Thursday, 4 May 2017

Haiku #5

Clothes old new and white
Sister mamma daughter too
In the danger zone?

Day 5 - 2nd Run Through : POL / MDA / ISL / CZE / CYP

There is only one question we have - will he be able to keep his balance this time? Did he practice at all?

The answer is yes! And he actually walks on the lines which he did not do before either. He seems to be more confident in himself and the camera angles are helping him in the sections which could go terribly wrong. All in all it seems like the delegation really looked at the footage and possibly even the comments and have worked on it. Hovig stumbles a little bit on the last chorus but if that is the only one it's a lot better than the first rehearsal where he could not hold himself at all.

2nd run - In the instrumental bridge just before the second chorus Hovig gets tossed around from side to side by the backing dancers. Quite a decent effect! Also visually appealing is when Hovig is on the ground in the last chorus. It does give you a bit of a Sergey-inspired vibe but if it works why not? Comments have been made that this should be the reprise take.

3rd run - The sound in the press room (at least where we are sitting) is really bad and the audio cuts constantly. Performance is getting better and Hovig is looking more and more confident. Don't discount this me thinks!

And there we have it. End of day, now off to go and grab food, and drink (plenty of drink) and back to do it all tomorrow! Hurrah!


Martina is wearing the same outfit she did in the first rehearsal. We though (read: hoped) that it was just a joke and her real dress will be revealed later on, it seems we were wrong. Staging (purple and gold) - meh, song - meh, vocals - meh/good, qualifying - no. That is all.

2nd run - If you thought I was going to be able to come up with anything brilliantly funny or informative, you were wrong.

We thought we were getting another go at this song since the first run through was stopped but it seems we are not. Oh well, bye Felicia!

Oops, we were fooled! FOOLED I TELL YA!

3rd run - Ooh! Actually they changed a few camera angles in the first part and it works a bit better. Don't worry, it's still not qualifying but it's working better. We also have the backing singers of Hey Mama (Moldova) singing their chorus in the press rehearsal which is completely drowning out what we are seeing on screen. Now it is over. For real this time.


Jeezus christ I stand corrected. Iceland this year beats Poland in the tits department. Wearing white latex, Svala's figure-hugging attire leaves not much to the imagination. Her huge platforms would also put Dihaj to shame. She also shows Tamara from Georgia how to work a cape.

Svala sounded a lot better than she did in the first rehearsal but it is still a bit 'out there'. Coming after Moldova doesn't help her either. The performance in itself needs a bit of interpretation - which I am not really getting - and cannot really put my finger on it.

2nd run - Better camera shot at the beginning of the song, me likey! When Svala sings about the paper cutting 'right through' she uses hand genstures in her cleavage. Yes dear, give the audience what it wants! Another decent vocal rendition - quite likely going through to Saturday me thinks.

3rd run - Much the same as the other two. One thing that I've been noticing however today is that there are so many acts which seem to just have the single artist on stage and they look SO tiny on it. Svala at least seems to avoid most (not all) of these shots however you can still tell.


Flawless! Absolutely flawless! The three backing singers have all become brides now that the switch between black short skirt to white long worked for all three of them. The song has energy, fun, and connects well with the audience. The choreography is down to a tee, the backdrop works extremely well with the song and the guys make you want more. There is absolutely no way that this will not be in the top 10 come Tuesday.

2nd run  - Another great performance however one of the backing singers' changes didn't work. Also, this time they throw their bouquet's in the audience - I hope they have spares since they know they ain't getting those things back, unless they buy them off ebay where they undoubtedly will end up.

3rd run  - Yet again, great performance. The skirt change worked for all three again *good times* however the bouquet throwing techniques have deteriorated at a phenomenal rate. Only one managed to actually throw off stage, the other two just, well, had a bit of a girly throw which fell short of the audience. Now, cue hungry aggressive fans trying to grab that bitch of a bouquet at all costs!


It exists. That is as excited as I can get about this song. Poland seems to go for the 'when in doubt, show tits and legs' method. Vocally Kasia is fine, but the backdrop of that stage just does not make any sense what-so-ever. Then again, when did that ever trouble the Eurovision gods?

2nd run  - Trying to pay a bit more attention to what is going on. In fairness, until the random animals and the pointless "FREEDOM" appear in the backdrop the song does pretty good. The entry didn't need any silly gimmicks (or whatever one might call them) to get noticed. One thing that does get noticed however in this run is that Kasia is not standing where she should be when the doves start flying out from behind her, she is too much to the right (facing the stage). She will need to work on this.

3rd run  - Well, she found her spot again this time. Vocally quite adequate but not filling the room with energy. Would still be on the fence with this one when it comes to qualification or not.

Day 5 - 2nd Run Through : MNE / FIN / AZE / PRT / GRE


Well, clearly EBU have not heard of the ISO-3 system since it should be GRC not not GRE but oh well, let us not hope they all suffer an agonising death and burn in hell for the rest of eternity.

But now that we are on the subject of agonising death, that seems to be what is happening on stage. If these sounds were coming out of a beast of burden they would be put on the next truck going to the meat factory. We thought the issue on Monday was the early-morning start however clearly that is not the case at 14:42, unless Demy's been up to no good last night. No amount of good looking, semi-clad hunks of wet-dream meat will distract you from that screech. At the end of the song we see Demy clearly knowing this did not go well.

2nd run - Well, she's trying to not be so screechy, not fully succeeding but giving it a good try. The waterfall effect which was not really working in the beginning is kinda a bit better but you still see Demy walking off the platform which kin of defeats the point. Maybe they work on that a bit more. Let's see what happens in the third run.

3rd run - OK, well we're improving vocally even more, so if she can sing three times on the night it might not be too bad! Back to the Demy in waterfall visual, so they now have a very wide shot when she leaves the platform so even though you still see it, it is not terrible as before. The effect though is seen at an even wider shot which in the end means that you can't even see it. Obviously this is a rehearsal so there will be a discussion and the best camera view will be chosen but if this is chosen it means that they think it doesn't work on tv.

And after Greece, a break! Back in around half an hour.


Well, allegedly Portugal since it's still his sister who is singing. We know Salvador can sing and let's face it, it's not like he needs to do much and therefore a bit difficult to get it wrong, but really?! I still cannot understand what everyone is seeing in this. And thankfully I'm not alone (there's not many of us, but there are a few). Staging is ok, music is ok, vocally doesn't matter since she ain't going to be singing ... meh.

2nd run - No one is actually interested in the second run since Slavko's press conference is now going on and he seems to be doing a rendition of BeyoncĂ©'s "Run the World (Girls)" so people are flocking over there to have a gander.

3rd run - The best thing to come out of this is that is it over. Other valid opinions are available. Please look around before committing yourself to one.


Oh-Kay, what to say here. Well, there has been some improvement but there is still lots which is just wtf. As you already know, Diana starts in a 'box' (three-sided, we need to see her) which has chalk writing on each wall with words from the lyrics. Also in this box is the horse-head wearing suited man up a ladder (when would you have ever written such a thing if not at Eurovision!?) with whom she apparently hooks up and it's alchemy. We're all well and good up to this point, weird, but good. The problems for me start when the box is opened, the camera shows the backing singers having to do this manually which to me doesn't show me slick-act or any concept design, but rather - just 'meh'. I guess it's just me not being cultured however, it usually is.

Moving away from staging, vocally it does not compare to the studio version. Especially coming after Finland, it shows a different category in signing quality and unfortunately this comes out the loser. Still, the Land of Fire has always qualified and I'm not going to say this will be their year not to.

2nd run - Still have no clue why she is putting a white X on the backs of the backing singers. What is it supposed to mean? Let us know if you do! Henrik says we've got "a couple of quick remarks and then we start again in two minutes."

3rd run - I'm sure he's done it every single time (it's Azeri choreography, they don't like improv.) but I would suggest you look at the man up a ladder when DiHaj is writing on the wall. It is much more interesting. It seems like he's having a bit of a fit up there - much more entertaining that her writing "thorns". Rehearsal over for Azerbaijan, and next, a change of tempo - Portugal.


What a contrast! After the epic campness that is Montenegro's entry, this comes as a beautiful pallet cleanser. Leena sang beautifully - her rendition of the song just impeccable. The staging is very simple, as with their UMK performance, it beings in blue watery hues in the first half of the song and then turning to red for the latter half. Lasse strokes those keys with elegance and the camera loves them both. There is a very good chance this is being seen in the grand final.

2nd run (or maybe 3rd) - The dry ice is on stage and also coming out of the piano. The effect works amazingly well on camera especially when the song ends with the stage becoming a whirlpool which Leena is standing in. The 'fog' appears to be turning with it, although this is just a trick of the eye.

That was the last go for Norma John so either we were not shown one or only two were performed. We believe it is the former - as happened before, especially yesterday, it seems someone is forgetting to press the button to show us what is going on.


Slavko is just loving it. Whip that pony tail gurhl! He's wearing what we saw in the first rehearsal - ie, the see-through top and beginning with the blue skirt which gets ripped off to reveal the sparkly-fronted black, leg (and butt) hugging bottoms. There seems to be less close-up shots than there was on the first round, and there is less of the awkward pony-tail holding however he still decides it's a lasso during one of the chorus' and tries to take off into space with it. Vocally not great but the show itself is a camp delight. All the female girls in the room were giggling and loving it and so was I! Can't wait for the next run through, I SO need this in my life. As do all of you! Make sure you don't dare go to the bathroom during this one. It will provide Eurovision shows those wtf clips for years to come!

2nd run - The skirt which was left on the floor before the middle eight in the first run has now been removed before the camera shot from above. Much better - but I think it was a mistake in the first run since I cannot see them having it wanting to have stayed there.

Bitch is on fire! Slavko's creating his own moves which might not be conventional but we've applauding. He seemed like he was trying to do a pirouette which didn't fully work but that could be due to his shoes, possibly, maybe. Whatever he is bringing, we are buying. Will Europe though?

3rd run - Another competent run, nothing major to report. Just wait for the clip on the official youtube channel - enjoy!


Yes, lunch has it's own section in my blogs. The sad thing about Eurovision is that you usually end up gaining at least 5kgs (11lbs for those of you who insist on being different to the common-sense world). And we're not talking muscle weight here, we're talking pure saturated fat. When you count the unhealthy food and the copious amounts of alcohol (especially when it costs so little to buy) there is no escaping the problem. Should you start noticing new members joining your gyms in mid- to end of May, you should approach them and ask them if they went for the two-week Eurovision experience. Something tells me I'm gonna be forking out for a PT in the next few weeks ... thank you Kyiv!

Day 5 - 2nd Run Through : SWE / GEO / ALB / AUS / BEL


Blanche is on screen before she starts her song. She does not seem very confident or happy. Dressed in a white number with embroidered butterflies, she starts her song quite badly unfortunately. For a song which was so praised prior to the contest (or rather, prior to the preview parties) it is falling like a lead balloon. She looks nervous, talks her way through the song, is robotic in the very few movements she needs to do and has areas where she actually seems to be in the wrong key. This to me needs a miracle.

2nd run - Well, more of the same really. Not much more to say - without ending up being unnecessarily mean. I know, I know, hasn't stopped me before, but it's like kicking Bambi just after he aw his mother being shot.

3rd run - Well, it actually can improve! Slightly, but improvement none the less. Blanche seems to be less traumatised by the stage and there seems to be a bit of better camera work. Not sure what was said during the long pause between the runs but they should keep it up! Maybe they've been showing funny cat videos on youtube or something! That always cheers me up when I'm having murderous thoughts (basically, my whole time in the press centre up to now has been watching funny cat videos).


Oh Isaiah! Not really sure how to take this. Vocally he's ok, not giving me goosebumps but adequate enough. The staging is pretty simple and I'm not sure what Sasha was supposed to be choreographing since there isn't much going on but I guess SBS thought it's worth the money. Isaiah stands on a platform which also turns which he uses in part of the song before stepping off in order to use a bit more of the stage but, just like a kitten not happy with big open spaces, he returns to the comfort of the platform to end.

2nd run - Slightly dodgy camera angle meant that for the first line of the second verse we didn't see the singer at all. In the middle eight there is a shot where the backdrop (which throughout the song involves many Isaiahs) has real Isaiah being 'swallowed' by digital Isaiah's left eyeball. Not sure what to think of that. Another decent run through but could this possibly be the Aussie's first NQ?

3rd run - You know you're going to enjoy it when you know it's starting by Henrik saying "pyro!" And there you have it - pyro curtain from ceiling, pyro spurts from the floor ... what more could you want?


Hmm... well... She begins dressed in a white shimmery number with veil and all. Veil gets removed early on (thankfully) and then she is free to belt out her number at will! And at will it is, since she decided not to in a section the chorus. Let us just say it did not seem to light many people alight here. The backdrop is very busy with those ships from the music video. Unfortunately not really seeing this fighting for a top 10 spot.

2nd run - She sang the full song this time, however the vocals are not great. We know she can do better. She looks smiley though so she can't think she's doing that badly.

3rd run - There's heavy fog on stage! And it actually works quite well to be honest. In fairness, I do personally like it, but I realise I might not be in the majority here - and in the semi-final which people are saying is the harder one (although from the first rehearsals this may not be the case) it will need to pull a lot of cats out of bags in order to be performed on Saturday night. That is all. Next, Australia.


Bless. Tamara asks a couple of questions in the beginning of her song. We would also ask, "Who told you that that hair was acceptable?" Clad in a red cape before the first chorus, this gets removed to reveal a breast-accentuating number in skin and red. Vocally though she is flawless and this is not an easy piece to belt out. Staging and camera is working well with the main hues being red and white with some black accentuating. Georgia is delivering a package and Europe will be very willing to accept I believe. Two songs down, two goodn's.

2nd run - Apparently we're not allowed to see this one. Or someone forgot to press the button to show it in the press centre. Whichever one it is - this is not on!

3rd run - The cape is no longer closed - therefore you can see the dress from the beginning, or maybe you always could. I'm not very good at this observation stuff. Learn what your talents are and work on what you could improve.

Clap clap, it's over for today for Georgia, but due to "what we like to call, the Sasha syndrome" (I told you Henrik is on fire!) we now have Albania. We should have Australia, but we instead have Albania. Sasha is referring to Swedish choreographer Sacha Jean-Baptiste who is the choreographer for both Georgia and Australia and therefore cannot be in the viewing room and in the arena at the same time.


Robin needs to talk to someone in make-up. He looks very shiny - which I guess is to be expected when you have a bazillion watts of lighting on your face ... but still, no one likes shoddy work. The choreography is a copy-paste job of Melodifestivalen so you can't really fault it since he's been practicing since mid-last year. Vocally I wouldn't say he is the strongest but he keeps himself up there and he is representing Sweden so that also gives him points - at least from the eurofans. Not being too bad on the eye can also only work in his favor. Will it qualify? Quoting our dear Verka Serduchka, "it's not a question".

2nd run - "What can you say - fucking beautiful!" Not my words but those of floor manager Henrik von Zweigbergk. We agree sir! We agree!

3rd run - Henrik is on fire! "Applause, bow and off!" Someone is running a tight ship here and ain't taking no backtalk from no one! Another good round from Robin and team, no falling off treadmills, no missing cues, no looking into wrong camera's ... oh well, at least there's Hovig to look forward to later.

Before we start

Well! To be fair to Roger, and to have a possibly different opinion, it is now my time to blog! Contain your excitement dears! But back to business. Let us get ready to see who has improved, who has stayed the same, and who has clearly had a mental breakdown since realising that they may be a bit out of their depth in this contest! Oh Eurovision, how we love you so! Let the games begin - and may the odds be ever in your favour!