Norway

Grand Final - Dress Rehearsal - Part One - Intro and Songs One to Eight

So here we are after all of last night's drama - the dress rehearsal for Saturday's Grand Final (and of course, tonight's all-important Jury Final).

Intro and reprise

Ana Moura kicks off the show, treating us to some Fado. Salvador Sobral won't be performing his segment today we've been informed, as we are running a little late. Mariza then takes up the Fado reins, with drums and drummers-a-plenty surrounding her.

The flag parade of the 26 finalists is next, with the flag-bearers walking the outer perimeter of the circular stage before the acts move to the Green Room.

Filomena Cautela, Sílvia Alberto, Daniela Ruah and Catarina Furtado then introduce themselves and as standard, briefly explain the voting and display the running order with the graphics for those watching at home.

1. Ukraine
Postcard: Melovin takes a cliff-walk before horse riding.
Performance: Melovin kicks us off lying in his coffin before being released from it as part of the staging spectacular that we so often see from Ukraine. He's in good voice and it makes for an excellent opener while his coffin burns as he sits at the piano. Should be a top 10 finisher.

2. Spain
Postcard: It's a romantic country walk ending with a meal boiled underground in a hot spring for the Spanish duo.
Performance: The staging is classic and Alfred and Amaia are in fine voice. Although it's unlikely to trouble the top 10 on the night, it sounds great in the hall.

3. Slovenia
Postcard: Lea visits the very windswept and grey Azores. Just as well her pink hair was there to brighten up the weather.
Performance: Very much more of the same fantastic vocals and perfectly executed choreography (including THAT "malfunction" break) that saw her make the final last night against the odds and many of the press predictions. The cult of Hvala, ne! is now a Eurovision phenomenon regardless of Lea's overall placing on Saturday night.

4. Lithuania
Postcard: Ieva takes an antique car out on a quick spin down a country road.
Performance: Ieva's delicate vocals shine in the darkness and her husband can give her her first on-stage embrace as a finalist. Outside shot at top 10 possibly but it's likely that its high placing on the betting market is due to a slight skewing from Tuesday's semi-final's voting demographic.

5. Austria
Postcard: Cesar takes a mountain bike ride through small country villages, ending at a viewing point.
Performance: Cesar seems a lot more relaxed now (as is so often the case with many a qualifier). The pressure gone he gives his best vocal performance to date. Austria is unlikely to trouble the top half too much, but solid it is.

6. Estonia
Postcard: A country walk for Elina before a sheer-cliff face rock climb.
Performance: Impeccably delivered and with a mesmerising light show within the dress. Should sit mid-point in the first half of the table come 11pm on Saturday night.

7. Norway
Postcard: Mr Fairytale is given a spraypaint task.
Performance: As professional as slick as we've come to expect from Alexander Rybak, the song without any sort of notable lyric (ironically) and its on-screen graphics, sits early on in the running order but is still likely to put him on the cusp of the top 5 - despite the betting market effectively deserting it as a serious contender overnight.

8. Portugal
Postcard: The girls put a hard day's graft in with the Portuguese Navy.
Performance: Claudia is strong vocally and brings the song to life a lot more than we've seen in previous rehearsals. It may pick up a few thanks-for-having-us votes but something around a 20th-place finish would be my prediction for this one. However, the girls have done the home nation proud.

Now there's a short break before we see songs nine to sixteen performed.

Dress rehearsal 1 - Semi-final 2

Desiree on Wed, 05/09/2018 - 14:29

No time to keep thinking of what happened yesterday as the first dress rehearsal for tomorrow's semi-final is already in full swing! Later on we will fill you in on what happens on the postcards as well..

01 Norway
This is becoming a solid favourite for the win, the performance is slick and it's a cheerful opener. But the question remains how much juries will take this song seriously. Alexander seemed to be saving his voice.

02 Romania
Vocally this is very strong again, but the performance is too theatrical, too kitsch for this song. I will not be surprised if this will be the end of Romania's perfect streak.

03 Serbia
Good performance in this rehearsal, it keeps getting better and better. After Romania I think this has a chance.

04 San Marino
The robots and Jessika and Jenifer as well are back! Size doesn't matter was one of the messages on the cards held by the robot. It may distract from the sometimes weak vocals at the end.

05 Denmark
Another good and solid performance from Rasmussen, really not much to say about this, it looks and sounds very well, no issues at all here.

06 Russia
The vocal arrangements in the chorus seems to have been altered a bit, it sounds a lot more shouty now especially during the long notes. Really hard to predict what will happen here.

Time for a little break now in the greenroom, with a little game with Alexander Rybak among other things..

07 Moldova
Not sounding that great today in the hall, could be that they are saving themselves for tonight. It's still a fun performance though.

08 The Netherlands
Putting Waylon's stage together apparently takes a bit more than the time of the postcards, as just after the postcard we got switched to one of the hosts in the audience for a very awkward conversation that went completely wrong. Let's say "It's just a rehearsal" as San Marino reminded us a few days ago.

Now, to the actual performance. Vocally it sounds really good and it is not completely my genre but I feel we're back to real music after a few weaker songs. There are far less shots of the crumping dance right now, so it looks better. I think there's still a chance for the Netherlands.

09 Australia.
Back to the greenroom again! That's how they fill three extra minutes it seems being this the semi with one song less.
Very strong vocal performance from Jessica. It's one of the few straightforward pop songs and still think this could really have an instant appeal. I do think however that the shots during the bridge where Jessica is dancing are not that great.

10. Georgia
There seemed to be some issues with the sound at the beginning as it started a bit weak. Iriao soon got back on full strength though. With a few of the ethnical entries out from the first semi-final gone it could really stand out in the final if it qualifies, which I hope, as the last part was absolutely beautiful.

11. Poland
Vocally not the best performance. The many pyro fountains and the catchy song might distract from it.

12. Malta
Lots of flames at the beginning of this performance, very strange, likely to be a technical mistake. There seems to have been done a lot of work on the lighting of this song as there are now many laser effects. The light show could get the audience to go for this more than we expect now.

After these 6 songs it's time for another break in the greenroom.

13 Hungary
Those were three very intense minutes - very energetic performance as always and it does stand out.

14. Latvia
Still a very theatrical performance as well even though Laura seems to have toned the hair swinging down a bit and that's only for the better. In the bridge she struggles vocally.

15 Sweden.. or maybe not as we switch to the greenroom and then go to:

Day 6 of rehearsals - it'll be a mixed day!

Desiree on Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:46

In just about 15 minutes the first rehearsal of today will start, which is Armenia.
We start the day with the remaining 4 countries of semi final 1 who will each do their second rehearsal which will be blogged live from the arena like yesterday. The same goes for the first five countries of the second semi-final.

After all these we get to see the first 30 minute-rehearsals from the BIG-5 countries + Portugal. These rehearsals will go on well into the evening, so loads happening today, stay tuned!

Norway first rehearsal

Desiree on Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:26

Alexander Rybak's rehearsal is basically nothing new, it's all what we've seen before. It looks good to go, apart from some obvious sound issues for him - couldn't hear him, but he was fiddling with his ear piece later on in the song.

He's mostly in black apart from a blue jacket that gets thrown off soon. Effective pyro in the last part. It's a love-hate song but will surely get at least a few votes, and maybe a lot more. Good applause here.

Norway First Rehearsal

ChrisB on Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:26

2009 Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak is once again trying to win it all for Norway. His charisma and stagecraft are out of question while his entry “That’s how you write a song” leaves a bit to be desired. Nonetheless it’s great to see such an energetic performer to be back on the stage in Lisbon!
The staging is as before in mgp. On-screen graphics, dancers, cheeky family fun.

Miss and Mister ESCKAZ 2017 Award ceremony

Andy on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 08:45

As usual, during the Red Carpet event ESCKAZ has announced winners of it's top prize. For the first time award was given back in 2005 in Kyiv and interestingly to Omar Naber's backing vocalist Teja Saksida.

Miss ESCKAZ 2017 Viktorija Ivanovskaja, Fusedmarc, Lithuania
Mister ESCKAZ 2017 Aleksander Walmann, JOWST, Norway

Special mention: Best Red Carpet outfit - Kseniya Zhuk, NAVIBAND, Belarus

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