Jury rehearsal: Vocal assessment of all the songs in the Grand Final

Follow the jury show for the grand final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with us. In this blog you can read what we thought of the vocal qualities of each nation, and how we think the juries will react to their performance.

The jury potential of each song is rated on a scale from 1-5, with a more detailed description provided below that.

The show has started, we will update this blog as soon as the performances take place!

BELGIUM Rating-3.0-stars
Laura Tesoro, the closing act of semi 2, is now the opening act of the final. A couple of vocal slip-ups tonight, but still loads of fun and a slick dance routine. Might no do as well in this large field in the final, as in a smaller field in the semi.

CZECH REPUBLIC Rating-2.5-stars
A very jury friendly song, with generally an outstanding singer, though Gabriela was facing some troubles at the bridge of her song tonight. Juries tend to dismay the running order more than televoters, so still will probably do better tonight than tomorrow. Not her best vocal performance though.

THE NETHERLANDS Rating-4.0-stars
Douwe Bob has not missed a single note during all the rehearsals this week. Of course, juries only grade this particular performance, but his behaviour shows that he is a professional that seldom makes a mistake. Very likable, jury friendly show that will end up in the higher rankings tonight. In the silent part, Douwe now whispers “I love you” to the camera.

AZERBAIJAN Rating-1.5-stars
Coming after The Netherlands and Czech Republic, Samra’s lack of vocal capabilities is an extra letdown for the juries. It is often said that juries disregard running order, but this comparison will not work in Azerbaijan’s favor. This will go down the drain tonight, despite the fact that the song would have had some jury potential.

HUNGARY Rating-3.0-stars
Freddie’s opening note is slightly off, but he recovers soon. This song is jury friendly and the fact that Freddie comes from a talent show will definitely help him. It may not be a top song in the jury ranks, but definitely left table.

ITALY Rating-2.5-stars
Francesca is a huge Eurovision fan, but now that her dream comes true, she makes a highly nervous impression. The first notes of both verses are off-key, in the refrain she is at point however. Tension can be seen in her face. Song is the typical kind of song that peopleassociate with juries, even though it is in reality not the typical jury song.

ISRAEL Rating-3.5-stars
Flawless vocal performance by Hovi tonight. He has been good all weak, but on-and-off at the last few high notes. Tonight they go well for him. He is a talent show winner (= green flag with juries) and the ballad is well enough composed to pick up jury points, although it is definitely not the prototype jury song.

BULGARIA Rating-3.0-stars
We have pointed out the messy build-up of this song before, which could be a problem with juries. An even bigger problem tonight is that Poli misses a few notes in the second verse. Still looking professional in her general performance though. In the lead-up to the last refrain, she releases a sigh, which is also a well-known red flag with jurors.

SWEDEN Rating-3.0-stars
Frans is rarely off-key and tonight he does not even miss a single note. However, his strange diction will possibly not go down well with jurors. He does not always finish his longer notes. Song has radio potential and is accessible to a broad audience.

GERMANY Rating-2.0-stars
Shaky start for Jamie-Lee. As soon as the backings come in for the first time, she picks it up. The big note at the end goes alright. Song is middle of the road and accessible, potential jury food. However if juries will perceive the Manga-clothing as a circus trick, that might hurt Jamie-Lee quite a lot.

FRANCE Rating-3.5-stars
Amir has not delivered a flawless performance all week. Tonight, he sounds thin on occassions and misses a few notes, but it is one of his stronger performances so far. On stage, he looks confident, like a potential winner – although he will not win the entire jury vote tonight.

POLAND Rating-4.0-stars
Michal’s best performance of the entire week. This song has always been juryfriendly, but when the vocals match the song, that might work out even better. At the end of the performance, Michal Szpak has trouble with one or two notes, but he is never fully off-key, and juries will reward him for the high level of difficulty with the double modulation of the song. The fact that he comes from X-factor, will also help.

AUSTRALIA Rating-5.0-stars
Vocally easily the strongest so far. On top of that, this Australian entry ticks all boxes. Mix with the backings is good – better than before. Song is accessible, singer comes from a talent show. Level of difficulty is high with the singing while lying down, and on the basis of this performance, this should be very high on the list tonight.

CYPRUS Rating-2.0-stars
The frontman of Minus One has always been the weaker link in this entry. Throughout this week, he has been on-and-off, but tonight unfortunately is an off-moment. Shaky in several notes. Sighing once or twice, gasping for air. The fact that it comes straight after Australia and Poland does not help.

SERBIA Rating-4.5-stars
Song has always been jury friendly – modern Alicia Keys influences combined with the traditional Balkan elements that jurors rewarded in Zeljko Joksimovic’ songs. On top of that, female jurors have been known to support certain feminist values through their voting, and will therefore possibly reward the theme of this song. For the first time this week, Sanja belts the big note at the end of the song. Vocally flawless tonight, best performance of the entire week.

LITHUANIA Rating-3.0-stars
Considering that qualification was the most that Donny could get out of his participation, he peeked at the most important moment: on Wednesday and Thursday night. Tonight, he is not always vocally sound, though not terrible either. Song lacks the conventional climax to be really jury friendly.

CROATIA Rating-2.5-stars
Vocally, Nina Kraljic has been good at the most important moments so far and tonight is one of her better performances as well. It has to be noted though, that while her dress is changed, she struggles with one or two notes – it is those details that separate her from the big jury hitters in this semi. At the end, the high notes are not flawless.

RUSSIA Rating-4.5-stars
Lazarev is an absolute professional and has the attitude of a (deserved) winner, also for juries. His movements are all well-timed. The fact that they do not tell the story of the song, is more of a problem for televoters than for juries. Vocals are really good, and level of difficulty is high when he sings lying down.

SPAIN Rating-2.0-stars
Main question: how will juries react to her fake fall on stage? The song is not necessarily typical jury food, and the start of the performance was vocally very bad. She recovers halfway, but at the end Barei shouts to the audience. That is a definite red flag with juries.

LATVIA Rating-4.5-stars
The composition of ‘Heartbeat’ reminds the Eurovision insider of ‘Rhythm Inside’ from last year – not traditional jury food, but so experimental and modern that it can suddenly become a big hitter. Especially if it is sung so well as Justs does it tonight. He is on point from begin to end, and profits from the huge contrast with Barei.

UKRAINE Rating-4.5-stars
It has always been very difficult for me to estimate how juries will receive the Ukranian song. Jamala starts off way better than on Wednesday. Not entirely flawless still, but with impressive high notes at the end.

MALTA Rating-2.5-stars
Ira Losco will score jury points with her vocals and appearance. Confident, professional, and within tune. Song is jury unfriendly, however.

GEORGIA Rating-2.5-stars
Type of song that will not work at all with juries. Vocally, Nika is strong as he has been all week long. Not one for top ten, because of the current voting system among jurors that favors middle of the road songs.

AUSTRIA Rating-3.0-stars
Vocally this is ZOË’s best performance so far. Less doubt in her voice than earlier in the week, and no missed note. The song is relatively better suitable for juries than for televoters.

UNITED KINGDOM Rating-3.0-stars
The middle-of-the-road popsong is suitable for juries, but the vocals of Joe & Jake are at times too shaky. The solo in the bridge is today better than before, though still not confident.

ARMENIA Rating-4.0-stars
The big jury flaw in this performance is the first minute, which is compositionwise a risky choice with jury members. Vocally, Iveta is very strong, and the fact that she was in The Voice of Germany will get her quite a few points with jurors for sure. Just how high exactly she will finish, remains to be seen. Top ten tonight seems certain – but she needs top 5 to be a contender for victory tomorrow.