthalle! We now start the first Dress Rehearsal of the Grand Final today – you know, the one that really matters. Will we see anything that points to an obvious winner? You can see our earlier live blogs from the first rehearsals for each of the semi-finals here and here.
What is the Running Order?
1 – SLOVENIA
2 – FRANCE
3 – ISRAEL
4 – ESTONIA
5 – UNITED KINGDOM
6 – ARMENIA
7 – LITHUANIA
8 – SERBIA
9 – NORWAY
10 – SWEDEN
11 – CYPRUS
12 – AUSTRALIA
13 – BELGIUM
14 – AUSTRIA
15 – GREECE
16 – MONTENEGRO
17 – GERMANY
18 – POLAND
19 – LATVIA
20 – ROMANIA
21 – SPAIN
22 – HUNGARY
23 – GEORGIA
24 – AZERBAIJAN
25 – RUSSIA
26 – ALBANIA
27 – ITALY
We get a longer opening, with scenes from the city we’ve come to know and love over the last two weeks. Except the rain that is. We then focus on a single silver ball descending into the arena and a violinist playing ‘Mercie Chérie’. Goosebumps and moist eyes aplenty. It then segues nicely into some song called ‘Rise like a phoenix’.
The comes a pleasant surprise. Conchita appears dressed in cerise and sings the new Eurovision opening anthem about Building Bridges tonight (geddit?). She’s joined by a large children’s choir.
A change of pace follows with rap. And the children waving lots of Austrian flags.
Our three hostesses appear and introduce the competing acts. Slovenia – and then we hit a technical glitch.
Things finally kick off again. The acts (rather hurriedly) parade down the catwalk ‘twixt Green Room and stage with their national flags. With 27 acts it’s getting a little crowded.
we then cut to a little film of people in Europe (and Australia) doing regular stuff and interacting in a rather clever fashion. The choice of song? What if we by Dina Garipova from 2013. Subliminal messaging perhaps?
More chat about what’s happening and then finally – finally – we get to the first song. Which is…
A great opener for the final which moves along really well. Plenty of good and slightly edgy camera work. Wind machine turned up beyond zephyr to gale force. Nice and uplifting.
Our first direct qualifier is in black – probably not what Lisa will be wearing later and tomorrow night. This is a strong performance – there appears to be no holding back. Where the camera zooms into her, then zooms out to reveal her drummers still gives me goosebumps. It gets a lot of applause from the press centre.
Nadav isn’t in his suit and has gone all casual on us. There’s no change to the dance routine we’ve seen over the last few days. the vocal is clear and safe. The crowd in the arena seem to like it and it’s an interesting contrast to France.
A little pause here due to technical issues, so we resort to facts about the country. One win, 21 years since the first entry and 71% of televoters picked Elina & Stig in Eesti Laul 2015. Did you know all that?
The technical problem involves the cameras we’re told.
We finally get Estonia on stage. They appear to be in costume. Elina has perfected that dagger stare to go with Stig’s indifferent look towards her. The body language between the two of them sets this off really well. It gets moderate applause in the press centre.
That was a great little rehearsal from Electro Velvet. Everything seemed to pull together well. The dancers added to it but weren’t intrusive. Bianca had a fake fur stole to cover her battery pack. There are some good shots from the roofcam which spins around. It may not win, but it’s three minutes of fun. And definitely not potato waffles. Lots of applause from the press centre.
I still think this a little bit cliché with the elements that make up this song. It’s big with a reasonable vocal, but it falls a little flat after the UK. It will do well, but probably doesn’t.
Monika and Vaidas are in costume and seem especially cheery today. There is only one kiss at ‘that’ moment – the four backing singers just high five each other. Whilst they work the camera fairly well, it doesn’t strike me as a contender.
Bojana is also in costume and has her hair tied back. She has a great vocal but maybe she was trying too hard for what is a first (technical) rehearsal. She gets a big reception when the upbeat part kicks in and it looks good.
I love the close camera work on this one. Mørland and Debrah have kept is simple and it works. Debrah’s long auburn locks look a little unkempt and this would have an impact with a lesser song. Their vocal is clear and you can spot a little bit of angst-ridden chemistry.The burst of light from the final chorus gives me goosebumps. Lots of applause from the press centre.
Before the next song we go to two of our hosts while parts of Europe cut to adverts. No one’s asked for their personal phone numbers apparently. And after the ad-break is…
Måns is not in costume so is saving his baggy jumper for tonight. You can’t dispute the visual effects for this are very good and really do carry the song. The vocal is good but you can tell he’s holding back in places. Definitely a contender but was there a reason it was on straight after the ad break? Hmmm.
The black & white segment for this song carries onto the start of the second verse. John is not holding back and his rehearsal is very earnest and well-received. He seems a safe pair of hands in this competition.
There’s no holding back here. Guy is giving this everything. There seems to be all the right things going on with this and Guy is commanding the stage. The dancers add to it. A top 5 finish – despite the position – is on the cards.
I was really pleased when this made the final as I didn’t think Europe would get it. Loïc is very clinical with this and the whole routine is getting more and more polished. I hadn’t seen the full reaction until today and I hear the betting odds are coming in. Could this be your left-field contender?
This has grown on me since the national final. It seems ripe for a big jury vote as it’s a very well-constructed song. The lead singer’s piano catches fire with some force (not as much as the earlier rehearsals) and still looks a little too fierce to me. Sadly, there’s the slim chance it could detract from the song.
It’s time for another quick break and we go to Conchita in the Green Room. A joke is made that she was first seen on the Eurovision stage in 2008 backing Sébastien Tellier. And then we move onto…
Maria Elena is in her posh glittery frock and puts in a safe performance of this song. However, I think safe right after an ad-break is not going to do that well.
Zeljko Joksimovic can write the songs that hit the right spot within Europe. Aside from the cultural voting that might go this song’s way, it’s well-crafted, effectively-staged and well-sung. It gets a lot of applause from the press centre.
This song bounces along fairly well. There are times when Ann Sophie sings at the audience and not the cameras but it doesn’t always seem to work. There’s a lot of singing with her back to us, showing off her other assets. It’s not a winner.
I was very surprised when this qualified and I still think it’s not going to do very well on Saturday. The performance looks a little forced and pained, and I’m still in two minds about the flashbacks of Monika’s earlier career.
No one seems to be disappointed that Latvia is in the final. I personally love the harshness of Aminata’s voice and how it conveys the song. The staging is superb and she actually looks like she’s enjoying the experience. Could this song also spring a surprise?
As you’ll know, Voltaj’s lead singer has dressed in black for this. There are also the suitcases on stage to emphasise the message of the song. We get a very clear vocal from him and the rest of the band and when the backdrop of the boy looking for his parents who’ve gone to earn a better life for him starts, it does really kick off. There’s plenty of applause from the press centre for this too.
This relies heavily on the backdrop in that Edurne is searching for something. There seem to be a few problems with the camera angles and these detract from the song. There are also certain moves by her backing dancer that seem to take your attention away from the singing. I think we could have a very accidental last on our hands.
Another stark contrast between two songs. Many were surprised when Boggie and her happy little band made it to the Grand Final. I think the song’s simplicity was its strongest point and this is even more apparent now. It’s just a simple song that builds with an effective staging, and no histrionics. I hope it does well.
It’s back to drama and this has plenty of it. Definitely the most dramatic of the most recent clutch of songs and Nina holds it together well despite being alone on stage. The vocal problems she had earlier are not there and it’s got a good stage show to back it up.
We’re nearly there! Eldur has a great voice although I still have a few issues with his diction. The stage show bumps along nicely so there’s nothing to worry about here. It’s solid and safe.
Talking of solid. The song that we strongly suspect won the first semi-final is already is going to be up there tomorrow night. It ticks all the boxes. Polina’s vocal is faultless, the camera work is already there. Sochi 2016 anyone?
Elhaida is very pleased to be here. and you can tell by her delivery. It’s not the best of songs in this final, but she’s selling it very well. Her cleavage is also there for all to see. There’s nothing wrong with this rehearsal. There’s moderate applause from the press centre.
Finally, The highly-polished act from Il Volo. These guys are seasoned performers and it shows. The staging is very effective and while the vocal is strong, they appear to be holding back a little for later. There’s the biggest round of applause for them. Whether that’s because they were best or because they were on last is difficult to say.
So that’s the 27 – yes, 27 – songs all done and dusted. You know the drill by now. A few wise words from our hostesses, and then the carefully selected 15-second clips of each song that may well decide who’ll win.
We now get some cabaret. It’s a big band. A big big band. Lots of brass, drums, and things being hit with sticks.
It looks like the people in the Green Room will be making hearts with a rainbow-coloured backdrop. Nice. These later become candles after some large semi-circular stained-glass representations of Austrian scenes. It looks like it’ll be more effective tonight (when we’ll be blogging again).
Anyway, that’s it for now. Tune in again later for our rolling blog of the Jury Final, that starts at 21:00 CET.
Which Songs Surprised You?
Let us know.