Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rehearsals: Day 4: Part 1

Today is the last major day of first rehearsals - tomorrow it moves over to seconds rehearsals which are usually don't tell us all that much extra, but anyhow today there are 10 songs taking to the stage, so we have to keep moving forward. First up was Slovenia

Slovenia - Rehearsal Video
Slovenia are definitely a strong contender but looking at this today all I can think of is Croatia and Feminmen who were considered a shoe in to the final. One stage the white is looking very effective, and the general tone of the song is coming across well. Apparently they are trying out a lot of different backgrounds in today's rehearsal. There are Molitva comparisons going on but I think that that might be overrating the song.

Croatia - Rehearsal Video
Croatia are very unfortunately just after Slovenia, the song is rather like Slovenia's but it does lack something. The performance is certainly interesting to watch, given all of the dancing with lots of moody lighting in the background. This is unfortunately not as accessible as Slovenia and could struggle. I'm also hoping that she intends to change her dress and that that one will not be worn at live show.

Sweden - Rehearsal Video
Sweden have been the most anticipated rehearsal. I didn't review Sweden but along with Denmark, Iceland and Italy it is among my favourites. The performance has not changed hugely since the national final but at the end the background does light up with snow. In the rehearsal video that I saw the was no actually snow falling but they do run that prop sometimes. Overall I think that this was an extremely solid rehearsal and this probably is the start of Sweden's march to victory. There has been a general movement against Sweden in the press center and this is very noteworthy as these factors do influence media a lot. Sometimes it is good to be here is Dublin away from all that.

Georgia - Rehearsal Video 
As I have previously discussed I feel that this is one of the weakest songs in this years contest. No doubt though that the performance will be able to lift it a little and today showed that Anri is a very strong performer.  There are a lot of props involved in this entry. There is also the addition of backing singers also helps this entry. The overall presentation is a bit camp and I am really unconvinced on this as a qualifier. Apparently he has a drum and some pyros as well.

Turkey - Rehearsal Video
This is going to go down a storm in Baku, obviously because of the close links between Azerbaijan and Turkey. For Can this really will help to get him to stand out just a little more. Can has decided to keep this performance in line with the ship theme. However the backdrop starts with a sea and lighthouse but then develops into something different which might just be a boring, personally I'd keep the lighthouse all the way through. Vocally this was fine, with no major hiccups, so at the moment it should bring Turkey back into the final after last year. Strangely this reminds me of a Greek entry more than a Turkish one but I don't know why that is.

Estonia - Rehearsal Video
Estonia have a very divisive entry, I think that it is a possible qualifier though. I think that based on today's rehearsal this is a real contender, vocally it was spot on and the backing singer really helps the song. The intense colour really adds to the song. This is not a definite qualifier in my books but it is getting  very close.

Slovakia - Rehearsal Video
I do like this entry but the performance is doing nothing for it. In short: Soften the band image, improve the harsh vocals [i.e. with Lemsip], lose the sunglasses and lose the hat. More eye contact with the camera is required. The song does seem to end very suddenly though which is a little concerning. Eldrine slipped into the final last year and ended up 9th which was a big surprise so there clearly is a market for this out there and these people do actually watch Eurovision.

Norway - Rehearsal Video
Eric Saade Mark II I mean em, Tooji, stepped up for rehearsals today. Visually and in terms of dance moves this is excellent and a very strong visual close to the end. Vocally though it is quite off the mark. I will be waiting for the second rehearsal before I cast aspirations over how this will do. I expect it to qualify but not with ease. Many are suggesting that this could be the surprise non-qualifier of this semi-final but I suspect that the combination of a great draw and the dance show will mean it will go down a storm with the female televoters.

Bosnia + Herzegovina - Rehearsal Video
As expected Maya Saar has delivered a fairly understated performance of her song. The most outstanding thing about this song is the very strange choice of backdrop. Looking at the large number of steady cams on stage this will definitely be an up close and personal performance. Vocally this was good, but that doesn't take from the dull song. While some in the press center are suggesting that this might be the first non-qualifier from Bosnia + Herzegovina. I'm unconvinced, I think it is going through but I'm very hesitant to say that. I'll wait and see what further rehearsals bring.

Lithuania - Rehearsal Video
As usual I cannot understand the logic behind using a blindfold. The performance starts similarly to the one in the national final. Vocally this was spot on, but I still am unconvinced by the song. I think the last 90 seconds work really well on stage. The last 90 seconds backdrop is really interesting, again with the dancing figures in the back ground. This would normally be a non-qualifier but coming at the end of a fairly dull [for the non-Eurovision public] semi-final this might slip through.


  1. whats the general movement against sweden ?

    1. Well according to what I'm hearing from Baku, the press are accredited press are mostly against Sweden. Mostly because it is the fan favourite and because it is Sweden.

      But Sweden is a very clinical entry and this reminds me of how Lena was seen in 2010. No one in Oslo thought that she could win but fans at home were very much for her.