Performance starts with projections on the face of Bilal, then he walks to the front of the stage. There are lyrics displayed on screens. Plus size model - Ballet dancer appears on stage. I think it is a great idea to involve her. Another dancer who is doing sign language translation appears on the stage and interacts with Bilal, who then quickly moves across the stage and dances, in the end, all three artists join together in the central stage. This will really do well.
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The rehearsal starts with a shot on Bilal's face wearing a mask. It screens different faces on the mask. Bilal steps to the center stage (without the mask by now) and so does a "real size" dancer, who gets a lot of applause from the press. A second dancer joins in later. Bilal is dancing with them separately and then together. The video art colors are purple and gold, which goes along great with Bilal and co's white outfit. The beat of the new arrangement is smart, cause it made for a "show". Bilal is not accurate all of the time vocally but sounds fair throughout most of the performance.
9. United Kingdom
Postcard: Rather aptly SuRie goes tea-picking before enjoying a nice brew. Some of these postcards are perfectly suited to the artists and their countries.
Performance: Complete with her stage prop, SuRie shines and brings the song to life. It may even trouble the top of the second half of the scoreboard based on this performance.
Postcard: Sanja and Balkanika team go wine-tasting in Porto. Another appropriate postcard sequence given the group's love of the grape.
Performance: A deserved qualifier from last night, vocally they just keep getting better and better. Reverting back to the initial Nevena Ivanovic-designed costumes they first wore before they were refitted for the semis, they really shine. From the betting odds, it seems it may have come in at 10th place in its semi but it is worthy of a good placing tomorrow night.
Postcard: Another country walk with waterfalls and forests before Michael paraglides.
Performance: Solid all the way vocally. One of the better performers of the Big Five on the scoreboard this year?
Postcard: Eugent takes a gondola-style boat trip.
Performance: Incredible vocal - as always - exactly why he has earned his place in this final. Great song, powerfully delivered. If the contest was judged solely on vocal ability, Albania would be beating their best finish (5th) of 2012.
Postcard: More scenery and a funicular ride for the French duo, before busking.
Performance: Immaculately and simply staged with just enough understatement to see it creep up. Still my tip for the winner and it may pip Cyprus to it just yet. France for the first since 1977? C'est possible...
14. Czech Republic
Postcard: Carnival time for Mikolas Josef.
Performance: Still lacking the gumph that the original acrobatics gave it, it will easily give the Czech Republic their best ever result. A finisher between sixth and eighth, or maybe a little higher on the night depending how it's received.
Postcard: Rasmussen head to a library among other things. Maybe to read up on Viking history...
Performance: The chorus and the chanting coupled with drum beats make this incredibly catchy. Could see it finish top 10, but unlikely to conquer Eurovision as much as the Vikings did Northern Europe all those years ago.
Postcard: A quick rooftop and waltz around Lisbon before some guitar/banjo playing.
Performance: Jessica can relax a bit now after weathering the storm and making it through after much undeserved and unfair criticism in the last week or so. Some lovely vocal adlibs - especially in the second verse - and the vocals will be spot-on come tonight for the juries and tomorrow. A top-ten finish should still be in the offing - especially if she continues to sparkle like this.
France 2nd rehearsal. Turtlenecks, blonde hair, eyes blue like the sea piercing through dry ice towards the lense. Camera has made another step forward today and there are quite a few very nice moments here that show you don't always need to bring the fireworks. #Eurovision
— ESCKAZ Chris (@EsckazChris) May 6, 2018
France and Italy seem to have swapped their rehearsal slots today, so Madame Monsieur is the next act on stage. Very impressive performance, looks very well on screen and Émilie sings great, even though I think especially in the first verses she sounds a little breathy. This could and should do very well and needs no fireworks or projections to get the message across.
In just about 15 minutes the first rehearsal of today will start, which is Armenia.
We start the day with the remaining 4 countries of semi final 1 who will each do their second rehearsal which will be blogged live from the arena like yesterday. The same goes for the first five countries of the second semi-final.
After all these we get to see the first 30 minute-rehearsals from the BIG-5 countries + Portugal. These rehearsals will go on well into the evening, so loads happening today, stay tuned!
Alma is in better form today than for France's first rehearsal, but the staging is still vertigo-inducing, nauseating even.
Requiem is a modern sounding french pop song, but the staging seems very arbitrary to me.
I feel like last year, just a bit more creativity with concept would have helped to do really well on the scoreboard.
At the moment I do not see France aiming for a top10 finish, but I'm keeping open-minded to the idea IF Alma can really carry it alone with an outstanding performance we haven't seen from her so far.
Quite a contrast to see France, that seems to be going for a very simple approach again, right after the UK who went all out with their staging. From afar Alma's dress also looks like a plain dress with polka dots but the screens shows it's actually silver coloured.
It's a pity she's alone on stage as it could transfer the atmosphere of the song a lot better with some dancers. However, there's some great camera work towards the end of the song. In general I really love the backdrop, the only parts I think need to be cut out are those where we see flat buildings flying through the sky as it does not transfer that what we see are buildings.
In the first run her vocal started of quite weak during the first chorus, but later on in the song she improved and the second time sounded very well. The theird run sounds great as well.