Team ESC Daily is live at the press center for the last time during the final dress rehearsal of this Eurovision season! We will liveblog you through the entire show, from intro to dummy voting. Everything you did not know yet about the television show to come on Saturday, you can find out today!
17:40 – End of the Final Dress Rehearsal
That concludes the dress rehearsal for the grand finale. Join us later this evening for a closer look at the jury final and of course keep following throughout the weekend – and year!
17:34 – Results are in
The voting concludes with a bit a difficulty and another kind ‘thank you for your patience’ from the hosts.
17:14 – Dummy votes are in
To make sure everything will run smoothly, they test the jury voting system for tomorrow evening. And consistent with how the rehearsal has gone so far, the hosts thank the crowd for their patience, enduring a few more technical mistakes.
17:13 – Jon Ola Sand keeps his secrets
The hosts allude that Jon has something to share with the audience, and he agrees but then sneakily says he will only share it tomorrow night.
17:09 – Back to technical difficulties
“There it is” – the hosts stand lost in the greenroom and spread across the stage for a moment, before the camera finds them again and the show can go on. It’s a bit unexpected the amount or technical errors this afternoon.
17:07 – Speaking with the Junior champion now
A clip of Italian Junior ESC winner Vincenzo Cantiello is played and a quick chat with the young champion.
17:05 – Personal interpretation
Last year’s champion continues with a medley from her very freshly released debut album that has already gone platinum. Then answering a question about her personal interpretation of artistry.
17:00 – Conchita is unstoppable
After another recap of all 27 songs, Conchita takes the stage with her song “You are Unstoppable” – to which, last week, Elnur gave a shout out during his second rehearsal, wearing a t-shirt that read “Conshita u r unstoppable”.
16:40 – Long interval act
Let’s call it an urban symphony of brass, a large variety of membranophones, and strings with a choir.
16:35 – ‘Start voting, Europe’
The recap plays and the lines open.
16:29 – Italy makes last impact
The Italian trio fills the arena with a warm opera timbre. The vocals are no doubt strong nearly every time they take the stage. Their greatly established popularity outside of Eurovision has garnered them even more support as a direct qualifier.
16:27 – Albania makes the most of it
It’s not secret that Elhaida often sings sharp, but somewhere Albania slipped into the final, coming as a bit of a shock in the predictions. Her vocals have not much improved over the two weeks, and this afternoon the story is the same. It is a good song, just with poor execution.
16:23 – Russia plays to their strengths
Polina is a good vocalist and with a smartly staged song – not to mention the message of the lyrics. It is easily one of the most well-rounded entries.
16:17 – Elnur lacks vocally
Today Elnur’s vocals are not up to the task, hitting a few sharp notes here and there. All the last week, divided between qualifying for the creative performance or not making the cut from his bad vocals, Azerbaijan eventually found themselves in the final.
16:14 – No makeup for Georgia
Nina seems to be over her bout of sickness that claimed her vocals in the first semi rehearsal. Performing well in the show and again now, Georgia has been quite a surprise since we arrived here in Vienna.
16:12 – Hungary vocally sound
Boggie has consistently delivered good vocals throughout the two weeks of rehearsals, saving Hungary’s position in the contest. It is a passionate entry with a top delivery on stage.
16:06 – Another dress for Edurne
After the first rehearsal of Spain, it was said that Edurne would change her wardrobe, and indeed in the second runthrough her dress was different. But this morning, she is back to the first costume.
16:02 – Romania hoping to be the reason
The basis of the Romanian entry this year is to reunite Romanian children with their parents. Smartly choosing to show clips of their video on the backdrop, with suitcases down-center stage, the message is very clear.
15:56 – ‘Not originally written for Eurovision’
Latvia’s song was not originally written to take part in Eurovision, and almost wasn’t even entered in the preselection, but Aminata’s vocal ability, paired with a very good song, pierces the competition.
15:53 – Poland’s surprise qualification
It was a close call in last night’s semi, with support divided between Poland, Czech Republic, Malta and Switzerland. To many, it was a surprise that Poland was in the envelope instead of the Czechs, as it is not visually as strong. But perhaps the ‘building bridges’ theme of her song caught attention.
15:49 – Smoke around the wildcard
Ann Sophie was the wildcard entry in the German national final – and winning turned out to be a bit of a wildcard, as well. Now here in Vienna, she has quietly been a strong favorite. As we have reported, the staging has clearly be strategized in the meantime, evoking a stronger image. The vocal quality, however, varies from rehearsal to rehearsal.
15:45 – Singularity and profession for Knez
The only traditional Balkan entry this year, Knez has stood out from the crowd so far. And what’s more, the delight of the Montenegrin delegation with his reception has created a good aura around the entry. It’s a large pool of contestants for the final, but the uniqueness and professionalism of the performers will quite possibly be highlighted again.
15:42 – Greece qualified with ease
Before the contest, Greece was quickly written off by many, but the spectacle of their first rehearsal changed the consensus. They quickly went from one of the weakest songs, to one of the strongest performers in semi-one. And now what about in the final?
15:40 – A chat with Conchita
After a funny from the host about Conchita’s 2008 “participation” in the contest, things again get serious.
15:37 – Austria burning the keys
Earlier in the week, the Austrian delegation said they would not set anymore pianos on fire until the dress rehearsal and the final show, of course. This afternoon, they are burning their baby grand as well as their successful three minutes on stage.
15:31 – Belgium pulls it together
From the start, Belgium had a lot of errors in choreography and filming, but they have over the two weeks pulled everything together nicely, so that the entry has become a cohesive favorite. Already expressing their interest in hosting, a bit prematurely, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
15:27 – Hanging loose with the Aussies
The laidback, surfer lifestyle of the island comes through in the showcase postcard. That easy vibe emanates from Guy’s performance, as well. They have stuck with the decision to cut a lot of the lightshow to make it easier on the televiewer’s eyes, and it was a smart move.
15:23 – John goes paddle boarding
The Cypriot vocalist paddles through the canal in his postcard almost as easily as he navigates through the sympathetic emotion of his entry. Still looking professional, even this far into the hardwork of consecutive rehearsals.
15:18 – Speaking of Sweden
Right after Norway in the running order, the battle of the Scandinavian neighbors is tight, but who has the edge? Visually, they are very different. And it is because of the visual presentation that has surged Mans’s song to the top.
15:14 – Norway still a dark horse
In the sense of atmosphere as well as favoritism, Monster Like Me is one of the most well-liked entries. Word has gone around that they could even potentially be a top contender for the title, but it would come as a bit of surprise to surpass Sweden in the voting.
15:09 – Serbia successful with a strong message
The performance of Serbia is rather low quality compared to some of the other artistic entries this year, but the message of the song has become an anthem and that has saved them.
15:05 – Jovial times for Lithuania
Their qualification last night found Vaidas’s family, who was in the crowd, very happy about the results. The rehearsal this afternoon still reflects those good vibes. So, “Come on Eurovision!”
15:01 – Armenia strong on stage
There have also been mixed-emotions about the Armenian entry this year, some doubting whether or not they would qualify. Now the question is how high can they finish?
14:58 – The UK playing with lights
From their postcard to the flashy neon lights on stage, the UK tries their best to make a show of it. Unfortunately they start off-key, only slightly recovering.
14:54 – Estonia re-played
The postcard is replayed for Estonia and finally they can take the stage. The first of several duets in this evening’s show, they have the more mainstream Baltic sound.
14:48 – A technically flawed rehearsal
The Estonian postcard is played but the errors continue and the host yells “two minutes”.
14:44 – Surprise qualifier for some
There were some doubts about Israel’s qualification last night after a sub-par jury final, but inevitably the Golden Boy got the votes. As one of the few upbeat dance songs in this years contest, the general consensus is that they are bound to stand out, no matter the quality.
14:40 – Tea time for France
After a tea party in the postcard – and yet more technical issues with the screens in the press center – Lisa Angell takes the stage for her first full dress rehearsal runthrough.
14:37 – Slovenia kicks us off
More technical difficulties early on in Slovenia’s performance – it looks as though there might be some new camera angles, as well. Or perhaps that is just the recovery from the cameraman’s early mistake, seemingly tripping up the stairs at the front of the stage.
14:35 – Finally on to the singing
After some awkward conversation between the hosts, they finally move onto the singing.
14:31 – “Building Bridges across the world”
A video montage of people from different cities across Europe, set to Russia’s 2013 entry What If. As the screen is split into two parts, the people in each screen creatively interact.
14:28 – March of the flags
The competing nation flags are carried to the stage – the opening act is apparently not yet over – surrounded by an orchestra and the choir.
14:19 – Technical mistakes – “We need practice”
There are quite a few difficulties in filming, losing the right camera angle and scrambling to reposition everything. Once the opening number is over, the difficulties continue, but they are soon off again.
14:16 – This time an opening act
The first semi did, but the second semi-final did not have a show opener – naturally the final begins with a grand performance from Conchita. The hosts sing the official Building Bridges tune, joined by a chorus of children on stage.
14:11 – Off to a late start
Finally the screens come, welcoming the viewers with symphonic harmony and the opening reel of Conchita’s victory last year and a postcard feature on the rich culture of Vienna.
14:04 – Final Running Order
Since last night’s semi-final, all the qualifiers have been known and you can check out the running order list HERE. Slovenia opens the show and Italy closes it out; Australia sits in 12th position, flanked closely by fan-favorite Sweden and host country Austria.