Eurovision 2017 – Day 7 Second Rehearsals 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. We complete the line up of the Semi Final 2 today.
Who do we have rehearsing today?
1 – The Netherlands
ANDREW: A very solid second rehearsal from the girls. All are in sparkly black dresses. The harmonies are spot on and this is a safe bet for the Final now. No criticism at all well done to The Netherlands.
JOHN: This is a nicely pleasant song from the Dutch. Vocally they’re very good and the stage act is choreographed to within an inch of its life. It’s missing a more imaginative backdrop which go against it. I think it’s a doubtful qualifier. It’s pleasant, but pleasant doesn’t always make the final. And it comes after the bonanza that is Romania.
RICHARD: Nothing has really changed from their first rehearsal. Vocally it is very strong and the added strutting certainly adds that extra bit of attitude. I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t make Top 10.
2 – Hungary
JOHN: Joci is in costume, which is the same as his A Dál outfit. This song is the sort of music I could listen to all day, but I fear for its chances of qualifying. Hungarian is not a language many can understand, which may count against it. Also, there have been several Roma-influenced songs in the past and none have ever qualified for a final. However, I love the ethnicity of it, and even the rapping seems to work for me. And it’s very effectively staged.
RICHARD: As John as said, Joci is in his costume from A Dal. Unfortunately this entry is something that doesn’t grab me. In terms of culture and ethnicity, I would like to see it through to the final for that reason, however if I was voting on my taste, it wouldn’t make it. It’s tough to call.
ANDREW: Well I do like the song and love that its not in English and very ethnic with a bit fiddling and dancing. The presentation is very similar to the National Final and even the rap doesn’t grate too much on my ears. I think it is in with a fair chance of qualifying as it is now more polished and assured through this rehearsal.
3 – Denmark
ANDREW: Anja is in her red dress and looks and sounds great. This is also very confident and on point. The presentation is also fairly slick and this should get plenty votes especially from the juries but will need to get plenty more from the televoters, so for me it should qualify but may be 8-12 place.
JOHN: Anja is giving this her all. She’s dramatic, focussed and knows where the camera is. However, I’m trying to find some more redeeming features for this song and I’m struggling because most of the other songs are also dramatic, focussed and camera-savvy. It doesn’t grab me the way other songs do. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s been done before and each time is less successful. I really can’t see this qualifying.
RICHARD: Anja is back in her red dress after her jumpsuit creation from her first rehearsal. Although this is very competent both vocally and performance, I fear Denmark won’t get the support they need to qualify – considering Australia, Anja’s home country is in the other semi final.
4 – Ireland
ANDREW: Well what to say here. Be diplomatic Andrew I am saying to myself, be positive. Ok Brendan is wearing a nice white jacket /t shirt combo and black trousers, very smart. His voice is assured and he is hitting most of the high notes. Even his low register is polished. The backdrop is quite classy with the neon white outlines. The balloon seems unnecessary but must have some meaning(flying perhaps?) . But the song really very ordinary and forgettable. So taking all that into consideration Ireland have no chance of qualifying. There I was honest.
RICHARD: So as a diplomatic member of the team, I would like to things go Brendan’s way and if they do, it will be down to the juries. What this song is missing, is a gospel choir – unfortunately this would never be possible due to the 6 person rule. I still see Brendan singing at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
JOHN: Brendan is on stage by himself, which is always a very brave thing. The staging looks good with a cloudy sky motif. It’s understated and subtle. The vocal is pretty solid and it might pick up votes if people like something simple, despite the ‘gimmick’ of the hot air balloon. It’s not really a gimmick, more an enhancement. A qualifier? I think it’s one of 10 or so songs competing for five places.
5 – San Marino
RICHARD: Someone described Valentina’s sparkly tracksuit as Vicky Pollard – slightly harsh, but sadly true. Welcome the 1970’s into the 2010’s. This is a much needed breath of fresh air sandwiched between Ireland and Croatia. Fingers crossed we will see Valentina and Jimmie through to the big Saturday show.
JOHN: What a load of fun. Val and Jim are throwing themselves into this. There’s seemingly a bit of chemistry between them too. Val’s outfit consists of a black leather cap at a jaunty angle, a black leather, and leather trousers she’s been poured into that are black at the front and white at the back. He’s just in black, although his sparkly jacket gets discarded towards the end of the song. There’s again nothing wrong with it, but it’s not really a stand-out song. It’s got album track written all over it. I think it will miss the cut.
ANDREW: This is a lively enough number which is well performed by our Val and Jim. With some backing singers to enhance it and it feels lively and fun. This certainly could qualify if things go their way. But it is borderline.
6 – Croatia
ANDREW: Still as barking as the first rehearsal although some of the camera angles have changed. We still get a bit of left face right face changeovers for the change in singing styles. There is no doubt Croatia have enhanced this into a potential qualification and if it did get through I think it would do a lot better in the Final than many suspect. However it has to qualify first which is a tall order.
JOHN: I still don’t get this. We have one singer performing a duet with himself. His outfit is now part evening suit and part leather jacket, to accentuate the two elements to the song. I don’t think that it works. There is the string section duel, where they luckily don’t drop their bows. It will get an ironic vote, possibly from televoters. Jurors won’t like it though.
RICHARD: As I said on Wednesday, this is still a scary spectacular.
7 – Norway
ANDREW: This is completely different to anything else in this competition and this may be a good thing. It sounds great live in the arena but this is a TV show so not sure that will come across at home. It is definitely aimed at the youth vote and that might just be enough for it to get through.
RICHARD: This is highly modern and a great way to attract a new generation of youth to the Eurovision Song Contest. Although this isn’t my ideal style of music, this is just what we will need by this point in the arena during the semi final. There will be eight losers in this semi final and I think it’ll be up to the televoters to get Jowst through.
JOHN: This song has potential, but after the fun and games from Croatia, it might be dead in the water. It moves along really well, with it not quite being rap, and not quite singing. Will it appeal to lots of different demographics? Maybe. The hook is certainly there, and might make it memorable. I’d like to see it through to the final, as it was instant when I first heard it in MGP. The question is whether Croatia will cast a massive shadow over this piece of contemporary-ness.
8 – Switzerland
JOHN: This is the first time we’ve seen all of the Swiss song, and I have to say I’m a little disappointed. The preview video was quite impressive, but it seems to have lost its way. Mirula is stood on what looks like a large roll of toilet paper, with a staircase running around the side of it, naturally. She’s in the most vivid of yellow, which could be canary, primrose, or AA. Her two-piece band are in pale pink, and the two colours don’t seem to gel. It’s a little to middle-of-the-road for me, and might be confused with the Danish entry. I think it’s not a qualifier.
ANDREW: A pleasant enough song that plods along. Mirula has a good voice and wears a feathery canary yellow flowing dress. The band accompany her on stage with various instruments including a grand piano. As to its chances hmmm its a tough one to call but I will err on the side of non qualifier.
RICHARD: Switzerland is across between Big Bird from Sesame Street and a toilet roll holder – well I’m talking about the costume of course. There are one or two spectacular presentation effects, however the original national final performance needs to be brought back in, which is sadly too late. It’s not a grabber for me.
9 – Belarus
ANDREW: I may well be biased in this critique as you can see from which T shirt I am wearing today. This is bouncy and fun and catchy as hell. We have Naviband standing centre stage on a hoverboat amongst heavy fog with lots of images flying by in the backdrop. Both wear lovely white outfits and this is just working so well for me. After a series of medium to mediocre songs this stands out a mile and is literally sailing into the Final on a hoverboat. Go Belarus!!
RICHARD: Well after about an hour, we have a song that has qualification written all over it. Simple yet effective, I can’t really critique it much more from what I did on Wednesday. Loving the hovercraft effect coming away from the landmarks on the back projection – just brilliant.
10 – Bulgaria
RICHARD: Vocally as brilliant as Wednesday afternoon was. Technically, the camera imagery effects adds more to the overall act now and it truly works. The effects we have now are the sort we had during the Italian performance last year. Definitely a top 3 placing is deserved for Kristian Kostov.
ANDREW: Nothing wrong with this at all, vocally perfect and assured. This is oozing with confidence and this should transfer to the audience next week so expect this to qualify easily and possible winner of this Semi Final.
11 – Lithuania
ANDREW: Ok this is not going to the Final. It has a style all to itself and a bit of niche market in style. This is generally not covered by the general or random Eurovision audience. As far as it goes it is presented ok but overall it sounds a bit of a mess to me. If it does not qualify then expect it to finish bottom 3 in this Semi Final.
RICHARD: This came and went without really grasping any attention from me. Plenty of red, but nothing else. I can’t see it progressing anywhere.
12 – Estonia
JOHN: This is a massive improvement on Wednesday. They both look more assured and the nerves seem to have gone. They’re finding their marks, the on/off chemistry seems to be back on track, and that microphone transmitter pack of Laura’s is hidden. I had it as a doubtful qualifier after the first rehearsal, but I now think that this has improved so much it’s easily back in that top 10 next Thursday. My faith in the Estonians is restored.
RICHARD: Koit Toome & Laura have comeback from Wednesday’s rehearsal with a much more polished overall performance. Laura was resting her voice which is completely understandable. Koit has calmed down mixed a few cheeky and sultry looks into the moody faces – and it works. Looking forward to seeing Koit & Laura progress to the final.
ANDREW: This is more like Estonia. One of my favourites has bounced back from the depths of despair to a sure fire qualifier. Laura is holding back on some of the vocals but that is allowed. But the chemistry and confidence is back in bucker loads. So happy now this is sailing to the Final.
13 – Israel
ANDREW: This is also going to sail into the Final. The vocals are not perfect but it is a rehearsal while the performance and dancing is really slick. As long as Imri doesn’t sing like this next Thursday then he is in the Final.
RICHARD: I agree with Andrew in terms of the qualification and his vocals. But needless to say, this is a great way to close what will be a tough semi final for all to qualify from.
JOHN: We finish with Israel and their three minutes of Israeli-song-by-numbers entry. It’s got all of the usual tricks of smooth choreography, side-stepping, people coming and going, and working that camera. It all comes together quite well and it one of the better examples of this sort of thing. Vocally, most the notes are hit (although some are really missed), and it’ll get the crowd bopping along. Being on last helps, as this is a very good draw. On this evidence, Israel is through to the Saturday night final.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland, Videos courtesy of ESCKAZ.