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ESC 2015

Semifinal results

Andy on Sun, 05/24/2015 - 00:57

01 Russia 182
02 Belgium 149
03 Estonia 105
04 Georgia 98
05 Romania 89
06 Greece 81
07 Armenia 77
08 Hungary 67
09 Serbia 63
10 Albania 62
11 Moldova 41
12 Belarus 39
13 Denmark 33
14 The Netherlands 33
15 Macedonia 28
16 Finland 13

01 Sweden 217
02 Latvia 155
03 Israel 151
04 Norway 123
05 Slovenia 92
06 Cyprus 87
07 Lithuania 67
08 Poland 57
09 Montenegro 57
10 Azerbaijan 53
11 Malta 43
12 Ireland 35
13 Czech Republic 33
14 Portugal 19
15 Iceland 14
16 San Marino 11
17 Switzerland 4

Stift Klosterneuburg

Andy on Sat, 05/23/2015 - 21:11

ESCKAZ team today has visited Stift Klosterneuburg (Klosterneuburg Abbey) which was free with Vienna Pass offered to the press by ESC organizers.

Klosterneuburg Monastery is a twelfth-century Augustinian monastery of the Roman Catholic Church located in the town of Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria. It was founded in 1114 by Saint Leopold III of Babenberg, the patron saint of Austria, and his second wife Agnes of Germany.

The abbey church, dedicated the Nativity of Mary (Maria Geburt), was consecrated in 1136 and later remodeled in the Baroque style in the seventeenth century. The impressive monastery complex was mostly constructed between 1730 and 1834. Its foundations, including a castle tower and a Gothic chapel, date back to the twelfth century. Other older buildings still extant within the complex include the chapel of 1318 with Saint Leopold's tomb.

Klosterneuburg Monastery contains the Verduner Altar, made in 1181 by Nicholas of Verdun. Its three parts comprise 45 gilded copper plates modeled on Byzantine paragons, similar to the Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral. The monastery also contains a museum with a collection of Gothic and Baroque sculpture and a gallery of paintings, including fifteen panel paintings by Rueland Frueauf from 1505, four Passion paintings from the backside of the Verduner Altar from 1331, and the Babenberg genealogical tree /Wikipedia

We took a sacral tour, which lasted for about an hour and included German speaking guide and audio commentary available at different languages including Russian and English.

It included a very short visit to the Collegiate Church with one of the most important organs in Europe (which was unfortunately closed and we could just see insides from the glass walls), the Leopold chapel with the grave of St. Leopold, the world-famous Verdun Altar, the seven-branched candlestick of Agnes and art treasures of the 14th and 15th centuries.

Monastery also contains great shop (highly recommended, so many great religious and other things, souvenirs and memorabilia and Cafe (not recommended).

It was a final and very pleasant sightseeing during our stay in Austria.

You can read more on the website: http://www.stift-klosterneuburg.at/en
Guided tours: http://www.stift-klosterneuburg.at/tourismus/fuehrungsangebot/

So after our little journey into the Irish wilds for a wedding and a vote......

It's time to predict this Eurovision thing and nail our colours to the mast

Still calling Sweden but hot on Mans tails are Russia, Italy and Azerbaijan

I think Polina Gagarina could still do this, and hoping for a really exciting finish to the show later tonight....

Top ballad may well go to Poland now, but other contenders could well be Cyprus, Greece and Estonia.....

but to be brutally hints we have no idea at this point and would not be surprised to see some random winner like Belgium :-D

UPD - Jury Final Dress Rehearsal

We are about to start watching Jury Final Dress Rehearsal.

The show starts with Conchita emerging form a box singing her new song. She’s dressed in a bright pink jumpsuit. The three hosts of the Eurovision are singing as well.
Conchita is literary flying from the Green room across the Arena and she finishes her trip on the stage accompanies by children’s chore. A rap singer joins the singers.

The Arena is packed with people. The hosts welcome everyone, audience is clapping. Conchita is announcing each country and they head to the stage through a corridor from the Green room. All countries from Slovenia to Italy are all together on stage.

The organizers of the Eurovision produced a nice interactice video clip of how we Build Bridges.

All singers are backstage already, Slovenia is getting ready to perform. The hosts are explaning the ways you can vote for your favorites. Now there is an option to vote via official Eurovision app.

1. Greeting card from SLOVENIA. Maraaya are horse riding in the country side.
Nice show opener, very confident on stage. But I think it’s a bit plain on stage for people to remember their performance at the end. I would say it reaches top-12.

2. FRENCH postcard. Lisa transformed to Alice in the Wonderland. Gorgeous!
Amazing voice, staging, special effects, atmosphere, everything. Every small detail has been thought over. A usual viewer needs to be prepared for such a serious song to understand it. I think some would count it as a boring one. Pay more attenction to it, please, she deserves to be in top 10.

3. ISRAEL. To my mind, it’s the only one party song this year. Without even noticing, I start dancing and singing together with Nadav although I don’t like the song. The team did a great performance, you can check his first rehearsal and you will see a great change and improvement.

4. ESTONIA is skating along a beautiful lake in their postcard. Estonian balad sounds good after a movy Israel. I like the staging a lot, the idea about the doors. The only thing, Elina has to overcome her stress and perform as confident as she did during her previous performances.

5. Electro Velvet are doing mysterious triks. Yout have to see UK postcard . I like the song a lot, it’s a distinctive one. Before the Eurovision actually started it was one of my favorites. Now, I changed my mind as soon as I saw the staging. It looks to me like a bad parody for a musical. What is more, I don’t like Bianca’s dress, it makes her look bigger on stage. They will be somewhere between 20-27...

6. ARMENIA. I like the staging and the idea about families and nations from different continents but I don’t like the overall performance. It sounds to me as if I’m listening to several songs, not a one.

7. LITHUANIA’s performance is fresh and catchy, especially because of the kiss and performing after Armenia mostly. Their emotions are natural and sincere. Although many people like it, I’m afraid it won’t get in top 10.

8. SERNBIAn Bojana is showing us a very strong performance, she’s very confident and she knows what she’s doing. Unfortunately, I think her song might be lost in bright and colourfull Lithuania and white and pure Norway.

9. NORWAY is a fairytale and each girl dreams about such a fairytale. It’s beautiful performance that deserves a high ranking. To my mind it will be in top 10.

Interval act. The hosts are standing in the fan zone reminding the audience about the importance of voting.

10. Sweden SWEDEN is an absolute favorite this year. It's a great TV performance, but you can see nothing what is going on the stage. It's empty and mostly occupied by camera men. Personally, I wouldn't vote for Mans but many will. So, top 5 for sure.

11. I’ve no idea what Cyprus is doing in the final. I heard today that somebody loves it a lot and I don’t understand how it is possible to choose Cyprus from that many very bright performances. Sorry Cyprus but you took somebody else place. But it's a good preperation for Australia.

12. Everything about AUSTRALI is very American and it stands out a lot. I like their performance and the voters will remember it but not that many will vote for Australia, right? Best of luck Guy!

13. BELGIUM. I cannot be objective when commenting on Loic’s performance. He’s been my favorite from the beginning and since then I haven’t changed my mind. I’m mostly impressed by the fact that he did everything for his performance himself. He probably won’t be the winner, but in top 3, I hope.

14. The Makemakes from AUSTRIA are very atmospheric if I can say so. It’s a nice song to sing with friends, it evokes many emotions of yours. The fire in the piano makes it more memorable but not enough to be in top 10, I think.

Interval act. Conchita is giving advice to The Makemakes - to shave!. It's a great advice :) Conchita is revieling that last yeat it wasn't her first time participating in Eurovision. She was one of the backing vocals for a 2008 enty.

15. Impressive and beautiful performance from GREECE will probable by in top 15. There is nothing very outstanding especially being right in the middle of the show.

16. MONTENEGRO sent a true professional and a great artist. The performance hardly changed from the first rehearsal. It's motives are recognizable but still not good enough to win. So, somewhere in between 12 and 20, I imagine.

17. GERMANY reminds me lot of Lena in 2010 and Switzerland this year. I prefer Melanie Rene more that Ann Sophie. Switzerland is more mysterious, to my mind. It’s captivating and involving. You want to move straight away. So, #21, may be?

18. I suspect that Monika from POLAND made it on Thursday maily because of being the last one performing. And I also think she has more potential for a better song. So, #25....

19. LATVIA. Aminata is my favorite so, I might be wrong in judging but she deserves to be in top 10. The voice, the song itself, the staging, the special effects. I want to listen to her live over and over. Goose bumps every time I hear the song.

20. ROMANIA. Well, the idea behind the song is new and interesting. I apriciate a lot that Voltaj is singign in Romanian. But it doesn't make a winner, not even my favorite. So, place 22-27?

21. I have a suspicion that SPAIN decided to use every sing possibility to use as many effects and tricks as possible. Too many things are going on the stage. But I believe she has a strong voice. Sorry, Spain, but you probably will be one of the last ones.

22. HUNGARY. Boggie has a good intention behind her song and her activity during the promo tour before the Eurovision. But it is soo boring, sorry Boggie lovers. And again we see the Universe, the whole world. How many more similar performances this year?

23. GEORGIA. At long last we can listen to something tensed and overwhelming. It’s a good position for Ninna performing after Romania, Spain and Hungary. I hope she gets in top 11 :)

24. I can’t stop watching AZERBAIJAN's show. It definitely looks and sounds much better than Sweden. Please, people of the World, don’t kill me for such a comparison, but I really feel like that!

25. RUSSIA would be perfect for the show closing, it would leave special feelings. Now, it's surrounded by 4!!! very strong songs and I think it's very difficult to make it through. Polina now won't be neither #1 nor #2. I guess she's in top 10.

26. Despite many controversies about ALBANIA I must admit that she improved a lot since the semi-final. It is now an absolutely different performance – the dress change and the performance concept even may be. It now sounds less aggressive. I won;t be surprised if she happens to be in top 15 at least.

27. ITALIAN Il Volo is an absolute winner of this year even though I don't like it as much as some other singers. Very confident and strong performance. Being the last ones to perform makes them winners. And they definitely deserve it.

Italy leaves such an impression that you don't want to listen to other songs. I came up with this idea when they started repeating all the songs to remind all of them to the voters. I think there is no doubt about this year’s winner. But I will vote for #13 as many times as possible !!!! :)

Before the fake voting we are entertained by orchestra playing different types of music for us.

And the draw.....

Well three of the big hitters, Russian, Azerbaijan and Italy are all at the end now, but Sweden stands out on it's own in the middle, but being next to Norway and Australia may finish off any chance that Sweden have of victory now

Slovenia starting the show is great, but like Sweden this may hurt their chance of pulling off the win of the century!!!

So can Italy do this now??? Will we be in Roma next year??? Well I for one, simply because it is one of my favourite cities in the world, sincerely hope so, but watch out for Germany who will do much better than predicted, Estonia singing from Sertab's wining slot, and Albania potentially giving some go the big hitters a run for their money!!!!

Happy rehearsal day to all involved

We're off to the a Wedding to forget all about Eurovision for the day and Daniel is going to vote in the Irish referendum.....

See you back in Austria some point tomorrow!