Carlotta in black and Laurita in black/yellow stand on different sides of the stage. Their faces are on the background. They start moving to each other on the 2nd verse and meet in the centre corner of the catwalk. In chorus they sing against each other, then they stand back by back and then turn to viewers. They end rehearsal with some rapping.
Germany's S!sters are the last act to go on stage for today. Carlotta and Laurita walking towards each other on the catwalk and meet each other on the 2nd chorus. Their faces appear on the video art and later words like "Sorry" and "Respect" show up on it. The camera work circling them, falling at one point, zoom in on them and then take a shot at the audience. On the last chorus, there are different images of sisters on the screen. There are some things to work on regarding the camera work, the staging seems to be not tight enough.
That's it, we saw all 41 acts rehearse on stage at least once. Can you spot the winner?
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.
On the occasion of Eurovision in Lisbon, the German embassy held a reception in the garden of the Goethe-Institut.
After welcoming words of the Ambassador Helmut Elfenkämper, the Director of the Goethe-Institut of Lisbon Elisabeth Völpel and the Head of German Eurovision Delegation Christoph Pellander, the stage has been opened for Eurovision contestants.
As Portuguese representor Cláudia Pascoal sang her entry “O Jardim” supported by the composer of the song Isaura Santos.
Of course, the main act was the performance of the German participant. He sang the ballad “Collide” from his new album “Hold the Rhythm” and his entry “You Let Me Walk Alone”. As a bonus, Michael performed a medley of “Fly on the Wings of Love” (in Danish), “Satellite” and “Amar Pelos Dois” (in Portuguese).
During a “commercial break” when the audience waited for the next musical surprise, Michael and the host of the German national Final Linda Zervakis were chatting along. However, even if they ran out of topics very soon, Linda and Michael managed the situation by joking around like the hosts of actual Eurovision Song Contest.
The surprise guest was Portuguese fado singer Mariza who performed in a characteristic dramatic way the song “Trigueirinha” (“the darkhaired girl”) from her new album and a classic fado ballade “Quem me dera” (“if only”) accompanied by a Portuguese guitar. Starting her show in a theatric manner by stepping out of the audience Mariza finished it in same way.
It’s not to say if the reception will help Michael Schulte marketing-wise, but the bookmakers already see him making 6th place in the Final. Fingers crossed!
Shortly before the first run of his second rehearsal Michael seems to be a little bit nervous. This is clearly noticeable during the first performing moments. However, he is gaining confidence as the song continues and develops the strength of his voice at its climax.
The show uses private family pictures sent to the artist by the fans. It is a good idea to create a connection to the audience, for sure. But will that intention be recognized by people who don’t follow the coverage on ESC and just switch the TV in the evening of the event?
All in all: Germany delivers a solid performance and a radio ballade on a very personal topic. That could work. Good luck.
The next country is Michael Schulte from Germany. I was quite sceptical about the first rehearsal, so let's see if this second one will feature any changes and/or makes me change my mind by seeing and hearing it live.
There have been no changes to this rehearsal as far as I can see and hear. Michael is wearing black and sounding well in the first run. Still not sure what to think of the visuals in the last part of the song, but the first part beautifully makes clear what the song is about for those who may not speak the English language.
Germany seems to have also brought their own LED wall.
Michael Schulte stands on his own on stage - it's very very dark through most of the song we see white projections on a white wall, showing keywords and images of the song. In the second verse we get to see the pictures sent in by fans.
After the bridge we get psychedelic red-black circles going round which don't fit the song at all. Vocals seem to be better than at the national final, the second time already sounding even better, but I'm afraid I really don't like how it looks on stage.