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ESC 2019

Sweden - 2nd rehearsal

Eran on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:47

After a very good first rehearsal, the expectations from John Lundvik are high. I'm getting more and more convinced the arrangement was mixed for the performance, to give it an extra oomph. Camera work focuses a lot on John's face, and rightfully so. I think this wasn't as strong as the first rehearsal. There was a problem in the backing vocalists' balance and John seems distracted.
The 2nd attempt was better. There was a point where smoke covers the stage, and the LED projector makes it look like John drowning in a golden sandstorm.

Denmark - 2nd rehearsal

Eran on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:21

The Danish staging is basically the same as it was in the first round. Leonora climbs the ladder to the big chair. Her two backing vocalists now wear black shirts, with white collards and see-through sleeves. The male dancers wear black and white as well. It's a happy go lucky song, that might benefit from performing right after Romania.

Romania - 2nd rehearsal

Eran on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:07

Ester Peony is back. The rehearsal stays the same. Her dancers start off on the catwalks and work themselves to center stage. The vocals are good, she's a pro, but the harsh facial expressions still need to soften a bit, in order to appeal to televoters. The graphics are dark and mysterious. There are also fire pyrotechnics, that contradicts the waters appearing in the background, drowning the scenery in the video art. The flames in the video art at the end of the song with the pyrotechnics are a bit much in my opinion

Latvia - 2nd rehearsal

Eran on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 10:35

Carousel took the stage. Sabīne wears her hair down and now wears a green hat, it pops on a stage that is mostly in black and white. They got rid of the bright yellow in the video art, it is now much more subtle sunset gold, which adds to the American vibe this song has. The video art then has a big red sun coming up from the bottom of the screen, which actually blends with the song narrative about a woman waiting for her loved one until the sunrise.

Switzerland - 2nd rehearsal

Eran on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 10:10

Luca Hänni apparently feels much better. He's back on stage, hoping to make just as good as a rehearsal he had last time. This is so slick, it looks like a video. Camera work is perfect; dynamic, yet so solid and consistent. The color of red rules the stage, and the flickering lights in the video art make the dancers bounce even more. Luca sounds good, considering all the choreography he has to do.

Moldova - 2nd rehearsal

Eran on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 10:00

Anna Odobescu is taking the stage. Moldovan delegation surprised everybody with their first rehearsal featuring the sand artist Kseniya Simonova. This rehearsal starts off wrong when it seems the camera work doesn't work... it's completely static. Only later it works out, only to go completely blank, so they have to stop the rehearsal in the middle.
On the 2nd attempt, it works. The stage is mostly dark with a light that focuses on Anna. There are a lot of long shots so we can see the Kseniya's work with the snow (apparently it's not sand). Her work also being screened on the LED floor. Anna still needs to work on the way she pronounces the words "Stay" and "Way".

Ireland - 2nd rehearsal

Eran on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 09:29

Sarah McTernan is now on stage. Another strong rehearsal for this song. They're sticking with the same routine, and I think it works for them. Additional things I noticed: The video art has now more effects in it, mostly vivid colors bursting from the center outwards. The diner bar is rotating and the backing dancers spin Sarah on the last chorus. This looks a lot like a typical X Factor performance. Will it work in Ireland's favor? The vocal performance wasn't accurate and Sarah missed a few queues.

Armenia - 2nd rehearsal

Eran on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 08:59

It's now time for the 2nd semi-final 2nd rehearsal. Srbuk, the Armenian entrant, who will open this semi, hets on stage. She has changed her outfit and hair; she has now silver shoulder pads, which give a sense of movement when she dances. She also wears braids. At the c part climax, there's a graphic of glass breaking. At one point she finds it hard to find her place on stage but recovered quickly. This song will suffer from being first in the running order and will struggle to qualify in my opinion.

Dinner with Eatwith

Maxim_T on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 09:22

Yesterday, on May 10th, the ESCKAZ team was invited to attend a very special event "Eurovision Special Feast" which turned out to be very atmospheric dinner organized by the very hospitable local hosts Keren & Yael with the help of the Eatwith program. We thank Hila from Blender PR for the invitation to attend the event for free, as the regular price of the dinner was 312 NIS = 80 EUR. It was really a one-time opportunity, authentic experience of hospitality in local Israelis home.


Dinner for more than 20 guests was held in a modern loft with a veranda, offering breathtaking views of the night Tel Aviv. Right from the very beginning, friendly hosts treated their guests with various cheese and vegetable snacks, their own homemade liver pate and wine. We were pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere around us, as people completely unfamiliar with each other communicated as old friends and in every possible way supported conversations on various topics.

The hosts of this evening were very much inspired by us and our stories about Eurovision, and promised to consult us on the compilation of their future Eurovision playlist. They also told that they are not very enthusiastic about the entry of Kobi Marimi, the representative of Israel this year.

After meeting the guests in a relaxed atmosphere and a glass of wine on the veranda, everyone was invited to a large table, where the first courses were already waiting for us.

We were fed homemade bread with sesame, to which 5 types of additives were offered at once, ranging from ground tomatoes in olive oil and beets with cheese to the most delicious garlic paste.

After that, beef seasoned with delicate cheese sauce with nuts, stewed cabbage stuffed with cheese, steam fish balls with vegetables and sauce, melted cheese wrapped in grape leaves, eggplant with feta cheese and nuts were served on the table. The hosts actively offered their guests various alcoholic beverages, for example, red and white wine, vodka (which we were somewhat surprised with).

During a short break, we managed to get acquainted with one interesting guest who was born in Russia, since childhood she lived in a suburb of Riga, and in the mid-70s she moved with her parents, first to Israel, and then to New York, where she now lives with her husband and two sons. At this dinner, they were with the whole family. We learned that her husband was actually from Moldova, and they met in Israel. Adult sons (25 and 29 years old) feel their affection for Israel, so the youngest is now in Israel with a charitable mission, within the framework of which he helps children of killed and wounded soldiers to cope with the psychological shock.

At the table next to us was a married couple from Switzerland, who now live in Israel. During our conversations with them, we decided to inquire about their opinion about the representative of Switzerland, Luca Hänni. It turned out that they do not particularly follow Eurovision, but the name of Luca was familiar to them. As we learned, our companion grew up and went to school in Switzerland with father of Luca Hänni, which made us wonderfully surprised. It turned out that they were very close and practical inseparable friends during their stay in Switzerland. Our companions were very happy and proud of their friend and Luca.

San Marino - 2nd rehearsal

Eran on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 08:39

Serhat takes the stage for his 2nd rehearsal. Maybe this grew up on me, but it looked and sounded more endearing. The team with Serhat on stage is very professional, both the dancers and the backing singers. The video art is upgraded with more elements being added to it, including on the LED floor. Letters are flowing in pink and the video art really makes the stage looks huge. When Serhat counting down in Turkish, the words in Turkish appear on the screen. It's nice to see it since Turkey has a long Eurovision heritage, and we all miss it. With all that being said, I don't see a lot of chances of this qualifying to the final.