Montenegro 2nd rehearsal didn't have many changes. The guys sounded well and the staging remained the same. They got rid of the loud shout in the middle of the song, which is good, but they still need to find a better way to end the performance; they just dance with each other and it looked very weird, almost like a school play. At the last note, they're holding one of the girls, as if she's about to fall. Rizo was moved to the front at the last shot.
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D Moll dressed all in white, some with nice folk elements on their lapel. The band members walk from different sides of the stage to meet together in the center. The harmonies are not there yet, but we know from their national final performance they can nail it. At one point they all roar together, which was kinda out of context. The color of the stage is gold and purple. Camera work was all over the place, I'm sure they'll get it together in the next rehearsal.
On their second attempt, they sound much better! Camera work still needs to work on.
Now, it's time for our different perspective on what we just saw:
No time to keep thinking of what happened yesterday as the first dress rehearsal for tomorrow's semi-final is already in full swing! Later on we will fill you in on what happens on the postcards as well..
This is becoming a solid favourite for the win, the performance is slick and it's a cheerful opener. But the question remains how much juries will take this song seriously. Alexander seemed to be saving his voice.
Vocally this is very strong again, but the performance is too theatrical, too kitsch for this song. I will not be surprised if this will be the end of Romania's perfect streak.
Good performance in this rehearsal, it keeps getting better and better. After Romania I think this has a chance.
04 San Marino
The robots and Jessika and Jenifer as well are back! Size doesn't matter was one of the messages on the cards held by the robot. It may distract from the sometimes weak vocals at the end.
Another good and solid performance from Rasmussen, really not much to say about this, it looks and sounds very well, no issues at all here.
The vocal arrangements in the chorus seems to have been altered a bit, it sounds a lot more shouty now especially during the long notes. Really hard to predict what will happen here.
Time for a little break now in the greenroom, with a little game with Alexander Rybak among other things..
Not sounding that great today in the hall, could be that they are saving themselves for tonight. It's still a fun performance though.
08 The Netherlands
Putting Waylon's stage together apparently takes a bit more than the time of the postcards, as just after the postcard we got switched to one of the hosts in the audience for a very awkward conversation that went completely wrong. Let's say "It's just a rehearsal" as San Marino reminded us a few days ago.
Now, to the actual performance. Vocally it sounds really good and it is not completely my genre but I feel we're back to real music after a few weaker songs. There are far less shots of the crumping dance right now, so it looks better. I think there's still a chance for the Netherlands.
Back to the greenroom again! That's how they fill three extra minutes it seems being this the semi with one song less.
Very strong vocal performance from Jessica. It's one of the few straightforward pop songs and still think this could really have an instant appeal. I do think however that the shots during the bridge where Jessica is dancing are not that great.
There seemed to be some issues with the sound at the beginning as it started a bit weak. Iriao soon got back on full strength though. With a few of the ethnical entries out from the first semi-final gone it could really stand out in the final if it qualifies, which I hope, as the last part was absolutely beautiful.
Vocally not the best performance. The many pyro fountains and the catchy song might distract from it.
Lots of flames at the beginning of this performance, very strange, likely to be a technical mistake. There seems to have been done a lot of work on the lighting of this song as there are now many laser effects. The light show could get the audience to go for this more than we expect now.
After these 6 songs it's time for another break in the greenroom.
Those were three very intense minutes - very energetic performance as always and it does stand out.
Still a very theatrical performance as well even though Laura seems to have toned the hair swinging down a bit and that's only for the better. In the bridge she struggles vocally.
15 Sweden.. or maybe not as we switch to the greenroom and then go to:
No changes for the Montenegrin rehearsal it seems - there were some sound issues in the last part of the song but generally Vanja sounds great as always. The staging and song are very traditional and Inje is the only real Balkan ballad in this year's lineup. However, there's also Serbia with a slightly more uptempo ethnic entry - would there be place in the final for both of them this year?
Montenegro 1st rehearsal. Strong vocals and classical Balkan drama. Blue glitter wardrobe choice is - interesting. #Eurovision
— ESCKAZ Chris (@EsckazChris) May 2, 2018
The piano is lovely, but it all comes across a bit old-fashioned Balkan ballad. Voters in Serbia and Slovenia will get behind this for sure though.
Next up - Montenegro. Vanja dons a sparkly turquoise and white-collared suit and his backing vocalists (suitably attired in white, feathery ensembles) surround him and a piano sits to the left of the stage as we look at it. Vanja is already on very good form vocally and all around it's a classy, focus-on-song approach. Should follow those Montenegrin entries of a similar vein - Knez and Sergej Ćetković - into the final.
So welcome to rehearsals - day four. We'll be kicking off with Georgia before hearing from Poland, Malta, Hungary, Latvia, Sweden, Montenegro, Slovenia and Ukraine. We'll keep you abreast of all the news as it happens.
Congratulations to the delegations that made it to the final, but more important heartfelt commiserations to all the singers that did not make it to the final. You were all winners and all did an amazing job in front of the crowd and to those watching on television - you can all be very proud of yourselves today.
We hope that you will now all take the time to relax a little and enjoy Kyiv and remember that this is not the end but just the start...
In a few minutes the first dress rehearsal for semi-final one will start and we just heard that the opening act will be done twice. I'm live in the hall where I will keep you continually updated, so please refresh from time to time to read the latest news!
The start is delayed for a few minutes. Spain, Italy and UK will also perform.
And we're off! just 5 minutes later than initially planned We start with women wearing traditional gear and Ukrainian folk music in the background. Then a dancer on stage to be joined by Monatik, who proves to be very versatile: rapping, sing and dancing a very modern song that could've been a nice participating entry. Unfortunately I haven't been able to catch his name yet. I hope to update you on that after we have seen him again.
After the second run his name is not mentioned, but instead he introduces the hosts who are in casual clothes for this rehearsal. Some introductory speeches later the lineup for the semi-final is shown on screen and the voting is explained. No surprises here.
Next: song 1 from Sweden!
Post-card: Stills from Robin and his dancers, rehearsing, motor riding, getting ready to perform.
Performance: The lights seem to flicker a bit in the beginning. First time I notice it, not sure it's meant to be like that. Once again a very solid performance so it's bound to at least qualify and possibly do very well. On the other hand, there is still the issue with the 'OK' sign he makes with his hands that means something different in other countries.
song 2: Georgia:
Postcard: Rehearsing with Anri Jokahdze, running in the park, getting ready to perform and walk on stage (which seems a common thing already for all countries).
Performance: There's a delay in the start of the Georgian performance, so stay tuned! A solid performance by Tamara, who has no need at all to hold back.
song 3: Australia
Postcard: Isaiah in Melbourne and in a car, getting on a stage, watching the stars.
Performance: In the hall Isaiah really seems a bit overshadowed by his own images on the screen. A very good performance again. No further issues here.
song 4: Albania
Postcard:Running, singing with a band, doing sports, working on her dress and making the heart sign with her hands.
Performance: Vocals a bit shaky in the beginning. Only yesterday evening she was going all out in the Euroclub.
The long note is not working completely as it should so she sings it lower to save herself. Will be something to look at tonight and tomorrow evening.
song 5: Belgium
Postcard: Blanche playing the piano, reading, doing press conferences, autographs.
Performance: Blanche wears a different dress now - in black! so her nickname nnow no longer fits her outfit. The black dress is very dark, as the staging is as well. I know the white one was criticised a lot but I prefer it to what she wears now. The high parts near the end still sound very weak. However, a good reception in the hall.
Song 6: Montenegro:
Postcard: Slavko in the park, in a theater.
Performance: The visuals of Slvako while he lays on the floor have changed now. In blue, no more bright pink lipgloss. Looks a lot better and a bit less over the top. Slvako still fills the stage on his own, Could be better vocally. I am quite worried about its chances but I still enjoy this song a lot after a few ballads.
First break: Hosts on stage (minus greenroom host Timur). App mentioned. Timur in the greenroom speaking with who performed.
Song 7: Finland
Postcard: Norma John working/sitting together, walking in a building, shopping sunglasses, playing the piano.
Performance: Dry ice. Looks beautiful at the start. Vocally it seems not as solid as we have heard before. Big applause though.