Eurovision 2016 – Day 12 First Dress Rehearsal Grand Final ROLLING BLOG – START 1430 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 14:30CET. You will be taken care of by Lisa-Jayne – 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
Firstly a shout out to the people who have put to postcards together, they are without a doubt the best I have ever seen, such classy, elegant pieces of video.
What a great show opener. Laura closed her semi final in absolute style. With this up-town, funky town, Bruno-mars disco inspired number. I’ve never seen her perform this badly, always a polished performance and today is no exception. Such a joy and delight, you cannot help but smile and dance a little bit, the press centre is bopping nicely!
2. Czech Republic
This is the first outing in the grand final for the Czech Republic and I for one am utterly thrilled for Gabi. I didn’t predict this to qualify as I thought it might get a bit lost and I’m afraid I think that this, in position number 2 as it has been given, is not going to trouble the scoring too much. However it’s a lovely ballad and the simple staging will no doubt go down well with many.
3. The Netherlands
Well, country worked well for the Netherlands in 2014, giving them a second place for The Common Linnets. So, Dutch country is back and its’ Douwe Bob urging us all to ‘Slow Down’ in perfect 16 bar blues style. To be honest when I first heard the plan for the ten seconds of silence in the middle at which Douwe will improvise, I was a bit sceptical – but having seen it, Douwe totally gets away with it – with a knowing smile and a cheeky wink. This I predict will serve the Netherlands well tomorrow night.
And then there’s Samra! She looks the part, naturally there are plenty of fireworks and pyro, it’s not called ‘The Land of Fire’ for nothing! I do feel that there is a bit of masking going on here. Samra’s vocals are not the strongest and there is much talk about how this managed to get through and Iceland was sent home. However, it’s a catchy enough and many people will like it, I do suspect we will not be in Baku next year though!
This has rather come from nowhere and impressed many, many people and Freddie has basically sailed into the final for a well deserved place. He’s like a young Brian Adams and has that fantastically gravelly voice, a smidge pitchy in this rehearsal, but it’s only a rehearsal! This went big in the hall on Tuesday night and I suspect the audience tomorrow will be equally enthusiastic.
I will go so far as to say that this is the first contender in the running order that could actually win. Many people felt that Italy should have won last year, and I suspect that might translate into votes for 18 year old Francesca. This is also going to go down so well with the jury votes, I would not be surprised if this does very, very well tomorrow night. This sweet, innocent performance with impeccable staging, proving you don’t need big flashy graphics if you have a song of pure class. It’s is definitely one to watch in the voting.
Personally one of my favourites for this year (actually my number 2 and only by a tiny margin from the top spot). This one of the most classy, elegant performances we have seen. The absolute genius of this to me is that Hovi has made his name in the run up to Eurovision as a big, flamboyant personality with his makeup and fashion, and yet here he lets the song do the talking, the makeup is minimal the clothing simple, the staging is stripped back, just the two acrobats in a hoop and the most sophisticated use of pyrotechnic you will see.
Poli will always be popular with the Eurovision fans, especially after her spectacular job of hosting Junior Eurovision in Sofia last year. Bulgaria were the very last to announce and release their song and when they finally did it hit like a tonne of bricks and caused many people, myself included, to completely rearrange their top ten! Bulgaria are most welcome back to Eurovision and if they continue to send crackers like this it won’t be long before we are travelling to Sofia for Eurovision.
Being honest this is not really my cup of tea, but it will go down well with the teenage girls watching. Franz was the favourite to win Melodifestivalen and it was pretty much a done deal before the final. Sweet & innocent, and very simply staged which in this contest is probably a way to stand out, but do please remember Franz is NOT sorry!
This is very much Japanese Manga meets Tim Burton Gothic with green lasers. It’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea and could be described as a bit bonkers. Personally I love this song, my only criticism of it is that I think Jamie Lee is a bit too young to be singing it. That aside though, it’s quirky and individual, certainly not the generic pop-fest that some could be accused of this year, but in all honesty I doubt it will make much of a dent in the scoring.
Amir has proved his popularity in the run up to ESC at the pre-party’s and at one time he was being tipped for the top, reaching second place in the betting odds. I am waiting to see Amir perform this with a full audience because it has been, in my opinion, quite dull in rehearsals. The stage is very empty, I would have liked to see the backing singers on the stage instead of being stashed up on the shelf to the right of the stage. The video wall and floor is nice but maybe a bit too simple, let’s see what the voting public make of it.
People are still talking about Margaret and how it should be her on stage here for Poland. But she’s not people, so get over it. Michal’s vocals were not the best in the jury show, perhaps nerves got the better of him, however he is a strong singer and the song is going down well here – not for me, but I’m pleased for him, he’s a lovely bloke! Oh, and colour has a ‘U’ in it!
I am beyond thrilled that Dami is here, she is completely loving the whole experience of Eurovision and having delivered that killer performance last night, a few of us have started looking up the potential of hotels and flights for Australia’s chosen EBU host country. I predict, if Dami can pull out of the bag what she did last night then this is going to go BIG across Europe and may well see SBS as our host broadcaster next year. This rehearsal is perfect as ever…
I’ve made no secret about this at all, this is my favourite in the show. It’s different, a bit of what I’m calling ‘accessible rock’ – it’s not so far out of the Eurovision musical spectrum, but it’s certainly pushing the boundaries. Francoise looked a bit nervous during the semi final performance on Tuesday, and there was a brief moment when I was sat in the hall that I thought it might not qualify, fortunately that moment passed and here we are with Cyprus in the final where they belong. The positioning is interesting in the middle of the two strongest female vocalists, I am very much looking forward to this middle section of the show.
ZAA Sanja gives a steller performance and here is no exception she’s on stage make up free and still looks absolutely stunning. She has the same steely look and emotion of Elina from Estonia last year, which I have highlighted as one of the most well presented songs ever at Eurovision. One thing I really like about this is that is feels Serbian, the Serbs have a way of putting their Balkan style on to a performance, this to me has a subtle feel and throw back to Marija Serifovic. Cracking vocal, very strong performance, let’s not rule out Serbia just yet.
This song meant nothing to me at all until I saw it live on stage and I can completely understand why it blew Ireland and Denmark out of the water last night. It’s young, fresh, the teenagers will love it and so will their Mum’s! Donny reminds me of Joe McIntyre from New Kids on the Block in the bands 90’s heyday, but this is modern and cool and I think will more than be visible during the voting tomorrow.
Nina for me was a surprise qualifier, however I am very happy for her to be here. The vocal performance is strong yet soft and ethereal, the story of the song is told so well by the ocean backdrop and the searching lighthouse lights from the top of the auditorium. Always a good performance from Nina with or without an audience and this afternoon is no exception.
I maintain this is style over substance and a true lesson in ‘just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should’. Yes, we know the technology exists that allows Sergey to walk up a seemingly flat wall, but my question is why? There is no reason in the song for this to happen, no lyric that makes sense of any of the staging – the song is bland, generic pop, masked by some clever video-mapping – it’s all a bit ‘meh’ for me.
Say ‘Yay, yay, yay’? Well for me it’s ‘nay, nay, nay’ – I know Barei is trying hard but this song is too small for the stage. In the Euroclub, when Barei performed this went down so well, but it does tend to get a bit lost in the arena at Globen. I do wish her well, but again this rehearsal performance is just a bit flat – let’s see what happens during the show tomorrow night.
There was a point yesterday that we started to think we may actually be in Riga next year, I’m not sure we will but this rehearsal and every performance Justs has given has been virtually flawless. This song is young, fresh, modern – Justs knows exactly how to work the camera and the audience. Last night I sat in a higher position in the arena and could see the floor video to this properly for the first time – simply, this works, Latvia, have some points from me!
The non-political, political song! Jamala is intent, purposed, determined and has a look of steel about her during the entire performance. I am only just beginning to ‘get’ this song, much as I love Jamala and think she’d be a pretty interesting person to have a coffee and a proper chat with. Another of the songs that has been tipped for the top, and if she continues to perform like we’re seeing here then there is no reason to think there will be many points heading in the Ukrainian direction.
How on earth Ira is still going at five months pregnant and walking around in high heels I’ve no idea, and how she is doing it and still looking fresh as a daisy is even more impressive. Always the consummate performer whether it’s here in rehearsal or in performance there are sure to be points for Malta. This is Malta’s best shot for years and personally ESC in Valetta is something I would like to experience – good song, always well performed, vocally very strong, go Ira.
And now for something completely different. To be honest I was completely shocked that this qualified (as was Nika, the lead singer) it’s a throw back to the Brit-pop of the 90’s and personally I am expecting 12 points from the UK jury, and possibly the Irish jury, for this. I’d also not be surprised if this won the UK televote. It’s just the right side of bonkers to be acceptable and the light show is just awesome – if you’ve not seen this live, you’ve missed a treat – but let me tell you I have only been a convert to Georgia for about 48 hours, before I thought it was a complete waste of three minutes!!
And if you were on sensory overload from Georgia it’s now time to attack a different part of your brain! I cannot tell you how much I adore this sweet performance by Zoe, there was a moment when I thought it wouldn’t qualify. I do wonder slightly if Zoe is riding on the Conchita wave and the fondness that ESC now has for a, let’s face it, somewhat insignificant mid-European country, but as this rehearsal is proving Zoe knows how to work and audience and a camera.
25. United Kingdom
Joe and Jake have been absolute troopers here, they’ve worked the press, smiled, sung, performed and generally played the game right. Of course this is a marked improvement in UK at Eurovision, they’ve ticked the ‘singing’ box but there still needs to be a complete over haul of imaging and staging by the BBC. Whilst Joe & Jake are doing the best they can here with what they’ve been given, I’m expecting a 16th – 19th placement. Unfortunately performing at number 25 is not going to help the boys at all – I think UK is more likely to be on the lower end of that scale now.
After the semi final draw I commented that this would make a great show closer and it seems that SVT agree with me! Iveta brings a strong song, she’s a good vocalist, she a strong performer – I think this will do well with the jury’s. Unfortunately performing last is not the ultimate place to win from so I don’t think we’ll be heading off to Yerevan next year, but if Iveta can perform tonight and tomorrow night as she has done in this rehearsal, there should be a very respectable finish for Armenia. Let’s hope the flag incident from the semi final doesn’t go against her.
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 the Grand Final which will be brought to you by Roy. Thank you and good evening.
Author: Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source: Eurovision Ireland
All Photos courtesy of Eurovision.tv
Thomas Hanses (EBU)