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The grand final - first dress rehearsal live blog

Desiree on Fri, 05/12/2017 - 12:51

In about 10 minutes the first dress rehearsal of the grand final will start where we will hear all songs in the new running order for the first time.

Of course I'm here to liveblog it, so stay tuned!

We've started with a 10 minutes delay, as far as I can hear. Unfortunately there's not much I can tell yet about the opening act, as we have no feed from the hall at this moment. Let's hope it changes soon...

OK, so we got to see only a little from it, but I can tell now that we start with all artists being announced and coming on stage.

And we're off to song 1 after a few delays.
1 Israel
Imri was the last to perform yesterday and the first to perform today. He's doing a good job, vocally not completely perfect but after such an exciting night I wouldn't read too much into it.

2 Poland
Kasia seems to be wearing a different dress today, or maybe just a shirt over her dress. It's not very flattering. Vocally she's excellent as always, even though the last notes didn't seem to go quite the way they're meant to.

3 Belarus
Strong, stable performance from NAVIBAND - both seem completely relaxed and still enjoying a lot.

4 Austria
Also Nathan is charming and relaxed as always.

5. Armenia
Great performance, vocally and visually convincing.

6. The Netherlands
At least everyone who wants to vote for the Netherlands doesn't have to remember a new number as they're back on #6... There seemed to be some issues with the camera work now, otherwise excellent performance.

After six songs it's time for a break, very short where the hosts stand on the satellite stage.

7. Moldova
It's still as cheerful and well sung as always, but one of the backings doesn't manage to unveil her skirt . It has happened before, will it happen again?

8. Hungary
Joci Pápai seems to need a bit of time to recover his full vocal strength after yesterday evening. Not a bad performance, but he has done better.

9. Italy
Francesco Gabbani and his gorilla haven't dressed up yet for this rehearsal, but he's showing his full vocal strength now.

10. Denmark
Anja's squeezed in between the two biggest favourites of the night, Italy and Portugal who will be next. She doesn't seem affected by it at all as she delivers as always.

11 Portugal
Salvador's freestyling again! Hand trumpets inclusive.. vocally he sounds great. He knows what he has to do though.. let's see what he does tonight and tomorrow! He mentions at the end that he hopes to resist the urge to sing it differently each time..

A small break again while the stage is set up for Azerbaijan. In the meantime the hosts talk to fans in the hall.

12 Azerbaijan
A strong performance from Dihaj and her backings. The first part in the box still looks great as always.

13 Croatia
Time for our second duo of the evening, well, kind of.. Jacques had to cough before performing, something that would better not happen on the big night, or even tonight in the juryfinal, but after that he starts and performs as if nothing happened. He is saving his voice in the last chorus, avoiding the high notes in the English part of the chorus.

14 Australia
Some days of rest seem to have done well for Isaiah. He gives away a good performance.

Another break, this time in the greenroom and a video to announce the Eurovision Choir of the Year that will take place in Latvia in July this year.

15 Greece
While on Monday and Tuesday Demi didn't sing the high note in the chorus, this time she does. The backing vocals are gone, and no need for them either. During the last part of the song they seem to be there again, but a lot more subtle than before. Good performance.

16 Spain
No changes to this performance. Vocally still a bit shaky from time to time.

Semi final two dress rehearsal - live blog

Desiree on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 14:06

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!

1 Serbia
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.

2 Austria
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.

4 Malta
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.

5. Romania
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.

7. Hungary
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.

8 Denmark
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

9 Ireland
Postcard:
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.

Just a few hours left...

Desiree on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 17:29

Just under three hours left now until the first semi-final really kicks off, and 2,5 hours later we should know who we will see again on Saturday and who will fly home sooner (or stay anyway and just relax here!).

It's getting busy and exciting in the press area already, it's filling up as people are getting ready to go to the hall. I'll be there as well - of course - and can't wait to see how it will all work out.

Yet there's always *some* kind of mixed feelings for me involved, as by the end of this evening every song will have the definite stamp of 'qualifier' or 'non-qualifier', despite each of them working for months for these three minutes. Until now all songs are still possible qualifiers for me - as certain a few countries seem to be in (or out) - shocks happen almost every year.

Good luck to all participants tonight and let Eurovision 2017 begin!