In a few moments, the first dress rehearsal from semifinal 2 will start. It's already past 4 pm (local time in Kyiv), so it should be any minute. Just like last time, this live blog will be continually updated. However, I'm in the press hall now as this way I can be sure to catch all the screens, unlike the hall where the screens are sometimes off because of the lighting effects.
And we're off. The first opening video is the same as on semi-final 1. The hosts get on stage and Timur gets sent off to the green room. Then Vova and Alex play accordion and flute (ESC songs). Singers and dancers join, but the opening act gets cut off so we'll probably start again soon.
The second time is more succesfull and in order not to spoil too much for tomorrow I will just say we get several recent winners in a traditional / Soviet style...
Again there are delays, so hopefully we'll get to the songs soon! First the opening act once more. Then the voting procedure gets explained.
Time for the songs now!
Postcard: Tijana running in the woods, performing, enjoying drinks with friends
Performance: Starts off on a very dark stage. I've heard her do vocally bettter in this week. Lots of shots from a large distance. No reaction in the press hall at all. Silence.
Postcard: Nathan recording, making graffiti
Performance: First seconds completely in the dark. Vocally ok, but not the best we've heard. The dry ice gets a bit much sometimes. Still looks great and relaxed on stage.
3 FYR Macedonia
Postcard: Jana shopping (babyclothes among others.. would it mean something)
Performance: the beginning didn't sound good. Again many wide camera angles, during the chorus we hardly get closeups from Jana at all.
Postcard: Claudia meeting with friends, doing photoshoots that show a lot of Maltese scenery.
Performance: We get the wrong title shown (Romania instead instead of Malta), but we get the right song. Claudia sings very well as always. Not really crazy about how it looks on screen.
Postcard: Ilinca and Alex Florea travelling, biking in the woods.
Performance: Same background, same dresses - looks great. Alex's hair probably hasn't been done yet for today as it hangs down his face. Vocally both sound well. They still have the canons and it seems to go well today.
6. The Netherlands
Postcard: OG3NE shopping, doing some choreography in the clothes store
Performance: one of the girls starts too soon. It all sounds a bit different from other times I've heard them perform. The last part is great though and once again flawless.
A small break here. The hosts announce Hungary and Azerbaijan, but first we go to the greenroom.
Postcard: Joci hanging out with friends.
Performance: It sounds like Joci starts a bit early. A very solid performance but the camera work is not always on point, sometimes it feels like they are rushing to get to the right place.
Postcard: Lisa spending time around town, cooking, singing. She's still/again wearing the red dress from the national final.
Performance: Absolutely amazing, looks great, sounds great
Performance: First part sounds ok vocally. The screens are all very dark. The only light then is Brendan's shirt and the balloon. For the second part it lights up. The backings are very well heard.
10 San Marino
Postcard: Amongst other things - footage from when they were in Amsterdam!
Performance: Valentina now wears a white/silver top which looks better than all the dark clothes from earlier. Vocally and visually still solid.
Postcard: Jacques walking around town, on a market.
Performance: Sounds ok, but it seems like Jacques is saving his voice. Still looks great on stage but it's also one that people may not take too seriously.
Postcard: JOWST in traditionally inspired clothes on the country side. Nice for a change!
Performance: still nice graphics, no changes from other rehearsals. It sounds like JOWST gets to use the vocal samples after all.
Postcard: images from the video
Performance: Miruna still in her yellow dress, she's standing not exactly in the right place as her face is not the middle of the sun. Vocally some days of rest seem to have done her well, but she's not going for it 100% today. . The golden background during the bridge looks better than the strange yellow/golden combination during most of the song.
Many songs in a row, so time for a small break.
Performance: No changes here, still very cheerful, looks great on the screens, lots of interactions between Ksenia and Artyom.
Two contenders back to back then..
Postcard: Images of Kristian at sights in Sofia, with his dog, celebrating his birthday
Performance: Vocally spot on. On screen the visuals look great now. Very strong.
Postcard: Fusedmarc performing and walking around town
Performance: Vocally strong, but comes across very stragely on stage. I still wonder how much first time viewers will appreciate this song. Viktorija sings the bridge a bit differently this time.
Postcard: Playing tennis, doing a sky dive
Performance: Laura starts off well, but already during the first verse her vocals get shaky. Koit sounds a bit nasal sometimes. Very catchy song.
Postcard: Imri working out and performing. Toasting with friends.
Performance: Strong visuals for the first part of the song, also vocally good, but this is all before the challenging uptempo parts start. The backings also bring pyro, first high notes go well. The rest of the performance is also more than decent.
Hosts in the backroom, but we get now the performances from the three direct finalists that will be recorded in the jury final. Clips will be shown in the actual semi-final as yesterday happened.
Gernerally a great backdrop and beautiful visuals, but during the first chorus the flying flat buildings unfortunately haven't disappeared yet. Vocally Alma gives a good performance.
Great first seconds on screen still. Takes long before the singer is really visible on stage. No change in the outfit, would've liked that as anyone who read my previous comments could guess.
Ukraine: Zhenya sounds very strong today and the vvisuals are dark, but fitting for this song. The glitter clothes are gone thankfully. There are some silent parts in the song, I think that it will not be that silent on the 13th as the host audience will go mad. Yet I miss some kind of climax in this song.
After these three acts back to the greenroom, where the hosts open the voting lines.
We get a recap, and after that the video from Verka Serduchka (from semi 1) continues.
Then the hosts talk with guests in the hall.
More of the usual, green room talk, another recap.
Then the interval act, a Ukrainian dance performance.
After speaking with the direct finalists and showing their performances, it's time for results.