Eurovision 2016 – Day 8 First Dress Rehearsal Semi Final 1 LIVE ROLLING BLOG – START 1700 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 17:00CET. You will be taken care of by Andrew – 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!!
The Running Order is as Follows
So the show begins. A recap of last years winner and a view of the Globen Arena then we are in the Arena.
Mans starts the show with Heroes and he has a real boy in the act instead of a digital one. Then the boy flies off into the air holding a balloon. This version is more laid back than the original. Now there are loads of kids on the stage doing a dance and joining in with backing vocals.
We now have scenes from Sweden and the dandelion fluff is floating about everywhere. Lovely scenery of lakes and Stockholm and people getting ready for Eurovision. The stage is all lit up and our hosts Petra and Mans are introduced onto the stage. They say welcome Europe and yes Europe start up with their hit ‘The Final Coundtown’ but are soon stopped in their tracks. Swedish humour you know!!
The hosts are explaining the format and voting procedure in English and French. Grab your towels its time to Come Together!!!!! Yes Petra just said that.
Wearing a light blue jump suit and accompanied by five backing singers in black. This is a lively start to the show. Sandjha’s vocals are mostly fine a few off notes but overall a decent performance She wanders off along the catwalk briefly but comes back to finish on the stage with her backers. For me a borderline to qualify for the Final.
Now this is very traditional Greek. All the group Argo are dressed in white. Two female singer and two male rappers give us a modern feel to the song with heavy ethnic backbeats. It is totally different to anything else this year and not the usual safe Greek pop that we expect from then. The performance is fine and we also have some traditional Greek dancing. This will probably qualify because it is Greece but then again it may not.
Lydia is on stage now for Moldova and has a guy with her wearing a space helmet and a silver suit. She is a black dress with mirror trims along the top and base. The helmet is removed by Lydia and the guy goes into a dance routine beside her. This is a good performance of a decent song. Good vocals from Lydia and this has gone up slightly in the shake up and may well sneak through.
Freddie up next and he is backed by three singers and a guy beating a big drum. Freddie is dressed in ripped blue jeans and a white tshirt that is different lengths on each side. I love his gruff rocky vocals and the song. Lots of red lighting up the stage here. A good performance again and I think this is good enough to qualify to the Final.
The award for craziest dress this year has to go to Croatia. Not one but two crazy dresses. The first one is pulled from her by her dancers revealing yet another crazy dress. This all detracts from what is a decent song. The second dress is all silver and white and feathers and am sure is a designer classic. At least it is memorable though and may tip some of the viewers into voting for it. The vocals are about the best I have heard from Nina in all rehearsals so far. Croatia could well qualify with this.
We now have an interval with the hosts chatting. Then we cut to the hosts pretending to be taxi drivers picking up random journalists. Some of these guys and girls we know hence this clip is so funny to us.
We have a big clock on the stage going backwards and Douwe is playing a guitar and backed by a five piece band. This is really catchy and pleasant which is helping it to stand out. Douwe is also verrrry easy on the eye and sporting his new rose tattoo on his chest and up into the nape of his neck. There is a crazy point in the song where it stops for all of 13 seconds to give us audience reaction. It may well work on the night but seems silly in the rehearsal. That aside its a good performance and hope it has enough to get through to the Final.
Iveta starts this song speaking. Lots of dry ice here. She is wearing a revealing black number with a cloak also. This also has modern and traditional elements to the feel of the backing music. Lots of fire getting let off too. This is excellent and will sail into the Final.
This is my guilty pleasure this year. I disliked the original but love the disco version we have here. Five female backing singers in silver sparkly disco outfits. They are on a platform situated behind Serhat. He is in a maroon lounge suit and fedora hat. This is camp and kitsch which is not what you would expect from an artist like Serhat. It is fun and will go down well in those living rooms where we have some left over 70s and 80s disco kids kicking about. Everyone else? Will probably hate it. It would surprise me if it gets to Final but in a good way for me.
Petra comes on briefly to intoduce the next song.
The big favourite up next. Sergey is dressed in black. Lots of uptempo beats to what is an excellent pop song. He uses a backdrop which interacts with then starts to climb up it. The effect is amazing. Hard to believe it is possible actually. This will wow people at home for the performance and vocals. The spectacle is amazing and Sergey is soooo easy on the eye. Definite qualifiers.
This is such a lovely song. A simple ballad that oozes with confidence. Gabriella is dressed all in white and has a great vocal talent and is putting this into her performance. This is the sort of great song that should sail into the Final and I hope it does as the Czechs deserve it this year.
Next up we have one of my favourites from Cyprus it is Minus One. I will try not to biased but cannot help it as I love the elements of rock and shlager that goes into this song. They are a bunch of genuine rockers who know how to party. The song itself is very catchy and gives Cyprus a great chance to reach the Final again. It is a good performance which will pick up plenty votes all over I hope.
Next up we have the lovely Zoe from Austria with a lovely feel good song. She is wearing a flowing peach dress. She is standing on what looks like a long white road that disappears off into infinity with lots of flowers on the backdrop, very colourful. I really like this as do many others here in the bubble in Stockholm and I hope it qualifies which it may well do.
This years award for best dressed suave like James Bond type goes to Juri. Dressed in a slick blue suit with red hanky trim in top pocket. This song is fine and his deep vocals working well with the tempo. But my problem is that it may not be memorable enough among such a strong field. It may qualify but I personally fear it will not.
We are now into another break with Mans. Then Petra is now in the green room speaking to herself with lots of humour. There is certainly plenty humour in this years show.
Samra on next and she is wearing a gold trim jump suit. She is backed by four backing dancers also in gold. The stage and backdrop is very colourful and we have a slick dance routine and some fire thrown in for good measure. Now onto the vocals. Perhaps they are the most important part of a song and the Azeri’s seem to have overlooked this element. Samra can certainly sing and reach all the notes but sadly not in the right places. It is a bit of a mess to be honest and takes away from what is potentially a good song. Sorry I know they always qualify but if they do with this then they can do it with a bunch of screeching Grannies(oh no that was Russia).
Highway to hell? Quite possibly depending on what sort of music you like. I LOVE this. But I am a realist not many other average punters will though. It is extreme and bold and brave. The vocals start of with screams then descend into deep rock vocals, The group stand there and rock the house down. It is like being at a rock concert. Sadly this is Eurovision and I think it will struggle to get votes which is a shame as I LOVE it. Oh I already said that, never mind.
Greta is dressed all in black with lots of frills on her sleeves. She is using Mans interactive backdrop trickery to good effect throughout. It is a polished performance with a few off notes in the first few lines of the verse but it gets a lot better. I feel this has enough going for it to get through to the Final.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
This is Balkan angst at its finest once again. Bacofoil cloaks and an electric bass and a prop with barbed wire. Throw in a bearded but not camp anymore Deen with Dala wearing a fetching red and gold dress. Then just when you think that’s enough we add some Balkan rapping into the mix. It sounds like it should be a mess but you know what it really works. It is a great performance and certainly will be remembered. Bosnia and Hezergovina should be getting to the Final with this.
Last song of the show and it is the Eurovision legend that is Ira. Her face starts singing on the stage before being replaced by the real thing resplendent in a lovely sparkly gold evening gown. She is joined on stage by a male dancer cavorting around her in a random fashion. I think they call it choreography. Vocally this is excellent. A good show finisher and should have enough to qualify for the Final.
So there we have it folks all our songs. Petra and Mans are back for some more Swedish banter. Then they go over the voting again and start the voting window. We now get a recap of all the songs.
Now we have a comedy sketch from the 70s on how they chose their entry in 1974, originally called BAAB the name was changed to ABBA as it was felt the name would be confused with Bob Dylan.
Another recap of the songs. Now we have the Final Countdown yes rock group Europe are back!!
So we now have some modern dancers on stage.
While that is going on I will go through who I think should qualify tomorrow.
Hungary The Netherlands and Armenia.
Russia Czech Republic and Cyprus
Iceland and Malta.
Bosnia and Herzegovina and Austria.
The only controversy I see in the interval act is the dance troupe climb over the barrier in front of stage and move into the crowd. Migrants perhaps?
We now will be introduced to the artists from France Spain and Sweden. For the first time ever these three Finalists will perform in the interval act live.
Amir up first for France. He wears a grey suit and white t shirt. The staging is simple and the song really catchy. Considered one of the contenders. Perhaps not as strong as Russia but it will have its fans. It may give France its best finish for years.
Barei is dressed in a silver short dress with a number 03 on her front, suggests she will wear the performance number in the Final. The song is catchy but I don’t like her silly dancing. Also I find the deliberate fall and music stopping not a good moment. It has lots of fans but sadly not me. Personally I think it will struggle to finish in the top half in the Final.
Frans on now and a very dark stage for this he is also in a white t shirt with brown shirt over the top, black trousers. A backdrop screen behind gives us some of the words spelt out from the lyrics. The lighting is golden yellow. THis is a simple song and very easy on the ear. I think this will do very well for the hosts this year. Possibly win? Or a top 10 finish? We shall see.
We now have the result.
Qualifiers tonight are
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Well no Russia or Armenia. That will be a shock if it happens tomorrow.
We get a recap of all the songs who qualified.
So there we have it folks hope you enjoyed. Tune in again at 21.00 CET for the live blog of the Jury Rehearsal of Semi Final 1 which will be brought to you by Richard. Thank you and good evening.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland
All Photos courtesy of Eurovision.tv
Thomas Hanses (EBU)