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.

The deeper look into Eurovision world

AidaK on Mon, 05/07/2018 - 21:26

Not many know that Eurovision is not just about music, show and fan gossiping around and waving flags of their favorite countries.
From year to year the contest becomes a very popular object of scientific research. This year, a three-day-conference on different research topics with academic presentations, professional expertise roundtables and keynote speakers takes place at the Eurocafe.

First day – May 7th – Gender (de)constructions in Song Contests

The subject of the first day of the conference dealt with the female role in Song Contests using the example of the national Portuguese final Festival da Canção hosted by RTP.
Three former participants – Isabel Campelo, Joana Espadinha and Susana Guerra (known as Suzy) – shared their experiences working in a very male dominated business.
As keynote speaker Pilar Guillén Marco from the University of Valencia introduced her research on the development of female identities being presented during the history of the contest.
Unluckily, only very few people found their way to the Eurocafe. So we hope, you are going to join tomorrow.

Second day – May 8th – Young Academics Science Slam

Tomorrow, a group of young researcher will present their academic projects.

1. For sure, you are aware of large number of tourists walking down the narrow streets of Lisbon attracted by the Eurovision Song Contest. Carla Figueira will speak about Fan Tourism, Nation and City Branding in this year’s host city.

2. Even if politic issues are officially not allowed at the Eurovision Song Contest, the political dimension of the competition can’t be denied and is one of highly researched subjects. Ricardo Rios will introduce his thesis on the Nagoro-Karabakh’s Conflict and its effects on the Eurovision Song Contest.

3. Laura Ortiz Montero looks into the organization in charge of the show and describe the contest’s structure “beyond the show”.

4. The conference’s host – Sofia Vieira Lopes will introduce the concept of “Lusifonia” which came up after Salvador Sobral’s victory last year at the Eurovision Song Contest.

5. However, members of ESCKAZ researches as well! When you want to know, why some countries keep losing or succeeding in the Eurovision Song Contest, I would like to invite you to my presentation on strategic marketing at the contest.

Third day – May 9th – Professionals’ Expertise

Finally on Wednesday you’ll get the chance to ask Eurovision professionals all about the contest you always wanted to know. There will be Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling (Head of the Reference Group ESC), Thomas Schreiber (Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf), Thomas G:son (Composer of various ESC entries), Mihkel Mattisen and Timo Vendt (Authors of Estonian entry ESC 2018), Alon Amir (Former head of Press of the Israeli Delegation), Vasyl Myroshnychenko (CFC Consulting, consultor on various Ukrainian entrys),Thorsten Keller (News editor) and Ricardo Duarte (editor of www.dezassete.pt).

To complete the conference two keynotes - one with the title “Musicking in Eurovision: Sites and Sounds” by Ivan Raykoff and the second about postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest by Dean Vuletic - will be held at the end of the day.

There is so much about Eurovision you even has been thinking about and It is worth getting to know new aspects of our favorite show!

EuroClub opening ceremony

Another tradition Eurovision location is Euroclub, which opened last night at 11pm (Lisbon time). It’s located at Praça do Comércio in Millennium club. Euroclub this year have two different spots: terrace and 2-leveled dance floor. This year’s Euroclub is three-times smaller than last year’s but this one looks more like a club, and not like exhibition centre.

Last night there were artist from Australia and Portugal performing. And the host was Suzy (Portugal 2014). In conclusion, this year’s Euroclub is more “clubish”, real place where you can rest or party like an animal

Portugal first rehearsal

Desiree on Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:37

We start with a mainly dark stage with some spots from behind on Cláudia. . The first part of the performance is mainly shot quite closely to the lead singer. Only in the second chorus when Isaura joins in the cameras zoom out.

Vocally it sounds quite ok but the early draw position (Portugal will perform as #8 in the final) - could harm the chances for a good result.

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!