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#ESC18: Semi-Final 2, Dress Rehearsal 1 – #JoinUs from 14:00 GMT/15:00 CET for the #LiveBlog

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After what can only be described as a bloodbath of the first semi-final, where there was always going to be some shock results, I am here with coverage of the first Dress Rehearsal for Semi-Final 2.

You can follow the LIVE BLOG HERE – as always just refresh the page from 14:00 GMT/15:00 CET for all the updates throughout the afternoon. from eurovision.tv.

Refresh from 14:00 GMT/15:00 CET

Today sees the first Dress Rehearsal of Semi-Final 2 after Semi Final 1 took place last night – did we mention Ireland qualified???

Good afternoon Europe and welcome to your #LiveBlog for Dress Rehearsal 1 of the second Semi Final!!!

Just like the first Semi-Final, the hosts are in some outfits, usually only seen on a Saturday finale evening! The hosts introduce each other to the audience and then teach everyone how to say hello in Portuguese.

Norway

Song number 1500 in Eurovision history is here! Visually, this is more of a treat for the television viewer, rather than the audience member with all the CGI fun throughout. There is no denying this is a memorable song that sticks in your head. Alexander shows how he doesn’t need his violin to get through a performance. The way the results went last night, Norway looks like the one to beat.

Romania

I feel the start of the song lacks some emotion in the performance that we may have previously seen. Once the tempo gets more rocky, The Humans seem to notch up a gear in terms of performance. This needs to be there from the start though.

Serbia

From an uptempo start, we come to a bit of a slow balkan number. Sadly this is not only stuck in the 1990’s of Eurovision old, but it disappears in your memory quite easily after Norway and Romania. It deserves to qualify for its ethnicity, but the votes may not come in. For this performance, it’s missing a live orchestra, something no longer permitted. It’ll be a tough one, but they impress the juries tonight, they may have a chance.

San Marino

And on to the novelty act of the Semi-Final. The first message from the robot is “Size Doesn’t Matter”, followed by “Sometimes” once the board is flipped over. Jessika and Jenifer give a competent performance which is nothing more than fun. I’d like to see this through to the final for the same reason – it’s fun – but I’m not sure where the vote will come from.

Denmark

Rasmussen are back for their first Dress Rehearsal and are maintaining the high quality performances they have given throughout this fortnight. While it is summer, this performance will certainly give you a chill for three minutes with their atmospheric portrayal. Games Of Thrones fans will vote for this in their droves. A finalist for sure and possibly an accidental winner.

Russia

Yulia is elevated more to make it obvious she is in a wheelchair. The camera pays more attention to her too, even if the dancers are in the foreground. The dancers now move onto the cat walk for the end. They have rehearsed the socks off this and may have a chance of qualification now. Qualification may still be slim.

COMMERCIAL BREAK/GREEN ROOM

Moldova

This will mesmerise anyone who has yet to witness “My Lucky Day”. The mechanics around the routine has everyone intrigued and I for one would love to know how it is done – so many people at home will have the same thought. Could we be heading to another new host country next year…

The Netherlands

Interesting fact – it’s the first time leopard print has ever been worn at the Eurovision Song Contest. Everything works so well throughout the first verse and chorus – then the bizarre dancing kicks in once again. Waylon could easily carry out the performance on his own without additional bodies because he has that personality. It should qualify.

Australia

Jessica Mauboy has come and delivered this afternoon. The movements are much more natural and the vocal harmonies are amazing. Jessica can be seen visibly enjoying herself too – possibly the first time I’ve personally seen that. Deliever the performance like this for the juries and the tv viewers tomorrow, it’ll be a qualifier.

Georgia

Are the lads going to save the Causcaus region in terms of having a participating country in this year’s final? I think they will as we are given a simple, yet effective performance that is portrayed very genuinely with emotion. Each rehearsal has been given 110% and this afternoon was no different.

Poland

The screens in the press centre froze for the start of this performance and continue to do so sporadically throughout. For the bits of the performance we’ve seen, vocally there is nothing wrong. Why the dad dancing has been kept in, who knows? One of the few acts to make good use of the whole stage so far. Qualification is possible.

Malta

Christabelle has come and brought a dramatic performance to the stage. The laser lights show adds some amazing 3D effects too. Still having some technical issues here in the Press Centre.

COMMERCIAL BREAK/GREEN ROOM

Hungary

I think the Hungarians have thrown yet more pyrotechnics into the mix. The performance certainly brings the heavy metal element atmosphere into the arena. Personally I’m not a fan and wonder how this will go down with both the juries and televoters. If it qualifies, it’ll be borderline.

Latvia

I think Laura has turned it up a notch. The eye contact with the camera is held throughout. Her hand and armography is more fluid, giving a more polished performance. While Laura has turned it up a notch, she still looks slightly lonely on stage. I can’t see a 100% Baltic representation in the final, unless we experience some shock voting.

Sweden

Press Centre didn’t see this through technical issues.

Montenegro

Vanja gives a strong performance, that like the Serbians is 1990’s esque, but is more competent and isn’t so early on in the running order. I could see this slightly getting into the final.

Slovenia

This is the first time I’ve seen a Slovenian run through. While it is entertaining, the false ‘problem’ mid song and the poor ending makes me think the Slovenians want to be here, but not try hard enough for a place in the final.

Ukraine

If I’m honest, this is a dramatic performance yes, but I see it as a safe won too. It is a good ending to the semi final yes, but isn’t as much as an impact like Cyprus was yesterday. I’m not sure where the Ukrainians would get the votes from for this.

Sweden

Due to a technical issue, Sweden was delayed until the end of the semi-finalists. This is a performance we’ve seen time after time after time. It hasn’t changed since Melodifestivalen and I expect a bit more of a wow factor. It’ll qualify because it’s Sweden.

VOTING OPENS

We now have another delve into the ESC-O-PEDIA

The HOSTS do a little routine to a history of Eurovision songs.

VOTING RECAP

VOTING CLOSED and the HOSTS can’t count down from 10 – such a simple task.

We now have the BLOOPERS from the making of the Postcards.

Time for more PLANET PORTUGAL

France

We have a very dark and mysterious stage/atmosphere for this performance. The dry smoke now has a nice turquoise light shone through it. Vocals are as strong as ever. The whole stage is used. This has potential winner written all over it, as long as the language issue is explained over to the televoters.

Germany

While Michael started off well, he missed a couple of words at the start of the first chorus. This slight mishap hasn’t put Micheal off and he still has another chance to get it right for video recording purposes. Thankfully it’s not for votes.

Italy

The CGI graphics are in full flow throughout this performance. The colours and fonts have been varied a bit more to add a bit of spice to what is a bit of a stale performance most of the time. While it has a strong message, I fear it needs a little bit more enthusiasm added before Friday.

John will be here later on tonight at 20:00 GMT/21:00 CET for the Jury Rehearsal of the second Semi-Final.

Author: Richard Taylor

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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