Eurovision Final Dress Rehearsal – 2100 CET – REFRESH FOR UPDATES

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Eurovisionista’s everywhere – it’s your time to shine.  From 2100 CET you can get the latest rolling blog and find all of the ooooh and aaahs for the Jury final of the Eurovision.  Keep refreshing this page and you will see all of the updates. 

2309 – AND that’s it for it for tonight – Apart from Justin Timberlake on stage…….. Trying to convince people he knows who he is.  He’s not very television friendly!! – And we’re off!! – Enjoy reading!!!

2306  – PHIL, Right.  Guffaw at my “jury” ranking.

United Kingdom
Czech Republic

2300 – RIIGI – Iveta from Armenia is grabbing us by the throat and demanding that we vote for her. An acquaintance of mine is quite taken with her and I can see why. There is much smouldering again and lots of special effects, not least with how this builds up early on. It’s a great way to end the contest and I feel all drained now. If only they allowed alcohol here…

2256 – RIIGI – Mr Phil likes this. One of Joe and Jake is from the same bit of Stoke-upon-Trent (PHIL EDIT  – Stoke-UPON-Trent and Stoke-ON-Trent are different anyway!!!) Newcastle-under-Lyme  ( Clayton actually) as him,so can do no wrong. And I’m in agreement. There’s nothing wrong with this at all. My only concern was that they might, just might, have been holding back a little bit. Maybe not the best tactic for the jury final. However, it might surprise us all.

2252 – RIIGI – Zoë is all smiles. More smiles than you shake a stick at. And all peach dress it seems. There can’t be any peach-coloured fabric left in Austria at all. The fans like her schtick which concerns me a little (I’m looking at you Kate Ryan) but she’s got a bit further than most. To be fair, this is a nice freshening breath of Alpine air and there’s nothing to dislike per se. However, the potential fanw*n*n*ss can’t help her chances. Or the few duff notes she sang towards the end.

2251 – PHIL – Austria.  it’s nice enough but I think the late draw will muller it’s chances.  Zoe also seems to be feeling the strain in her voice which will be a problem when they make their minds up.

2249 – RIIGI – It’s our pleasant surprise package from Georgia, with their homage to Brit-pop and moodiness that you could bottle and sell as Batumi sea-water. There’s an assuredness about this I’ve not seen from many other acts. Maybe they didn’t expect to be here so they’re just having a bit of a laugh. I might have a slight issue with the strobe lighting but that might entrance people into voting for this.

2249 – PHIL – Georgia – Real band sings real music shocker!! – Same as last night’s performance which was good enough and the juries that liked it then should like it now.

2247 – RIIGI – It’s our pleasant surprise package from Georgia, with their homage to Brit-pop and moodiness that you could bottle and sell as Batumi sea-water. There’s an assuredness about this I’ve not seen from many other acts. Maybe they didn’t expect to be here so they’re just having a bit of a laugh. I might have a slight issue with the strobe lighting but that might entrance people into voting for this.

2245 – RIIGI – Ira is ace. Because I say so. And she’s NOT a witch. Her song has all sorts of good stuff and watery effects. There’s good interaction with the camera and the tumbling dancer (who’s French we understand). I would like to see us in Malta for a proper ESC soon and I’d like the lovely Ira being the one to take us there. With a performance like that, maybe, just maybe, she’s in with a chance.

2245 – PHIL – Malta.  I’m sat opposite Ira’s Boyfriend and he’s looking very very nervous and has been silent for the first time tonight.  He’s casting a critical eye like we all are.  The song itself, like so many tonight, is above average but, and this is the problem, when the juries rank songs against each other there are loads better songs than this.  Televoters will see a very well presented pop song and that in itself will “buy” it votes but i’m seeing low top 10.

2242 – RIIGI – Hide the sharp implements for the next three minutes. And no, it’s not because strangers are coming. It’s for the theme of this happy little song from Jamala. I do like it, especially for the kaleidoscope of colours around her feet. A song with emption and meaning deserves to do well over a song with screens being climbed up (and almost fallen off). It could be worth a punt and might split the vote with a certain larger neighbour.

2241 – PHIL – As an emotive performance with meaning you can’t beat Ukraine and I don’t think many people will.  I don’t *like* the song but I get why other people do.  She’s just cried her heart and soul into that performance and the Juries are going to see a song, sung with emotion a plenty about a subject dear to her heart and the hearts of Ukrainians.  It’s not “fun” but by god its powerful.  Televoters will either feel this or not.  Not sure.

2237 – RIIGI – I’m wondering whether Justs from Latvija is after some money to buy some new jeans. I know I’m not down with the kids so it could be this thing called ‘fashion’. I’m please he’s in this final to give it a bit of Aminata-grounding to proceedings. He tries to smoulder and put emotion into this and I think it does work to an extent. Not a winner, but it might hoover up some wayward votes here and there.

2236 – PHIL – After a run of a dull old songs, Justs comes on with something pleasing to the eye and ear.  This is a good change of pace at this point of the contest.  He’s put his sleves down for this final but he hasn’t half just run on and attacked this song and rung every single jury vote on this.  This will lap up the televotes as well and should, IMHO, finish near the top.

2233 – PHIL – Spain – Fan favorite that is going to fail.  The usual Spanish are doing their usual thing in the crowd and they might get some televotes from fans and their locale.  However, again, there have been better written songs becaue saying “yay, yay, yay” is really original and the prat fall is a bit like Douwe’s silence – One step too far.

2231 – RIIGI – I’ll admit that Barry from Spain is fully in tune with what she’ s singing about. Whatever that is. She shouldn’t be doing the fake fall. It fools no-one and has gone from silly to just plain barmy. The fake fool puts me off the reminder of the song because I’m trying to rack my brain as to why she does it. Other than that, it’s just a load of noise.

2228 – RIIGI – Sergey could win. He could win big. He could take the contest by storm. However, he could also get this horribly horribly wrong. It may be just me but I think there’s a bit of weakness with his vocal, as if they’ve turned his microphone down and turned up the ones of his backing crew. Despite all the hype, it’s still Ok but I really don’t think it will win now.

2227 – PHIL Identikit song from Russia on next, The kitchen sink has been thrown at this in an attempt to win the contest on the lowest common denominator.  He looks pained while he is singing this and there is a whiff of desparation about this.  There is no way this is even money favourite and there is no doubt though that it is up there but there are better songs that have been on which is where the juries should put their votes.  Televoters will lap this up.

2222 – RIIGI – Barbara – can you come and present your award now? Nina from Croatia seems to have taken a shine to dressing in tall-ship spinnakers. An interesting choice when going round the local ICA. I find this very distracting over what is a potentially nice little song. Who knows though, the Americas Cup teams could be watching tomorrow night.

2122 – PHIL – It’s time for Croatia’s entry, sponsored by Uncle Ben’s boil in the bag rice.  The plastic bag she has escaped from looks all shades of silly and it takes you away from the vocal which is really good but I appreciate that the contest is called Eurovision but if it detracts from the song, then it’s not good.  This should have been one of the favourites as the song is really strong and builds well and she is singing it very well ( excluding the key change which is a bit slidy up the notes) – overall, though, a Miss.

2220 – RIIGI – I have been waiting for this night, but not this particular three minutes of this night. I find Donatas’ perm very off-putting and it’d be better if he still had his sparkly blindfold instead. However, the floor lighting is very effective (unlike this song). On the whole, it’s still a bit underwhelming to me and I’m still wondering how it beat Kaliopi.

2119 – PHIL – To me, Donny’s song sounds like the shopping list of wants on a Tinder profile.  ( Beautiful hair, beautiful eyes, no fats or fems) – Though he still use the trampet through the CO2 but missed a couple of words and the overall impression is that it’s a touch weak and still all about him rather than the contest.  Again, not badly sung but it seems as though there isn’t much in the way of attention grabbing.  Might get local televotes but not much else.  Juries have seen way better.

2216 – RIIGI – Another song that doesn’t so much ask you to vote for it, rather grabs you and screams at you to do so. I’m inclined to be taken in by this. She hits every note (to my hearing anyway) and the money shot at the end is very very ‘Modlitba’. It’s not bad and I think those Serbs should be darn proud of themselves

2215 – PHIL –  Serbia comes on stage and still grabs you to vote for her. Vocal is a touch off but it doesn’t half look impressive from this screen. Televote sponge from around the Balkans for me and it will score well with people that love a good honest to god song.

2213 – RIIGI – Nothing wrong with the singing bit of this little song. I’m worrying about some of the camera angles which are very distracting. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of good stuff going on here and it is a bit attention-grabbing on the whole. And Mr Hacksaw likes it so that’s biund to be good. I would like to go to Cyprus in 2017. Hint hint.

2212 – PHIL – Chypre. I suspect that in this field that it will either wake Europe up, or drive them to slut their wrists. Francois gives an empassioned performance of a good rock song and didn’t look totally out of place on stage but, and it’s a big but, can they get the televotes because I think the juries have already seen many many better songs.

2207 – RIIGI – More words from our sponsors before someone who looks refreshingly non-European. Yep, it’s ten dollar Dami. I’m still not sure on her sitting on a twinkly box. Still, this is quality and if these upstarts from Australia can put in a decent song sung by a competent singer, why can’t half of Europe (cough, Switzerland, cough). I think she has this right apart from a few wayward notes towards the end.

2207 – Australia next.  The song is boring as hell and she should be moving more but, having said that, she can’t half perform the song and in a song contest THAT is all important. There is an old saying that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should so thankfully she doesn’t.  Contender definitely and it is a performance that grabs you to vote for her.  One or 2 duff notes but overall, good enough.

2204 – RIIGI – The longest three minutes of the contest comes from Michał and this dull old dirge. What do people see in this? It’s dull and tedious and has no redeeming features. And, in some places, some correct notes. I don’t like it and I don’t want this to do well.

2201 – PHIL – Poland on next and frankly this first half is coming to an end on a real low note.  It’s a very plain performance from Michel and in this field the song really drains the life of you.  That’s not to say that it’s a bad performance until the moment his voice cracked 5 notes from the end.  Marked down because of that.

2156 – RIIGI – Suit and trainers? Hmmm. I know my countrymen couldn’t carry it off. I want to like this. I really do. I want it to win so I can get fleeced for a cup of coffee in Paris. However, there’s something missing. It might be backing singers, it might be some other presence on the vast stage. But I just think it’s going to get passed by. People of Europe, please prove me wrong.

2155 – PHIL – France comes on stage and this isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either. Again, another quite flat but competent performance of this song. It’s good but to me he has not performed a stand out performance. It’s almost as though he is going through the motions and thats a very dangerous thing for a fan favourite to do.

2153 – RIIGI – After a word from our genial hosts, we move onto Jamie-Lee and her interesting sense in dressing in the dark. I can’t get enthused by this and for me it wouldn’t come top 10 if there were only five songs in this Grand Final. It’s safe and we all know safe does in Eurovision, don’t we Lighthouse X? On the plus side, not many people can carry off a turquoise-and-cerise combo quite like her.

2152 – PHIL – If this has a ghost of a chance of being not stone last then i’m Silly S McSilly.  I can see the concept, it’s what Jamie-Lee does but it sounds and looks a bit too cooky for Europe to actually think ” That’s the one” who they will pick the phone up and vote for it.  As for the juries, if they mark on the criteria then it looks messy, sounds dreadful and looks rubbish. Nailed on Last.

2150 – RIIGI – We have an animated Swede sat with us. He’s positively moving slightly. Frans gets the benefit of all the yellow light SVT have allowed Eurovision to use. I’m not sure how to take this. It’s an anti-song in that there are no bells and whistles – or good diction for that matter – yet it grabs my attention and makes me think “Hmm, this could win”.

2149 – Frans gets the hometown vote and hometown staging and he is certainly performing this well but it does just sound like a 3 minute whinge.  Zlatan must be spinning hearing his boy moan his way through this.  I think that it will get hometime votes but I suspect that the Europe wide appeal of this song is negligible.

2147 – RIIGI – Poli can do no wrong, despite the Spaniards sitting behind me who feel like they can talk – LOUDLY – through 25 of tonight’s 26 songs. Maybe if Poli were here she’d scare them off. Poli is a fine woman in every sense of the word, and can sing this to within 2.54 centimetres of its life. She’s doing good tonight and has us under her spell. She gets extra bonus points for deigning to bring her backing singers on stage too. I think that could be (at least) top 10.

2145 – PHIL Poli just gets better and better. Nice easy style and the crowd are loving this, it’s presented well and it’s the epitome of a proper pop song. Not *quite* on the Italy levels of excellent but beautiful in its own way. Fills the floor in the Euroclub apparently.

2140 – RIIGI – And another stunning ballad may have done Italy’s chances no good. I’ve always rated this and how we get the stars and dark staging it’s just sublim. My only criticism is when he sways far too quickly for my liking towards the end. He’s singing a ballad, not bopping to the uptempo remix of ‘Kaan’. I still like it.

2139 – PHIL – Israel, coming after Italy, looks completely flat after that performance. Hovi is doing nothing wrong but the juxtaposition between the two performances is marked. There is, for me, a bit of overegging the pudding on this one. It has all the right components but even the curtain of fire won’t make up the ground on either Italy or Hungary. So far, 3rd at best and it can only go further down.

2136 – RIIGI – I’m swooning as Mr Phil can testify, this is that nice. I love the setting, and especially the levitating fruit. It just catches your eye and potentially stops you dead for three minutes. And I could listen to this over and over again. There are no bad notes or camera angles- it’s damn near perfect. Do we want Italy to win? It’d be nice.

2135 – PHIL – Francesca can do no wrong.  The song is beautiful and beautifully staged which will help the juries to mark this up on quality becuase she’s mullering everything before her at the moment.  Whereas Hungary was slightly down, this has hit all of its marks and is clearly winning so far, but there is a long way to go.  Looks great on screen as well with the little animation things.  Italy can win this when they like and the crowd have gone bonkers over this.  She’s singing it so easily its untrue.  The one so far.

2131 – RIIGI – At last, a song that grabs you by the terviseks and wants you to vote for it. I personally would as I wouldn’t want him coming to my apartment and threatening me with his basketball. This is still performed really really well with its crowdpleasing beat. It’s probably on too early to win, but this needs to do well, or there’s no justice.

2130 – PHIL –  Hungary starts with a duff note, that isn’t going to impress anyone but thankfully Freddie is good enough to cover it up ( unlike you Samra!!) – Looks very effective on stage as it always has but the whisper round here is that his voice isn’t quite as strong as it was but I can’t hear any difference. It looks stunning and is, as it always has been, the winner so far.

2128 – RIIGI – Why? Just why? How come this beat [insert country here]? Samra’s still attempting all the right notes and hits them a little better than normal. But her backing dancers are far too distracting and I just find this tedious now. Even the ‘miracle’ of a shower of gold (I was careful how I phrased that) won’t rescue this thing.

2127 – PHIL – Azerbaijan. Oh my god this is hideous, it’s smug by numbers and makes ME want to throw up or slap Riigi!! – However, because of who it is and where it is, it’ll score… but she has no voice and it’s clearly noticable.

2024 – RIIGI – Douwe needs a slap. He looks smugger than a smug thing that’s won a prize in smugness. Maybe it’s because I’ve not been to his bar (yet). This is bumping along as well as a song can that stops – yes, stops – for ten seconds while he expects us to swoon over him. It’s OK but I still want to slap him.

2123 – PHIL.  If Douwe goes any slower he’ll stop.. .oh wait, he does half way through this song and I still think it looks ridiculous and is completely pointless.  He mouthed ” I love you” at the camera and started back late.  This is a good song and doesn’t need this.  He’s still dead behind the eyes though. Also changed the lyric at the end of the song.  Should be a 20,000 Swiss Franc fine.

2120 – RIIGI – Why am I thinking Pythagoras’ Theorem? I was always called a mathamatician at high school. Or something like that. Gabi makes me want to rub my upper legs, she’s that nice. I really like this song and think someone is a stinker for putting this on so early. Our Czech friends need all the help they can get and second on is hardly helpful. Please vote for her. I would like two weeks in Prague drinking their lovely lager.

2118 – Czech Republic next – No need for any bouncing or return to drawer here.  This song, whilst in the place of death, is strong enough.  Gabbi is doing a cracking job of just connecting with the audience in ways some of the others won’t.  This is appealing to Jury votes as its a well written song performed simply but, and it’s a big but, televoters won’t go for the quality and that’s a shame.

2116 – RIIGI – Dogger, Fisher, German Bight 8, NW decreasing 3. Oops, I’m thinking BBC shipping forecast right now. No, seriously, Laura is a cracking little singer and performing this like the ebst performing thing you could think of. Yep, even better than anything from High School Musical. She’s sparkly, busy and, most importantly, in tune. Great opening and already my interest is piqued like you wouldn’t believe. It’s going to be a fun night.

2112 – PHIL : Belgium first.  This is a cracking little show opener.  Laura and her chums bouncing around the stage like kids on crack, choreographed to within an inch of it’s life but whilst Sylvia Young would be proud, it doesn’t look too mental.  Should pick up Jury votes too.

2111 – I, Riigi, maybe shouldn’t have been drinking with my Stockholmer cousin before I was tempted outside to blog this just for you. On the other hand, alcohol (which most definitely is not free) may help to ease the pain I feel that a certain country didn’t make it through to tonight. Yep, that’s right, I’m talking about Greece/Denmark/Norway/Iceland/Finland/Estonia/Macedonia/etc*

Delete as applicable

2108 – Riigi is sobering up at the moment so we’ll be back on dual duty.  We’re just watching the two of them talking!

2101 – We’re here – Riigi’s here – What more could you possibly want – oh yes, descriptions!!  A catwalk show of all the artists begins the contest.  I’m sure once he passes his breath test he’ll be joining us!


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