Live blog: Semi-final 2 – Jury Rehearsal

Semi final 2

2101 – We’ve started!!!

2104 – Ready for a musical number to explain the Eurovision … It’s ace

2108 – Excellent – SVT know how to look inwardly and know what we all like…. MORE PLEASE!

2111 – Latvia – Justs on stage to open. Think he’s trying a little too hard he’s certainly attacking the song better than he did a couple of hours ago which is a good move. Might like to have looked at the camera a touch more but certainly the best song so far … oh … wait.

2116 – Poland – Michel is slightly off key in the first 30 seconds of this song but it’s the kind of song where that can be covered up by the rest of the performance. His X-Factor training would have helped him out there. I’ve seen him perform this better (like two hours ago) and whilst it’s a three-minute dirge, I can see it getting through … barely.

2120 – Rykka has gone back to the perm, NO NO NO NO NO. She looks like Zelda from the Terrahawks, also she sounds like she is off p-key (deliberately or not) but it’s struggling with how she is staging this. She keeps stooping again as she sings, almost like she is rocking in an orphanage … or the award for last place finishers. Apparently the stooping is her “thing” – it’s annoying …

2125 – Israel next. This is one of the fan favorites but how will he come across on screen? Well,brilliantly as it happens. Best song and singer so far. Performance is simple and suits the song, which is all good. Audience appreciated this song part way through. Definitely qualifying and will have hoovered up jury votes.

2129 – Belarus – Tippex-faced IVAN next. Shaky vocal to start with, not helping to be honest, and it sounds as though the mix is slightly higher for the backing singers … perhaps someone is getting some help here to my untrained ear. It’s not a bad performance per se. It’s just unmemorable and, right at the end, the vocal seems off and shaky too. Shame as this being not silly had promise.

2136 – Serbia. This is face-meltingly good – as Roy has just told me. It’s so intense that you think she will kill you with one look. The stage show has 100% raw emotion running through it and she looks into your eyes and says “Fucking vote for me” – and you just have to obey, and by the end of it you want to slap the person that has wronged her. Absolutely brilliant and possibly the best so far.

2140 – Ireland – Still think it’s lyrically simplistic and going for the lowest common denominator, and I still think that Nicky’s voice is too weak for this song, but he’s giving it a go and it’s in the mix. But then again, there are so many songs that are just “average” so what makes this any different? Sadly nothing. He may be interacting with the crowd, but not with the camera and the camera shots are too negative. In the mix, but no better.

2145 – Macedonia – Bit shaky on the vocal at the start is  Kaliopi here, but she gets on and builds into it, thankfully. She makes Ireland look like something she’s chewed and spat out. Getting help from the backing singers it seems, and that just makes it sound even better. The gulf in class between the two is evident and, as such, when the jury does a comparison they’ll put this above it. Class in a black frock and should be getting through….. can we sing Samo ti yet?

2148 – Lithuania – From class … to bottom of the class. Donny thinks its all about him and he has a swagger to match his ego, but not to match the quality of the song, which is very low. He has a very slappable face which is always a problem in this contest.

2152 – Australia – Dami Im is still sitting on a massive cube of granite, perched too high for her own good. The song is strong, but as has been said somewhere elsewhere will her “look” count against her. I suspect not with the juries. This is through with a bullet.

2156 – Slovenia – Manuella is trying to polish a turd, and it’s getting slightly better than it was this afternoon. There is more energy about this performance and, as I have been told, it has one of the fastest BPMs in the contest. She may well have just pulled this out of the bag to be honest … best performance at the right time.

2200 – Bulgaria – Poli got cheers before she started, and that is a good omen. Then she open her mouth … and this song hits all the right notes. As we said earlier in another place, she only needs one good performance and boy, this is it. Nothing different than we have seen but connecting with the jurors and the camera in that “I’ve got this” way … clearly qualifying as far as I am concerned.

2205 – Denmark – So Poli has definitely murdered the Danish “boys” – They are flatter than usual and although they are trying to do their best to get an old-fashioned song some votes, they are flogging a horse that ran its race several rehearsals ago. You see them counting to eight when they are “dancing” – this is meh

2211 – After a small break for the audience and me we’re back with Ukraine. It’s very strongly sung, and the crowd have gone with the long notes in the song, but – and this is me talking – I just don’t get it. Please explain it to me. Qualified though.

2215 – Norway – The problem with this song is that huge clunking change of time and beat, and to make things worse, Agnete is shouting it at me … all massive minuses for this song. This is in danger of not qualifying.

2218 – Georgia now. They have gone for a black and white look on the screen, while singing a song that could sit comfortably in the Oasis back catalogue. It then moves into colour and split screen, and gives a real music vibe. Yes, and the juries may well lap this up. The lights are going crazy in the hall. I genuinely don’t know if this is going through. I’m thinking no, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

2222 – Albania. Sorry, but this is three minutes of wrist-slitting depression set to music. This is what a confused head sounds in the firm of a song. It’s sung well mind, but it doesn’t grab you. Instead, it makes me want to get the Danes back on stage (I know, right?) – I can’t see Joe public voting for this and the juries have seen too many better songs.

2226 – Belgium – And after the juries have slit their wrists, they will now have them sewn back up by professional Flemish surgeons. This is an alright song from HSM set to music and coming after seventeen shades of shit, it perks you up, makes you smile and that should be what matters. Qualifying.

2228 – Georgia are having another go – Apparently there were technical difficulties.

2244 – Recap and short films as usual….. Big three to come … UK, Germany and Italy.

2301 – Germany are on stage now, recording in front of a crowd. I don’t get this and neither do the audience.

2306 – Italy is beautiful and that’s all I need to say😉

2308 – United Kingdom. Actually not looking half bad!! If it was in this semi – I’d put it 6th or 7th if I am honest.

2313 – And that’s it from me – guffaw at my predictions below!!

So, like on Tuesday….. I’ve done a comparative ranking, just like the juries would have done – Feel free to comment and guffaw.

FYR Macedonia