Kiev 2017: Live-blog Day 13

We are getting close to the end of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kiev. This afternoon, the first dress rehearsal takes place, to prepare the artists for the crucial jury show of tonight. Team ESCDaily has set up camp in the press center to tell you all the details of how the show will look.

Follow this blog to stay on top of all the Eurovision news of today! Times are in CET.

17:14 – Testing the voting, end of this live blog

The presenters wil continue with testing all the lines with spokespersons and running through the nervewrecking televote results. We will not sit out this dummy-result. Please join us later tonight for the vocal assessment of the jury final!

17:10 – Verka Serduchka to give us a happy end

Whilst all the votes are being counted, Timur is joined by Verka Serduchka and grandma for the happy end of the show. Looks like Verka will do some crowdsurfing!

17:09 – Lines are closed

After Jamala, the lines will be closed and voting for the winner of the contest is no longer possible.

17:02 – Jamala showcases her new single

Jamala already performed another song, apart from ‘1944’ after the first semi final. When the lines are almost about to close, she will now play her new single for the very first time. She is standing on the small stage, used by Salvador Sobral in the contest. Very high notes in her song, that Jamala nails as good as ever.

16:54 – Promotion of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest

In November Georgia won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, and Mariam is now in Kiev as well. She dreams of ever taking part at the adult contest, like the Dutch from OG3NE did! But, we will see that in a couple of years. First she invites everyone to Georgia for next November. Team ESC Daily will be there!

16:45 – ONUKA’s megamix next interval act

The Ukrainian electro-folk band ONUKA is next, as the lines are still open to vote. Some issues though before the interval act can actually begin. Short delay before the first flutes can be heard. Many people on stage, we see the horns from Ruslana’s ‘Wild Dances’ until the duo ONUKA starts singing. If one likes this music genre, it is very enjoyable, with some slight hints to the Eurovision Song Contest and music from the past of the contest.

16:42 – Another recap after Ruslana

When Ruslana is done it is of course time to freshen up people’s minds again with another recap. Timur is talking to some Eurovision fans after this clip. Not just a Eurovision fan, but one from Australia!

16:28 – The long wait begins, but how?

The voting lines will be opened at this point of the show. After the recap the infamous interval acts begint. Ruslana, the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, is the first one. She has some technical difficulties at the start of her new song, and has to start over again. We see video footage of Ruslana in the fog in a forest, before getting to her on the actual stage. It is nice to see and hear Ruslana singing in Ukrainian. The dancing in her song is alike Wild Dances, even though there are far more dancers on stage that allowed during a Eurovision performance.

16:16 – Alma closing the show for France

France has received the honour to be the last act at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, after the performance of Alma we get the recap of all 26 songs. It is a nice field, with only a slightly weak part in the middle.

16:12 – Bulgaria up for glory?

Kristian Kostov has amazed us every rehearsal and keeps on doing so towards the final. So far away from Italy and Portugal, will this perfect draw give Bulgaria the final advantage to win it all and take the contest to Sofia. It does not seem impossible.

16:08 – Once again the presenters tell people to download the app

Yeah, we get it, we need to download the Eurovision app. Time for ‘I Can’t Go On’ from Sweden, the entry that should give them another top result in their beloved Eurovision Song Contest.

16:04 – Belgium opens the strong closing acts in the final

‘City Lights’ has been a bookmakers favourite for a very long time and Blanche has received a nice starting slot near the end of the show. She is however followed by Sweden and Bulgaria, who also have two very, very strong entries.

16:00 – Finally a rock song!

We know that every year there a fans of rock music at the Eurovision Song Contest and they vote according to that. It is finally their time, with O.Torvald performing time as the 22nd of the night. We are getting close to the end, with some contenders for victory still to follow.

15:58 – German Titanium still struggling

Even though the draw is not bad, the visuals are nice and we can see that Levina and her team did some effort to get Germany away from the last place, the song is still struggling to make an impression..

15:53 – Slick movements and pure fun

Cyprus and Romania are as solid as they have been all week long. Hovig is slick during ‘Gravity’ and Romania’s good old pure fun in the Yodel song will be a televote magnet on Saturday, especially in Eastern Europe.

15:45 – Lucie Jones up after the break

It is probably not ideal, coming up after this long break, but Lucie Jones gives away such a strong performance that the United Kingdom should be rewarded with their best result in years. To start things off with, at the jury vote tonight.

15:42 – Back to the hosts after Norway

When JOWST has performed, we get back to the presenters who are making jokes with and at each other. They mock their bad skills in the English language. And they are seen backstage, getting tips from Mans Zelmerlow. Like “always stay happy and positive” and work on a fake laugh. The clip ends with Mans telling the three hosts they are ready. Which is probably fake as well.

15:29 – Greek backings strangling a cat, Manel vocal car crash

It is official. There are no cats left in Greece. The backing vocalists of Greece have strangled the last remaining pussy’s during this performance of ‘This Is Love’. If they do this tonight with the juries, they have to be punished for it? Spanish Manel is being shown for song 16 walking around with his guitar in Kiev and playing some football. Will he be able to score on Saturday with the staging made by ‘Calm After The Storm’-director Hans Pannecoucke? Not if he sings like this afternoon…

15:25 – Timur in the greenroom

Timur is in the greenroom, talking to several contestants (Artsvik, OG3NE) and spilling some Eurovision facts. However, these facts are not coming across too well, because he sums it up like a robot. After these chats, a clip is being shown the promote the Eurovision Choir of the Year contest, which will be held on the 22nd July in Riga, Latvia. Then the shows goes on with Greece, that is back in the final in 2017.

15:20 – The draw ‘Don’t Come Easy’ for Isaiah

The first act of the second half of the show is…. AUSTRALIA! We are happy Isaiah made it to the final. Will he be able to get Australia in the top 10 again, for the third year in a row, from starting slot 14?

15:17 – Will DiHaj and Jacques benefit from their pimp slots?

DiHaj from Azerbaijan and Jacques Houdek got the latest available starting position for countries in the first half of the show. Did they slay in the semi finals? Does the production want to keep out the predictability of the results? We will kmow when the semi results are revealed on Saturday as well.

15:12 – First real break in the show

Between Portugal and Azerbaijan we get the first real (commercial) break in the contest. The presenters are on the floor, talking to fans about their favourite Eurovision and letting them sing it, and asking what their best moment in Kiev has been. Works better when the actual fans are in the venue, of course.

15:09 – Salvador fooling around on stage

Salvador Sobral remains quite the charactar when he gets on the Eurovision stage. He fakes playing a trumpet in the instrumental break of ‘Amar Pelos Dois’. This remains a remarkable entry, that will stick in the minds of many people. A true love or hate entry, with more lovers than haters. He closes off saying “Sorry, I did my song so many times, I had to do something different this time.” What a guy…

15:07 – Anja first Australian act in the final

Tough draw for Anja Nissen, coming behind ‘Occidentali’s Karma’ with her popballad. Vocals are strong as ever, but will the song ‘Where I Am’ stand-out enough in the televote in a field of 26? Tonight she needs to nail it for the jury to keep sight on a top 10 result in Ukraine. We root for you Anja!

15:03 – Anja first Australian act in the final

Tough draw for Anja Nissen, coming behind ‘Occidentali’s Karma’ with her popballad. Vocals are strong as ever, but will the song ‘Where I Am’ stand-out enough in the televote in a field of 26? Tonight she needs to nail it for the jury to keep sight on a top 10 result in Ukraine. We root for you Anja!

14:59 – Let’s go bananas for Francesco and his ape

The Italian postcard shows Francesco Gabbani in a bar, as bartender, chief cook and customer in Italian football jersey. One of the few postcards that shows humour in it, and already introduces the gorilla as Francesco walks on stage. Great introducting to the one to beat in this edition! In his performance he is holding in big time, not being dressed just wearing a red and white short sleeved shirt. The gorilla is only wearing his mask this afternoon.

14:56 – Joci Pápai to change his jacket?

Joci Pápai is the 8th act on stage, for Hungary. It looks like he will wear a different jacket in the grand final, since he is now performing in a golden one instead of blue.

14:50 – Nice short break between OG3NE and Sunstroke Project

A painful slip-up in the running order is the fact that OG3NE’s song for their ill mother is being followed up by Moldova’s cheerful ‘Hey Mamma’. The presenters come in between the two acts and tell the people to download the Eurovision app.

14:43 – High level of competition this year!

Austria and Armenia deliver the goods. We are just five songs underway and the level of competition is already so high. Kiev 2017 turned out to be a wonderful edition of the Eurovision Song Contest!

14:34 – Artists are holding back for tonight

Israel, Poland and Belarus are holding on their vocal powers. That makes sense, since this is just a technical runthrough. Tonight is their night, and Imri, Kasia and Naviband seem to know that. It is a decent opening of this years contest, even though the big hitters in the end result will probably not be in this early part.

14:26 – Let the show continue

After some technical work on stage, the floor manager gives the green light for the show to continue. The postcard for Israel is being shown, where Imri Ziv is seen jogging through Tel Aviv. We will describe the new postcards from the six straight qualifiers for the final for you this afternoon more closely.

14:22 – “We need a new host”

Something is going wrong, but we are not sure what it is. Jon Ola Sand is interupting the show, saying “we have host problems,” on which one of the presenter replied: “Wait, what? We need new hosts”. I thought we were over this by now!

14:19: Presenters opening the show, looking back on their childhood

The three hosts are opening the show. Their jokes are (still) not coming across well. They show pictures of their childhood, from back when Ruslana won the contest in 2004 and they were already watching the contest. Their speech dures about 4 minutes, until the announce that the show can begin with the official participating songs.

14:15: Just like the Olympics!

All 26 artists and acts for the grand final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest are being presented to the audience and viewers at home one by one. The stage is coloured in the flag of the nation, as they artists are being counted down and walking on stage. Powerful and classy start of the show, amazing splashing visuals in the backdrop, showing all flags, one by one. Something big is bound to happen!

14:05: Starting a bit later

People in the press center are ready, but the show has not started yet. ESCDaily are live in the press centre about to watch the first full walkthrough of semi-final two including the opening and interval acts along with all of the remaining semi-finalists. We’ll let you know what happens during the first dress rehearsal

13:50 – Ruslana press conference over, let the show begin!

In this blog we will keep you posted on the background of the show. Tonight we will judge the performances, as the jury will then give out their points. Ruslana just gave a press conference in the press center, now that she is done, it is nearly time to start the show!