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Austria First Rehearsal

ChrisB on Tue, 05/02/2017 - 08:59

Nathan is a very charismatic and charming performer. The intro already works as we can immediately connect with Nathan in a close up shot.
The problems for me start when the camera is zooming out and reveals Nathan is sitting on a half-moon-shaped glittery object. Clouds in the backdrop. Not my cup of tea, as I find it just too cheesy. But there is certainly an audience for this.
During the final notes of the song Nathan steps on a glass box. So he is 'running on air' literally.

First Rehearsal Austria

Always a pleasure to be transported to a country far far away in the presence of Austria's pop princess Zoe.

The Austrian team have remained close to the concept used in the national final, but they have decided to reduce the vibrant Barbie pink we saw before. This is much closer to the video concept, featuring the butterflies during the backdrop.

The floor also shows a cobblestoned path, which Zoe uses on the catwalk. It feels like we're being transported to the wonderful world of Oz. The treadmill from the national performance has however been ditched.

She looks stunning in her peach coloured dress, and sounds so sweet. You can tell she's absolutely loving every minute of being on that stage.

Eurovision does love a fairytale/Disney connection, and it would be so lovely to see Austria benefit from this love relationship.

Austria's ready for the 60th Eurovision Song Contest

So here we are, all ready and set up for another fantastic experience at the Eurovision Song contest.

For the second year in a row, I'm back for the ESCKAZ team and totally excited to get you all the scoops in the ESC bubble.

This year, is a different year, the compeitition field is strong, and wide open. And that's how I like it. Just like last year, I'm convinced we're going for another surprise winner. Austria has welcomed us with open arms. A huge press centre's awaiting us with great facilities. So has the reception of the volunteers been, and the humongous press pack we've received. No expense has been saved, from free travel for press to the magnificent stage.

Austria has wanted the contest to return for so long, and now that it has, the whole city and organisation are embracing in the Eurovision sphere, which is only going to build bigger over the next two weeks.

In a couple of minutes time, the first of 40 nations are showing their cards for the first time, and just like them, we're ready to play our favourite game of the year.

Let the Eurovision Song Contest Begin!

Semi Two rehearsals as seen by Keith Mills

After a rather long adventure in getting to the arena this morning, I only just made it for the second run-through of Malta. I am really worried as to how people make it out here and back to the city on the show nights.

MALTA has some lovely backdrops giving an outdoor feel. Firelight are lined up and there are some nice panning shots from the front. It’s vocally perfect, and while I don’t think the photos in the backdrop add anything they aren’t as distracting as I thought they might be. This is very competent and a better show opener than Armenia in the first semi and should qualify pretty easily.

ISRAEL is much stronger than I thought it might be. Mei is a woman of amble thighs and we’re certainly seeing a lot of them in this performance but the semi-oriental staging is fantastic and the choreography is slick but at times not caught properly on camera with too many shot changes. Vocally it’s very strong but something here reminds me of Cyprus 2008 and Bulgaria 2011, neither of which qualified. However with only five songs to beat, this should make the cut. As good as I could have hoped for.

NORWAY is just a perfect contrast to Israel. It’s dark, moody angst-ridden and intense. Carl is good vocally, engages with the camera in a much better way than before and the violinists on the stage pedestal provide some variety of shots. Call me old-fashioned but I’d prefer not to see the tattoo on his arm. I’d prefer more use of the storm cloud motif in the background, but these are all minor quibbles. This should qualify easily.

GEORGIA is not only different from anything today but probably different from anything we’ve ever had in the contest. It reminds me of the folk/prog fusion and bands like Steeleye Span and Jethro Tull from the early 1970s. I’m not a fan of the paracute gimmick but otherwise I really like the staging. The female singer in lurid green is really pushing this up my ranking but I have the feeling that it might just be too different to appeal on just one listening and could lose out on qualifying.

POLAND has gone 100% ethno-pop in the staging and costumes. Cleo looks and sounds great and while I don’t see the point of having two girls doing nothing bar pretending to wash clothes. It’s got a pumping beat and the basic dance moves work very well and while the staging is just too busy in the arena it works on television. I think this benefits hugely from coming after Georgia and it could well qualify.

AUSTRIA is the bloke with a beard wearing a frock that everyone has heard about. The song reminds me of a rejected Bond them from 1974 and the backgrounds has the flame cliché that Azerbaijan didn’t go for. Vocally it’s a little shaky on the chorus and after a 25 second lead in before you see the singer, once you get over the shock value, it becomes rather dull very quickly.

LITHUANIA is another contrast with very minimalist staging and lighting and clever (possibly over-thought) choreography. Vilija is very strong vocally and really looks strong on camera. I could do without the leg wobbles and hands coming through the skirt and the 40 shades of blue staging lacks variety but otherwise I see little wrong with this. This is different and strong enough to sail into the final.


So even though I am starting to get a bit bored with this now it is a flawless performance from Conchita. She just turns it on at the most appropriate time and wows people with her stage prescence, shimmering, moody but not down, and the fire-backdrop lifts this at just the right moment

Success for this totally depends on whether the juries buy it or not....

Winning the televote in the final