Friday 12 May 2023

Final Dress Rehearsal 1


I am live (a Little delayed) in the Arena to bring to you coverage of the first rehearsal!

The hosts are on stage to get the show started after a flag ceremony featuring Jamala  and a brief Verka interlude

They have announced the return of Luxembourg to great (not greasy) cheers in the arena.

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria are first up, with the perfect opener. The arena loved this last night and they do again. Just outside the top 10 seems likely.

๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal get the ‘just happy to be here’ slot and perform admirably. They’ll take their lower half place with charm and entertain us in the meantime.

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญRemo is so sweet and he performs flawlessly. Happy to see Switzerland keeping up its final run with this one. Chills at those big notes

๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ You’ve all seen it on stage, but Poland really executes the song excellently.and use the stage very well. Blanka is gorgeous and I’m glad her Eurovision story has some joy after the rocky start.

๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธSerbia will be on after a presenter time-filling spot thanks to the big prop!

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท La Zarra gets wheeled on stage on a giant doughnut while they are clearing away Luke Blacks mess.

The Sarah Dawn Finer prop looks less impressive in real life but she nails it like the pro she is. This might do better than I previously feared.

Another break after France, with a VT to come on Charles and Camilla.

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ Then we have Cyprus. The front rows will get a suntan from the fire on this one, he’s selling the song well even though it’s clearly very difficult to sing.

I’m not sure whether putting Andrew between La Zarra and Blanca undermines him or makes it feel like the ‘vocal powerhouse section.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain isn’t the best for arena viewers, but she of course nails it and it fills the entire arena even when it’s half empty.

Alesha is really earning her paycheck with all these prop breaks.  We get a plug for JESC while Loreen is wheeled on stage.

๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช I’ve been team Kรครคrijรค but Loreen does bring Jamala vibes. Hopefully it’s as close as 2016! She’s holding back on vocals but she really is something special

A prop break again (there’s a lot of them) before ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Albania which probably only squeezed through the semi but will pick up it’s fair share in the final even with this draw.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Phone lights are being asked for for Marco, and it’s a stunning performance visually, with the added staircase fallers making it more like performance art than just a dull ballad. Top 10 seems on as usual for Italy.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia was my bar break last night, so it’s good to see it once. But that’s plenty. Effective in the old-school way, and feels a little out of place in what has been an impeccable modern contest until now. Strange place in the running order but I guess it’s to make Finland even more impactful. The press seem to like it though

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ is the big one for the hall, and it could snatch a victory if the arena reception at the jury rehearsal feels persuasive enough for juries. Massive

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czechia may suffer from following Kรครคrijรค (and another short break) but on the other hand it also feels a strong top 10, maybe even a Shum. Well done sisters!

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia very much feels a story of the draw. They couldn’t not qualify, but now they feel a little thrown under the unecessary prop car. It has its audience (not me), but they’ll be lower half.

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium doesn’t give me a lot to say, but it’s great for Gustaph to be here. After him is a break as Armenia’s cliff is built.

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Armenia gets a lot of support in the crowd, Brunette is a superstar and thankfully a kinder draw for this one with a chance of surprise jury success.

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Moldova shakes the room with that bass and really sell what can only be described as an ethnobanger.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Ukraine make the best of the excellent stage, but although I really like the song this really won’t trouble the top 5.

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด the other ethnobanger sandwiching Ukraine, this draw makes Ukraine feel quite limp. But Alessandra is Great and im sticking with my prediction of a high finish.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany have a massive stage set up but they seem to get it set up quick enough to avoid bothering Alesha. The stage looks epic and it really feels like nobody wants to finish last this year. It won’t be Germany but it might be Spain or even Ukraine.

๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Ostensibly a good draw for Lithuania, but in such a strong run I think it might get a little lost. But the crowd seem to like it and I hope I’m wrong.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ do you wanna see me lay down on the floor in several positions? Unicorn is a bop but I can’t see it competing at the top of the leaderboard. Best ending fireworks so far though!

๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ have been given a good draw but again I think they’ll go the way of Lithuania despite charming the crowd and audience.

๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia are going to get their best televote result in a long long time - if not ever.  They are pros and the world will have a lot of fun with them

A lengthy break before Mae who seems to have the trickiest stage prop.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK is the perfect closer and will be magnetic love. Her vocals are ok with the crowd behind her, and the staging is excellent. I have a new favourite fireworks too - they clearly spent a fair whack on everything.

I’m going to leave you here, but it’s an excellent show as expected and it’ll be a great event for all attending and everyone watching on TV.  Enjoy it!!

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