Semifinal 2 Technical Rehearsal – view from the arena

Eurovision 2024 Technical Rehearsal from the hall semi final 2

So round we go again. I gather the stream was a bit 1996 but hey, these things happen.

An opening VT revisits Tattoo in a very Mede way. I approved.

NemoOnly Armenia in the first eight really impressed me. Nemo absolutely nailed what they were doing performance-wise, but there’s just nothing going on visually apart from Nemo themself. Austria was better than I expected and I think it’s a qualifier. Greece is coherent chaos, Malta did the same song as Cyprus a bit better than Cyprus, Denmark gave me slight vocal doubts, Albania solid work on a done-to-death song, Czechia just too angry to attract votes.

For direct qualifiers, France was certainly good in its way – in similar vein to my attempt to cook a sausage at the AirBNB last night, nothing much happened for several minutes, then the room filled with smoke and there was a lot of noise.

Weirdly, we didn’t see the hosts between the intro to Latvia and the end of the songs – a voting numbers board after Israel was the only thing that broke the run. I assume and hope this is a technical rehearsal thing, as it pulled a fair bit of life out of the proceedings.

Dons has one of the best songs and one of the best voices this year, and yet I don’t see how it qualifies off a pedestrian staging. San Marino and Georgia both knocked it out of the park, for values of “it” and “the park” which remain to be determined. I don’t think either could have done better with the material.

Belgium hit it hard too… actually, everyone in the remainder of the lineup of contenders hit it pretty hard. Joost is visually crap and then makes me cry which is a very curious blend of emotions. Estonia looks a bit chaotic, possibly in an LT United way but a lot less accessible. Israel – I mean, yes. As Mo mooted earlier on, giving it all while clearly not enjoying it. Norway is still nothing wrapped up in everything, but it’ll be here Saturday.

For the direct qualifiers, Nebulossa are just the right amount of sleazy, albeit in a Bensons for Beds kind of way, and Angelina while clearly getting everything right still hasn’t provided me with the point of connection to make me say “Oh, I get it now”.

Unsurprisingly, the show over all feels a bit thrown together last minute. VT compilations of last-place finishers and songs that never made it to Eurovision strike an odd note (Ballhouse, however!); We Just Love Eurovision Too Much is a typical piece of Mede/af Sillen genius and will stand alongside Love Love Peace Peace with some genuinely funny gags.

Herreys doing Diggi Loo Diggi Ley after the qualifier announcements is another weird decision for flow. Ultimately it does feel like the elephant in the room has stood on the show in places – still, this was just the first run-through and it will tighten up over the next 36 hours.

Liveblog tonight – food first. The usual amount of polish has not been applied to this post so the level might not match up to my usual standards!

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