Sunday 8 May 2016

Day 7 - Germany, Italy, United Kingdom

Much like the first rehearsal. Much mediocre as the first rehearsal. There is still part of me which is just waiting for Jake's guitar strap to break and see the guitar crash to the floor while he's bouncing up and down. The ending with Joe putting his arm around Jake just looks fake and over-rehearsed. It still gained an applause in the room but I think it's just because there are quite a number of British people here. It is completely forgettable performance and if it is placed between two good songs it will be likely bottom 10.

The microphone stand has more coloured ribbons than just blue and yellow as was seen in the first rehearsal. Francesca is no longer clad in the brown dungarees and white t-shirt but in a black number. Camea angles have changed as have some of the added screen graphics. The LED backdrop has had a few additions to it but nothing majorly different - mainly some outlines of fluffy clouds floating accross the sky.

In this rehearsal you see Francesca picking up the apple with the seedling growing out of it. I would personally avoid this since you can see Francesca concentrating on doing it without being able to see since she is looking into the camera which is straight on. I would say this is the one that will be top out of the direct finalists this year.  

Same as most other times it has been performed. The outfit is the same as was worn in the first rehearsal as are most of the camera angles. This is the best so far today and by a long shot. Vocally Jamie-Lee is still strong and the backing vocals are on the correct strength. It would predict it to be second out of the direct finalists but I am sure Europe has it in it to blind-side us. Good effort and hopefully should get a decent result. We will not be seing Germany last as we did in Vienna.

The not-press opinion - FRA, ESP, GER, ITA, UK


France gave what I expected them to give. They are still a contender for challenging Russia and they certainly win against the similarly simply staged Sweden imo. Italy's staging is not to my liking, it really destroyed the feeling for me. However, it seems that people who were not into it find it very appealing. I'd be happy if a song I liked gets a good result, although I won't like the live performance video in the end. Germany gave me goosebumps, but I do realise that this is not going to happen to the average viewer. Hopefully, the juries will help her placing rise, but then will the outfit ruin her? The UK delivered, they made me like the song more than I ever had. Although it's instant, its appeal will depend a lot on the draw and what precedes/follows them. They would benefit from a clinical performance, like Czech Rep. for example. Finally, Spain's incompetence is beyond words. My first reaction two days ago was positive, but no improvement on the vocals has been made since then and the fall is captured and implemented in a very fake way.

United Kingdom

First shot the one not holding a guitar (I suspect that's Jack?). The shot widens as the background is filled with purple/blue dots. Two blocks with the drummer and the guitarist. Random faces appear during the second chorus on the floor. And the background as well. Stage turns black with white lights for the bridge and then some strong purple ones for the last part. Vocals are not bad, but not very strong. It ends in a mid shot with them hugging (in a friendly way). Personally, I like the far shots of this more, but for the vast majority it's the close-ups that will matter. It wins the battle against what I've seen from Denmark, but not much else.

Faces during the first chorus as well. Oh, it's actually two sets of drummers on the podiums. Not very noticeable anyway. For the second chorus, camera starts with them facing each other as they sing the first "You're not alone" and then pans away for the "We're in this together". This is effective camerawork. Some awkward jumps in the last part, somehow too co-ordinated, like they're standing on a mini trampoline. The vocals have improved.

Third run. Their vulnerable look in the beginning is much more preferable to the other opponents in this category, DEN, IRL, LTU. Or arrog-Frans. But I'm still not convinced they will avoid something like 18th. Good pyros by the way, timed with the I,I,I and sky,sky,sky parts (three each).


People loved this yesterday, but the stills didn't convince me. First time for this too, then. The stand has blue and purple shades around it. The flower arrrangements right and left of her are a nice touch, but it's too linear. Balloons all around and yellow spheres on stage. She's convincing when faceing the cameras. The tree on the back is just there, which is good (I wouldn't like any more movements and distractions on this). Some effects of white something on screen, like bubbles. The language change is here and I love that moment in studio, but here nothing special happens. The white thingies are like fireworks and bubbles, and little hearts. Ok, a bit silly. She gives us a potato? So many things happening, I didn't notice the song that much, which is certainly not needed. I'm cautious.

The white sparkles/clouds/hearts are already present in the opening shot. The close-up shots where not much is going on are the best moments imo. It happens during most of the 1st chorus. She gets the right angles every time, but then something appears at a random point in the screen and you watch that instead. Vocally perfect. I don't particularly like these ideas, but maybe others will? It could be because I also had a totally different staging in mind.

Warming to it in the third run as I focused more on what I was listening and her instead of everything else. It needs for the viewer to not be too distracted by all the staging and realise that they are actually listening to a decent song. In the end, it might prove to be a wise choice, but it's certainly risky.


First time watching this. Stage is purple while we first get to see a close-up of Jamie-Lee after 30 seconds or so (might be for the best). Camera are too shaky. Purple naked trees with green laser beams towards above (as leaves?). She is spot on in her vocals. Cameras are finally steady and she hits the shots. A weird shot of the backings in the dark before the second chorus, during which she walks the catwalk and arrives to the end of it just in time for the Ahhh scream. Ends with a far shot with her in the middle and the huge moon behind her.

We will need the next run to properly judge this, as the camera crew had a collective stroke or something.

Steady shots this time and identical performance. The weird dark shot of the backings is still there, though. It's so dark, this still counts as "hidden backings". She arrived a bit earlier to the end of the catwalk, which is less effective than before. She looks happy. Being a big fan of the song, I can't help but sing along. Although I love it, I do realise there might not be enough amount of connection developed during the night. Not much to say about the third run either, she's perfected it already.


The opening minute is vocally and visually problematic, unfortunately. The backings are clapping at the first "Say yay yay yay" very not to the rhythm. The fall was too fake again and did not happen during the close-up shot at her dancing feet. Much less convincing than her first rehearsal. She lifts it with the catwalk and this time she does one accidental Hooray (which exists in the studio version, but she's not supposed to do it live, from what we've seen so far in Stockholm. Let's wait for the other two runs, but I'm doubting her chances for a decent result after this.

More parts I find awkward. Why does the screen go black after the fall? It doesn't seem realistic, they should have stayed with the initial thing, where we get to look at her on the ground for more seconds. They've unfortunately managed to make what was a refreshing and contemporary performance into something over-rehearsed and obviously fake. The silly choreography of the backings doesn't help.

Good luck to her, because she's the best that happened to this entry.


Again, like with its first rehearsal, I am satisfied while mostly everyone around me is not. I think the performance is very sincere. My favourite part is during the bridge when the moon approaches him on the floor projections and he stands on it and then makes a glowing effect. There is one thing that's missing; audience. I am still optimistic about this, although I agree it is not a front-runner, like Russia clearly is.

Day 7 - Sweden, France, Spain

Backing vocals/dancers are wearing the same outfits as in the first rehearsal while Barei is wearing a golden number with her trademark black and white high top sneakers. The stage goes dark when Barei has her 'fall' but we're so used to it now we don't bat an eye lid. Vocally not the best performer and not expecting too many points to be awarded but sure some will be gathered no doubt.

Camera work is still debateable and the split mirror image just needs to be binned. It might have worked in 1996 but in 2016 it really does not. Althoguh it is used in the Georgian song (#repeatedly), at least there it fits the song. Here there is no need for the effect. When will rtve learn?

Amir is still looking too alone on that big stage. We understand that he is looking for something and it makes sense that he is by himself but the song needs backing dancers and the cheeky smiley clapping that we saw in the preview video. The current set up is setting him up for another disappointing result for the French Republic. Vocally also it is still a bit shady. The high notes are not being hit, this could be due to him saving his voice, or rather, likely to be, but the whole performance unfortunately seems to have a missing element to it all. Will it be possible that France learns from this year (great song, not enough oomph) and last (medium song, too much oomph) and find the correct combination next time round?

Amir seems to be struggling finding the cameras and barely ever manages to look into them. Even the camera angles still seem 'not right'. The table around me would not be surprised if the song ends up on the right hand side of the board on Saturday.

Although unfocused, it appeard that Frans was clearing his nose when the first notes started. At least he made a bit of an effort withis outfit although it is exactly the same as that he wore when winning Melodifestivalen. This song has about as much appeal as a soggy biscuit. Even the gathered europress could hardly gather the strength for a mild-mannered clap. It will do well but we would prefer it didn't.

Second run-through and it is not getting any better - if anyone is sorry it should be us for ourselves. Måns is in interview room 2, which is much more interesting than what is happening on stage.