Join us live here from 16:00 local time (2pm, UK/Portugal - 3pm Western Europe) to hear what we make of the first dress rehearsal of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. It's the first semi final today.
As a reminder, here's the running order:
- Czech Republic
Join in with your comments below.
Afternoon all – we’re ready to go with the first rehearsal at the top of the hour (4pm here – 3pm or 2pm where a majority of you are)
Monty will be in the Fan Area and i’m in the press centre…
While we are waiting for the thing to start – Remember this will be a stop start thing with lots of tech mistakes. I’ll also try to mark them as the juries will mark them so at the end of this you’ll get Phil’s 1-18. Feel free to comment as appropriate or inappropriate…
This is your THREE MINUTE warning people!! THREE MINUTES
It’s a very long three minutes….. Our lovely floor manager is still speaking!!
And we’re off with the first of two sets of introductions…. Usual on screen to hall business. Very Ukranian.
Followed by some Rapping From someone called “Monatic Spinning” – Could almost be the Norwegian entry several days early….
And now… we’ve stopped…. As predicted.. They are going to reset and do it again.
And off we go again and this time, the full runthrough begins…. Hopefully
It would be almost helpful if the start act started to remember the names of the presenters what seem to be in their Civvies. I think “Performance clothes” hasn’t extended this far.
And we’re off!! – Thank the lord….. With most of the same script that we have all heard for years.
Postcard is Robin and his one look rehearsing and playing hopscotch and then trailbiking around Kiev….. He really is Mr Personality!
Robin starts backstage but the visual lighting effect makes him look like he is singing in a power cut ( if only…).
To me it all seems wooden as hell or polished to within an inch of its life, whichever way you want to look at it. He certainly knows how to sing this very average song.
Nothing other than the MF performance here but I don’t know what the real people would think about it.
Can’t go on Robin… Don’t then and do us all a favour.. Oh, he has… It’s ended
After a long pregnant pause she comes on screen dressed in Red and even though it should sound like a Bond Theme and have “Live and let die” guns and stuff around it, it just falls flat to me and a touch overblown. The Jurors might well see a well constructed Ballad but there are so many of them this year that it’s still struggling to keep it’s head above water.
Australia are next. Postcard of him in Melbourne getting ready to go on stage and then him singing. Cut to his flight and him in Kiev. The delegation and the lighting thing are a thing it seems.
Isiah is clearly using a left over travelator from Robin but shit me there is a big projection of him on the back screen after the first verse, very distracting and it’s all about him clearly as more Isiah’s are on stage. The song itself isn’t being performed as such and just sung but my issue with this is that he hardly looks at the camera. That looks like it is his style but its a touch distracting for me and there are too many long shots to help that connection. The pyro curtain is the most exciting thing in the first 2 minutes and by that time the televoters that go ” Australia tho…” will have turned off.
Albania are Number 4 and Lindita is looking more and more like a bridesmaid of Frankenstein rather than a “normal” Bridesmaid. She’s giving a vocal performance that can only be described as nervous. There was a shot on the screen where you can see the fear in her eyes and that’s particularly disturbing when you are trying to deliver this powerful song.
To me, there needs to be some comforting to be done by the delegation because, quite frankly, it was not a great performance.
Belgium next and my first through was “what on earth is this…” – The beginning of the song is just too low and mumbly and we can’t hear the lyric and that is usually the thing you need in a song contest.
She sounds as through she is half asleep and is not enjoying the performance at all. It’s drab and dreary and gets no better. Any Belgians that through this would get through will be sorely disappointed. It has absolutely no merit .
My Ranking so far :
We all know what this song is about and there is no way you can hide it but it has to be said that Montenegro is doing a cracking job of selling this one and whilst it is clearly camper than Billy Butlin and Pontins together it has a constituency but in the conservative countries it might get marked down. It needs to be either full-on gay not this half arsed attempt at being metrosexual.
Cheers in the press centre… obvs.
Break – and a little breakdown with our Servers… all back now though…
Next its Finland. Nothing much wrong with this if we are honest. This is how a dark little song should be sung. It’s the wrong side of scary and the right side of engaging. This should easily qualify
Azerbaijan next. Dihaj was clearly out of tune when she hit the first high notes and that that could well make everyone go “owww” if she does that tonight. I still dont get the concept of this song and Televoters may well go “what the actual fuck is this. Can’t see juries apart from Local ones seeing this.
Please hold… Incoming Portugal….
In… Literal.. Tears.
That was totally perfect. For a first time runthrough in front of this lot it melts even the coldest of hearts. The querky performance still makes me want to belt him but it totally works.
When Europe see that they should fall in love with it straight away.
Ten songs in and it’s time for Greece. You stick this on after Salvador and it shows up the gulf in quality. ERT think they can win with something generic sung by their usual beauty with backing singer help and boy does Demy need it. First time she sings ” This is Looooooooooooooooove” is a mile out of key and nothing is getting back from that.
And the high notes get no better the second time either and as I have said all week they are pretty key to the song. They need to get the vocal a lot better. Quickly.
Phil’s standings after Ten songs
Eleven on is Poland.
Kasia is finally attacking the song, something it has needed from day 1 not just the day before the final. This has suddenly shot up in my estimation.
Paper is a nothing song until the final 90 seconds. Like a boxer in a fight it does all of its best work at the end to round to catch the eye of the judges and it does. The last half makes up for the very boring first half of the song. Is it going to be enough? – More than likely.
Phil’s standings after Thirteen Songs
Czech Republic after a break? – That’s really not helping it to do anything. Europe will have had a cuppa and then see a very slow song with a gold velour-esque dress singing on screen. It has been killed off totally by that placement. No matter how well she sings it, and she does, it’s got nothing written all over it.
Hovig needs the old tuning fork out and quick. He’s been off on the first two high and long notes and most of the first verse wasn’t exactly great. As the song has gone on it gets more and more pitchy and he can’t afford to do this tonight.
It really was painful in too many points to get that many votes if he does this tonight.
16 songs in and Armenia now up their game. This is the best I have seen it performed all week. If you love ethnicity and a very good vocal (Something that Artsvik has not had all week) then this is the one for you.
On screen it just has enough energy to make it not look overpowering. The fire and the emoting are finally working well. This has leapt up the table for me.
Well done Armenia.
If Europe needs a toilet break after Armenia, then this next three minutes is it. Omar still has the look of someone that’s making his career at a Ljubliana hotel singing classic songs. This, however, isn’t one of them.
It doesn’t connect and when Omar looks into the camera it’s scary. Vocally its ok but the song is the musical equivalent of walking in a mile of treacle. It’s slow and ploddy and whilst the juries might like it, who on earth is televoting for it??
Ahhh it’s the song of the Neon Penis. As a show closer its supposed to be modern and all that jazz but it just melts into the background as nothing. The current vocal is also slightly sharp as though she is trying too hard. I think the voters will be put off by the look and feel of the song. It doesn’t draw you in and the only thing that does is her costume and the high NRG bit but, lets be fair, the demographic of the viewers isn’t going to be enamored with that.
It’s a mash of nothingness but it’s probs gonna qualify cos it can beat some of the other rubbish.
Phil’s Final Jury standings after all 18 songs
Three of the big 5+1 also on stage. They sing it all then select a clip for the world for see.
They can’t pick the first 25 seconds of the song and they’ll only pick ” Do it for your lover” which is awful.
Manel is trying but as with his other performances he’s not engaging with anything because the song doesn’t give him the chance to engage. It’s a horribly repetitive song which should get the result it deserves. It’s cold and he really isn’t feeling it.
UK will be the second to perform…
Once the contraption gets on stage!!!
Absolutely MASSIVE delay between Spain and UK……
After a massive delay Lucie comes on and nails it again. She’s hit her marks and the stage looks amazing. This is really really good. Even the look at the end into the camera was excellent.
They have upped their game.
Another massive delay before Italy perform.
Dunno what the delays are….
This is still looking all over the winner. Not a foot wrong. He’s in a league of his own and loves the camera does old Francesco and I still believe it’s his to lose, but he’s not going to be doing that any time soon.