Eurovision 2018

#ESC18: Day 8 Rehearsals – #JoinUs from 10:00 GMT/11:00 CET for the #LiveBlog

Pastel De Nata

Just when you’d thought you’d had your fix of Live Blogs from us this year during the National Final season, we are back for daily Live Blogs from Lisbon – home of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

You can follow the LIVE BLOG HERE – as always just refresh the page from 10:00 GMT/11:00 CET for all the updates throughout the day. Honest opinions about how the rehearsals are going will be delivered to you by John, Richard, Andrew, James and Bogdan today.

The videos you will see on this blog are the official ones taken from eurovision.tv.

Day 8 Rehearsals

Today sees the second rehearsals of the Big 5 and Portugal. The remainder of the second rehearsals continued for the Semi Finalists yesterday.

Hello everyone! We’re sitting patiently and waiting for the rehearsals to begin. Stay tunned, we are here! 😉

10:00-10:20 Portugal

Bogdan: 13 minutes of waiting and we finally have footage, but no sound so far. Claudia Pascoal (feat Isaura) is performing her song “O Jardim” – at least we think she does 😀

We suppose that’s not their outfit, or maybe it is? They are dressed very casual, the staging is simple, but I think that’s the direction they want to go in.

JAMES: Portugal’s song is a quiet affair, understated and musically and vocally simple. While last year it was sublime, this year for me lacks the same golden charm and heart. It’s unlikely to win compared to some of the other more attention grabbing entries, but it’s still a solid effort for our generous hosts.
10:25-10:45 United Kingdom

Richard – SuRie has taken to the stage with a well polished performance. It shows that while fun has been had by all, rehearsals have been taking place outside of the arena’s four walls too. Dry ice/smoke across the stage has been added and this has really added some atmosphere. “Storm” is certainly there is song and scene.

Bogdan: That’s much better that what we’ve seen on the first day of rehearsals! SuRie looks good and sounds good.  She connects with the camera and is believable. I think this year the UK will surprise Europe and Australia and have a better result than the majority expected. A big plus is SuRie’s personality that shows all the way through the performance. A big applause from me!

JAMES: SuRie’s second rehearsal is much stronger than her already good rehearsal from earlier in the week! SuRie connects beautifully with the camera and there are far fewer arena shots, which gives the performance a much more intimate feel. The coloured lights of the tunnel work well, but it would be nice if she walked further down it to follow the camera. Being honest, it does put me in mind slightly of Australia’s performance (which might come in handy come televote time!) Overall, it’s a very competent piece and should score better than the UK have in recent years.
10:50-11:10 Spain

Bogdan: I must admit I’m not a big fan of this entry from Spain, but I’m slowly turning around. They sounded and looked better than on the first rehearsal. This sweet-like-honey performance makes me sing it eventually and I do wish them all the best. Well done for choosing better costumes this time as well!

JAMES: Alfred and Amaia’s rehearsal went well, every note hit, every camera angle connected… and I’m starting to believe there is chemistry there on the part of Amaia. It’s so lovey dovey and sweet that a bitter and vengeful old monster like me can barely stand it. But this is going to get votes – and plenty of them.

11:15-11:35 Germany

Bogdan: Germany hasn’t changed anything about Michael’s performance: the same lyrics on the background, images and spirals that we saw on the first day of rehearsals. One thing is for sure, Michael has a very beautiful voice that can pierce your soul. I would have wished for him to have a more simplified version on the background, but I suppose it could work.

JAMES: The German song is so emotional and heartfelt, my biggest concern with it though is that it is so dark for the first 2/3s of the performance. Only a few words in white and grey photos punctuate what is otherwise Michael wearing black performing against a black background. For the last third, we get a swirling hypnotic vortex that for me is completely out of place and unnecessary for the mood of the song. The splashes of red that follow are much more appropriate. Is it enough to bring Germany more towards the top of the scoreboard? I would have thought so. It’s probably the closest we’ll get to having Ed Sheeren perform at Eurovision!

Richard – You can’t deny Micheal Schulte brings some emotion to the stage during his performance and has a connection with the audience and television viewer. The CGI graphics have been tidied up, but sadly the motion sickness causing patterns are still projected. I can safely say Germany won’t continue their run of last place finishes.
11:40-12:00 France

Bogdan: Mercy, Mercy, my name is Mercy! The singers are in black like in previous rehearsals, connecting with the camera and with the audience. The only concern is whether they will be able to transmit the message of the song to the non – French speaking audience watching. For them it will be a more “thank you, thank you” not a heart-felt song about saving a refugee child from the sea. Let’s hope their message will be delivered.

JAMES: France’s staging is a lot like Madame Monsieur themselves – effortlessly slick and sophisticated. No gimmicks, no bizarre costumes and no questionable dance moves. Just pure voice and magic. The message of the song might be in French, but their conviction and performance will be universally understood and applauded.

Richard – Another confident performance from France and it shows why it is a favourite for the win here in Lisbon. The only issue we have is some of Europe may not understand there are two Merci’s in the song – one meaning Thank You and the other been the name of someone. The language barrier will be the only thing that could harm the winning potential here.

12:05-12:25 Italy

Richard – The Italians have come back with a strong rehearsal. The CGI graphics look like a bit of a set of closing credits of a television programme. The graphics also seem to be brighter too. Could be a dark horse.

Bogdan: Italy is doing the same like in the first day of rehearsal. There are singing on a black and red background and we can see on screen the lyrics in different languages. For me, it is a little bit too crowded, because I do like the song.

JAMES: While France’s message may get lost in translation, Italy are doing their best to make sure that at least snippets of it reach the audience around Europe. It’s a bold idea, not sure entirely if it’ll pay off or just be confusing. That aside, the guys do a fantastic job with the song and it’s performed very well. Winning might be ambitious, but lower Top 10 isn’t entirely impossible from my point of view.

Author: Richard Taylor

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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