Pre-opinion: Haha. Well, this song surely has zero televoting potential (except in Malta), I do sometimes enjoy it. Really hoping for robots or a similar concept.
ROBOTS ARE HERE! At least three.
First runthrough: Jessika starts in a cape, which is helped off by dancers. There's a fourth robot in the back, all robots doing some kind of hand choreography. Press is loving it. Jenny B does her thing, then Robot 4 is holding a sign, something along the lines of "will you marry me" (another Portugal 2011 tribute, clearly). Huge applause.
Second run: There's a lot of Verka-style up and down arm dancing. The robots are the true stars, getting a lot of camera love. In the bridge, Jess interacts with one of them and places her hand under the robot's, feels like it's meant to be holding something we haven't seen yet.
Third run: Sign says "I am not your robot" in the back. Clearly someone there is having fun, and so are we.
Pre-opinion: This has been a complete mess so far, but has a certain fun potential to it. Let's see if they sort out the vocals, at least.
First runthrough: Yellow-black stage that becomes blue when the beat kicks in. Fancy drums with patterns on them, similar patterns on the women singer's tan dresses. Men are in black.
Patterns on women look like liquorice wormsSanja Ilić
Second run: This sounds fine, looks like they solved the singing issues by bringing in a third girl. That means they had to get rid of someone - Sanja? No, he's not there. Now it's Sanja Ilić (In The Audience) Feat. Balkanika. The act is less messy than it was in Beovizija, but still a bit all-over-the-place.
Last run looks about the same. I wonder why they decided to place Serbia right after Romania, both have an "ancient Greek theatre" style choreography.
Pre-opinion: One of my favourites this year since I first heard it in the salt mine (or was it Sighișoara?), I was gutted when it got such cold reaction from the fans and betting odds. Everything seems to be against it, but I still have my hopes. They'll have to work hard to follow-up this opener.
First run-through: Mannequins! Lots of them. Black shiny plastic bodies with white mask. The band also wear the masks from the NF, but on the back of their heads. A very dramatic staging.
Think Elouiz (from MGP 2016) meeting Schmetterlinge.
Second run: First shot is the woman who isn't the lead singer (Corina, I think) taking off her mask and walking about. Everyone's in white except Cristina's purple dress and the black mannequins. Male band members touch her dramatically and trying to keep an expression-less face. She's singing well. The white suits and back-head masks make the male Humans look like they're lab workers who try to contain Cristina with some kind of microbiological pandemic, and I'm not sure it's intended this way. But I like it.
Last run: Still sounding good, act however comes out a bit over-choreographed and feeling very much like a #2, unfortunately.
Pre-opinion: I have a love-hate relationship with this song - annoyed by the lyrics and infectiousness, but for all it's given us, I'm glad it's there. Perhaps I won't be so glad if it wins (and it can)... If they keep to the MGP concept, the first rehearsal will probably not look good, because they need to align the screen graphics.
First (visible) run-through: I say visible because it looks like they've done a few already. Colour scheme is similar to Finland (pink-purple and turquoise). About the same routine screen graphics we expected (with some added hearts I think?). Álvaro & co sound good. Rybak himself has obviously done this before, he's not giving it all and saves energy for the live shows.
Last run: We're getting pyro, apparently. Rybak takes off his jacket and throws it to the audience before the scatting part. Pyro fountains shoot when the violin goes 'wheeeeeh'. Another pyro coming from the arch at the last boom. Visually, this all makes sense as an opener.
A luta é alegria
The Portuguese take their worker's rights very seriously, a demonstration was setting up near our apartment and the security scanner at the press centre gates decided to protest too, causing a long queue. But Norway isn't starting on time either, so all is good.