Hi all. I'll be blogging this rehearsal. I've only heard most of these songs once, and even then probably not the full 3 minutes, so it will almost be the first time seeing and hearing them in full.
Starting with a recap of last night's talent and the qualifier announcements, then straight to the hosts. Once again the hosts' fashion is gorgeous with black, blue and yellow outfits.
Very cool opening with close-ups on Reiley's face and and interesting contraption on stage. Vocally this is very competent and a good ending. They should be quite pleased with this.
Brunette starts on the floor and the colours are gorgeous. Beautiful vocals and the camera work for the first part is intimate and engaging. The rap parts are in alternating white and black lighting and the audience clearly likes this. It ends on a slanted elevated stage and this is a fantastic rehearsal for her.
It starts with a beautiful pan out shot of the stage, then he starts singing and it sort of gets lost from there. He's alone on a stool in a pink shorts suit and a guitar and it doesn't seem to connect. When the song gets going faster there are LED images of him in a long sleeve white tee..hashtag choices. I doubt this is staying beyond tomorrow night and there's very little engagement from the audience.
Ooo there's a piano that plays itself. What kind of sorcery is this?!? Now she's sitting by the piano and singing in a beautiful blue outfit, then she starts moving on the stage. She looks stunning and this is very professionally staged. She's very animated for the last third when the tempo picks up and her vocals are flawless, especially that last note. They should be very pleased with this.
The opening of this is great, and it gets the audience going immediately. Gustaph is a stage animal and he's incredibly engaging and a damn good vocalist too. His interaction with backing ladies is also very slick, every second of this is so thought out. The audience is eating up every bit of it and it should do very well tomorrow. Biggest applause so far by far.
Chitchat break with Timur and Graham, and some more banter on stage.
Nice dark blue staging starts this off and good vocals (the little of it that isn't pre-recorded). There's not much going on stage, but he's nice to look at so I imagine that's the idea here. There are some fiery parts towards the end. There's too much pre-recording here to assess this properly.
Dilja starts on the floor and the stage looks lovely for it. Very strong vocals throughout the song even when she's running back and forth. As good as she is, though, the song isn't very engaging which is a pity, and there isn't much reaction from the audience.
Nice start to this, he's extremely likeable and the audience is clapping along to the first chorus. Vocals get a bit patchy in the second part when he's walking down the catwalk but it doesn't really matter because the camera loves him and the audience is cheering him along. Lots of closeups on him and this seems to me like a very good rehearsal.
Lots of Fuego vibes to this from the getgo up to the on-screen smoke effects. Vocally it's awful, but it's all about the stage and spectacle which is visibly pleasing. The dance part comes off a bit amateur hour to me and the audience, it seems, isn't sure of it either. It'll probably Q but Fuego this ain't.
This starts off very slick and with great vocals, they're such pros and the staging is perfect for a band song with lots of guitar riffs. The audience is loving it. The entirety of the song is on the forward circular part of the stage. Great rehearsal!
Powerful opening with Iru owning every inch of the camera and perfect vocals. Even her mid part sounds are so well done and the dark staging is a great fit. For the last part she makes use of the stage LED panels that rotate open and ends it all very dramatically. Should be top 3 tomorrow.
More chitchat and a clip with Luke Evans
12. San Marino
Confession: first time hearing this. The lead Jack is a decent vocalist but the song isn't going anywhere, nor is the staging for this very engaging. They should ask for tips from Slovenia how to stage a band song. His jacket has an exposed back - cool. It ends with a lot of off-pitch screaming.
Within the first few seconds the audience are clapping along and loving it. Oh my word, this is so well staged and they're so in sync with one another. I think the weak spot is the "zero zero" part which no one will get and it stays a bit flat from that point to the end. Huge applause though.
The Kelmendi's are here to party! Actually, it's a cool opening with lots of red and black and some nice LED effects. The audience loves the ethno instrumental break with the red handkerchiefs. The vocals here are great and it's a damn good rehearsal. A family that sings together stays together :-)
Monika looks gorgeous in orange, and it looks effective when her backers join her from the sides of the stage for the chorus. The LED's for this are beautiful and it's flawless vocally and in every way. Definite Q.
The song starts with the lead voyager sitting in a car. It's nicely staged and the mid part break is very cool, it's exactly how a rock entry should be staged and everything is on point. Not my jam but I can see it doing quite well. When it ends he yells "Eurovision Nation, we love you". Hi back :-)
Summary: unlike the first semi this is much more even and it won't be easy at all to name 10 qualifiers. With the exception of perhaps 2-3 entries, they all stand a chance.
The music intermission for this semi is with an emphasis on the Ukrainian talent, and it's quite lovely, and understandably very emotional. After another recap we get the "3 hosts" in drag which is cool and camp, with pride colours splashed everywhere on the stage. It ends with a nod to Australia 2018.
Next is another zzz round of Filomena vs. Måns Eurovision trivia. This guy is the human version of Te Deum and will be featured in every Eurovision for the end of days.
Now it's time for the finalists.
Looks and sounds great, the staging is so on-point and the red drape effect is gorgeous. This is wonderful and so different than anything else in the contest.
There are some technical issues setting up for Ukraine so the stage director is goading the audience to cheer on the stage hands.
Always saw this as the weakest link of the finalists and this rehearsal doesn't change that. It's visually fine and cleverly staged with 4 LED cubes that interact with the artists, but as a song it's not all that engaging. The end part is great though and the audience shows them a lot of love.
More delays setting up for the UK, and more banter by the stage manager. The audience is getting excited for the home entry.
Still a bit lacking in the vocal dept and it could really use a backing vocal track. The staging and backing dancers are fabulous, with beautiful LED effects throughout. It's unfortunate that the vocals are so weak, especially given that many entries use backing vocals throughout the entire song and here there are none, not even for the chorus. It's an odd choice and could be costly.
Taped Q&A with the finalists (discovery: Blanca's sister was in JESC...never knew), followed by live interviews and finalist recaps. Fake qualifiers and good night.