Hungary

Grand Final - Dress Rehearsal - Part Three - Songs Seventeen to Twenty-Six

17. Finland
Postcard: It's a day on the golf course for the Finn femme.
Performance: Saara belts it out and the staging continues to enhance the song. Probably the best climax of the final due to her stage dive before being caught by her dancers...even though it always looks worryingly as if she might be dropped.

18. Bulgaria
Postcard: It's a tram ride for Equinox and then the downtown viewing point in Lisbon.
Performance: As can so often be the case with five-piece groups in this contest, it seems it's more a case of competing rather than synchronisation. Strong vocally but what was seen as a top-three certainty may just be a top-ten finish now. Having said that...

19. Moldova
Postcard: A little bit more sightseeing
Performance: A light, fun song with very entertaining staging (if a little slapstick), this may see Moldova trouble the top five for the second year running. Certainly ranks in many people's favourites this year due to the cabaret feel of it all. DoReDos dos what they dos best.

20. Sweden
Postcard: It's off to the farm to make some cheese for Benjamin...no reflection on Swedish pop music of course...
Performance: The lighting is impressive and Benjamin glides effortlessly through the performance, as vocally smooth as it gets. More than likely another top five result for the Eurovision powerhouse. If it weren't for Cyprus, Israel and France this may have just sneaked it...

21. Hungary
Postcard: Chocolate making and a wander about for the hard rock AWS boys.
Performance: If Sweden, which precedes it, is smooth and refined, this would be its antithesis. Rough rocking it as much as you like, AWS really take the decibel level up to like it has never been seen before at Eurovision. The sreeches and screams and pyrotechnics would scare Lordy away any day of the week. Given the fact that it differs to everything else in the contest this year and the band's energy on stage, expect a solid finish for it - top ten in all likelihood.

22. Israel
Postcard: A Lisbon rooftop DJ set for Netta (and a few eager facial expressions too).
Performance: This could be a talking point from the first rehearsal. Netta's mike seemed to be set into the off position for the intro and the first verse. We were expecting a re-run but no such thing happened. The so-long favourite, now relegated to second place on the list, has it experienced an Italy-style YouTube burn out? If it does, it won't be anything near as dramatic and probably still not wise to bet against it. A top three shoe-in but will it win?

23. The Netherlands
Postcard: Just as well Waylon wasn't waylaid in his semi and came out tenth - he was tasked with baking the pastel de natas (custard tarts in a filoux-style pastry and Portugal's signature sweet).
Performance: His first time on-stage before proving the Dutch (and much of the) media wrong, Waylon isn't likely to get anywhere near to the highs of 2014 but perhaps sitting somewhere between 10th and 15th may suit him fine.

24. Ireland
Postcard: It's a walk along the beach and deep-sea diving for Ryan.
Performance: Well, it's the luck of the Irish for the draw. Really the only out-and-out ballad in the second half, its understatement may stand out and take them to a slightly higher finishing place than expected when it qualified on Tuesday. The market is certainly hotting up for it.

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:

Second rehearsal Hungary

Desiree on Sat, 05/05/2018 - 14:33

Very mixed feelings for me on this one. I was just thinking that I'm still warming up to this song despite the last extremely loud part with the grunting and the choir getting lost. Well, the last thing was not noticed so much in the hall, the first thing is still there, I will never like it I think.. but the band is very convincing and confident on stage and put on a great show. The biggest 'but' for me now after this rehearsal is the massive amount of pyros that at some point more look like a celebration and don't go well with the emotional message of the song..

Hungary first rehearsal

Desiree on Wed, 05/02/2018 - 12:17

Hungary's the last country to rehearse before the lunch break. The lead singer, , seems to have issues with his sound yet as he regularly points at his ear pieces.

The band makes great use of the stage with both bridges and the front catwalk included. The lighting is mostly yellow / gold and the staging is as expected, just the band on stage, no-nonsense. At the instrumental part one of the guitarists does some crowd surfing, which is not always caught on camera.

Unfortunately - but expected as well - the choir at the last chorus gets lost. Quite a good reaction in the press hall for this rehearsal, personally I'm still not sure what to really think as the song is not my genre at all.

Hungary second rehearsal

Desiree on Sat, 05/06/2017 - 08:36

Joci Pápai is on stage now for a second rehearsal. It all sounds and looks very solid and it is nice to have some ethnical songs as they are in a very small minority this year. The only thing that strikes me as less fortunate here is that the screens don't make clear why Joci has a milk can on a stand next to him. In the hall we can see that during the first instrumental break he drums on it, but the camera then mostly focuses on the violinist and the dancer, with Joci seen in the background, so the first time viewer probably won't notice him at that moment.

Two possible solutions: either get the milk can away (don't think it adds value to the performance) or show better why it is on stage.
(Update: on the second run I did see Joci playing the 'drums' clearly - they may have picked up on it or I missed it in the first run as the screens with the feed in the hall go on and off).

Some words on the backings - they're still in gold with silvery/white doves shown on them, looks really nice. Just before the rap the dance features pyro.

Day 3 Review

ChrisB on Tue, 05/02/2017 - 17:45

Here's my day 3 review:

The big winners of 1st half 2nd semi for me today were:

- Romania.
This is an easy one. The overall package is much more fun than what we have seen in the Romanian National Final.
What they can improve: More camera focus on Ilinca as Alex takes too much space at the moment.

- Denmark.
Just a superb performer in every run through. I can not believe how well she handles the camera interaction.
What they can improve: Change her outfit so it fits better to the color scheme of the backdrop.

The losers of today:

There weren't any losers today. Serbia did not get a lot of love from the press centre, but it was early morning and I have praised for them for the current and clean look of their staging.

So congratulations to all delegations today! Good job!