Friday, 9 May 2014

1st Dress Rehearsal - 2014 Final (Songs 1-12)

Vocally saving herself I think, she can do much better and these are now more of another run. Also, there is no more the pressure of having to ensure the qualification to the final which means there does not need to be that amazingness at every go. The guy in the hamster wheel however still gives it his all. Will IKEA start selling them do you think? It could be a new trend instead of the treadmill - much cheaper, doesn't run on electricity and fits quite nicely in a living room and can be the focal point of discussion when you have people over.

In regards to the song itself, not a winner I don't think but should still do pretty well. Would say top half of the board but not going to scare any of the strong entries battling for the top 5.

Teo seems to have had a bit of a late night. It seems a bit unfair to the acts who were only selected last night to have to do this rehearsal so close to their night of celebration but there is a time limit and therefore not much DR and/or EBU could do to avoid this. It is part of the planning nightmare that is the two semi-final system.

However he might be feeling, he is doing his best up on stage. Not as good as he was last night but good enough. I don't however see Belarus lighting up the voting finger of the viewing public and therefore would be quite comfortably see it lying in the bottom right corner of the board.

And another of the former Soviet Republics to take to the stage. This however is, as you may have imagined, one that personally does light a fire. Dilara looks lovely on stage and the song is worthy of a good place in the final. The trapeze artist is still a bit off-putting but it clearly didn't stop the Land of Fire from proceeding to the final. I believe it is not unlikely to see Azerbaijan holding at minimum a top-10 position.

Well, a pleasant surprise qualifier for this nation. And as mentioned in the press conference, why is it that Iceland always has to be revealed as the last country to proceed? Does no one in the volcanic island have a heart condition?

Vocally doing a good job and you can't help but tap your feet and do a little swing to this. It could well be a bit of a dark horse - left side of the board?

I just realised I had his postcard totally wrong but oh well... Coming so close after Azerbaijan may not have been the lucky break for Carl but with Iceland in the middle there is a break of pace which helps. Having to choose between the two nations, one dominated by ice and the other by fire, one holding the Northernmost position of Europe while the other technically making part of Asia, I still believe that Azerbaijan wins. Carl however could probably reach the top positions of the second half of the board.

Always one to look out for this country, especially after the miracle they pulled off last night. In fairness to them however, they have managed to get it a bit more slick than it was on screens before. Ovi still seems to be a bit of an extra but I guess we're used to him by now and as long as Paula is queen of the stage it's not as bad. 

Bad camera shot where you see Ovi stepping out of the circular piano - we do not need to see him bend over thank you very much!

And we see him come out of the circle again during Paula's high note. What is up with that?

The ending however is good, and can see the audience cheer and clap to this. Difficult one for me to predict since I just don't see why Europe would fall for this but it seems they do. Since I got their not-qualifying so totally wrong, I might as well go full change and say top half of the board.

Aram is wearing a t-shirt with the Union Jack on it. Is he sending a message to anyone? Probably not, but might as well have the rumour mill started like all good fans like to gossip about. Vocally competent but I believe the song has been hyped much more than it deserves to be. It is by no means a bad song but it should not really be challenging the top positions on the night. Having said this, Armenia does tend to fair quite well at the contest and therefore would doubt them finishing outside the top 10

So glad that the Black Mountain state has managed to get through to the final. It did take them numerous failed attempts in order to get here but finally they realised that the strong Balkan ballad is all you need to ensure qualification.

Ensuring qualification it did but what happens next. Many of the strong Balkan supporters are not in this year so would Montenegro manage to ammass the amount of votes needed for a good showing? I unfortunately think not necessarily. I would therefore put it at the bottom of the left hand side of the result table.

What can be said about this that has not been said before to show how much this needs to be in everybody's life? Well, unfortunately the fact that there was an incorrect graphic popping up during the song, that the mic level broke for a few seconds making Cleo sound far far away is not the exactly what needed to be said but it is what happened.

At least it qualified which is what most people wanted. In the final it might find a bit stiffer competition than last night. Could it see its popularity rise due to it being in the final - probably, will it mean that it will be in the top half - probably not. I would expect a mid-second half showing but may they be blessed for existing in Eurovision history!

Will he remember his lyrics on the night? Well, like we reported also during the rehearsals, it seems the written version of the lyrics is not as important to this group of youngsters as it may be to some of the other artists. The song allows for improvisation without it sounding strange - unless you are used to the studio version of the song.

The trampoline gimmick must have given the people at home a nice surprise but would this be as exciting second time around? I assume yes, and it is Greece after all - so what else is there to say apart from a top 10 result?

Should we be believing the rumours that Conchita won the semi-final? Could the Austrian bearded lady have knocked the youthful excitement brought to us by the Greeks? Is it a coincidence that they have now been placed back to back? Conchita is not singing with the power of last night, but that is understandable since she must be trying to avoid straining herself too much too soon, ruining the chances of tonight's jury rehearsal and most importantly, tomorrow's live show. She does however show us that she can still get the high notes whatever the situation and a rupture of applause envelopes the press hall.

First time we're seeing the German postcard and the group forming Elaiza are in a kitchen. They are making a mixture of candy blocks and are coloured Black, Red and Gold. they are then rolled together and small sweets made from the large sugary block. A picture is taken of one of the small sweeties for showing the German colours.

Performance wise there is not much there. The song itself is not bad, Elaiza are not bad, Ela's vocals are not bad ... but it seems to just be a mixture of "not bad". The cascade of streamers is too muchand it completely covers the band. Ela's face starts to get drowned by them and she has to remove some from her face. I would assume someone will be in touch about this to ensure that this is not the final result.

A quick break now where Nikolaj tells us to follow them on twitter on #JoinUs. He also decides to insult the elder generation by telling them if they did not know what a hashtag was, not to worry and just enjoy the show. "#JoinUs in the 21st century".

The Record Book is next, with the following record being that of Highest Note. No prizes for guessing who wins this one!

Back in the arena now for "Europe [to] make some noise!". More gay inuendos being mentiones with Lise thanking all the Eurovision fans, such lovely men dressed in, well, "all the colours of the rainbow." Yes, yes, we get it, most fans are gay.

Anyway, on with the show!

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