Friday, 6 May 2016

The not-press opinion - FIN, GRE, MLD, HUN, CRO, NED, ARM, SMA, RUS, CZE, CYP, AUT, EST, AZE

OK, this was it for me. Nothing to do with Samra and my ears. If you want my opinion and some (badly written) info on the rest of Semi 1, refer to my previous blog post. If you prefer well-written posts, then try the other bloggers of this website. Will be back for the other semi and the songs I missed from them.


First live performance, like in the actual stadium, ever for me was Samra Rahimli performing amazing Miracle. Certainly not the wisest choise I've made. But since I really love the song... And then again, she improved each time, also having very weak moments though. Loved the pyro show in any case.


I expected something darker from them, but instead they went city-lights and Casino Royale. The camera closes in on him and then there's some prop with a card appearing and disappearing a couple of times, before he throws it to our direction. The end shot is a close-up on his face, but he obviously doesn't know what to do with it. He tries to be still, then smiles, then does a half-wink (like something is irritating his eye). I need to see this once more to be more descriptive.

Initial shots are well thought of, he appears to the right side of the screen before walking towards us, while the camers pans from above. Some far shots are closing in on him from the side. He has some issue timing the hand moves, they are looking a bit weird. Far shot closing ing again for the second verse. Camera then rolls around him slowly. Then he does the card thing. The card is thrown better this time. A nice red spade/heart shape on the floor. Nicer ending shot.


Long break followed Cyprus, I think we won't see this many times actually. Camera zooms to her smiling face. Then approaches her again from afar as she's walking towards us. Another close-up during the first en chante. She's a bit breathy. Many close-ups again, usually zooming out and showing the wonderful flowery backdrop. It comes across very optimistic, but then she misses some notes and the feeling is gone. Camera switching from far to close shots regularly. Then some more mid-distance ones. For the last sentence, it zooms out quickly. From some point on she looks really straining with keeping up with the notes. Not very sure about this.

Last run and nothing much changed. A cute thing is her interaction with the backdrop during the second verse, where moving her hands creates red roses in the back. Vocals again a bit strained (but then this is her third run, so she is tired). For the bridge, the camera rolls around her and she makes good contact with it. The last part was really shouty and strained unfortunately. Must improve to qualify, I see it just missing out as it is now.


Camera closes up to him very quickly as he starts to sing. This is the opposite to CZE. Too many near shots at him, the instruments, the band. The chorus is impressive, as white beams illuminate the blue stage. The second verse has these fast near shots again. He's static and sometimes he's looking at nothing, instead of the cameras. The bridge shot is really close and quite long (the whole almost-a-capella part). Then it goes out of focus as it finishes. The camera zooms out as he does the wolf bark. For the very last chorus there's also an effect where his face glows for a half-second.

I barely even noticed the cages, which is a good sign. The glow effect happens at other moments as well, usually during the you-ou-ou part. Mnay close-up shots again, some going out of the focus before they are over. Thankfully, he has a great connection this time and his eyes make you feel the power of the song. He's slightly out of breath in the bridge. This time he did the bark turned towards us, in constrast to the previous one where he was turned to his right (and I thought that worked better). Last zooming close-up is a bit weird, it got out of focus and the in focus again. Vocals without any problems and the volume of his mic is probably adjusted well, because he is heard clearly above the backing track.

Time for "ALL the pyro" as the director said. His voice sounds a bit tired now. Dry ice all around the stage during the second verse. Waiting for the pyros... They are small pyros after the bark (which happened to his left side again this time) and larger ones during the final two ones towards all directions. Not super-effective. Still, this is powerful enough as a sound and a vision to qualify, me thinks.


Long shot which turns to a mid-distance one, with her slowly turning to our side. Camera pans above a very pink floor during the chorus. First close-up only in the second verse. The dress is glowing white but then mirrors the floor's colours so it changes pink/white. She literally *stands*. And then she walks just before the high note. She lets her hair down after this. Looks stunning. The stage turns "empty" blue/black for a moment and then flowers appear, just before she gets a final smiling close-up. Convincing rehearsal, but could it pass as a bit of a let-down after Russia?

The triangle/diamond pattern in the beginning of the chorus is impressive and the shot help it. I still think the first close-up is too little too late. Just a couple of seconds during the second verse. The camera pans in all the different directions. And then it zooms at the worst moment, when she's straining at the end of the 2nd chorus and has her eyes closed. At least the high note until the end is really strong. But again, the close-up of the ending note was not a clear shot. They need to show more of her gorgeous face. The hair thing works well though as it is.

Last run and a couple more close-up shots. It's good that they spotted this. However, they need to show her when she is calm and not when she is trying to hit the difficult notes. The high note part is really good. The camera rolls from her left side and moves away from her in a very effective way. Qualifying, I predict, and should do really well with the juries.


He's really nervous... Missed the first camera shot, messed up the choreo (he didn't co-ordinate his hands with the black wings showing on the screen behind him) and the feed stopped. OMG RUSSIA NOT QUALIFYING!

Let's try this again Sergey. He times it well this time, but still misses the correct camera shots. The video screen is impressive and the dancers appear during the chorus, then lining up behind him. Second verse - Shady Lady. As he makes the poses in the 4 columns, he leaves a footprint shadow in each of them. The shadows then move to the left as he repeats the moves one by one. This time there's more light during his climbing up the stairs, it gets darker a tad later than the first rehearsal (safety reasons?). He jumps to the final "iceberg" and then a close-up shot just before the last "I'm the only one.." lyric. Nothing during the slow part, but a close up shot at the "You're the only one" that's almost a-capella. The rest of the shots are from a mid-distance and the last one is from a lower point, showing the girl with the flame in her hands and Sergey above her. No close-up shot then to finish this.

I may be talking non-sense but he seemed very nervous in the beginning. I think he was worried about the timings in the first part and getting all the cameras. He didn't do this part really well. Still, very impressive and captivating on screen. Deserves to be leading the bets at this point.

In the third run, he was far more relaxed and aced the close-ups. This run was simply perfect. They just need to repeat this during the voting nights. Winner.
Oh, he's gonna go again. There's enough time it seems. A small timing problem with the wings again. Not noticeable to the first viewer, though. They added a last shot of him with the finger in the air.

San Marino

Boo! We only got goddess Iveta once. Camera comes from above (an earthquake effect, but I think that was accidental). Serhat just stands there and the backings do all the dancing and work for him. There's good interaction between them though. Still ridiculous, at least nothing wrong with the vocals or the choreo. Camera keeps rolling around, closing in and out, never quickly. He throws his hat to the audience much after the last note. Bring Armenia back.


This is probably her second run, the first one was not shown here. A somewhat distant shot with Iveta in the right side of the screen. Then some quick changes, near and far shots. The shots change at each "me" in the "me, me, me" part as well. Very Oscar Zia indeed. The chorus kicks in and the camera rolls around her for the most part but regularly continues with the quick changes. We are back to the mid-distance shot for the second verse with her doing some diva hand moves and walking towards us. The instrumental part has six holograms of her to her right and left, to which she interacts, while they slowly integrate into her body. Camera is pulled away from her during the scream, then goes quickly back to her as she sings the last line. It closes with the mid-distance shot and her being in the dark and covered by virtual reality small white spheres. Very impressive and big applause in the centre.

The Netherlands

Camera pans from above and slowly reveals the clock. We only get to see Bob at the second sentence of the verse, as the camera rolls around him. He stands to the mic stand and camera still rolls around him. He gets the close up shot to his left side at the "You gotta" moment. Camera keeps rolling around him and it works, as he turns to be seen at the correct moment. A quick close-up shot before the second chorus and then camera pans away. Rolling around the clock for the bridge (it's starting to get me dizzy). Oops, a moment of silence. Was that part of the performance? He was looking at the camera and everything stopped? No idea, first time watching it. He is in the catwalk stand for the last part as the camera comes from the bottom and closes in on him for the final shot.

So, it IS part of the performance. Interesting and should work with the audience. It is a tad too long, I think. Much less rolling around this time until the second verse. More shots of the stadium. He aces all the close shots, making some good eye contact. After the pause he gives hands to the audience and winks after the last note.


Oh, the dress is massive and together with the hair it looks weird. The hand moves under the dress also make it worse. The backing singers appear in the dark during the part before the chorus. She gets rid of most of the dress before the second verse. The hand moves are very Croatia 1998. She is looking forward all the time, while the camera moves all around her, except just before the key change where she catches it. Her vocals are not very steady, but it somehow sounds okay towards the end. And a good last note from her, while she is in focus, followed by a shot from above.

Better interaction with the camera during the initial static part. The hand moves only start with the first chorus now. And the dress is off during the first "Lighthouse". Some close shots for the begeinning of the second verse. As the second chorus kicks in, the camera focuses again on her and then quickly pans. Her vocals are much better this time. The background gets some nice orange/red stars for the key change. And the same ending again. At the final shot, the spot where she is standing is yellow/white, but it is too small an effect to really notice. To me, this is convincing, but that is a matter of taste.

Shaky vocal start again but it improves during the song, especially after the backings come in. Nothing new in the last run.


First time watching this. First shot at a red stage and then focusin on Freddie (good decision). The floor turns brown and has white rivers/lightning patterns running across to the audience. But this is short. The camera makes some long shots only going back to the backings as they clap their hands. When it turns to Freddie, he is busy trying to hit the notes. Second verse, much more focus on him. The floor is still brown. It's supposed to be a desert of dryness, like Atacama. But the cracks are regularly lighted in white (what I thought was lightning). Later, a red spinning circle appears where Freddie is standing and the song ends with him in focus.

The pattern is to show the backings each time they sing or clap their hands. There are invisible backings and then there are too visible backings. During the second chorus he stands right next to them (they are still covered in red light, while he is in the spotlight of course). The percussionist in the right side of the screen does not interact with the camera at all. Good camera work for the last chorus and a veery long close-up shot before they camera pans and shows all of them. His vocals are strong. It left me a very positive impression.


Seeing that the clips are so fast given away by other websites, like ESCKaz, I might as well focus more on the camerawork instead. Lidia starts turned back to the audience and in the second sentence, we see her face. Camera rolls around her and then a close shot. Then a long shot as the chorus kicks in. During the fast part, the camera rolls around her again. Wow, that spaceman came out of nowhere (hadn't watched this before). The French seems to surprise him as well, as he takes off his helmet and performs a little dance. Camera stays on Lidia though, but catches his moves. It also shows him moving away from her followed by another close shot before the last chorus. She's extremely static. Some off camera shots then, while the end pose is him holding her and her smiling at him.

The staticness of the whole thing is helped a bit by the camera and her success in finding the right one all the times. I don't know why the moment where the astronaut leaves her and takes off his "coat" is caught on cam. I suppose they'll fix this.

The starting pose is actually her turned to her left side, not back as I wrote above. For the second verse she something about "les yeux" (pardon my French) and takes the spaceman's left hand to cover her eyes. The astronaut performs a backflip before the last chorus, but it's really in the background (he does it towards the right side of the screen, so it's hard to notice. He shows some nipple in the end as well. What's with the nudity today?


The first 20 seconds are actually good. The first shot shows the percussion player and the main girl shows up, singing quite well. There's a sun on the floor but it doesn't "move" according to the rhythm. The main male singer/rapper has serious issues finding the camera and is generally ok vocally but nothing special. But the second one is really talented. Performs a complicated choreography and he looks like he honestly believes it. When the girls sing again, the guys go back to hold their hands. They then make a very Helena Paparizou ethnic dance followed by a This is our night pose (the boys were holding the girls as they leaned forward towards each other). For the bridge, the percussion player returns to the centre, while the floor turns again into a spinning yellow-red sun. The good one dances a bit more; he's impressive and it ends with him in what looks like a zeibekiko pose while the others stand behind him in a line. During the whole performane they make some silly-ish moves in a very amateurish way. For their inexistent experience, they are doing better than I'd expect. Still, very difficult for them to make it. The rap parts rally ruin it and the girls parts are short, too simple and with a very amateurish choreo.

Ooh, the good guy actually takes off his t-shirt for the last part. Cheap, but pays off. He falls in a very bad way during the third run though.


Managed to make it for their 3rd run. Well, she seems to be very confident and happy on stage in the beginning. When the tougher notes come along, she looks really strained and suffering. She walks on the catwalk for the last part, but then comes back to join the backings for the end shot.

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