This will be a rolling blog, each country in running order, so please refresh to update.
Good morning from Amsterdam (or well .... the Otherdam). Today it's my big pleasure to update you - on the second rehearsals from the remaining countries in the second semi-final from home, while Jordy will be hanging around in the arena.
🇩🇰 | Denmark
Another upgraded version of the NF performance. They even wear the same outfits. What's new is that there are backings on stage that get their own shot clapping after the word 'dansegulv', which is a nice touch. Also the stage looks amazing. In the same colours we were used to, pink and green/turquoise, but there's a nice animation that makes it looks like they're standing on an even bigger stage. During the bridge Jesper runs towards the sattelite stage, but he also returns quite quickly.
No notable changes in following runthroughs, only the pyro at the last not when Laurits joins Jesper on his mini-stage. The act looks finished and fun as always.
🇨🇭 | Switzerland
Totally not the staging I was expecting for this, but that isn't a bad thing at all. As you know Gjon is standing on a white 'thing' and even has some sort of choreography. We see some very close close-ups and Gjon looks into the camera. He's selling this pretty well, vocally it also sounds more than fine.
During the bridge however for some reason his face is lit with purple light which looks a bit odd. But that's the only thing negative to mention here. This is definitely still a contender.
On the backdrop at times we see some sort of silvery water effect, which looks pretty cool. During the song part of the object he's standing on is being slightly transformed. During the last chorus white spots are lighting up from the background and the floor. It looks great and sounds amazing. It's only the purple bit that seems a bit out of place, but that's not going to break this.
There were small some technical flaws here, the shadow of a cameraman was visible and also a stagehand changing the structure on which Gjon stands in the middle of the song was shortly visible. But these are things that they should be able to fix.
🇱🇻 | Latvia
We didn't get to see the first run, but Jordy just informed me it was stopped in the middle of the song for reasons apparently not obvious. The second run went fine, she and her three backings on stage (yay for that) all in green (backings with the well-know head pieces) and a quite busy yellow-golden abstract backdrop which is also projected on the floor. I was actually positively surprised, expected it to look and sound much more hopeless than it did. Even though it's hard to make something of it and in this semi it is facing quite a hard task.
Samanta starts at the back of the stage, a bit alike Georgia, but now in green lights. After that she joins the backings center stage. Near the end there's a nice shot from above after which they make the well-know crown gestures. The crown also features as part of the background animation, which as stated above is mostly abstract and busy. Perhaps busy enough for the singers wearing green to get a little bit lost on stage. But all in all, a very decent performance. Is it qualifying? That's probably not the case.
🇫🇮 | Finland
Yay, it was about time for some action, and we get it. The performance, as was to be expected, isn't really much different from what we saw in UMK, but an upgraded version, due to the stage being a lot more impressive. The lighting is mostly red and white. with lots of rays of light in all directions.
Hardly anything new to tell about this one except that it looks solid and will obviously qualify. And what happens there depends on a lot of other factors, but it could actually get pretty high.
In the third run there's also (modest) pyro effects during some of the choruses. Not the most original song in its genre but well executed.
🇧🇬 | Bulgaria
So Victoria is sitting on this cliff/island thing you've all already seen. With a picture next to her which at one point she emotionally looks at. Stage is all golden lights and golden stars. Much gold in other words. And at one point there's golden sand coming from above gliding through her hands. There were some pretty odd and probably unintentional camera shots in the first runthrough. Also I wasn't fully convinced by her vocals, which seemed to be off at times. But it also seemed she wasn't trying very hard.
Second run is much better. I called it a cliff/island what she's sitting on, but it's hard to tell what it is. It's floating in a sea which has golden refelctions in the water. And it somehow seems to be turning around during the song.
They apparently had to cut a bit from the intro and the beginning now sounds a bit odd to me.
All in all, I'm not feeling the winner vibe some others seem to get, yet. Which may also be because of a bit messy camera work, too much movement, I think it would have worked better if they focused a bit more on Victoria.
🇵🇹 | Portugal
Performance starts of in 4:3 black and white, and stays like that until the end of the first chorus. The screen widens and we get colour. On the backdrop we shortly see what I suppose is meant to be Amsterdam, then we see silhouettes of an orchestra playing, including a huge piano, all this with a golden background. Near the second chorus a woman appears on the LED wall. At this point the singer walks to the sattelite stage with the woman 'walking along' with him on the transparent LED screen, which is well thought of. Stage colours are very warm (mainly gold and some hints of blue) and well suited to the song. There's also a projection of a big golden heart at one point.
His voice may not be what everyone likes, but he sounded fine for how he sounds. At least the first two runthroughs, there were some pretty ugly notes in the third ...
🇦🇱 | Albania
OK, this looks pretty amazing, from the first second. Anxhela is all alone on stage an wearing a glittery silver dress. On the backdrop we see a lot of red 'explosions', later it becomes a mix of red and turquoise / greenish blue, which may sound odd, but it looks great. During the last minute this turns into a cloudy sky. There's also some smoke on stage. Vocals are totally fine here too, as the artist must realize this *may* be what Europe actually gets to see and hear. Some reporters say 'Iveta' (Armenia 2016) and I can see some similarities indeed. Very well done, and as it was already a borderliner I feel this performance has probably pushed them to that side of the border they want to be at.
🇬🇪 | Georgia
So we're having breakfast with Tornike. Perhaps not the most exciting start of the day, as not a lot happens. Unlike reports from last Tuesday, he is now singing the song as we know it, and it sounded decent enough, even if I feel that the (recorded?) backings are a bit too loud in the mix at points. At the beginning of the song Tornike comes through the stage doors which are lit in white. They close when the starts singing and the backdrop turns into a what sort of resembles a night sky with many moving golden stars.
Coming after some heavy up-tempo stuff, the calm beginning may make this stand out. There's a box on the stage on which Tornike is sitting for the second verse. This is when we see part of the lyrics appear as projections on his face. All in all it's hard to compare as it's the first thing I've seen in full. Also the stream got cut off halfway the second runthrough ....
I think the opening is effective, and this is important. But I'm not convinced it keeps the attention for long. Also I can't help thinking Tornike feels pretty bored by it himself.
All in all, decent, and not chanceless, but also not very eventful.