Blanche is on screen before she starts her song. She does not seem very confident or happy. Dressed in a white number with embroidered butterflies, she starts her song quite badly unfortunately. For a song which was so praised prior to the contest (or rather, prior to the preview parties) it is falling like a lead balloon. She looks nervous, talks her way through the song, is robotic in the very few movements she needs to do and has areas where she actually seems to be in the wrong key. This to me needs a miracle.
2nd run - Well, more of the same really. Not much more to say - without ending up being unnecessarily mean. I know, I know, hasn't stopped me before, but it's like kicking Bambi just after he aw his mother being shot.
3rd run - Well, it actually can improve! Slightly, but improvement none the less. Blanche seems to be less traumatised by the stage and there seems to be a bit of better camera work. Not sure what was said during the long pause between the runs but they should keep it up! Maybe they've been showing funny cat videos on youtube or something! That always cheers me up when I'm having murderous thoughts (basically, my whole time in the press centre up to now has been watching funny cat videos).
Oh Isaiah! Not really sure how to take this. Vocally he's ok, not giving me goosebumps but adequate enough. The staging is pretty simple and I'm not sure what Sasha was supposed to be choreographing since there isn't much going on but I guess SBS thought it's worth the money. Isaiah stands on a platform which also turns which he uses in part of the song before stepping off in order to use a bit more of the stage but, just like a kitten not happy with big open spaces, he returns to the comfort of the platform to end.
2nd run - Slightly dodgy camera angle meant that for the first line of the second verse we didn't see the singer at all. In the middle eight there is a shot where the backdrop (which throughout the song involves many Isaiahs) has real Isaiah being 'swallowed' by digital Isaiah's left eyeball. Not sure what to think of that. Another decent run through but could this possibly be the Aussie's first NQ?
3rd run - You know you're going to enjoy it when you know it's starting by Henrik saying "pyro!" And there you have it - pyro curtain from ceiling, pyro spurts from the floor ... what more could you want?
Hmm... well... She begins dressed in a white shimmery number with veil and all. Veil gets removed early on (thankfully) and then she is free to belt out her number at will! And at will it is, since she decided not to in a section the chorus. Let us just say it did not seem to light many people alight here. The backdrop is very busy with those ships from the music video. Unfortunately not really seeing this fighting for a top 10 spot.
2nd run - She sang the full song this time, however the vocals are not great. We know she can do better. She looks smiley though so she can't think she's doing that badly.
3rd run - There's heavy fog on stage! And it actually works quite well to be honest. In fairness, I do personally like it, but I realise I might not be in the majority here - and in the semi-final which people are saying is the harder one (although from the first rehearsals this may not be the case) it will need to pull a lot of cats out of bags in order to be performed on Saturday night. That is all. Next, Australia.
Bless. Tamara asks a couple of questions in the beginning of her song. We would also ask, "Who told you that that hair was acceptable?" Clad in a red cape before the first chorus, this gets removed to reveal a breast-accentuating number in skin and red. Vocally though she is flawless and this is not an easy piece to belt out. Staging and camera is working well with the main hues being red and white with some black accentuating. Georgia is delivering a package and Europe will be very willing to accept I believe. Two songs down, two goodn's.
2nd run - Apparently we're not allowed to see this one. Or someone forgot to press the button to show it in the press centre. Whichever one it is - this is not on!
3rd run - The cape is no longer closed - therefore you can see the dress from the beginning, or maybe you always could. I'm not very good at this observation stuff. Learn what your talents are and work on what you could improve.
Clap clap, it's over for today for Georgia, but due to "what we like to call, the Sasha syndrome" (I told you Henrik is on fire!) we now have Albania. We should have Australia, but we instead have Albania. Sasha is referring to Swedish choreographer Sacha Jean-Baptiste who is the choreographer for both Georgia and Australia and therefore cannot be in the viewing room and in the arena at the same time.
Robin needs to talk to someone in make-up. He looks very shiny - which I guess is to be expected when you have a bazillion watts of lighting on your face ... but still, no one likes shoddy work. The choreography is a copy-paste job of Melodifestivalen so you can't really fault it since he's been practicing since mid-last year. Vocally I wouldn't say he is the strongest but he keeps himself up there and he is representing Sweden so that also gives him points - at least from the eurofans. Not being too bad on the eye can also only work in his favor. Will it qualify? Quoting our dear Verka Serduchka, "it's not a question".
2nd run - "What can you say - fucking beautiful!" Not my words but those of floor manager Henrik von Zweigbergk. We agree sir! We agree!
3rd run - Henrik is on fire! "Applause, bow and off!" Someone is running a tight ship here and ain't taking no backtalk from no one! Another good round from Robin and team, no falling off treadmills, no missing cues, no looking into wrong camera's ... oh well, at least there's Hovig to look forward to later.
Before we start
Well! To be fair to Roger, and to have a possibly different opinion, it is now my time to blog! Contain your excitement dears! But back to business. Let us get ready to see who has improved, who has stayed the same, and who has clearly had a mental breakdown since realising that they may be a bit out of their depth in this contest! Oh Eurovision, how we love you so! Let the games begin - and may the odds be ever in your favour!