Hello from a rather empty press centre (much of it has gone to the Israeli party - but no need for me, if I want a bite of my native cuisine, every second restaurant in Malmö has it for ridiculously cheap). Unless something shocking happens, I'll report only the songs from this event, as Jonas has already mentioned everything else.
While you wait (and while I watch the Euphoria kids), I'll treat you to the latest ESC-related goat video.
AUSTRIA - The fear in Natália's eyes is obvious to see. The poor thing is shivering too. Vocally she's just fine. Some audience reaction is visible towards the end (a bit of flag waving), but it's not audible.
ESTONIA - Well, this is a more confident one. The first chorus with her in the satellite surrounded by audience looks great on screen. I haven't really rated this before, but she's really selling it.
SLOVENIA - Spotlights are missing Hannah's face for much of the first verse. The press centre went iiiiergh when she tried to hit the first "Straight" in the chorus. Ouch! She looks good though, more charisma than I've seen of her so far.
CROATIA - Sounds exactly like it always had in the reharsals, and as expected, vocally competent. Lead singer looks like he's scanning the audience during the instrumental to see who's reacting.
DENMARK - Big applause for the tin whistler. Emmeli's hair is now properly messed just like in DMGP. Audience is illuminated in the same red/yellow light as the stage, which makes it looks like part of the act. As effective as it can be for this. And she gives a lovely smile at the end.
RUSSIA - Dina had her hair done nicely. She's vocally perfect, although the gooseberries still look awkward to me. The audience has illuminated bracelets that light up during the last chorus - looks quite nice, although this one could have benefited from a bigger arena.
UKRAINE - Good choice on using the beige dress, it looks great on Zlata and against the blue background. She's vocally flawless, she knows what juries are after.
NETHERLANDS - For much of the song you can see the audience that's behind the catwalk. Some are looking at Anouk, but many are looking the other way (at the screens maybe?). Nevertheless Anouk did switch on her charm for a change and is selling it to me.
MONTENEGRO - The fan media (including me) went wild for this, but the audience doesn't seem to react much. I guess they're mostly Danish. Vocals are good, although the microphone feed was lost for a few moments for one of the boys.
LITHUANIA - Yep, the eyebrows are back at work! I wasn't convinced by this earlier, but the many audience shots do help this a lot. Several camera issues though - visible stage crew, and a woman in the audience with pink hair blocking the view from Andrius for much of the last chorus. Hmm.
BELARUS - Will they be having fun? Well, a bit less robotic than in the rehearsals. And hot dancer is still there. Alyona seemed to have some problems with her neck mic, as she was adjusting it, but it wasn't audible and she sounded just fine. Well, I enjoyed it.
MOLDOVA - Pasha is wearing a sleeveless tight white shirt (thanks!) Aliona sounded like she's about to swallow her words during the first verse, but didn't in the end, and sounded perfect. This looks as great as in the rehearsals, but lacks some audience shots.
IRELAND - The audience bracelets are green now (which makes sense being Ireland and all that, but it really clashes with the red background). Ryan is singing well and looks like he's enjoying it, and so does the audience, who's jumping along to the chorus.
CYPRUS - Despina has been tricking us all week, she's giving a rather impressive vocal performance when it actually matters. Her glittery eyelids look lovely, I'm not too sure about the black nailvarnish though. Can this surprise?
BELGIUM - Easy on that pink lipstick, Roberto! He's vocally mostly fine, but singing out of synch with the song at parts - don't know if people who don't already know the song would notice this though. Some ear piece issues it seems.
SERBIA - The lighting and most camera angle issues have been fixed (good!), I still don't get what this act is about (despite being explained the concept), but after the Belgian performance this does come across as somehow more genuine, so I'm guessing they've done enough.
And now that I've received an email about Moldovan Dancer #5 (from the Hotties blog) becoming a father today, I'll say good night and head off to a party or two. Thanks for tuning in!
UPDATE: Belgium was allowed another performance after the interval act, which will presumably be cut and pasted in its place for the juries. I didn't see it, but heard he was much better.