ESC 2017

Just a few hours left...

Desiree on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 17:29

Just under three hours left now until the first semi-final really kicks off, and 2,5 hours later we should know who we will see again on Saturday and who will fly home sooner (or stay anyway and just relax here!).

It's getting busy and exciting in the press area already, it's filling up as people are getting ready to go to the hall. I'll be there as well - of course - and can't wait to see how it will all work out.

Yet there's always *some* kind of mixed feelings for me involved, as by the end of this evening every song will have the definite stamp of 'qualifier' or 'non-qualifier', despite each of them working for months for these three minutes. Until now all songs are still possible qualifiers for me - as certain a few countries seem to be in (or out) - shocks happen almost every year.

Good luck to all participants tonight and let Eurovision 2017 begin!

Jury Rehearsal Semi-Final 1 - Live Blog

ChrisB on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 19:57

This is the live blog for the Jury Rehearsal of Semi Final 1 on which juries will give their scores.
The blog will be updated throughout the show.

Sweden: Robin sounds better than he has all week. Choreography as slick as usual.

Georgia: Tamara can be very happy with that performance. Flawless vocals, big voice.

Australia: Isaiah with mostly fine vocals, maneuvered himself in trouble with ad-libbing at one point, but recovered quickly.

Albania: Lindita held the long note with ease. Overall solid performance.

Belgium: Just like earlier today Blanche is in good form and looks with determined focus at the camera. Sublime!

Montenegro: Slavko bouncing around the stage, making clear his performance is not only for the juries, but the fans in the hall.

Finland: Very solid performance.

Azerbaijan: Very cool performance, vocals perfect.

Portugal: Salvador using his soft voice like an instrument with precision and passion.

Greece: For juries Demy sings the chorus in lower register and without backing singers. Clever move.

Poland: Kasia with a powerful, flawless, dramatic, even angry, performance.

Moldova: Fun performance. As it has been all week.

Iceland: Svala's hand got stuck in her cape at one point. But it didn't affect her at all. She is a professional!

Czech Republic: Martina can be very happy with that performance. Pitch perfect.

Cyprus: Much better than earlier today. A little out of breath towards the end, understandably.

Armenia: As fierce and professional as she has been all week.

Slovenia: Omar with a solid performance.

Latvia: Triana Park with a good performance getting cheers from the audience.

Greece: Due to 'technical difficulties' Demy gets to perform twice. Chorus in lower register again.

That was our live blog for the jury rehearsal semi final 1.

Semi-final 1 dress rehearsal 1 - live blog from the hall: to be updated!

Desiree on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 13:49

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.

A boat trip on the Dnipro river

Desiree on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 13:31

Today the Kyiv City State Administration organised a boat trip for the attending press the Dnipro. So this morning I went to the Kyiv River Port, just outside the metro station Poshtova Ploshcha (on the blue line, one stop from the Maidan Nezalezhnoshti metro station). It was very early in the morning, especially after last night's Red Carpet event and afterparty in the Euroclub, but I'm very glad I went as the weather was too good to stay in the hotel.

Already when I came out of the metro station I was treated with a beautiful view on the river. The Riverside station itself is also quite an impressive building, but it's currently being renovated so I haven't got a chance to see how it looks inside. Along the river and on the square you have some nice terraces so I can really recommend this spot for a drink and something to eat if you want to relax.

Kyiv City boat trip

It didn't take me long to find the pier from where the boat would leave. As soon as all the gathered press was on board, it was time to take off. First we went past the St. Nicholas Wondermaker on the Water Church, the only church on Europe to be on the water. A beautiful and incredibly small church. From the same place we also had a view on the much higher located St Andrew's Church. This is all situated on the right bank of the city.

Then we took a U-turn and got to see the earlier mentioned Riverside station from the bank, which has a very long Ukrainian flag on it. The backside it not as impressive as the front, but clearly recognizable.
Next we see a lot of green which is the Marinskiy Park where yesterday's red carpet took place.
Past that we see the Friendship of Nations Arch, for the occasion renamed as the Arch of Diversity. Behind it is the huge statue of a woman, the Motherland Monument that was built in 1981 and that you can almost see standing outside the International Exhibition Centre.

Kyiv City boat trip

Kyiv City boat trip

After another U-turn, this time around the Hidropark Island - which is more or less a huge relax area with beaches - nudist included - it didn't take long until we saw a very familiar few - the IEC and the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ - the church many of you will have seen in the press centre and that turns out to be only opened in 2011.

Kyiv City boat trip

Before heading to the press centre where the first dress rehearsal will start in a few minutes, it was time to enjoy the sun for a bit more on the riverside. Thanks to the organization of this boat trip that let us see a bit more of the city!

You can see all the photos here:

Kyiv boat trip

Miss and Mister ESCKAZ 2017 Award ceremony

Andy on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 08:45

As usual, during the Red Carpet event ESCKAZ has announced winners of it's top prize. For the first time award was given back in 2005 in Kyiv and interestingly to Omar Naber's backing vocalist Teja Saksida.

Miss ESCKAZ 2017 Viktorija Ivanovskaja, Fusedmarc, Lithuania
Mister ESCKAZ 2017 Aleksander Walmann, JOWST, Norway

Special mention: Best Red Carpet outfit - Kseniya Zhuk, NAVIBAND, Belarus

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