Polish rehearsal had to be stopped after a few seconds. It seemed the camera work was all over the place. It's also the 2nd rehearsal I noticed they are using the wrong flag, specifically the flag of the country that is to perform afterward. The 2nd attempt was better. There are a lot of zoom in shots on the band members and the camera also cuts to the audience in the part of clapping. I love the song! but will admit it lacks an extra oomph to stand out.
<!— Text ads —>
Poland first rehearsal. The foursome goes on stage with traditional customs in shining red, wearing head-veils and golden crowns. The veils are being removed and the girls are standing on a rotating small stage. The color is mainly red, with white triangles in the video art, showing the girls' images. Have to say I didn't care too much for it, and it's a shame since I really like "Pali się". We saw them live on other occasions and I know they can be amazing. I believe they'll get better. On their second attempt, they already sound much better. Still, I think this might be borderline in terms of qualifying for the final.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
Vocally not the best performance. The many pyro fountains and the catchy song might distract from it.
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.
Those were three very intense minutes - very energetic performance as always and it does stand out.
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:
Poland 1st rehearsal. Pink and blue colour scheme. Vocals okay-ish. Several Gromee close-ups. Nice catwalk segment. #Eurovision
— ESCKAZ Chris (@EsckazChris) May 2, 2018
People in the press centre are a bit underwhelmed, but the vocals got better with every runthrough and I think the package will come to life once there is a crowd in the arena.
Same outfit for Gromee and Lukas Meijer. Gromee stands on a lighted dj table with lights in the same colours as the stage - which is mainly pink but later also white and blue. There are also three backings and a guitarist on stage. Lukas ends his performance on the front catwalk.
Overall this performance reminds me a lot of the Norwegian one from last year - JOWST feat. Aleksander Wahlmann - however vocally Lukas doesn't come close to Aleksander, so the comparison might not be valid for the result this year.
So welcome to rehearsals - day four. We'll be kicking off with Georgia before hearing from Poland, Malta, Hungary, Latvia, Sweden, Montenegro, Slovenia and Ukraine. We'll keep you abreast of all the news as it happens.
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.
Kasia is wearing a white dress - again white in this semi. The backdrop with smoke looks really nice and what I hadn't noticed before is that sometimes the smoke makes figures of animals. The visuals at the end are also good with the word FREEDOM in many languages (I've noticed English obviously, also Spanish, Gaelic and Dutch (yay!) among others).
She's vocally excellent as always - but for me she is still shouting too much. Here in the arena it sounds very angry as well. The new melody line in the chorus is also still there.
Another thing, I really think this song could - or should - be a few seconds shorter - the clapping at the beginning is very strange. Without it, the song could just start with a bang.
Personal taste aside, Poland could do quite well again this year.