Saturday 3 May 2014

Where do we go now?

Naturally to the Macedonian delegation hotel in order to get home!

Or at least that is what happened to a lucky group of accredited people waiting for the "new" half hour shuttle-bus service. Unfortunately for those gathered in the brisk cold, waiting for a 'late' bus, it appears that those with the power of knowledge did not find it important to advise of the change to the bus schedule for today in which they earlier had decided to cancel the half-hour service and keep the hourly one until today and start the new format as of tomorrow.

So, who would you find to the rescue but the fabulous Tijana, singer for Macedonia. After finishing her run of interviews and appointments after the rehearsal of the day, she was leaving the press area when she saw a waiting Dutch journalist whom she appears to have already known. Replying to her question of "How are you", the journalist replied that he had been waiting for a while for a bus which appears to have not shown up.

After having taken a few steps, the Macedonian singer stopped in her tracks, turned round and asked if she had correctly understood the situation. Once confirmation had been achieved, and the look of confusion taken off her face, the solution to this conundrum seemed to come quite quickly to the starlet. "You come with us" she stated as if it was a silly question to assume otherwise.

We have been to many a contest, and have been in many a situation, but this has been only the second time a delegation has allowed us to travel on their bus - something which needs to be noted and appreciated! We therefore would like to thank the Macedonian delegation and Tijana especially for their kindness which they did not need to offer. They have taken us out of the cold, brought us to a destination much closer to ours and in much less time since they have the direct route rather than the shuttle which seems to travel on a route identified by a two-year old let loose with a pen and a map of Copenhagen.


Bananas, strawberries... and beans

Right now I'm in the backstage delegation lounge, a huge open area with sofas, some free food, and dressing rooms on the sides, all inside a big tent. Further away is a make up section, portable toilets (quite fancy though, they even have showers) and a delegation canteen.

The food in the lounge contains a rather experimental flate of assorted fruits. Not that I mind beans, but I'm not sure what the pods are doing here

Rehearsals then... Greece is doing their thing now, we can watch it from a screen in here. The Irish one went great (I want that floow in my livingroom!!) and only a few small things will get changed.
Those of us not on stage got to see it from the greenroom in the hall, where a big screen and earphones were set up. In between each runthrough there us a chance to give comments to the camera, lights and sound people, to make changes for the next runthrough. 

Oh, and apparantly it is not allowed to take any photos of the singers backstage without first asking their permission. So you will have to do without any papparazzi shots :-)

This is where the props are stores

And this is where the stars do their business.

Rise up to the end of SF2 second rehearsals!

Nearing the end of the second set of semi-final rehearsals and another good pick-me-up song to get us back in the mood.

Working a lot better now on the screen. The vocals have also imrpoved to a point, there is much less improvisation of lyrics which adds the the clean-cut feel. The only thing which from the screens seemed to have not been as it should have (apart from the shots of the audience which at the moment are replaced by stereotypical members of the Eurovision press) was the timing of the getting onto the trampoline which needs to be worked on. There is a shot where we follow the gymnast and hidden from view, Nikolas and Risky Kidd get on the trampoline. The latter however, due to the bright white background during this section of the song and the slowdown of the frame speed on the screen, was seen slowly getting on the trampoline - not an image he would be wanting broadcasted to millions of viewers accross the globe. Thankfully however it worked better in the second and third rounds. This will qualify.

It seems that they have made a decision and the mic stand has won! Or at least it has for now. Visually still looking good to me. It's no Rändajad but still respectable enough. Vocally hopefully this is not the best we have. There were a few bad notes there but as always the question is - was it just to save herself or is it actually a mistake on the part of the artist? All in all however the presentation is good enough but does Slovenia have enough people who vote for them? The juries may help them slightly but as is well known juries (or televote) alone does not necessarily save an artist. It won't bomb like Hanna Mancini did (even though she wrote the English lyrics to the song) and my wild prediction does mention this will do much better than people think but am I totally wrong?

The gimmicks are still there, even though some of them still don't work well on camera. Singing last will help Romania. Not that there ever was a chance of this not making it, but it could find itself being placed higher than it deserves due to this. The chemistry between Paula and Ovi is still the same, trying but not really coming accross to the viewers. Pyro hasn't been used yet in the first run through so see what its like in the second run.

No pyro on second run either, but one thing I forgot to mention, the piano now lights up. Paula and Ovi also embrace eachother tenderly in the rendition and then painfully separate. Not sure what they are trying to do with this but the whole thing looked a bit not right. Still waiting for the pyro so here we go for third round.

OK, so pyro has been used also. Nothing left which Romania has not tried this year. Ovi in the circular piano still looks quite bad and to a certain extent pointless on the screen but they made the piano so I guess they must use it. Just heard that it was supposed to be hung from the ceiling but this was not allowed. Still sure of this qualifying but how would it do in the final? As always, you should comment either below or on the Message Board.

And that is it from us for the moment! We will be back tomorrow for the first rehearsals of the Big 5 and Denmark.

Could there be something better?

Than Finland which is the next song to be rehearsed after a short 30 minute break?

The performance is not the most enthusiastic and the boys are not the smiliest of people one can meet but they are not here to be happy smiley, they are here to do their job and that's it. As long as the three minutes on Thursday night work well for them then there is no real need for them to entertain the crowds at other times. The staging is still not the most imaginative and the guys just stand in place and do their bit but for the needs of the song it works and I don't think we will need to worry about them missing out on one of the available Final spots.
Kasey is now connecting better with the camera but not exceptionally well. The set has not change since the first rehearsal and the camera angles are used to highlight the effects of the backdrop which sometimes means that the shots are quite wide, making the performers a bit small looking but this could be what the delegation wanted. Vocally Kasey starts a bit shaky and then gets better the more the song progresses. The two male dancers are doing well considering that they both have been out a number of times and seem to be having late nights.

Third run through and it is sounding better. Seems like whatever the problem of earlier was, this has been resolved. Would it be enough to help the Irish through to the final though? Would Ireland and Slovenia end up fighting each other for a place in the final? Would Ireland stand a better chance due to being on earlier or is Slovenia's one but last position be in its favour? Let us know and Comment below or in the Message Board.

There seems to have been a couple of issues with the technical side of this song. Other than that the song is not really changed since we first got introduced to it so many months ago. Teo comes, sings and leaves. That's about as much as there is left to say about this song now. And many comments can be seen here.
FYR Macedonia
Tijana's voice is not that strong in the first run. The performance seems to have been cleaned up a bit since the first rehearsal and the camera angles are working a bit better. Now that they appear to be in costume it visually is more appealing but there is still something about the whole thing which is a bit flaky. The question to ask would then be, would the time between now and Thursday be used well enough in order to ensure that the remaining rough edges get smoothened down to make it more appealing to the general voting public. Also to ask - why is Tijana not wearing her signature glases? Will they make an appearance on the night? Why are they being so prominently promoted throughout Eurovision portals and not be part of the costume? We believe it may be in order not to distract the audience at home from the rest of the show - but really, the glasses are amayzing! Your thoughts? You know what to do!

You can't be mean about this entry. The song is happy, the singer is cute and likeable and he whistles! It might not be a mega-hit in the making but performed well enough it could possibly secure a spot for the Helvetic Confederation. It has family appeal and is not at all polarising - from your granny to your annoying little sister would be able to enjoy this. The presentation is working well and Sebastiano uses the stage to good means. He could be a bit more motioned during the violin solo and could do without shouting "come on" to the viewers when he doesn't have a mic but if those are the only pointers to say could be improved it is doing well.

Is Eurovision coming home?

Eurovision week is truly in full swing. More and more people are arriving from far flung parts of the world in order to enjoy this yearly spectacle of glittery campness which attracts many a confused child to the community.

Vocals were not as good as they have been but they have been performing quite a lot recently, so maybe they are just making sure they don't overdo themselves. The performance as a whole is still really good and the group is seen to be enjoying themselves while there. 

Noticed a personal digital camera on the piano but not sure if this is part of the show or if it was there just for the rehearsal for other purposes of the delegation/team. Not much of an applause this morning in the press area but that could be due to the visible lack of gathered people - partly due to the arena being open and accredited members watching it there and also due to the bus service which unfortunately has not done much to help improve the image of Copenhagen. All in all, this will qualify, and it will do well.
Fierce! There has been a lot of work done by the Israeli team in order to ensure that the best is given in their performance and they have done a great job. So good in fact that I am a bit worried about my wild prediction but will stick by it just because I need to be true to it.

Mei is no longer on her back in the bridge but is on her knees which makes it look much better and has a better flow. I am sure many people will be watching this on Thursday and would vote for it - and yes, I don't just mean the usual suspects.
I think this is one of the songs which is growing on me (but as mentioned yesterday, this happens to most songs by the end of the two weeks). I never paid much attention to Norway before heading out to the Danish capital and even when here, it was not one of the ones I had much of an opinion on. Now however I do have a respect for this entry. Carl seems to connect more with the camera, the vocals are quite strong and he seems more confident on the stage. The visual presentation is nice and works well for the accompanying music. The only thing which I find the entry will struggle with is that it is best described as "fine". The song is "fine", the vocals are "fine", the presentation is "fine" but what would a teenager in Belarus find in the song to vote for it? What would make an Irish mum watching tv after dinner call for Song 3? Stranger things have happened so wouldn't say a definite no, but still leaning towards unlikely qualifier.

Still of the same opinion as before - I really do not understand this song and don't see why it was sent to Eurovision by internal selection. You can imagine this being the unforeseen winner of a tragic national final gone bad, but internal selection?! The best thing about the happenings during this rehearsal were the free hugs being handed out by some members of the Austrian accredited team. Some songs, however weird and underappreciated by the gathered press they may be, still manage to find followers in the European households but I don't know if this will have the same luck - mainly due to the lack of a Sopho in the team.
I still love this entry to bits and cannot even try to hide it. I would love it if Europe feels the same - and you never know, they might! The song works incredibly well (well, what did you expect me to write?). The twirls, the clothes washing, the butter churning, it is all still there and add to the mix good ethno music and great stage presence and you have a great entertaining entry which hopefully attracts the viewers at home which watch Eurovision every year just for this kind of thing.

Cleo is owning the camera and is flirting with the audience quite a lot. The dancers also have become much more suggestive but still within taste so that the EBU doesn't need to ask them to cool it down a bit. Could this go through to the final? What do you think? Comment below or why not join our community and post in the Message Board.

Nearly impeccable performance! Staging is complementing the song really well and Conchita belts the song out with dignity and grace. There were a couple of notes which were not perfect but this does not bring any dampner to the song. Second run will also have the pyro used.

No pyro in two and three started a bit wrong so had to be restarted due to a mistake by the crew. We get to see where the pyro is in this round - and it is right at the end during the very last word of the lyrics: "flame".
Well, you can never rule Lithuania out due to their strong showing in past editions of Eurovision but you will be forgiven for thinking how on Earth could this work? You would be surprised! Even though the song itself is a bit of a mess it could find appeal in households, however Poland is quite close in the running order and is better refined. On the other hand, Vilija does have an extremely camp male dancer fumbling around underneath her personal area - something which can never be a bad thing in this show!

The dance routine stilldoesn't convince me though, even though they try to have the catchy move for the chorus, it doesn't seem to be creating any stir of fans waning to copy it. Vocally however Vilija is quite good, not perfect but reasonable. Will we see her on Saturday night? What do you think? Comments always appreciated here or in the Message Board.