Iceland performs 2nd in the first semifinal which is arguably one of the toughest in years so it's fighting an uphill battle. While the song is a nice little ballad it doesn’t leave a mark and could easily be forgotten. Ari is secure and finds the camera enough. There is also dry ice complementing Ari's retro charme.
Ári starts in the dark with the camera turning around him and is wearing a white suit with red accents that make it look very icelandic, as well as a red shirt. The background is blue here as well, turning into red/gold later in the song. On stage he is joined by five backing vocals, it's nice to see them on stage, let's hope that'll happen a lot this year! Vocally - as expected - spotless, but the song remains the question..
Congratulations to the delegations that made it to the final, but more important heartfelt commiserations to all the singers that did not make it to the final. You were all winners and all did an amazing job in front of the crowd and to those watching on television - you can all be very proud of yourselves today.
We hope that you will now all take the time to relax a little and enjoy Kyiv and remember that this is not the end but just the start...
In a few minutes the first dress rehearsal for semi-final one will start and we just heard that the opening act will be done twice. I'm live in the hall where I will keep you continually updated, so please refresh from time to time to read the latest news!
The start is delayed for a few minutes. Spain, Italy and UK will also perform.
And we're off! just 5 minutes later than initially planned We start with women wearing traditional gear and Ukrainian folk music in the background. Then a dancer on stage to be joined by Monatik, who proves to be very versatile: rapping, sing and dancing a very modern song that could've been a nice participating entry. Unfortunately I haven't been able to catch his name yet. I hope to update you on that after we have seen him again.
After the second run his name is not mentioned, but instead he introduces the hosts who are in casual clothes for this rehearsal. Some introductory speeches later the lineup for the semi-final is shown on screen and the voting is explained. No surprises here.
Next: song 1 from Sweden!
Post-card: Stills from Robin and his dancers, rehearsing, motor riding, getting ready to perform.
Performance: The lights seem to flicker a bit in the beginning. First time I notice it, not sure it's meant to be like that. Once again a very solid performance so it's bound to at least qualify and possibly do very well. On the other hand, there is still the issue with the 'OK' sign he makes with his hands that means something different in other countries.
song 2: Georgia:
Postcard: Rehearsing with Anri Jokahdze, running in the park, getting ready to perform and walk on stage (which seems a common thing already for all countries).
Performance: There's a delay in the start of the Georgian performance, so stay tuned! A solid performance by Tamara, who has no need at all to hold back.
song 3: Australia
Postcard: Isaiah in Melbourne and in a car, getting on a stage, watching the stars.
Performance: In the hall Isaiah really seems a bit overshadowed by his own images on the screen. A very good performance again. No further issues here.
song 4: Albania
Postcard:Running, singing with a band, doing sports, working on her dress and making the heart sign with her hands.
Performance: Vocals a bit shaky in the beginning. Only yesterday evening she was going all out in the Euroclub.
The long note is not working completely as it should so she sings it lower to save herself. Will be something to look at tonight and tomorrow evening.
song 5: Belgium
Postcard: Blanche playing the piano, reading, doing press conferences, autographs.
Performance: Blanche wears a different dress now - in black! so her nickname nnow no longer fits her outfit. The black dress is very dark, as the staging is as well. I know the white one was criticised a lot but I prefer it to what she wears now. The high parts near the end still sound very weak. However, a good reception in the hall.
Song 6: Montenegro:
Postcard: Slavko in the park, in a theater.
Performance: The visuals of Slvako while he lays on the floor have changed now. In blue, no more bright pink lipgloss. Looks a lot better and a bit less over the top. Slvako still fills the stage on his own, Could be better vocally. I am quite worried about its chances but I still enjoy this song a lot after a few ballads.
First break: Hosts on stage (minus greenroom host Timur). App mentioned. Timur in the greenroom speaking with who performed.
Song 7: Finland
Postcard: Norma John working/sitting together, walking in a building, shopping sunglasses, playing the piano.
Performance: Dry ice. Looks beautiful at the start. Vocally it seems not as solid as we have heard before. Big applause though.
Iceland has a harder image today, and I think that is the right direction, although some people with traditional views will find the package too edgy now.
Svala is not holding back and gives a confident performance, it's good to see her going with her own taste rather than trying to appeal to a mainstream audience.
I had a few issues with Ukrainian internet since leaving the press centre, so I apologize for the delay of this Day 2 summary.
I just wanted to give you a quick overview which entries stood out the most today in the press centre:
- Armenia won the press centre poll for day 2. It looks modern, sophisticated and professional, and Artsvik performs it really well. My only caveat would be that it lacks a real climax at the moment.
- Moldova received the second highest score. The staging is fun and upbeat, that should certainly help in a semi full of ballads.
- Iceland and Czech Republic the losers of the day based on the press centre poll. But there is still enough time to turn things around. And the press centre has gotten things wrong in the past, so fans of these entries shouldn't lose hope.
We will see what kind of adjustments the delegations will make later this week.
Have a good night and see you tomorrow!