Eurovision 2016 – Day 5 First Rehearsal LIVE ROLLING BLOG – START 0900 CET- JUST REFRESH
Just when you thought you had seen the best of us, we are back and better than ever!! If you were thinking of going anywhere else for your fix of Eurovision rehearsal news, then SHAME ON YOU!!
You can follow our LIVE BLOG HERE – You know the drill by now. Just refresh the page for our live updates. We start at 0900CET. You will be taken care of by Phil (our good friend from OnEurope) – So if you want an honest opinion of how the rehearsals are going then tune in here. The other members of the team should be chiming in from time to time, but mostly its all me me me me me!!
Who do we have rehearsing today?
1 – Finland
PHIL – Well she’s definitely singing it away, her chances of qualifying that is. From song number one, it seems to have been a great idea in theory but in practice it’s a bit too frenetic and a bit less good. Sorry, Not qualifying.
2 – Greece
PHIL : It’s all gone a bit Greek on stage at the moment. Argo are trying to be all ethnic without it actually coming off. I guess this is what you get when you try to put a song together on the cheap due to other constraints, this is what you get. It’s a bit weak and lifeless at the moment and even if it looks decent on screen, it’s going to struggle.
3 – Moldova
PHIL – Rumous were that she was going to sing in French for a verse, in direct contravention of the rules!! And it came to pass that’s exactly what she has done. The question is, what has gone on in the background because this table says she is in contravention of the rules
“Changes to the lyrics, the artist or group (including its name), the title of the song and the language of the performance (i.e. all elements which appear in printed material such as brochures, CD covers and booklets) shall be allowed only up until the date of the HoD Meeting. Any later changes may be approved only by the Host Broadcaster, in consultation with the EBU Permanent Services, but in such a case an automatic penalty shall be applied”
Well she’s done that – so what’s her penalty? – Different song?? – Different Singer?? – Monetary penalty?? – or, nothing….
oh the song… oh yes…. still Average!
4 – Hungary
PHIL : … Still in the tan jacket, still in the good looking boy mode, Freddie has been and gone (it appears) in TWO rehearsals…. There has been no major changes to this song *apart* from the floor of the arena which was red but is now the same colour as his jacket…..
Toning the red down really works here and the drummer that wasnt hitting the drums… now is, and that makes the whole thing look less silly. Freddie now also has a stage presence now he seems to have relaxed from his first rehearsal where I thought he was a bit tense but he does look tired…..
He really connects with the camera really really well and there are some fine shots zooming in from the back of the hall.
Qualifying or I am Mad Jack mcMad!
5 – Croatia
Oh my actual god…. She’s wearing some sort of dress that is beyond silly. It’s all feathers and silver and open backed so Nina has got her tats out for the lads (on her back).
She was also singing the Eric Morecambe mix in the 2nd rehearsal ( all of the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order), which is a shame because this is a good song. I’m not happy about the staging though, It comes across on stage as looking very silly indeed.
Nina starts with a tree dress that looks all kinds of daft and that gets whipped off but I think that it doesn’t need to be overblown. The song itself is strong enough to get through on it’s own merits. Now, however, it’s been reduced to “That woman singing in the silly dress”
Not sure anymore.
6 – The Netherlands
There is a 13 second gap in this song where Douwe and his team have decided to get the crowd to sing along. Stopping in the middle of the song is a very risky strategy. Also, at the start of the song, Douwe sits in the middle of the stage with his pianist in a 2014 stylee… The stage itself is like a clock, so the Mrs Einstein references all abound here!
The pause could go horribly wrong or be a masterstroke, I’m just not sure which. There is also something sinister with Douwe when he stares down the camera at me… His eyes are hiding something!!!
Still definitely qualifying though..
7 – Armenia
First of all, just so you know, Lunch was a cheese bap and some Blueberry cream biscuits… nom nom nom!!
I saw about 40 seconds, but there will be video coming!!
8 – San Marino
I don’t know how polite our esteemed leader wants me to be with this one. It’s a little bit old fashioned… in fact, it’s very old fashioned. The old gay-boulevardier singing down the camera draped by 5 luscious lovelies making him an offer he can not refuse. Thankfully, though, voters and jurors across Europe will because, memorable as it is, it makes all the WRONG impressions. All he needs is a violin case and he could be a swarthier Al Capone… More Bugsy Malone on screen though.
9 – Russia
This is still the one to beat though but I am worried that there is too much that can go wrong and it’s too technically difficult that it would only take one wrong slip for it to come crashing down around their ears.
Having said all of that, though, it’s very polished and slick and all of those other things. The choreography is on point and slick, the video wall (when it works) is very good. The one thing I would say, though, is that in parts the lights do not match where Sergey is standing and it makes him look too dark. The backing singer at the end seems to be completely useless and a device to get her on stage. Not needed!!
10 – Czech Republic
This has just about everything you could want out of a ballad in the Eurovision mold. It’s got that classy edge about it that will blow away other ballads in this part of the draw, including Slovenia which now looks silly and overblown compared to this. Gabriela does look like a standard lamp with the under lighting of her dress but the stage looks magnificent and does just the right amount of transforming.
This will get through FOR SURE for Czech Republic as it ticks all the jury boxes across the board and this should mop enough televotes for those that recognise a good song to get it through…. Don’t make me eat my words.
11 – Cyprus
On the first run through they were not cutting the shots of the wolf in but back in the 2nd and 3rd rehearsals they are back in but considerably less than they were on Tuesday ( Which is a very good thing)
This is a good song that has been ruined by someone trying out a clever idea (wolf) and it just needed to be a good rock song performed by a rock band in a “Rocky” way, the gimmick of the Wolf seems to be too much, the camera cuts seem too frenetic and it’s a very busy performance for a very busy song.
The quality of this song, thankfully, will cut through all of the nonsense and still make it qualify.
12 – Austria
13 – Estonia
I’m back!! I was taken from you all by technical issues and other stuff but after a break I am back back back!! – Juri, for his second ring because he ALWAYS rings twice is… well.. Duller than Dull D mcDull. Even with the motif of the cards it doesn’t peak any interest for me and the assembled throng. I just think that it’s going to bore Europe rather than get them to vote for it. I think that it is danger of not qualifying.
14 – Azerbaijan
When you write into a song ” Gonna take a miracle to save us now”… and then sing the song really really badly, and I mean flatter than a pizza flat, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Samra has not improved since Tuesday and, if it were possible, has actually got slightly worse. It looks polished as all Azeri songs will but this time even the help from off the stage is not helping. This is in major danger of being bottom 5 in this semi unless something “miraculous” happens.
15 – Montenegro
Whist it is commendable for Montenegro to be experimental yet again, I don’t think there will be too many people in Europe that will get it. The real Muso’s will, and therefore some on the juries will tick the boxes for this, I fear that the average televoter ( and they are very average) will see this as shouty noise in front of white noise background. This will not be troubling the scorers.
16 – Iceland
James here, giving you a fresh perspective on today’s performance (the rest of the team are knackered) Greta gives her usual fantastic performance with aplomb. The effects are spectacular both in the arena and on the screen, which bodes well for televoting. The whole show is incredible and I LOVE it! Iceland are due a win, and I really hope this is it!!
17 – Bosnia and Herzegovina
JAMES: Bosnia have proved yet again they have a niche with ballads they should stick with. Ljubav Je ticks all the boxes of a Eurovision great, dramatic, memorable staging and competently performed. I am very pleased to see Dalal in a stunning red gown, it’s gorgeous and gives a touch of finesse to what it quite a dark song. I am confident this is going into the final and into the Top 10.
18 – Malta
JAMES: Walk On Water was already a great performance piece in the first rehearsals and Ira has managed to improve it even further. The choice of costume is much much better – Malta’s lights, staging and sound were already enough of a hook without the trench coat. Just goes to show you can even improve from great!
Finalist – France
JAMES: France won the OGAE poll, so the song is clearly a massive fan favourite. Because of this, I had big expectations. Amir is clearly in his element and loves being up on that stage, which is delightful to see. The staging is clean, with planets and stars wheeling around Amir. It looks pleasant, but it all feels a bit safe and sterile. Can’t decide whether this actually the case, or whether I was just hoping for more. I’m not yet convinced it’s a winner, but this will gather points from across the continent.
Finalist – Spain
JAMES: Poor Barei fell over during in her infamous dance routine, but to her credit as a performer, she got right back up and carried on – and got a huge round of applause in the press centre as a result! This slip up aside, the performance is quite weak. I think Spain is relying on the song’s popularity in the months leading up to the contest and the hook of Barei/Kurt Calleja’s dancing to carry it. Sadly, I doubt this will be enough to help it do well. It’ll always be a fan favourite, but I can’t see this achieving the placing I know the fans are expecting. But credit where credit is due, Barei is a true professional for soldiering on!
EDIT: Ok, judging from the 2nd rehearsal, the fall is a scripted part of the show. Never mind!