Eurovision 2017 – Day 13 Jury Final Rehearsal Grand Final LIVE ROLLING BLOG – START 2100 CET- JUST REFRESH
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You can follow our LIVE BLOG HERE – You know the drill by now. Just refresh the page for our live updates. We start at 2100CET. You will be taken care of by John. So if you want an honest opinion of how the rehearsals are going then tune in here. Some other members of the team could be chiming in from time to time.
So this is the ‘other’ show that matters. As you will know, the juries across Europe (and Australia) will judge the songs based on tonight’s performances. So if you’re a participant reading this blog, my advice is make it count.
The show opens with a bunch of children throwing beads (as per the logo) that bounce around the country, spreading happiness wherever they land. They end up at the venue.
We’re in the arena now, and treated to views of flashing lights and lots of drumming. The acts get introduced, obviously in the running order set out below apart from Ukraine’s O.Torvald being introduced last. The accompanying music is a little 1980s travelogue stylee. Cheers for all the acts, although some cheers are louder than others.
Our hosts all look very dapper. They’re in a variety of dark and/or sparkly jackets. They refer to Jamala as ‘mighty’. They remind us that there are viewers in the USA and China, among other places.
We get a reminder that [tomorrow] viewers can’t vote until they’ve heard all the songs. So on to the songs…
The Running Order is as Follows
This is slick as slick and choreographed to within an inch of its life. He doesn’t hit any bad notes, and winks to the camera at appropriate places. It’s a great way to start the contest (although not the song I would have picked). It does the job, and kicks us off nicely. Not a winner I think, as it falls to early.
A complete contrast (which is what the organisers obviously want). Kasia seems to have an issue with her hair. I personally have an issue with the tenuous rhyming of the lyric. I suppose it does move along, more plodding than bouncing and it could be argued that it’s a long three minutes. The dreaded second spot is a sure fire sign this won’t win, but as we know, a large diaspora vote can boost any song. The press centre seems to like it too.
Naviband exude happy-go-luckiness and everyone is immediately into the spirit of things. It’s already making me smile too, and I’m not totally sure of the full lyric. Vocally it’s all very good, and the shots of the crowd show them clapping along. My only criticism is that the ‘hovercraft’ staging perhaps restricts them too much. It’s great, and will only be hampered by this early draw.
More effective staging. And more white. Nathan’s vocal sounds better than last night in the arena. There’s a point where he feels his crescent moon to find a handhold, and he had less trouble than last night. He carries this off very well, although there’s a high note at the end he doesn’t quite reach. Maybe he’s holding back for the televoters tomorrow night. Still, not a bad try.
Artsvik likes a dry-icy atmosphere giving this a very moody look. She’s vocally sound, but some of the hand actions from her pals on stage distract me a little. I know it’s meant to be symbolic but just plays to what some commentators insist happen for every song. It’s very good and could still do something in the voting.
6. The Netherlands
Talking of distractions, the lovely O’G3NE have quite revealing outfits that hold your gaze (one of them in particular). I personally had this song as a little dated, but there’s nothing wrong with the vocal here. It’s optimistic and harmonises very well. If the voters want a typically structured song, then this is the one for them. And it gets a decent round of applause from the press centre. A dark horse perhaps?
And now, a short break reminding us we can contact our hosts using Twitter. Before onto…
It’s fun time here in Kyiv with a jolly song that, in my mind, will not win. However, it’sd bouncy and the perfect for Epic Sax Guy. As you’ll know the three backing singers have dresses that morph into wedding dresses. Although one of them doesn’t quite morph properly. They do carry on. It’s OK, but I don’t think the juries will go for it, and wouldn’t have even if the dress change had have worked.
Back to a non-English song – a good thing in my book. Joci has a violinist on the satellite stage, and she’s milking her part for all she’s worth. Joci himself seems a little nervous in parts. However once the rap kicks in, he seems to come into his own. I personally love this music and the whole stage show really draws me in. It gets a thumbs up from me. Maybe not a winner.
Lots of applause from the press centre before Francesco even starts singing. He starts well, but there seems to be something missing. It could be the backing track isn’t quite at the right pitch. However, he’s a consummate performer and still carries this off very well. If it does win, the clincher will be the “Namaste, Allez” moment when the cameras switch to the audience and the lights briefly go up. Its still in with a strong chance. It’s maybe Italy’s to lose.
Anja attacks this song. She needs to as I still think it’s a bit too formulaic. Pretty girl, wind machine, tried-and-tested structure. It’s safe, I’ll grant you, but safe doesn’t win. Her vocal is OK and she hits the notes she means to hit. And yet, it’s Emmelie de Forest part two. It’s been done.
A good song sung well doesn’t need gimmicks. It just needs a gifted performer like Salvador. I got goosebumps. The press centre completely stopped what it was doing for three minutes. He couldn’t have done that any better. Our second contender to win. And what a popular win it would be.
Before the next song, our hosts visit the crowd and talk to some of them. Some even try to sing in tune. And fail. Best get to the next song…
From the sublime etc etc… Dihaj is in her chalk-stained lift writhing around. I can sort of see the appeal but can’t get my head around the horse-headed man on the step ladder. Every millisecond of this song has been planned to perfection, but I think Dihaj has trouble with some of the notes. It might get the mischievous votes (from both juries and televoters) but it’s a little too progressive to win.
I still don’t get this song at all. It’s already had the mischievous vote, so it’s about time the luck ran out. I’ve said elsewhere that it’s performances like this that give the contest the joke label it’s always trying to shake off. A proper duet will have worked, but in this schizophrenic fashion just does nothing for me. Does it have any redeeming features? Well there’s the duel between the violin and ‘cello. Vocally, it’s OK, but the other things detract completely. We’re laughing at you Jacques, not with you.
Isaiah is a very good balladeer. However that’s about as far as this goes. The staging is a little too grey for my liking and it’s lost by the time we get the pyros. He did miss a few notes at the end which also may have lost him points. There are better ballads than this, and that will be the downfall of the song. It’s by far not the worst song of the night.
Before the next song, Timur tours the Green Room getting some bon mots from the artists that have already performed. Then we have to ‘pull’ our hands together for the next song…
I’m not sure whether Demy hit all the right notes here. There also seems to be an inconsistent mix between her and her [off-stage] backing vocalists. Her dancers are very ‘progressive’ too, almost to the point of being off-putting. As a stage show, I’ll give Greece a reasonable review. It’s not a winner though.
Manel is another happy-go-lucky character, so much so that he has his back to the camera for part of the song. It’s therefore already lost me. For redeeming features, I can only look at the vivid backdrop. The song is repetitive repetitive and doesn’t say ‘vote for me’. It smacks more of interval act at a major song competition. He even doesn’t quite hit all the right notes. This could end up dead last.
I was pleasantly surprised to see this here. It’s highly contemporary and has everything that Spain didn’t. A catchy tune that isn’t too repetitive repetitive, with a decent beat and an air of mystery from Mr JOWST. Vocally is sound although perhaps a little shouty. Not a bad effort.
Before the next song is a brief word from two hosts before a little film. They meet Måns Sell-me-love. He challenges them to do a good job, before training them in a rather maniacal manner. He tries to break their spirit, the little scamp. Anyway, onto more songs…
18. United Kingdom
There’s nothing wrong with this. Lucie interacts well with the camera, the vocal is strong and sound. The camera-work, erm, works too. As a ballad, this is one of the best of the night. It may not win but it should pick up a large amount of jury votes.
After a classy ballad, Hoving takes us through his little acrobatic act that is choreographed as much as any song tonight. He misses a few notes. Not crucial ones, but enough to notice. This might appeal to televoters due to it’s beaty nature and his Peter André style looks. It’s no winner though.
I expected this song to close the contest. I realize it’s a bit gimmicky, but it’s not as contrived as others and all the little extra touches seem to work. It’s another one of those songs you can’t look away from as you’re never quite sure what will happen next. On the downside, I’m still not quite seen the significance of the silver cannons, and not all of the notes are perfectly hit. As a fun song, it ticks all the boxes though.
This song has gone up in my estimations since I arrived in Kyiv. It’s not a winner by any means, but there’s an optimistic tip to it which might appeal. Yes, it’s also formulaic, but Levina sells it very well. There’s perhaps a little too much silver and white light that catches you unawares. It’s OK.
Before the next song, we get a plug for Eurovision Choir of the Year. It’s a new event and the first show will be broadcast from Riga soon. Stay tuned for more about this when we get it.
As a home entry, this is good. It’s the only one of its genre here tonight, and O.Torvald are immensely popular in these parts (see our recent interview with them for more). It’s dramatic, powerful and has the giant geometric head on stage. Vocally it’s good and the general staging is very effective. It might be a it too marmite for the voters of Europe to vote for in droves, but I’d like to see it do well.
Blanche still looks in pain, and I was really surprised when this qualified. It needs her dressed less formally and she needs to be more dynamic. She also looks in pain and slightly emotionless. Her voice goes a little shouty in places and I really don’t get how this qualified. It ain’t a winner.
More banter between two of the hosts. They need to get a room…
More inch-perfect choreography here. I somehow think that if you take away the treadmills this would be a little lacking. There seems to be a little wobble in the vocal at times and the posing at various points seem a little too contrived. We all know Sweden can do so much better than this, and I suspect this has already picked up votes simply because it’s Sweden.
Back on track with a very classy song from teenager Kristian. The press centre went silent for only the second time tonight. He hits every note and the slightly-quirky-in-places camera work only enhances matters. Even the effects that are added which the arena crowd don’t see work perfectly. This has earned its place as one of the few possible winners tonight.
Alma has a nice huge backdrop of a Parisian cityscape to assist her. I can’t argue with the general tempo going off here. However there are few notes missed, and I still think this needs to be entirely in French. That’s probably because I first heard it entirely in French, which of course your average televoter won’t. In addition, it seems very wordy and hard work. The draw has conspired against France too. It’s OK, but might be accidentally way down the finishing order.
With all the songs over, it’s time for variety. In the arena, it’s none other than…
Verka Serduchka. And her mother. She starts the vote. Then we get the usual recaps of all the 26 songs.
Next on is a certain Ruslana. She’s performing ‘It’s magical’.
Another recap of the songs.
Next on is a traditional band who have combined with an electronica band. We get those long Alpen horn type instruments, combined with keyboards, among other things. Its your typical interval act fare. It’s quite jolly and happy-clappy. And does go on a bit.
We now get a fake interview (I think) rehearsing for tomorrow night. It might be a plug for a new outlet for Eurovision merchandise.
Next on is a plug for Junior Eurovision. We see Mariam Mamadashvili from Georgia. She won JESC last November in Malta. The next JESC is on 26 November in Tbilisi.
Another recap of the songs.
Jamala is on next. She was actually in concert at the Palats Sportu in central Kyiv earlier this evening, so must have run to get here to perform tonight.
We’re going to wrap up the blog now. You know how the rest of the show will work. There will be 42 sets of jury votes, with their spokespeople bigging up their parts as much as they can. Then there will be the combined televote. And then we get a winner.
Enjoy the show tomorrow!
So there we have it folks hope you enjoyed. Tune in again at 21.00 CET tomorrow on Eurovision.tv or on your local channels to watch the Grand Final live. May the best song win as long as it’s your favourite.
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Author: Andrew Main/John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland
All Photos courtesy of Eurovision.tv
Photo: Thomas Hanses
Photo: Andres Putting
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