Eurovision 2017 – Day 3 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 the full team now who all joined our early bird Richard late on Day 1. We have Bogdan(our virgin), James, John, Andrew and perhaps even Phil (from Oneurope). So if you want an honest opinion of how the rehearsals are going then tune in here. All members of the team will dip in and out of the blog unless they are busy filming, interviewing, gossiping, sleeping or just generally being lazy.
Who do we have rehearsing today?
1 – Serbia
ANDREW: First up today is the poppy dance track from Serbia. Tijana and her hot male dancer are all in white. It is a fairly simple presentation but works well for it. The vocals are fine for first thing in the morning. The male dancers moves somewhat distracted me but that is nowhere a criticism. Whether it stands out enough to qualify I am not entirely sure just yet.
RICHARD: Tijana has provided a strong start to semi final 2 in my eyes. She is dressed in a white one piece, while her lonely male backing dancer is also in full white. The male backing dancer however appears after about two minutes, which for me is far too late. Vocally great and stage graphics are also dramatic. Possible qualifier in what is a tough semi final.
JAMES: Tijana seems to be have a few sound issues this morning, which is a shame because when we can hear her she is fantastic! She is incredibly photogenic and commands the stage well, though it does seem a bit lonely there. She is eventually joined by a dancer, but I wonder if it would work better if this happened sooner. Curiously, I’m seeing tones of the performances of A Million Voices and Believe in the staging and lighting, which could be a good omen. I did have the song down as a qualifier though where I originally had it down qualifying in the Top 3, I think it’ll be slightly lower now.
JOHN: Tijana is in sensible white – a top and generous trousers. She’s alone on stage for most of the song, which is not good because I think this needs dancers for all of it. Visually, however, it’s good with a general watery theme about the graphics. The sole dancer is very acrobatic. He’s a little like Ira Losco’s from last year, but dressed like Dima Bilan. As an opener, I can see it qualifying, but I do worry about the lack of dancers in a song like this.
BOGDAN: Tijana did a god job starting the third day of rehearsals. Her vocals were good, but her performance didn’t wow me and the stage looked quite empty, even with the water effects and dancer.
2 – Austria
BOGDAN: Nathan was very charismatic and worked the camera really well. Moon, smiles and clouds. Who wouldn’t like that? I think he’ll get support both from juries and public. Well done Austria!
JAMES: I’ve always thought the Austrian song was a nice little ditty and thought it would probably qualify. But after seeing that first rehearsal – WOW! I’m actually blown away! It’s simple but very memorable with Nathan singing on a silver crescent moon and the camera just loves Nathan – the press centre went all gooey and cheered when he gave us that look 😉 I can see this placing in the Top 10 very easily!
ANDREW: James stole my word WOW. This is so walking on air into the Final. Nathan is so charismatic and looking at his audience directly into the camera. There are intimate moments of loveliness and also walking around the stage. He has a moon crescent with him on stage which he sits and stands on during the performance. Good lighting in the backdrop giving us contrasts between sunrise and sunset. He ends the performance walking onto a clear plastic platform from the crescent moon, expect this to have dry ice by the end. Love it. And it has fog in the final run through.
RICHARD: Austria have nailed this one for me and is running straight into the final. Standing and sitting on a crescent moon, Nathan Trent really is running in the air – especially when he jumps down into a thick fog – doubling up as clouds. He has a good connection with both the camera and will have with the audience. Dressed all in white, while his four backing singers for the final thirty seconds are in blue. Well done Austria!
JOHN: Nathan has been pressing the flesh at various gathering around Europe over the last few weeks, and I think it’s going to pay off. The camera appears to love him, especially as the first views of him singing are very close-up. He’s got a massive sparkly crescent moon on the stage, so it looks a bit Dreamworks logo. That’s not a bad thing. And there’s dry ice! Overall, this is really great. It’s inoffensive, there are no histrionics, and he’s going to appeal to a very wide demographic. It’s qualifying.
3 – FYR Macedonia
RICHARD: Jana has achieved what Blanche failed to do for Belgium. It’s safe to say that Jana wasn’t in her full costume. It starts and ends with black and white graphics, while the second and third quarters are a lot more disco and colourful. Jana sells the sultry behaviour and connects well. A possible qualifier in a tough semi final.
BOGDAN: Jana’s alone on the stage in her green dress. She’s serving lots of sexy moves and flirting with the camera. She still needs though a bit more confidence to sell the song.
JOHN: Jana is in a short green dress and black boots. She’s selling the song well, which we knew she would. She’s working the camera, and how Nathan went for the inoffensive vote, Jana appears to be after a more male vote. There’s nothing wrong with the song as such and it’s a very competent. However, I fear for its chance of qualification. It comes between a song that’s going to sail through to the final, and a performer who, while not having a better song, has the gravitas to sell any song. It might qualify, but I’m not sure what else it can do to guarantee a top 10 finish next Thursday.
JAMES: I love Macedonian music and have always had a soft spot for the country, particularly at Eurovision. After years of disappointment, dare I say it, Macedonia are finally on track to get back to the final. Jana had a bit of strained first run through, but she came back fighting and seemed to enjoy herself a lot more as we got further into the run-throughs. I think for the mood of the song, the sultry dancing and attitude needs to be revved up a bit, but Macedonia certainly have all the ingredients here for a Eurovision scoreboard stormer – Најдоброто од среќа Македонија!
ANDREW: Well first of all I like the song, it is a nice dance track. But I was underwhelmed by the whole performance. Jana looks lost on the stage and tries to add some energy into her movements. Her voice is ok but grates with me just a little as I find it too childlike. She wears a green hotpants outfit. This is borderline for qualifying for me.
4 – Malta
RICHARD: Breathless, that’s how some of us have been left after Cluadia’s rehearsal. It is the best we have seen Breathlessly been performed so far – even from the National Final. Claudia wears a sparkly white dress in front of a deep blue lighting. Simple performance and a possible qualifier.
JAMES: People cheered here when Malta finished their first run through. Words like “gravitas” and “powerful” are being used to describe the staging and the performance. So why am I left so utterly cold and unimpressed? I’ve watched the rehearsals and can barely remember any of it. It left no impression with me and I’m not expecting it to qualify. Sorry Malta.
BOGDAN: Claudia Faniello is alone on the stage in an elegant dress trying to convince us about the drama in her song. Her voice is good but I’m not sure this song will stand out.
JOHN: We all know that Claudia has tried to get here for years, and she’s finally managed it. So good on her. How will she do? It’s a classic ballad that she delivers almost faultlessly. It might be slightly dated and a lesser performer would struggle to carry it off. However, the potentially datedness of the song could be its undoing. I would like it to qualify, partly because of Claudia’s back-story, and partly because it’s been sold so well. As a result, I fear for the song before this even more.
ANDREW: There is no doubting that Claudia is a great singer. Her vocal performance is well nigh faultless and she is delivering the song well. She is in a classic dress with a classic backdrop. But my problem is the song is a bit too old fashioned. This may work against it and in what is a tough semi to get out of it may struggle.
Break for Lunch
5 – Romania
JOHN: This is 26 shades of fun. A bright and fun backdrop, with two singers that gel well together. And we have the new props of the day – glittering cannons. To be fair, I wasn’t sure whether I would like it, but it’s got all the ingredients to get oodles of votes, from the televoters at least. The jurors might get a little snobby about it, but it’s definitely a whole heap of fun.
BOGDAN: So Romania, my home country. That was fun and made me laugh. The vocals were ok, the graphics so cheesy, but I can only hope it will make a positive impression. Toy soldiers, sheeps and cannons. Is that the key for success?
RICHARD: So Romania has brought everything to Kyiv for Yodel It! Animals, Glittercannons, Rainbows, Soldiers – I could just go on and on and on. If this doesn’t gain entry to the top 10 in the final, there is something clearly wrong.
JAMES: Oh wow Romania… you’ve got everything in there but the kitchen sink! It’s a visual assault on the senses and if ever the term “from the sublime to the ridiculous” was fitting for a Eurovision entry… it’s over-the-top, but Alex and Ilinca have fantastic chemistry together. Nothing about “Yodel It!” should work – but boy oh boy does it! This will lap up public votes from across Europe and already got the biggest round of applause today in the press centre! Welcome back Romania 😉
ANDREW: How do you take a song that I detest with a passion and make me clap like a demented seal at the end of it? You do what Romania just presented to us in Kyiv. As the rest of the guys have said this is every possible shades of wackiness. It is like a huge game show gone wrong or its like a child’s wacky video game gone right. Whatever it is it is so many shades of wrong that it is right. That’s how to make people sit up and take notice and who cares if everyone here and at home are creasing themselves with laughter rolling about on the floor, this is how to do memorable. Top 5 in the Semi Final and potential Top 10 in the Final.
6 – The Netherlands
RICHARD: O’G3NE have come to Kyiv with a simple stage performance. Vocally the girls are very competent, however the imagery from the video of the forest is not portrayed on stage – instead we get lyrics from their song. Slightly disappointed admittedly and may struggle after the Glitter Cannons of Romania.
BOGDAN: The girls are vocally amazing and they didn’t do that much on the scene, but I see this song getting points from the jury especially.
JOHN: Here’s a song for those fans of key changes. Our three young ladies have good voices but I can’t help but think ‘Hold on’ by Wilson Phillips when I see this. I like the Wilson Phillips but I’m not really sure whether I like this as much. And as I’m not sure I like this as much, I can’t really see it doing anything. The contrast to the song before is striking, so this could get jury votes. Outside of juries, I can’t see where the votes will come from. Having said all that, it did get a very big round of applause from the press centre, which might be a good sign for the song.
JAMES: Now this has me stumped. Vocally, the Netherlands is probably the strongest set of performers we’ve seen today, but that staging is so uninteresting… at first I couldn’t tell if that was just after the glorious techni-colour spectacle that was Romania, but after a few run-throughs, it does seem to be quite dark and low-key. That’s not a bad thing per say, but I suspect this may struggle to stand out on anything else other than their voices, which is a real shame.
ANDREW: Now I have just fallen in love with these girls, which is difficult for me, they have fantastic vocals harmonies and they sure show this here in Kyiv. It is a very solid jury friendly kinda song and is a huge contrast after the cannon fodder from Romania. If this goes they way I think it will now go this will not help the Netherlands but I am hoping the Juries will strongly help to save this from an early bath next week.
7 – Hungary
ANDREW: Hungary are using the satellite stage. The violin player is standing there. The performance is very similar to the National Final. Joci is in fine voice but needs to connect more with the cameras. The interaction with the dancer helps to lift this up a level. Still think this has enough elements in it to qualify without having a big wow factor.
BOGDAN: Singing in Hungarian is definitly a plus for celebrating diversity. The performance is similar to what we saw in the National Final. It has its charm, but I think he needs to be more confident. For now it could be a border qualifier.
8 – Denmark
BOGDAN: Anja wears a colorful outfit but definitly not the dress for the Semi Final. Her vocals are on point, but the graphics are a bit of a let down (waiting the piro to kick in). She kneels at one point like in a prayer. Will she be safe in the Semi? Will have to see. I see it as a borderline qualifier at the moment. (P.S. It’s only me and Andrew for now as the others are taking interviews).
ANDREW: I love this song and Anja certainly delivers a great vocal performance every time. There is a lack of a dynamic stage show so am anticipating some pyros for the final performance. I still think this is good enough to get to the Final and will stand out between Hungary and Ireland.
9 – Ireland
ANDREW: Ok here we are decision time, do I go all out and be honest or be diplomatic for the sake of Ireland? Well its not as half bad as I was expecting. Brendan starts very slow and quiet and it does build. He looked like he was on a plinth with lights but it turns out he is on a basket under a hot air balloon. The graphics during the performance are nice and adventurous without being too busy. Brendan then goes for the high notes which he hits almost every time. Not a bad rehearsal to be honest but I still fear it has not enough to qualify.
BOGDAN: It was time for our Brendan to take the stage. He has an innocence that you can’t deny. The show presents him under a hot air baloon, surrunded clouds and sea. I was waiting for a wow factor, but maybe will come later on. His vocals were ok and I feel that with a bit of more confidence Ireland could stand a chance for qualifying.
RICHARD: I’m glad to say it was not as car crash as everyone expected. Brendan is seen standing on a basket from a hot air balloon, which is soon revealed. The balloon is positioned on a floor of dry ice as if its floating in the air. I don’t want to make a qualification prediction on this until after his second rehearsal.
JOHN: This is the one we at EI have been waiting for all day. Will Brendan be able to get Ireland back to a final? My honest opinion is that I’m not sure. Brendan has a voice that suits a song like this. I might have an issue with the hot-air balloon that is floating above his head – it seems a bit more suited for JESC. The song has a chance to make it through.
JAMES: Writing for Eurovision Ireland, I feel somewhat honour bound to give Ireland a glowing review. Well, to start with, Brendan is standing under a hot air balloon, apparently drifting across the clouds and mountains. It sounds weird, but if you’re going for being instantly memorable, then it works! Brendan’s vocals are definitely strong, even if he looks and sounds a lot younger than he is. He connects well with the camera/audience at home, which creates quite an intimate atmosphere. A song like this could win Junior Eurovision – and could qualify for Eurovision too.
So there we have it folks the third Day is over and we have seen the first 9 countries in Semi Final 2. The standouts today were Austria by a country mile followed by Romania showing loads of promise. The biggest let down was that some of the songs were on the safe side without pushing the boundaries. Also Ireland gave us the most interesting surprise going up in everyone’s expectations. So come back tomorrow for Day 4 Live Blog same time and same place when we will see the second 9 countries from Semi Final 2.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland