Good morning one and all and welcome to our coverage of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, live (or on a time delay) from Kiev.
The team is currently quaffing champagne in a Parisian airport lounge – on account of a late decision to start rehearsals on Sunday rather than the more usual Monday. This leaves me in the driving seat for a short while, watching videos and scanning other sites to tell you what I (and others) think of the first few entrants.
Point of order: The calendar on this site shows local time in Kiev – Eastern European Summer Time – so this means it is three hours ahead of UTC/GMT. In other words, two hours ahead of UK/Portugal and one ahead of Western Europe. The rest of you can work that out for yourselves.
So … Sweden. Yesterday the (Greek) Internet revealed Robin Bengtsson‘s stage props were trapped in customs. The question on everyone’s lips was ‘can he go on’? Well palms might have been greased, for here he is very much … going on.
In the grand tradition of Eurovision, those gathered in the press centre had no sound at first, although when that was fixed, some bits of the Twitterverse picked up on weaker vocals, possibly due to the more ‘exposed’ playback. But that might be people comparing studio with live. Truth be told, it came across as solid, workmanlike and polished. But would we expect anything else from Sweden? And if you can look this sharp first thing on a Sunday, you deserve a special prize. (I’ve still got half of last night’s dinner down me).
Suit-wise Robin appears to have opted for lilac, and he hasn’t changed much since Melodifestivalen. The backstage thing he did then struck me as a brilliant kick off for the 42 songs this year, and it looks like (Swedish Co-Producer) Christer Björkman agrees as they seem to have kept it in.
Tha backdrop is a pink neon cityscape, lending Robin and his merry men the look of a bunch of city bankers.
Georgia next, I wonder how she’ll tame that perm.