LIVE BLOG: Eurovision 2017 Dress Rehearsal

'Twas the night before Eurovision, when all thro' the town
Every singer was waiting to take home the crown;
Shiny costumes were hung in their wardrobes with care,
Ready and waiting for someone to wear;
Each singer and dancer nestled snug in their beds,
While visions of winning danced on in their heads ...

In other words, Mr Phil will be here to live blog you through the dress rehearsal tonight - the one where the juries across Europe make up their minds about who to vote for. Join him at 8pm (UK/Portugal), 9pm (Europe) or 10pm (local time).

Phil Colclough May 12, 20177:11 pm

“The magic of technology”…. That’s a new word for it…. We’ll i’m here and sat in my seat so all being well at the top of the hour we’ll be entertained by 25 quality songs…. *and* Croatia

Phil Colclough May 12, 20177:39 pm

TWENTY MINUTES TO GO!!!

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:00 pm

And we’re off – caught us a little off guard as I was munching on Potatoes and other goodies…

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:02 pm

The stage is flashing all sorts of lights and green room pods are doing it as well. It all looks a bit retro in black and white before……… a recorded announcement lol

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:03 pm

And the parade of performers – expect this bit to take forever as it usually does!!

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:06 pm

and still we’re going through everyone – but the UK have just come on to a cheer.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:07 pm

As usual i’ll be ranking the performances against each other to produce my 1-26. Feel free to comment and laugh at me….

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:08 pm

…though I also appreciate you don’t need to comment to laugh at me. We’re finally onto the presenters which means the songs can’t be far off surely??? – Mind you, perhaps not!

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:10 pm

I have to say that the script will make you guffaw or just want to slit your wrists, not sure which!!! –

From my seat I can see Jim from Val and Jim looking very lonely……

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:11 pm

and i’m still eating Dill potatoes and Mushroom Rice while I am waiting for the songs…

Oh, 11 minutes in and we’re starting!!!! – YAY!!!

(It’s gonna be a long old night)

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:15 pm

Interesting fact : Israel are effectively following themselves in the contest. Last on last night and they are the immediate next song in the contest.

Imri knows what he’s doing here and it is a good contest opener but I suspect the draw has killed the chances of this song because there are going to be better songs.

He’s also having tuning issues on his top notes which is going to cost him jury votes. Not necessarily Televoters because… guns and gym! It’s looking very polished which means less to go wrong which is always a good thing first up.

He still can’t sing “Alive” though which grates me….

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:19 pm

Imri may have opened the show well but Kasia has been buried bu the draw. She appears to be looking less like dragged through a hedge backwards as was reported this afternoon.

I also can’t forgive the Fire-Higher-Desire-Wire in this song but that’s just my personal opinion. She is attacking the song less than she did in the dress rehearsals for her Semi and that is making me lose interest ( as it will with the Televoters). Jurors are going to like the bigness (not a word!) of the song but it misses something.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:23 pm

And as soon as the Belarussians come on, the contest’s energy returns.

It’s eminently likable bouncy song in a national language that makes you think ” that’s what Eurovision can be all about” The hovercraft motif as they travel through…. “stuff” is a really good thing and they are performing the arse off this song and on the screens it looks fab. They’ve certainly got the Jury Final memo!

Does it matter it’s not in English? – Nope… Juries will mark UP for that if anything. Televoters will see energy….

Yeah, that’s a good one.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:27 pm

Austria next and the first song that gets a cheer in the hall from the start. That’s the real public for you!

Nathan’s problems with the high notes seem to have returned from the very first one which is a shame and he doesn’t engage as much as he has done in some of his dress rehearsals which drops the level of the performance for me.

Aaaand the highnotes at the end of the song are pitchy and very off key. That’s just dropped it down for me and the Juries will have noticed it too. eeeek

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:31 pm

Armenia next then.

This is a belting song. The issues on her Jury Semi Final are all gone and those first 30 seconds that she was off are a distant memory. Dihaj has hit every note throughout this song and the choreography is just ethnic enough for the viewer at home to be able to connect no matter where they come from. If Wogan was alive it would be a “Whiff of the Souk” moment and you can almost hear him say that.

Whereas Poland didn’t attack this, Dihaj has and is asking the jurors not to vote for her.

This is Top 10 material.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:35 pm

Netherlands, The are the sixth song. In it’s semi final it was the contrast. In the final though it’s the one that has had the stuffing knocked out of it by Dihaj and her ball grabbing performance.

Boring isn’t the right word, but it will do. The girls are doing nothing wrong but I think in this line up it’s too old fashioned and has lost any impact it had.

Yes it’s still 1990 but in this field, it’s outdated. Nope.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:37 pm

Little mini break before Moldova

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:39 pm

Moldova do what moldova does. It’s not anything other than that one trick pony that I’ve saying it is but it’s very effective after the lack of energy that o’g3ne were but does it pass the quality threshold?

No. It’s a substandard piece of old Eurovision tat which deserves to be consigned to the lower half of the board. It’ll get its voters but from where I don’t know!!

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:43 pm

Hungary are on immediately before one of the big favourites and again this is the shade when compared to Moldova’s light in a contest context.

The violinist on the satellite stage is proper effective and it seems that Joci has changed his jacket… either that or I didnt pay attention properly last night.

The rap sort of loses the effect of the song for me but having said that it did it no harm last night! – It’s gonna tap into the juries minds that he’s rapping in Hungarian which is hard but Televoting wise, it’ll get lost by the next one.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:47 pm

Italy have bossed this from the first second of the song, as you would expect. The TV will show the crowd waving like a monkey and shouting in all the right places which is good but there seems to be something missing from the performance that both John from EI and me can’t put our fingers on.

I’ve seen it performed a lot lot batter than this, perhaps Francesco has toned it down??

It’ll still get people screaming “ALE!” at the screen but there is room open for something to beat it.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:50 pm

Denmark is the cup of tea moment, of the shit in a genius sandwich if you will.

Anja has had problems singing some of the notes tonight which doesn’t help when the songs either side of her are both brilliant.

I seriously don’t understand how this qualified and I don’t get the song at all. It’s lost and is just a filler…

Next.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:51 pm

Phil’s Jury rank after Ten songs.

Italy
Azerbaijan
Israel
Belarus
Hungary
Moldova
Netherlands
Denmark
Poland
Austria
Phil Colclough May 12, 20178:57 pm

Portugal has just trashed my heart into a million tiny pieces. There are no words that I can write that can express just how good that was.

Yes he goes off notes at times and scats round the tune but fucking hell fire, Juries will see that as a well crafted song sung by someone comfy in his own song.

That’s going to score very very highly.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:01 pm

This is really the Azeri entry this time!!!

Now i’ve stopped crying over Salvador (Again) this is just getting lost. It’s sung well but it looks like all kinds of weird. I appreciate that there is a message but it’ll get lost after people still talk about Salvador.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:02 pm

Song 13 and it’s the song that we have christened “Fucking Croatia”.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:04 pm

There are times when I can’t be objective and this is one of them. If the juries have any sense they will see it as a piece of contrary nonsense that has very bad jury scores… like 25th…

It’s ridiculous beyond believe but he thinks its all serious.

Seriously, just fuck off….

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:05 pm

Phil’s Jury half way list ;

Portugal
Italy
Armenia
Israel
Belarus
Hungary
Moldova
Netherlands
Denmark
Poland
Austria
Azerbaijan
Croatia
Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:09 pm

Australia are apparently on screen but as per Tuesday night it’s just a pile of nothing. He’s singing it better right up until the high notes again, exactly as he has always done. He also seems to be slightly holding back which is what you DON’T do on a jury final.

Seriously has anyone told him that the juries are watching.

It’s a pile of nothing.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:16 pm

Apparently the Greeks are on stage at the moment. Demy is doing what she does and she’s still terribly pitchy when she sings the high notes… possibly worse than she has been all week.

It’s aiming for the diaspora constituency and those that still bop to this in the clubs around Europe but those notes though make it sound like a dog’s breakfast. It’s nowhere near a winner.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:20 pm

It seems that RTVE are in front of me at the moment.

They are waving their flags in a half arsed way that it’s much more entertaining that watching Manel murder this song. There is not a cheering clack of Spaniards like there usually is in the hall… that’ll be because the song is actual dogshit.

This is heading down the pan faster than Irelands hopes and dreams and that says something.

Juries wont do anything other than mark this down for being repetitive and Manel’s vocal wasn’t that great. Televoters of a certain ilk will like it…. but normal people will go ” What the hell….” – No one’s picking the phone up.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:23 pm

To my surprise Norway are the next song up because I still don’t know how they got to the final.

However, coming after the pile of bollocks that Spain was this is looking better and better. It’s a good modern song and shows itself better in this setting than it did in it’s Semi where it was after “Fucking Croatia”.

Juries will like this because of them being a real band and this is a “real” song. However Televoters have seen better but it’s improving for me.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:24 pm

Seventeen Songs in and Phil’s Jury looks like this

Portugal
Italy
Armenia
Israel
Belarus
Norway
Hungary
Moldova
Netherlands
Denmark
Australia
Poland
Austria
Greece
Azerbaijan
Croatia
Spain
Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:33 pm

UK in Fuck me that’s good shocker.

Lucie hit every note and every mark and the crowd in the jury final liked that alot.

I liked that alot.

The Juries will like it alot as it’s well crafted, The televoters will like it cos it’s a big ballad that connects.

Dare we dream a top 10?

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:36 pm

Hovig seems to have lost something and a couple of his notes are not quite right either. He’s trying to be Sergey with the background crossed with Swedish song writers and it’s all very generic. The backing mix also seems very off on the backing singers towards the end of the song as well. It’s only redeeming feature in this set of songs is that it’s uptempo..

Is being generic schlager enough in *this* contest?

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:41 pm

Seven songs left and we get Romania’s bag of uptempo…

You really can’t hear what she is singing and i’m sure that Alex rode his cannon in. Also the vocal is losing it between about 2:00-2:35 which is the important bit of the song. It looks messy and sounds messy and is overall messy with a capital Mess.

Televoters of the drunk persuasion might like it. Jurors might well have better songs to see or have seen.

Fanwank + Shite singing = meh.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:44 pm

Germany up next and in comparison with Romania this is class but I think the fact that has been placed 21st will count against it as when the juries are ranking this there have been better songs.

Also, I don’t know where the televoters are coming from for this and it could have accidental bottom third written all over it. This is also not helped because Lavina’s vocal have been less than perfect for bits of this song. Again, another album filler but she’s trying hard. Too hard arguably.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:45 pm

Phil’s Jury ranking after 21 Songs

Portugal
Italy
Armenia
United Kingdom
Israel
Belarus
Norway
Hungary
Cyprus
Moldova
Netherlands
Denmark
Australia
Poland
Austria
Germany
Romania
Greece
Azerbaijan
Croatia
Spain
Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:50 pm

The home time Ukranians are the 22nd country up. They are trying to look less pretty boy and more gnarly by the second and your lead singer does have a following but I fear for this song. It is the closest to a real rock song in the contest but the juxtapose of that and the massive papier mache head on stage is a problem.

It’ll get a hometown reception but it is conceptual and average at best.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:53 pm

If Craft Ale is the drink of choice for Hipsters then music to slit your wrists by from Blanche is the Eurovision equivalent.

This is clearly aiming at the jurors of a certain age but there aren’t that many on the panel, they are old fogies that wont like this kind of thing.

Televoters that haven’t reached for the vodka and Prozac, however, might well lap this up as being the closest thing to modern in the contest but I just can’t see the appeal.

Someone next to me said the brushes that sweep the stage are more interesting…. He’s right.

Phil Colclough May 12, 20179:58 pm

Sweden could send a robot singing the phonebook and it would still do well..

oh… they have!!

Robin is only so high in the betting because people think Sweden can enter anything and they can’t do anything wrong. Sadly they have. This song is bland, repetitive and is literally just a travellator or 6 on stage.

The lyrics are bland but, lets be fair to Robin, He can sing this but even if you roll it in glitter it’s still a big smelly one.

There are better songs that the Juries have already seen and they should mop up all the points.

Phil Colclough May 12, 201710:02 pm

Again another contrast. Kris is 17 and is a better vocalist than most of the contest, and especially Bengtsson.

You have to seriously compare this to the top 3 because he has performed it that well. It looks excellent and the voice is more mature than the age. He’s not hit a wrong note throughout the last three minutes. It was a perfect Jury performance.The camera shots are right and he is engaging. For one so young he’s the complete package.

Will they go for it? – They’ll certainly have it top 5 but where I don’t know.

Phil Colclough May 12, 201710:06 pm

And Finally, France.

This could have been a whole lot better than it is as well. The background that they have chosen ( Paris) and the dress she is wearing makes her blend in almost like a magic eye puzzle towards the end of the end when it spins round.

ALMA is still dead behind the eyes and is, for me, going through the motions and thats a shame because it has potential but Kris has killed it stone dead, though her lack of voice also doesn’t help. Mediocre at best.

Phil Colclough May 12, 201710:07 pm

Phil’s Jury results after all 26 songs

Portugal
Bulgaria
Italy
Armenia
United Kingdom
Israel
Belarus
Norway
Sweden
Hungary
France
Cyprus
Belgium
Ukraine
Moldova
Netherlands
Denmark
Australia
Poland
Austria
Germany
Romania
Greece
Azerbaijan
Croatia
Spain
Phil Colclough May 12, 201710:09 pm

and that’s that. Verka tells Europe to start voting…. and who are we to argue..

Phil Colclough May 12, 201710:15 pm

And now the reprises are on the TV that surely means that it’s time I went back to my abode and had a jolly good sleep!

Thank you for staying with us till the end of the songs….