Friday, 13 May 2022

Grand Final - Dress Rehearsal 1

 While Jonas is not allowed to leave his room until he's finished watching Eurolaul 1993, I'm watching the first dress rehearsal and bringing you the highlights. You're already seen the songs performed so there's no point talking about each one of them, so let's talk about: What surprises RAI have for us? What does the scoreboard look like? Will Blanco be there? Does Moldova suddenly feel like a surefire winner after 83 ballads in a row?

13:01 The screen has gone all blank. Scandalous behaviour by RAI. I hope Italy never host again. Oh wait, that was arcticandy pressing the wrong button on the remote. Well they haven't started - there's a UK flag projected on the floor, so possibly still rehearsing prop changeovers.

13:11 And we're about to start - Laura will not be here, she's "taking a rest" but will join us for the interval act, according to the MC.

13:49 The intro wasn't streamed, and now we see Switzerland. Marius is singing higher notes that we've heard in the last chorus. Is he planning to do this tomorrow?

13:56 France took a long time to set up and Mika had to improvise. Some very messy camerawork and they'll need those rehearsals to get things right by tomorrow.

14:02 There was no break between Norway and Armenia. They managed the allegedly complicated changeover during the 40 second postcard. And the break will be after Armenia.

14:09 Mahmood is in shorts, boots, and a kimono. That's... a look. Will he be wearing it tomorrow? Nobody knows.

14:17 You probably knew it already, but the contrast between Spain and Netherlands is the contrastiest contrast ever.

14:20 We're getting the UK postcard for Ukraine. Well they're similar names I guess, easy mistake to make. I'm not really getting winner vibes, but there's no audience now and it can make all the difference.

14:26 A green-room break before Germany, which is somehow working better than I anticipated. 

14:33 Another quick break before Lithuania, don't think this one is planned. Monika is without her wig(?) looking more like Kateryna from Go_A. I actually prefer this look.

14:39 Belgium is on. As some of you know me, I'm a hopeless ballad lover, but even I'm struggling in this section of the lineup. This is followed by a break, the fake Laura is promoting the official CD and DVD.

14:52 Greece was the same. Iceland is on and all Systur are wearing shades. Probably a tribute to Magnús Kjartansson.

14:55 Anyone who wandered off to the kitchen will be summoned back by the opening HEY HO of Moldova. This is out-contrasting the earlier contrastiest contrast ever. 

14:59 Now I get the running order. "Now that we have your attention, here's the good ballad". Oops, Corneila is having yet another technical problem and has to stop. Alessandro for the rescue.

15:11 Australia was the sa... identical to what we've seen. Followed by another break.

15:20 The UK prop is obviously causing headaches for the hosts, having to extend and improvise breaks before and after. Sam himself has polished his act and does just the right amount of adlibs.

15:26 Poland's splash is followed by Serbia's towels and I see what you did there RAI.

15:31 I can see why Estonia is closing - a crowd pleaser with no props. And the real Laura is here!

15:43 A snabbis followed by the hosts introducing us to the wonders of Italian hand gestures 🤏✋👌🤙 with the help of some dancers. Very much work in progress at this stage. Some of the gestures they're teaching us are basically identical to Serbia's choreography.

15:46 A real astronaut this time, an Italian one greeting us from the International Space Station. There's a lot of space this year. All we're missing is Elon Musk, but there's still an hour or so to go.

15:49 This is the Måneskin bit. With stand-ins. They will perform a song (not sure what, the stand-ins didn't really sing), followed by an interview (in which they didn't really speak). Then another song.

15:58 Another snabbis. Spain chose the "ooooooo" part for theirs with very little actual song, which I think is a terrible idea.

16:02 Alessandro is in space. He is space. He's a galaxy. SO MUCH SPACE TODAY

16:03 Gigliola Cinquetti is here, looking more like Py Bäckman. Non ho l'età is performed in full, which means this is the first time we get to see it in full in Eurovision, not destroyed by Danish archive fires or interrupted by Toto.

16:09 a video section about fashion in Eurovision history (Gisela is there, nuff said) followed by Mika singing his hits with big hearty flags, an LED piano and a lot of dancers. And another piano. Oh no he took his shirt off. Oh no it's just a very tight skin-colour body suit, the kind that only Blanco should be allowed to wear.

16:25 Yet another snabbis. It's been nearly an hour and the votes are still open. I should have been used to this from recent Eurovisions, but it surprises me every time. And now Laura is in glittery gold giving us a countdown, some fancy graphics with the numbers turning into dust.

16:31 A short clip and straight to the voting. All three hosts will be doing the voting. Taking a while to get to the Dutch spokesperson standing in front of a Friet van Piet. The spokespersons are Italian stage workers who haven't been briefed about what they need to do. This will be entertaining (or exhausting). I should add that the scoreboard looks like... a scoreboard, just with this year's colour schemes.

16:47 Mika is yawning, they were fed up so they just skipped to the televote part. France won the jury vote with Azerbaijan last.

16:57 The televote reveal is ongoing. We get different sound effect depending on if the country scored well ("prrrrring!") or poorly ("pffpffpff"). UK wins the fake voting, much to the delight of the fake Sam (a stage worker who has to cut short her phone call)

And we're done - overall it's going to be a great show, despite the BALLADY SEQUENCE OF DOOM. Much thanks to the hosts being a lot of fun.


  1. "...not destroyed by Danish archive fires or interrupted by Toto." Let's not jump into conclusions as of yet.