Kiev 2017: All rehearsals Day 5

In this article you can find in-depth analysis of the rehearsals of this Thursday at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, from Sweden to Cyprus. If you want live updates of everything going on at the press center, please follow our Live-Blog with all the other news as well!

For the first time, countries will return for the second round of rehearsals. Fifteen countries from the first semi final take the stage again, starting with Sweden.


Please note that these are the local times in Ukraine, which are CET+1


Robin Bengtsson still is as slick as ever. Performance is an exact copy of the one at Melodifestivalen. No “morning vocals” this time, Robin sounds just fine! He does not look as confident on stage as you would hope though. Since we are allowed to enter the hall, you can see it for yourself as well with the full rehearsal below:

There is also an EBU-video available with a snippet of the official tv-footage.


Overwhelming vocal power, and a basic staging for Georgia. Even though we can see the hand of Sacha Jean-Baptiste, with some flashes and visuals in the backdrop. Tamara does not move much during the performance. It’s static, but vocally strong.


Because of the so-called ‘Sacha-syndrome’ (as Sacha Jean-Baptiste is also staging Australia), we once again get Albania before Isaiah takes the stage. Staging is like last time, and sadly for Lindita so are the vocals. We now see the official outfit. White floral dress with the whole torso region sequenced with silver, mirrored, rectangular pieces like a mosaic. She wears a white veiled hood during the intro. Clock displayed on the LED-floor looks beautiful, but with these vocals, it won’t matter much.


Isaiah is on stage! And not just once, but many times – also in the backdrop. He fixed his camera shots and the act with him walking around the stage, now makes sense. Lots of close-up shots and body shots, hardly any wide shots. Vocally Isaiah is sometimes trying to go around the more difficult notes, but perhaps that’s just him holding back right now. Last runthrough involves a lot of impressive pyrotechnics at the last chorus.


Blanche has upgraded her wardrobe from her first rehearsal which was a beige jumper and light denim jeans and she’s now wearing a floor length white dress with silver butterflies over the shoulder. The backdrop of the performance remains the same with the focus being on this ball of energy behind her as she stands alone and sings into a microphone. This performance is shaky at best. Blanche is clearly very nervous and that effects not only her vocal performance but how she comes across on screen; she genuinely looks like she might start crying at any moment, it’s uncomfortable viewing. Such a genuine disappointment as the song was a big favourite among bookmakers before the competition. Hopefully she will improve her confidence as these Eurovision weeks go on.


Slavko’s rehearsal remains unchanged from the first rehearsal, the ponytail is in full swing whilst he stand alone on stage, glittery pants and all. The performance is good and there are many cutaways to the audience which I’m sure will look very good on the night, however, him standing alone on stage is really not ideal for such a party song, the stage feels very empty. Also the vocals on this are absolutely horrendous. He relies heavily on three backing singers which are hidden to one side of the stage, there’s a lot to be desired with this one. He has an excellent stage presence though, so that could see him through.


Norma John’s performance is a carbon copy of their performance in UMK. They’re even both wearing the same outfits they wore in Finland. The vocals are consistently on point and always impressive. This could be underrated by fans as we’ve seen this version of the song/performance so many times but for viewers on the night who are watching for the first time this could really have an impact. Great vocals and a very polished performance.


This performance is unfortunately style over substance. The chalkboard, horse man on a ladder, four walls thing works well but hearing the vocals in the arena, they don’t match up to the studio version. I think this is still a certain qualifier as it’s something different, the performance remains completely unchanged from the first rehearsal, where she was joined by backing singers in robes and the horse man takes off his head, breaking the four walls. It’s memorable, but lacks the punch of the studio version.


Intimacy is key to this song and although Salvador is not yet present, his sister gives us a good feel as to how the performance will be. It’s emotional without being too intense. The camerawork is much similar to the music video of the performance at the Portuguese national final. The backdrop remains the same as it did in the first rehearsal, with the performance taking place on the smaller island stage in front of the main stage, in among the fans. It’s hard to tell what the vocal performance or the stage presence of Salvador will be like until he actually arrives in Kyiv but until then this still remains a solid performance.


Without a doubt, Greece has one of the best uptempo songs this year, that’s for sure, the staging is exactly the same as it was in the first rehearsal, Demy’s vocals are on point and her unusual dancers are still doing their thing, even though I’m not quite sure what that is. One thing this song is really going to benefit from is a live audience. Flag waving and cheering will really bring this to life, there are plenty of times the camera pans to the audience during this. Watch this space. I’ve said this 100 times over, if she makes it to the final. This song will be the opening one. #GetThePartyStarted


This song was one which has so much potential for edgy and interesting staging but it falls flat on that front. Where Azerbaijan was all style no substance, Poland is all substance with no style. She’s wearing a white dress in front of a blue backdrop, something that has been done at Eurovision one million times before. She’s a little too polished for the song, the performance needs to be grittier and more real. There was so much potential with this song, particularly as she delivers a very strong vocal performance and the finish is very strong.


The main selling point of this performance is “Epic Sax Guy” of course and it’s honestly the most fun. The performance features three female backing singers/dancers who reveal wedding dresses half way through the performance. The three members of the band are all dressed in tuxedo’s, it’s very “wedding” themed still. Not sure how that ties in with the song but it seems to work really well. The whole performance is bright and fun.


From the beginning, Svala has been a strong favourite of mine and I was looking forward to an edgy staging with projectors, maybe shadows, or even incorporating paper itself but she’s standing alone on stage, wearing a white jumpsuit and a cape. The vocals on this are absolutely flawless and it has that etheral Icelandic feel to it. Unfortunately though the performance looks somewhat empty, there’s some lasers at the end which add something to the performance but generally the stage looks a little too empty.


A shiny gold tracksuit was the last thing I expected from this song but she’s wearing what looks like a gold shell suit. There are some initial technical issues with the playback but eventually she’s up and running with the rehearsal. This is another artist standing alone on stage, so many artists not making full use of the stage! Her vocals are quite good but the song isn’t a standout moment and the performance doesn’t really have much behind it either. There is potential for this to be forgotten.


The last rehearsal of the day comes from Cyprus and this is a very solid rehearsal to finish the day. Hovig has two dancers and they’re all dressed in black, very casual yet cool. The dancers perform a routine as well as there’s a couple of tricks using the LED floor during the middle of the performance. Vocally, it’s so on point and the staging comes together really well. There’s little to find fault in here. To top it all off, he looks comfortable on stage and like he’s really enjoying his performance.