Eurovision 2016 – Day 12 Jury Rehearsal Grand Final ROLLING BLOG – START 2100 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 21:00CET. You will be taken care of by Roy – 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!!!
Right then, here we are all sat in the the press cavern awaiting the start of what they quaintly call The Jury Final. I was sat in the hall for the earlier run through, and I can tell you that you’re in for a decent show tonight. And if you’re still about for the jury rehearsal I can also reveal that it’s pretty damn exciting – even with nothing at stake.
Right, the credits up up. Eyes down for a full house, we’re ready to roll!
So, we’re having a big techno catwalk affair to introduce the acts. They all looked faintly embarrassed earlier on when they ambled behind the models in their day wear (those who turned up at least), but they’ve got their show faces on and are ready to go – although look out for how awkward Georgia look as they shuffle off stage as quickly as possible…
The Running Order is as Follows
A cracking start to the show, this surprise package in disco clothing was destined to open the show the moment she pulled First Half out of the magic bowl. It’s a bright and breezy beginning to the show, and will have the crowd on their feet and your nan dancing on her sofa. We don’t really want to like this one, but just can’t help ourselves (When I say ‘we’, I mean ‘me’, obv).
2. Czech Republic
This smashing little ballad has bagged an unfortunate spot in the running order – not so much for the traditionally doomed second place, but following as it does a massive party banger, and preceding a long run of slow to mid-tempo tunes. And this is a shame, because she’s a more than capable singer who gives a warm and engaging performance of a sweet-natured song. Shame.
3. The Netherlands
I’ll have to fess up from the off that I really don’t like this lad. He’s smug and rude in real life, and I don’t much care for his song or two-bit pub country style either. But he does perform the legs off it, and it’s pure jury bait in a tin. However, the ill-advised ten second gap just seems awkward, and even the lad himself doesn’t appear to know what do with himself. This would have been one of my old mum’s favourites though, so I can see its appeal despite the fact that it clots my blood with dismay and distaste. The fact that he ad libbed the last line has set the press room ablaze with rule checking, but to be fair, no one really cares away from the bubble.
Now this song has had its detractors, with claims that it’s bought its way to the final flying around the press room, but I fancy that it’s genuinely got here on its own merits. She might be a bit ropy on the vocals, but the chorus is so insistent and hooky that I’ve not been able to get it out of my brain for a month now. This may not seem important to you, but when it comes to the reprise and voting bit it becomes important. And tonight her vocals are more on point, and she’s looking more comfortable with the dancers. I reckon this could easily top half – despite what may commentators reckon.
Freddie’s a safe pair of hands, and his gravel voice and barrel chest has changed little since his first appearance in A Dal. This is good, because it was pretty much the finished article when we first saw it. The drummer still looks a bit silly, mind, but Fred’s every bit as poised and assured as he’s ever been. Shame it’s a bit lost in the stodge of the early line up, as we feel this may have done some business if it was sandwiched between two belters.
I flipping love this song. It’s got that lovely talky thing about it that Italian pop does so well, the lass herself is sweetly enamouring, and the staging is as near perfect as it could be for a simple song, yet colourful and original. Quite how it’ll do at the hands of a continent of televoters is another matter, but it gives me the goosebumps every last time.
I don’t much care for this fella either. he may have a voice of gold and shipful of charisma, but he’s been giving it the full diva operation all week like a star well more deserving of the term. But you can’t knock his powerful delivery, and he certainly offers a welcome addition to the on stage party. The hoop people don’t really add much to the show, but by the time he kicks into the rocky bit and the firework curtain begins to fall even his biggest detractors might be won over. I’ll be interested to see how this does on the night.
How can you hate lovely lovely Poli. From the kick off, her sweet smiley face has you in her grasp, and even a technofied Game Of Thrones sex slave outfit and a bout of comedy knee dancing can’t deflect you from her charms. As we sit here the press centre is singing along to the Bulgarian bit, and we can hear the crowd going nuts for her. I wouldn’t begrudge her a win, to be honest, but I fear she still has her work cut out. I can guarantee we’ll be hearing this at Euroclub for years to come though.
I’ve been feeling this as a potential winner since its first 30 second clip before its MF heat, and up until the last couple of days I’ve been convinced we’re playing winner stays on next year. But there have been so many songs soar up the rating over the last few days that I’m no longer so sure. His understated anti-charisma does it for me every time, and he’ll charm teens and nans alike, who’ll all want to brush his hair and give him a lick wash. As much as I don’t want the expense of coming back here again next year, I really would love it if the least Swedish song of the year took it back to Sweden.
I love everything about the German entry – except for the song. The wee girl has bags of innocent personality and a cracking voice, and her dress sense is right up my street. sadly though she’s been dealt an Rihanna d-side turn down and it never really gets going. There’s a serious chance that this could be one of the first songs announced from the punter vote tomorrow night, which would be a real shame. The twigs and darkness stage show looks ace though, and the lasers are great. I just wish she’d just had a much better song, bless her.
I never ever understood the fuss about this song – until this afternoon’s run through. A bloke who’d been phoning in his performances up to now suddenly developed a personality and somehow became highly likeable. How did that happen? I still it shuffles along aimlessly, and the syncopated off beat is going to make the crowd clap wildly out of time, but I’m not of the opinion that this is a top ten contender. How the heck did that happen?
Have we finally got over the thought that this lad it neither Margaret or Edyta? Good! The fluffy-headed lad belts this most serviceable of male ballads perfectly, and as I type the whole room is singing along to the whoa whoa bits at the top of their lungs. It might be doomed to a lower mid-table fate, but I’m so glad it’s here. So glad that I accidentally deleted his picture – but you know what he looks like!
Oh my days, this went nuclear in the hall last night. What to me appeared to me to be a poorly-pitched stage show that made her look like a fairy sitting on a box of tissues watching Minority Report sent the audience absolutely bonkers – although admittedly there was an awful lot of Aussies in the house. The odds shortened by the second upon her performance, and she’s hit an equally high level of hysteria in the hall tonight. Is it a winner though? You know what, I really don’t know. But she’s going to give it a jolly good go.
I’d had this mob down as a bunch of pub rock chancers who’d lucked into a rocked up G:sson schlager, but there’s a bit more to this little stomper than that. The Swedish chords have almost won the pop lovers over to its charms, and their likeable demeanour oozes through the screen like tiny metallist germs. The cameras are pointing in all the right directions for them, too, so we might see this accessible yet unlikely belter finish higher up the table than you’d ever have imagined. And anyone who’s spent more than a minute in their company will attest that they’d throughly deserve it if they did.
This one always offers you just the right amount of shouty Balkan goodness that you demand of a South East European tune. This game girl might over annunciate terribly, but her antics kind of work with the subject of the song, with the dark invader dancer in the background getting short shrift with his advances. And by the time they all march to the front of the stage and belt out the final bars it feels as though their pure vocal power if going to melt the skin off your face. I can easily see a world where this lass become the next Kaliopi, and I don’t think it’s going to be the last we see of her.
Every night, as his hair gets fluffier, you hope that the added curl resistance makes it more and more difficult for him to land his comedy trampette stunt. Sadly he’s landed it every last time – although he’s come close a few times. Everyone assumes that this came low down in the semi-final listing yesterday, but I get a weird feeling in my water that he did better than any of us expected. It may be decent soaring pop, but it seems a little out of place this year. And did he make the jump this time? Just.
“Hello, who’s that on my phone there?” “Yes, its Barbara Dex, I believe you’ve evoked my spirit again tonight. How’s your frock?” Yep, despite being eaten by her outfits, her girlish voice and friendly smile dragged her through to an unexpected berth in the final. And while that might be her money, the song’s a welcome slice of sweetness before the bisto-flavoured gravy that’s about to follow.
There’s a haunted look in Sergey’s eyes as he slugs his way around this macguffin-packed three minute workout. Is it come with a knowledge of what might happen to him if he doesn’t bring home the bacon? Of course it was inch perfect, but there’s a distinct lack of charm or heart attached to everything about it. Still, Sochi would be nice.
Why oh why does she still insist on that comedy pratfall? It really does wrench the momentum from a pretty decent performance, and is more likely to disarm than astound. This is sad, because she’s great lass with an infectious enthusiasm, and that wobbly leg dance has even stopped annoying me. Oh man she’s a lovely looker too, if you like that kind of thing. I think we’ll still get our first not-entirely embarrassing result for Spain for quite some time.
Another that’s changed little from it’s initial run out in Supernova, it’s really not one that you’d have wanted to tinker with anyway. Aminata’s bassy, minimal beats underpin his unexpectedly bluesy vocal perfectly. He also has the most naturally pink lips I’ve ever seen on on a boy. This ain’t winning, but it’s going to give the Lats another pretty decent result. Which begs the question, will they be able to coax the song’s writer to pen another one next year?
Now I know that there’s a good chance that you won’t get this at all, but for me it’s the most complete song of the year, and the song’s dark lyrical tone really appeals to my inner goth. But I know the theme may not appeal to everyone, and her voice may be an acquired taste, but I’m drawn to near tears every time I watch her. This winning would be an incredible thing – if only to see what the heck Russia sent next year. Expect as Western a location as possible next year if they do bag it, mind. Wow, the hall just went silent for the big note! That never happens! Wowsers!
Despite having friends on the Maltese delegation, I’ve never really bought into this one. But now they’ve binned the lightshow housecoat Ira is able to more naturally prowl the stage like a sexy pregnant cat, and even a slightly pointless dancer can’t detract from her confident performance. That being said, the chorus misses a massive opportunity to be something a bit more bluesy, although the gospelly breakdown gives it a bit more poke. I predict a reasonable but not astounding result for this on the big night.
This one might just be me again, but I do like a bit of late 90s wigout indie pop. They may look like they don’t really want to be there, but by the amount of messages I got from my punk rock mates back home last night they’re wowing the TV irregulars in ways the average Eurovisionista won’t ever fully understand. And when it gets to the pedal-twiddling rock out grooved near the end I’m in hog heaven! It is just me, then, isn’t it.
Young Zoe here seems to stir up reminiscences of Eurovision past among the more senior Eurovision fan, and her bouncy, pop-a-long saccharine soaked confection has been a fave among fankind since day one. I really can’t help loving it for its innocent charm, even though Mrs Roy calls me a sentimental fool for so much as tapping my feet to it. A cracking addition to a pretty strong final nine song run in!
25. United Kingdom
Oh bless. We’re willing this to do well, as the boys are such smashing lads, and this is one of the few bright, breezy, unabashed pop song of the whole 26. But are we able to estimate what makes a good British song any more, or are we just relieved that it isn’t shit? They’re streaming with boyish confidence tonight, and that’s oozing through the screen in the best of ways. Left hand side of the scoreboard? Oh I do hope so!
This song is the best thing that’s every happened for about the first 25 seconds. But when it comes to the drop it leaves you sadly unsatisfied. Still, she belts it out like a trooper, and looks incredible. It’s a cracking way to end the show and leaves us with no clue as to what’s going to happen. So who’s going to win then? Who! Tell me!
The Aftershow and interval business
Hang about, why have Jacobi and Gandalf on a sofa?
Ooh, Timberlake. He’s got no idea where he is or why he’s here!
That four minute compilation of Swedish pop and rock was incredible! How many did you spot? I’d never have believed I’d ever see Ghost at Eurovision!
So we can only assume that Timberlake’s people saw an opportunity to push the new album to more than 50 territories all in one go rather than slogging his way around dozens of local awards shows and X Factor semi-finals. I wonder how much they bought that slot for last week?
Ooh, a short little hello from Junior winner Destiny there. But no song! Boo!
So stay tuned for the singalong history number Love Love Peace Peace tomorrow night, as it’s absolutely heaving with Eurovision in jokes and fleeting cameos. It’s not as good as the song and dance number at the start of last night, but it’s still pretty enjoyable!
I feel alone in the hall in not really much caring for Lynda Woodruff. I didn’t spend 40 years apologising for the Swedish Chef to put up with this kind of latent racialism! 😉
And now for the final part of Nerd Nation. This is much funnier than the previous act…
And now Måns does a couple of songs – on hoverboards. No seriously…
And finally the voting. The new voting. How exciting could it potentially be? Very exciting. Despite out initial reservations, we’re pretty darned happy with it. But we’ll have to wait and see how it goes!
Right then, thanks for reading – we’re off to Euroclub to make fools of ourselves on the dancefloor to old time Turkish dance tunes. It’s been an absolute pleasure. And don’t worry, you’ll have someone more usual typing you out a little tale of songs and showbiz tomorrow.
Author: Roy Delaney
Source: Eurovision Ireland
All Photos courtesy of Eurovision.tv
Thomas Hanses (EBU)