Live blog of Semi Final One Evening show.

Live Blog Eurovision 2024

So here we are again – as happy as can be! – The Eurovision starts in earnest with the first Semi Final Evening rehearsal.  Remember that the juries are still constituted just in case something goes wrong on tomorrow nights show! Like a boycott across Europe against taste and decency….

May 6, 2024 12:02
ENDED
Latest update 3 weeks ago
21:44
Well there will be

Some sort of interval acts but, frankly, I have a bed to get to and to get freshened up for tomorrow!

Thanks for viewing and just being!!

21:43
Full time report.

I'm feeling controversial. I turned to the table and said "I think Sweden is the worst staged song out of all 37". They told me I'm an idiot. I think there's no visual storytelling and the performers disappear into the visual chaos. "She's unforgettable". Who is? Dame Edna Everage? Susan George? The Rt Hon Virginia Bottomley? I'm none the wiser. It's all icing and no cake.

As far as the contenders are concerned, nothing really excited me at all. Mr 95Man is still in the wrong place for several of the shots, but Mr Phil's already said more than I would ever commit to print on that subject.

Portugal and Luxembourg were coherent at a point in the show where basic coherence might be the benchmark.

I reckon Serbia, Poland, Iceland, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Finland, Australia, Moldova look like the songs that are most at risk of the drop and if you force me to pick three survivors from the list I'd go for Serbia, Finland and, umm, one of the others. Moldova or Australia might be the accidental qualifier? The clarity isn't clear quite yet.

21:38
Phil's final ranking after all fifteen songs

Ireland

Croatia

Ukraine

Lithuania

Cyprus

Luxembourg

Poland

Moldova

Portugal

Slovenia

----------------

Azerbaijan

Australia

Serbia

Iceland

Finland

21:38
Latest Bambi News

No Re-sing!

21:36
Luxembourg

France Gall and Lara Fabian!

Israel's first entry of the week comes onto stage and does everything to distance herself from where the money has gone for this song.  Tali minces around the stage with owls in the background - who knew that Luxembourg and Apiary were natural bedfellows. 

This should be a safe qualifier because of who it is and the fact that Tali has a good voice but in the final, that might be a different kettle of fish! 

21:33
Portugal

Doce and Salvador.  Two people what have more talent in their little finger than Iolanda has.  This, like Australia, checks me out at the door and I can't find any redeeming features at all for it.  Which is a shame because in the review I liked it quite a bit when i saw it in the FdC.  

Here, coming after Australia, I would have expected tbis to have moved me more but I just find it boring - less boring than Australia though - so probably 8th-10th

21:29
Australia

Guy and Kate in the postcard. 

I just don't know who on gods green earth is going to vote for it.  It's got lyrics that only make sense to the songwriters and whilst it is clearly earnest it's also unfathomable in equal measure.  

The Digeridoo player is also superfluous as he doesn't even play it correctly.   The whole song feels like a two minute idea stretched into 3 minutes and whilst the crowd like it, I can't see it doing a right lot.  

21:22
Azerbaijan

Ell and Nicky and someone else, sorry I drifted off for a second!

Europe are going to drift off for the next three minutes as well because, quite frankly, this looks cheap and sounds like an afterthought. 

Yes it's got the ethnic quota sown up but, frankly, its all a bit O.Torvald on the background and the song doesn't live up to the promise that shows.   It is a Turkic man singing something local but, ultimately, doomed.  

21:18
Sweden

Carolamort and Loreen (WITCH - BURN HER) are on the postcard.  

Just a reminder that it took SIX people to write the averageness that is going to open the final in a few hundred hours from now.  

It's the same as the MF performance - That's all you need to know. 

21:16
Phil's Rank after eleven songs

Ireland

Croatia

Ukraine

Lithuania

Cyrpus

Poland

Moldova

Slovenia

Serbia

Iceland

Finland

21:15
Moldova

Zdob Si Zsub and Epic Sax man, naturally. 

Natalia needs her mates on stage with her during this one because I think there is just too much in it for her to carry it off.  That being said, she has a set of pipes on her, something that we would have known from the last time she was at the contest but I definitely think it has been emasculated (Efeminated?) by just having her on stage and no group violin business. 

Thats not to say that there isn't any at all oh dear me no - She has the Vanessa Mae violin at her feet but doesn't use it until the appropriate moment because, who wouldn't want a premature fiddling?!

The wings effect is very good on stage but I think there is too much for this to do to qualify.  

21:10
Finland

Catcat (!) and Kaarija - a juxtapose if ever there was one before this bag of shite actually starts.  

This must have seemed like a good idea at the time - lets be wacky and out there and all that stuff, Europe likes that - well yes, but it needs to be executed perfectly. 

This is not executed perfectly.  In fact I have never seen anything so hatefully awful on a Eurovision stage for many a long year.  The Singer, in inverted commas, looks like he doesn't want to be there and Windows95 man's brand of forced fun is... shite. 

Is there a song in there to make up for it? - No, not really - just a man that looks like he should be on a register mincing about the stage being "funny".  

Get off my screen now!

21:06
Slovenia

Energy and 2019 in the postcard for this one - which is one of the weirder choices this evening I must admit.  

Raiven has got A LOT to do to make this song qualify and I don't think that it's strong enough before she has sung a note.  This song is a tough sell and its unique selling point is, basically, her and some semi naked dancers.   It would work if the song was uptempo and not about a witch which no one around Europe is going to get or have the time to understand in the interstitial time between Germany and this.  

It's all dramatic and stuff but leaves me underwhelmed.  

21:06
Half time around the grounds

Fortified with a bottle of Zingo Zero, I've been watching this carefully - up to Iceland as I write.

Ireland, even with a staging glitch, still looks like the quality. Croatia clearly went down a storm in the arena, but I'm really worrying about the camerawork - it looks hectic and unplanned. There's a story in the song, and the story goes visually untold.

No question about the Ukrainian story being visually told properly. That looked powerful.

Might have underestimated the UK in the arena report earlier on. It looked big in the arena now it has a crowd of Actual People, and there's definitely something happening with that one.

On a general positive, I've noticed very little vocally concerning from anybody. The sound mixes are pretty much perfect (making myself a hostage to fortune tomorrow if I've not spotted something) and it's clear that everybody is stepping up to the plate. There's a contest on here.

21:02
Germany

Mekado (1994) and Lena introduce Issak whom I walked past on the way to dinner this evening - we didn't intrude in his thoughts as he was with the delegation. 

As Deller might have alluded to, this is the This is Fine meme given life.  Clearly a pyromanic Issak decides to burn his house to the ground and spaff NDRs budget up the wall but he gets no votes in this one.  

He has a little vocal wobble when he tries to riff off the song and suddenly gets that back again when he remembers which bit to sing again.    To me, he sounds a bit throaty this evening - I mean this could be his voice but, in truth, I've not taken much notice of the song before.  

And that's a damning Indictment in itself.  

20:59
Petra alert

Petra doing some more business which is always a good value piece, followed swiftly by....

20:55
Phil's Rank after Eight Songs

Time for another little break - Swedish films with Eurovision Films.  Here's my Top 8 so far

Ireland

Croatia

Ukraine

Lithuania

Cyrpus

Poland

Serbia

Iceland

20:53
Iceland

Bank of Fun and Dadi in the postcard. 

Hera Bjork had a slim to naught chance of getting through and now she's got even less than that after Baby has just gone on and nailed that.  

There is a small delay as Hera gets her ego hoisted onto stage, either that or they are wheeling Bashar off, one of the two!

It just looks and sounds like a light entertainment show on LWT circa 1986 from the Brian Rogers Dancers, without the dancers, or the tune.   She clearly knows what she is doing and what it is all about, however people are going to be bored after about 20 seconds and it never really recovers. 

20:49
Croatia

Let 3 and Doris Dragovic in the postcard fact fans.  

This is *still* the favourite for a reason and the first 20 seconds don't give you any reason to doubt that - and then it gets into it's stride.  The first thing I notice is that they have changed the lyric from " Need a round of Decompress" to "Need a round TO decompress" which makes more sense.  

This is a better  thought out Kaarja in every move it makes.  Baby Lasagne nails every note and camera shot to perfection and hasn't taken a mis-step throughout the three minutes.   I believe him when he sings this song and more importantly so does the crowd who sing " Whoa-oh" back at him.  The best thing in this part of the contest. 

20:46
Bambi News

Direct from people in the know - The candles didn't work properly and they are asking for another go.

Stay tuned!

20:45
Poland

Edyta and the Milkmaids in the postcard because of course it would be. 

This afternoon this was a bit death by staging which is a shame because it has the promise of a really decent song, it just doesn't need the massive chess pieces on stage and that dress is fucking ridiculous.  

It doesn't need any of that - It just needed to b e sung with minimal choreo and a hark back to the chess preview video.  

I've also just noticed that she had a horse on stage with her as well which she rides inbetween the verses.  It's almost as though TVP have gone "all" as the incorrect question to "How do you want it staging"?.  It should qualify on merit - it might not - it's borderline. 

20:40
Ukraine

Ruslana and Go_A in the postcard, 

This is the down part of the sawtooth that people cleverer than me talk about when Christer puts a song contest together.  This is a great song in its own right and deserves to score points from all over the continent on the strength of the singing alone. 

As I said earlier the iconography is not lost on me as Alyone climbs the mountain on stage in an attempt to out Jamala Jamala but then when Jerry comes onto stage dressed in, seemingly, a kimono, I think the rapping takes a little bit away from the overall look. 

It's still easily qualifying thought.  

20:37
United Kingdom

Sandie Shaw and Lord Samuel Ryder for the UK Postcard. 

If Bambi Thug was the anti christ, then Olly is the anti straight - This is everything you have heard it is but it's also a damn good song.  The crowd in the arena were clapping along with this from the start which is the best reaction it's had in weeks!!

Olly has been hiding this performance in plain sight and I have no issues with it and the cut camera shots in the middle eight are brilliant.   The crowd are going totally mental and it looks fabulous on stage and has been performed excellently.  

A great performance. 

20:31
A little pause to catch your breath

yup.. time for a drink before the UK comes on.  

A quick "funny" bit by Petra whilst they put the box on stage for Olly.   She pretends to know all the Eurovision Song - and doesn't.  

20:28
Phil's Rank after 4 songs

Ireland

Lithuania

Cyprus

Serbia

20:28
Ireland

Logan and jedward go before Bambi Thug.  Lord only knows what the catholic majority in Ireland are going to think of this but in this room it goes down really well.  It comes at you with all the subtlety of a brick and hits you right between the eyes.  

If you get past the "occult" elements its just a great piece of performance art.  I reckon Bambs is not hitting all the notes but there are only "fake" points and it was a lot better about four hours ago in the arena.   That is not to say that it's gone off a cliff by any means - Just think they are holding back.  

They also get bonus points for the dress change and they nail all the camera angles which are not easy. 

Easily through.  

20:23
Lithuania

Donny Montell 2012 and The Roop 2021 introduce Silvester who looks a smug twat in all the postcard,  Yes I know I don't like his face but a hatred of someone you have never met is totally rational in the fandom of this contest.  

It starts sounding like Blinded by the light again but doesn't have anywhere near the talent.   He's in his red boiler suit and, as I have said previously, this song is built on a one word chorus.   It is frightfully well executed nonsense though so I have to give it a modicum of credit.  

BUT - People will have forgotten about the Serb song about 90 seconds into this one

20:19
Serbia

Molitva and Konstrakta on the screens before Teya who isnt a Poe-ist comes onto stage to sing a song about Ramonda which is a flower and a symbol of Serbness,..

I'm pretty bored of this song by the time the first eight bars have finished because its all very maudlin and nationalistic in many ways, but who outside of the diasporta is going to vote for this.  She can't half emote the song though but its not going to be enough to get it through - I think it's gone.  

20:15
Cyprus

Mana Mou in the postcard, possibly the best Cypriot entry ever, precedes the postcard here.  Silia  is eating Salad, cos she's "from the med" via Australia.  

This song sounds a lot like the two bangers that have already been on before the contest started and whilst *I* think that is a bad thing, Europe aren't me and will, therefore, see a decent show opener with lots of men in tight t-shirts and a green background.    She still farts methane in the background which is disconcerting but..... it'll probably qualify I reckon.  

20:10
Just when we had nodded off

Petra and the other one, whos name escapes me, come onto the stage and trot out some lines.  Petra is making it look effortless and the other one, Malin, is a step behind on both delivery and pace.  

They praise the opening number and the real winners of the contest - and we are all United by Music, apparently.  

20:07
Is it appropriate

to sing SPACE MAAAAAAAAAAAAAN at the top of my lungs in the press centre about now? askingforafriend!

20:06
and we still havent started

because why not get 2022's third placer Chanel to "perform" her song - you k now the one that Sam Ryder beat... yes?

20:05
and after that...

we get some more Eurovision previous, as it were, by wheeling out Eric Saade, presumably after he's been told not to be a prick after opening his gob about Palestine - it's his job to sing and he mimes quite well for a kids tv presenter.  

20:02
So the introduction

is seemingly about the postcards from around Europe before we get into the main arena and the light boxes above the X reveal the stage and then.... Eleni singing Fuego.. woop! - something for the gays seemingly right at the start.  

20:00
So the screens have come to life

and then went blank  - then they make the music that makes Father Jack stand up and we're off

19:53
Well the press centre

Is bristling, I tell you, with pent up emotion and all the other platitudes you can think of here.  I reckon we're in for a good show and the juries that vote, but not made it public, must be salivating! I know I am

19:46
And for those of you who know...

Stage manager Hendrick is back!! - He's been away for a bit but has paid his dues and is manning the show with efficiency!

19:41
So here we all are

Ready and waiting for your company at OnEurope for the rehearsal we canm see but you guys can;t - which will mean we are clearly talking the shits.  It starts at the top of the hour!

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Shai
Shai
22 days ago

Technical question:
Is it possible to hange the blog so last blog entry will be on top of the blog?

Much appriciated

Shai
Shai
22 days ago

I can tell you that on my phone it changes all the time.
Sometimes it coming on top , sometimes I have to scroll down to the next entry and sometimes the running order is all.mixed up.

Probably my phone😂🤣😤🤦🏿‍♂️🤦‍♂️

JimW
JimW
22 days ago

Blimey – Mr. Phil ranks Ireland as the best entry in the semi-final. I am running to the window to check for flying pigs! 😉

Gregory B.
Gregory B.
22 days ago

Just wanted to say your blog and reviews are the ones I enjoy the most of all! Always a delight.

MD
MD
21 days ago

Great analysis – I had a friend in the audience for this rehearsal who had a great time but the sound where she was in the Arena was terrible. She’s Swedish but wasn’t that much impressed with M+M either.

Do hope it was a Jordgubb Zingo Zero that you were drinking! The best soft drink in Sweden IMHO. (For those who don’t know Jordgubb= Strawberry, sounds much worse)