Eurovision 2017 – Day 1 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 Richard who is the only member of our team who managed to body swerve the change of rehearsal schedule. 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 arriving during the course of the day but mostly its all me me me me me!!
It’s Richard here and after only a few hours sleep and I’m not exaggerating here, I am coming to you LIVE from the Press Centre to keep you up to date.
Who do we have rehearsing today?
1 – Sweden
We have had one run through so far, but with no sound however. It is exactly as we saw at Melodifestivalen. Starts off backstage, before heading on stage to the travelators. We have the same four backing singers/dancers. They are wearing grey suits with white roll necks. Robin is dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and black tie.
On the third and final run through we had sound! It was a very competent vocal performance and considering he has only rehearsed it once as a whole performance since winning Melodifestivalen, it was a grand opener.
2 – Georgia
Tamara has a strong start. Vocally strong and should be accompanying a James Bond music video. I’m not convinced the full stage outfit has yet been revealed, even though it stated on the rehearsal schedule that full outfit had to be warn. The second run through had a red cape which is removed in a powerful stroke of key change.
3 – Australia
Australia seems to have been missed – hopefully they’ll be on stage after Albania’s rehearsals.
Isaiah takes to the stage after Albania. Like Dami Im sitting on a big cube last year, we have Isaiah on a rotating turntable. Isaiah is wearing a long blue blazer on stage. In the background we have images of him in a red/black colouring combo. Isaiah is alone on stage so the focus is completely on him. The turntable was suppose to be on the satellite stage that was in the original staging design – that was the intimacy with the audience would’ve been there. Camerawork needs working on.
In the final run through, Isaiah was surrounded by a shower of pyrotechnics which really helped to put a fitting end to his performance. Camerawork is better, although still needs to be adjusted here and there.
4 – Albania
Lindita comes on confidently in quite a fluorescent pink jacket, with a white top and blue trouser combination. The stage and background is covered in clocks – referencing time. She is joined on stage by four backing singers. It’s a competent performance, but after following Sweden and Georgia, Lindita doesn’t grab the attention that is desired.
Break for Lunch
5 – Belgium
As expected, there are beams of light – both graphically and physically coming from all sorts of directions. Vocally, Blanche wasn’t great, but this is the first run through and we know she had to withdraw from various preview parties. In a casual pink top and trouser combo, this is clearly not her outfit. I can see how the video can now be transformed across on screen – something I was unsure that could be achieved.
6 – Montenegro
What can I say about Slavko – pure camp! Starting off in one of Petra Mede’s dresses from last year, soon revealed a rather sparkly set of trousers. I’m not really sure that Slavko knew what he was doing himself – but it is something that will catch the eye of everyone viewing, whether it is a positive or negative response. In terms of the background, there is an array of rainbow coloured light beams. Frankly, this is a performance you have to see to believe.
7 – Finland
Norma John come and bring a new element to this semi final – dark, eerie and emotional. In fact after Montenegro, it adds a bit of fresh air to proceedings too. Not much has changed from the national final. Lena is vocally very competent – although confidence is lacking in places. The back projection/lighting of deep blues turns to Red and Black at the end to match the official video.
It’s Andrew here and I have arrived just in time to catch the end of Finland and then the break. I had no sleep whatsoever last night as I decided to stay up because I had an early flight from Scotland. So I may fade rather rapidly today but only two more countries to go then I will be refreshed for Day 2.
8 – Azerbaijan
RICHARD: Well Dihaj has certainly brought some edge to the proceedings. To begin with (while dressed in a pink cloak), she is stood in a blackboard room that eventually falls down. On the walls, there are strong words like sensation and other lyrics from the song. Also stood on the ladder is a man with a horses head. The head is removed to reveal the man near the end. By the end, Dihaj removes her pink cloak to reveal more black – adding a dramatic end to the performance.
ANDREW: Well what a way to start my day of rehearsals to witness the mess that is Azerbaijan. The vocals are way off but to be fair to Dihaj I think its the mix between her and the backing vocals. There is no doubt they are trying to create a performance video on the Eurovision stage. The blackboard room is an interesting concept with all the words scrawled in chalk. The man standing on the ladder with a horses head on brought out guffaws of laughter in the Press Room. I feel it will improve and it is a work in progress. But it has gone down in my estimation for now.
9 – Portugal
JAMES: Hello Eurovision Ireland! JamDan have (at last!) made it into the Press Centre and just in time for Portugal’s first run through! Salvador’s sister Luisa is standing in for his rehearsals as he is saving himself for the big night next Tuesday. Singing from a small satellite stage, my immediate reaction is that Portugal is aiming for quite an intimate performance a la Anouk. It’s difficult to gauge exactly what the performance is going to be like as it’s not Salvador, but with all the hype surrounding this entry from fans, I think it’ll definitely be one to watch!
BOGDAN: Hello readers from me too! Just in time for Luisa’s second rehearsal. She tries to be expressive, but the song doesn’t requiere to much. We’ll be waiting for Salvador’s rendition. Indeed she wrote the song so no one knows the song better than she does. At the moment all goes well like in the Portugal’s selection. Standing at the mike and deliver an emotional peroformance.
RICHARD: Luisa is standing in for Salvador this week’s rehearsals – keeping it in the family! To be honest, we can’t judge this rehearsal without Salvador. The camerawork on the other hand, probably the most flawless of today. It is nice to see satellite stage been used for a performance too.
ANDREW: I just love this song and even with Luisa singing its still sweet. They are only getting the camera angles and shots right for when Salvador comes rolling in next week. The fact she/he is singing entirely on the satellite stage will totally enhance this to within an inch of its life. The effect when you have him surrounded by flag waving fans will be immense.
So there we have it folks the first Day is over and we have seen the first 9 countries in Semi Final 1. The standouts today were Australia and Finland with Portugal showing loads of promise. The biggest let down was Belgium which is proving to not be that much of a surprise really. Also Slavko from Montengro was not gay enough!! Azebaijan was a bit of a titter with the horse head(neigh it wasn’t). So come back tomorrow for Day 2 Live Blog same time and same place when we will see the rest of the countries from Semi Final 1.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland