Team ESC Daily is live at the press center again for the first 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 Tuesday, you can find out today!
17:06 – First Dress Rehearsal is over
We see a recap of the ten qualifiers. The first dress rehearsal is over.
17:00 – Nina Sublatti is sick
We found out the reason of Nina’s poor vocal performance this afternoon. She is sick, a slight flu, and was holding in for tonight. She hopes that she is able to perform for three full minutes tonight.
16:51 – We have ten qualifiers
The envelope ceremony is being held. For what it is worth: Russia, Romania, The Netherlands, Moldova, Greece, Finland, Armenia, Albania, Belgium and FYR Macedonia.
16:51 – Hosts are practicing
The hosts are practicing interviews with participants, but they have left for their hotels now. One of the volunteers being interviewed did not understand the question, to which the host replied: “It’s fine, no one is listening anyway.” We see short parts of the direct qualifiers for the Grand Final.
16:33 – Interval video with songs from last year
After the traditional recap we see a video made by a dog with a GoPro Camera with sightseeings of Vienna. We hear instrumental music of some Eurovision songs of last year, and for some reason, the Italian one from 2012. Of course the hosts is telling us to buy the CD and DVD of the show.
16:20 – Natural beauty from Georgia
In the postcard, we see Nina with less make-up and suddenly she is a natural beauty. But on stage she is a ‘Warrior’ with big eyes and many black, dark, hard colours. We are sorry to day this, but the vocals are terrible this afternoon. Let’s hope Nina is saving her voice for tonight, and that it is not because she partied too much this week. We see some people with scared faces in the press centre, but let’s wait until tonight and stay calm with this one.
16:17 – Voltaj with a strong message for Europe
Suitcases on stage and images being displayed of a boy traveling alone, without his parents. The band is dressed in full black and the main focus is the lead singers, with just a couple of shots of the other members. Really different staging compared to the Danish band. Nice vocals and also due to the draw a logical qualifier. The kid in the video is being filmed in the crowd after the song! He has been reunited with his parents.
16:13 – Elhaida giving her best try
The Albanian is starting with a large shot of the venue, slowly zooming in on Elhaida. A group of backing vocalist appears out of the shadows as there a more lights being turned on. Golden glow on the broken mirrors in the backdrops. Vocals are okay, but the song is not giving Elhaida enough to showcase her full talent.
16:09 – Strong staging for Denmark
The band from Denmark is working the stage like they have more experience than they actually do. Some clever, cool shots of the drummer, backing girls in red dresses and guitar players.
16:05 – Conchita in the green room once again
Conchita is talking to the participants from Estonia and Serbia in the green room. As a journalist, it remains painful to watch these obligate questions, which sometimes aren’t even being answered because Conchita is talking much herself.
16:01 – Russia inspires support
Just like the Tolmachevy Twins, Polina Gagarina is being introduced in a house of mirrors. Strong vocal opening. Her white dress is glowing in all shots, wide and up close. Polina is shining and has a very sympathetic appearance. Could we have a message of hope winning the Eurovision Song Contest again? This has a lot of impact with applause in the hall and in the press centre. First country that received so much support.
15:58 – Focus on the violin from Belarus
In the postcard and in the stage act, the full focus is on Maimuna’s violin. Uzari starts in the dark and he is being filmed quite long when there is nothi ng happening. Then we see a long wide shot during the first chorus. Maiuna is being properly introduced in the second verse, which is quite late. The red lights switch to blue for a powerful slot of the song.
15:54 – Boggie is on fire!
In the postcard, Boggie from Hungary is joining the fire department. She starts her song all solo, in a really dark intimate setting. Strong vocals, even being strengthened by the other vocalists joining her later on. Now that we see all songs in fast speed, we are wondering… Could this hurt the chances for Armenia? Very strong performance by Hungary.
15:51 – A piece of cake for Bojana
We kid you not, Bojana is getting a piece of cake during her postcard! Qualifying will not be easy for her. Some weak vocals this time around, but the total package makes some impact one have to say. Bojana is not a girl you easily forget. Staging and performance similar to all previous rehearsals.
15:48 – Daniel falls a little flat
A skying trip for Daniel from FYR Macedonia in the postcard. A nice Roman backdrop as Daniel starts his song alone, but nearing the chorus he is being joined by the guys from Blackstreet. Overall performance is lacking impact, we are afraid.
15:40 – Estonia being pure and classy
Pure class now from Tallinn. Stig Rasta starts the song in the light of the doorway, and is being joined by Elina coming out of the dark. Very strong visuals. They are not making eye contact that much, but it suits the song and the mysterious chemistry between this duo. This seems to be a certain qualifier.
15:36 – Vocal power by Greece
Maria Elena is looking amazing, gorgeous. Her vocal power is also very strong. A modest staging, with a piano standing next to her on stage. Shots are mostly medium close. Based just on vocal skills, and not the songs, Greece blows away the competition.
15:30 – Some extra attention for Australia
So the hosts explain that next Saturday, Australia will take part for the first time. We are from Down Under but still… Is it fair to give them that much extra attention, since they are also taking part? After that, Conchita is talking to some contestants in the greenroom. Conchita is not a professional interviewer, so the interviews are not that good.
15:30 – PKN makes impact
The Finnish band PKN is getting a tour at the tram remittance in their postcard. The song is short, with wobly shots and swinging camera angles. It makes lots of impact, due to the appearance of the band members. The question remains… what will juries do with this song?
15:26 – Yet another dress for Trijntje
Trijntje is flying in a hot air balloon in the postcard. The song starts strong, with a very close shot of her eyes beneath a veil. The camera zooms and…. we see yet another dress for the Dutch artist. Classy, it suits the song and this performer much better. Strong camerawork, as Trijntje is almost grabbing the camera for real. Her backings join for the finale of the song. One should not rule this one out yet. Vocals need some improvement for tonight.
15:22 – Loic Nottet showing his skills
In the postcard already, Loic Nottet is dancing a lot. He continues doing so on the stage. Shots have been improved a lot, especially the standing dancing sequence near the end is less awkward now. Vocals are good. We now see that next to the name of each country there is a hashtag for Twitter introduced. In this case: #bel.
15:19 – Armenia at the carnival
The Armenian group Genealogy is being introduced while they are at the carnival, have the time of their life. Some weak vocals until Inga appears in the song for the first time. The best camerawork in the song remains the part when Inga is being filmed up close after the first chorus and the next singer is being introduced. Will the staging with the singers swarming all over the globe come across well enough. Some of our editors have doubts.
15:16 – Moldova well received in the hall
Eduard is being introduced in his postcard whilst driving on a tractor. His booming performance with the ordinaire police officers is beingt received with some cheers in te hall, which is open for press today. Vocals are fine, overall performance remains a bit messy.
15:13 – Traditional technical errors
The opening ceremony of the first dress rehearsal goes wrong every year, and this year is no exception – the sound drops out.
15:06 – Introduction ceremony at the opening
After a performance by Conchita Wurst, all the participating countries of this semi final are introduced. In previous years, this only happened in the final.
15:02 – “Great vibe in the city”
Neil MacInnes was at the Australian Fan Meet-Up yesterday, aaaand… at the Red Carpet Ceremony! He spoke to Dennis van Eersel about it, this morning in Daily Coffee.
14:45 – Team is present
After a long morning, in which we travelled all the way to Neil MacInnes’ apartment to tape another episode of Daily Coffee, the team is now present at Stadthalle. Mihalis Vollmer and Katja Zwart will enjoy the first rehearsal from the Arena, while Jill Guthrie and Dennis van Eersel blog live from the press center.