Pre-opinion: I've warmed up to this recently, but wasn't exactly keen at first. And neither did Montenegro, considering he only finished third in the first round of their NF. This won't be easy, even if it's the only Balkan Ballad competing for your votes.
First run-through: Vanja wears a suit made of silvery scales, a bit like an Atlantic fish. Has he been looking through our lunch photos? A pianist and four women in feathery dresses doing some Balkan hands around him.
Second run-through: This is all done by the Balkan Book of Choreography. Dramatic women freeze in different hand poses, then take their turns touching his shoulder lightly and turn away. He's confident vocally with the long notes.
Last run and some nice camera angles there, a shot from behind the stage while the dancers are illuminated in yellow is effective. Still not quite sure the whole package is strong enough, but I'm looking forward to his press conference.
Pre-opinion: This is nice for the first 30 seconds or so, then I get bored. This may or may not get the typical Swedish 5th place, but there's no question about qualifying. Anything other than the exact MF performance will surprise me.
First run-through: Yeah, almost the same. I think the neon device is doing a slightly different routine, dividing into three different squares at some point, resembling the 1983 stage:
Second run-through: At the start of the last chorus we get a glimpse of the stage, until that point you don't even know if Benji is even in Lisbon. Clever, but it's not really working on me.
Pyro round (wait what?): OK they lied, no pyro. Still the same, and sounding perfectly fine as expected.
Pre-opinion: Good singer. Looooooong song. My current tip for last place in the final (although these things are hard to predict). I will need coffee for this.
First (visible) run-through: Red dress, red stage, red lights on her head. Red lipstick. I think the concept is red. And erotic, she's making love to the microphone stand (not quite in the Lena Philipsson way) and then leaves it for the second chorus, and comes back to it. Singing well as expected.
Second run-through: Camera does a few zoom jumps during some parts of the song to match the drums going 'bonk'. She does several Eleni hair flicks and a small shoulder boob shake dance. Banking it all on her sex appeal. Does this work? Maybe, I need to find the only straight man in the press centre and ask.
Last run-through had a small mic failure, but otherwise polished and well-song. This minimalist staging may work for them after a couple of bombastic stagings, although I'm still not sure it's enough.
We nipped outside to the supermarket and saw this. I can live in a Portuguese supermarket. #eurofishon