Stockholm 2016: Live-blog Day 12

Time for the first rehearsal of the grand final. Australia will also be present by Dami Im. ESC Daily is live at the press centre to follow all the news for you. 

Please note that the first final dress rehearsal will start at 2:30PM CET. The Jury Show will start at 9PM CET. During that show, ESC Daily will have a separate live-blog up, focusing specifically on potential jury outcomes.

16:13 –  1st final dress rehearsal concludes
Armenia has won the first dress rehearsal with Belgium and Sweden making the top three. End of blog, thank you for reading!

16:01 – Second phase begins
A total of 2436 points are on offer via. public vote. Mans returns with Petra. They go through from lowest group of points to highest saying “the country with the [number]’s highest amount of points is… [country]! When the final four countries are left to be revealed they are placed on-screen and the tension is built with a heart-beat track placed in the background. United Kingdom and Croatia ended up in the last two to be announced their votes even though they both didnt score well in the fake jury vote. UK won the jury voting but they keep the tension by not revealing whether it has enough points to win the contest until the final moment when it is decided it cannot surpass Armenia who has won the first dress rehearsal.

15:44 – Jury voting begins
First phase of this year’s voting includes the now separated Jury voting where 1-10 points are now automatically announced and each spokesperson just has to announce the twelve points. Some technical delays in seeing the top three videos after each block of countries however this is fixed and we continue on. Belgium won the jury vote with 202.

15:42 – Petra explains the new voting and confirms with Jon Ola Sand
Petra is now on-stage wearing a pink, shiny contemporary dress and explains the new voting change and how it doesn’t change how the voting is done just how it is presented. We then see Jon Ola Sand who confirms this and announces the votes have been counted and verified.

15:32 – Jacket malfunction means re-start of performance
As Mans was about to go from “Fire in the Rain” into “Heroes” there was an issue with his jacket/mic which ceased the performance. Floor manager has called for the full Mans performance to be restarted from the beginning. He performs Heroes with his blazer off at the extended platform on-stage.  Use of the drawn children aren’t used in this performance.

15:30 – Voting now ‘closes’ and Mans perform new song
After a short delay we return to Petra who closes the voting by herself from a timer going down from fifteen. Mans then is on-stage with hoverboard to perform his new song live “Fire in the Rain”. Within the performance his shadow becomes a girl which matches the lyrics sung. He is on stage with fellow suited backing dancers.

15:22 – Return to “Geek nation”
Final in the video montages which showcases the hilarious take-over of Eurovision in Sweden including Man’s “mansters” and loreen’s “kids” as street gangs and how Eurovision is adapted into religion and education e.g. Dana International School.

15:19 – Lynda Woodruff makes her return on-stage!
She already open by thanking “Jon Olalal Sand” followed by mis-pronouncing Petra and Mans performances. She then greets the new Chinese and American audiences with the American greeting being “yo!”. She then answers ‘questions’ posed by fans.

15:13 – Petra and Mans explain how to win eurovision with “Swedish humour”
They explain in steps how to grab the audience’s attention for the start of the voting phrase including drums, violin, old grannies and old guys with beards before breaking out into another musical number called “Love Love Peace Peace” written by Fredrik Kempe. Mans wears Dima Bilan’s 2008 white shirt while Petra wears Sertab’s 2003 outfit.

15:10 – Petra sings ear-wrenching rendition of “Power of Love”
Petra pretends to sing badly Jennifer Rush’s “Power of Love” until the first chorus when Mans has to stop her as they have “run out of time” to which she says “thanks Mr. Timberlake”.

15:05 – We return with Mans and Destiny
Destiny who won last year’s Junior Eurovision for Malta goes on-stage where Mans congratulates her and reminds the audience and viewers that Malta is hosting it in Eurovision 2016.

16:55 – SVT take short break
Floor manager announces a short break as SVT sort out some technical problems.

16:53 – Petra ‘introduces’ Justin Timberlake
Petra announces the interval act as grammy-nominated, singer, songwriter etc. As he is not present there was no first listen of the song or performance.

16:50 – Video montage: “42 years of music”
Fast-paced montage of Sweden’s contributions to music including Ace of Base, Roxette, ABBA, Army of Lovers, Agnes, Swedish Mafia House and all Swedish Eurovision winners.

16:47 – Mans introduced ‘Justin Timberlake’ in Green room.
We return to Green room where Mans is meant to chat to Justin Timberlake and then allow him to go get ready for his performance. Justin will give some words of advice to all the artists before going off-screen.

16:41 – Shown first recap of grand final rehearsal
Initial observation is first nine songs get forgotten until Sweden and Australia. In second half for Russia, Ukraine and Latvia.

16:38 – Petra and Mans introduce skit with Sir. Ian McKellen
Petra wears a green St. Patrick-styled dress before we see a short skit from Sir. Ian McKellen’s gay comedy sitcom in which him and his partner fall asleep after three minutes. This is followed by returning back to the hosts who discuss what their fans call them. Mans-ters for Mans whereas Petra replies hers are called “very intelligent people” for which Mans slightly laughs.

16:34 – Armenia provides the performance closer needed
Iveta’s mix of sex appeal and intensity help get the audience ready for the rest of the contest. Overall amazing finisher and performance remains same apart from more use of pyrotechnics.

16:31 – Joe & Jake’s perfect placement and mellow track mix well
Placement considered the best to get and they utilise it well while also waking up the crowd slightly for Armenia. Overall should do better than previously expected.

16:27 – Austria provide fairytale fantasy
Zoe is on-stage after the previous intense entrants and thanks to the gradual journey of Georgia works extremely well. Fan favourite, could it have a chance to win for Eurovision 2016?

16:23 – Georgia brings the visual intensity back to high
Raising the roof is Georgia providing the psychedelic brit-pop track “Midnight Gold”. Overall camera angles make this performance worthwhile and it’s placement help to add contrast to the following entrants.

16:20 – Malta looks great but sounds better
Ira is on-stage with more interaction with her audience and dancer. Use of lighting seems more prominant of a coral-theme similar to her music video.

16:14 – Ukraine holds strong against Latvia
Performing after Russia gives Ukraine a slight advantage however placing it between Latvia and Malta could be a disadvanatage. Overall camera angles seem stronger than in semi-final and still proves it’s fighting chance to win Eurovision 2016.

16:11 – Latvia grabs the arena’s attention
No major changes to performance since removing flag colours from set. Justs wears same outfit and provides another mind-blowing rendition of “Heartbeat”.

16:09 – Petra plugs official ESC CD and DVD and more.
Short break with Petra on-stage with several staff members holding some of the official merchanidise to remind viewers that the ‘party’ doesn’t have to end after the grand final.

16:05 – Spain’s performance finally glues well together
Previous issues with the fake fall working well on-stage and the audience getting it seems to have been corrected with the right camera angles. Overall stronger than expected and provides a light relax for the short break and Latvia’s intensity.

16:02 –  Russia adds better camera angles
Russia improve their camera angles to showcase more close-ups however Sergey has a slight slip (barely noticeable) during the centre of the backdrop. One of tonight’s strongest reacts in this rehearsal.

16:00 – Croatia showcase incredible vocal ability
Having qualified, Nina seems far more comfortable on-stage. No major changes to performance or dress. Overall solid performance even though dress element may provide some contrast to viewers.

15:49 – Lithuania provides anthemic relief
Backroll executed well and Donny showcases more excitement most likely due to his qualification. Overall will work well in-between Croatia and Serbia in providing an anthemic, modern Swedish performance.

15:46 – Serbia deliver heartfelt a serious message
No real changes for Serbia’s performance. Sanja add stronger lighting to her band-mates ZAA. Serious tone of message transmits well due to Cyprus’s lighter rock ambience.

15:44 – Minus One rock the stage
Cyprus add a nice transition from the goose-bumps that Australia provided. Vocally strong, performance remains same with further use of smoke and inverted camera filters.

15:41 – Australia tempts victory in winning placement
With Dami Im’s performance co-insiding with a break and being the end of the first half, this could be Australia’s chance for full victory. Vocally superb like yesterday. If the same for Jury and tomorrow’s

15:38 – First official break delivered by Petra
Petra introduced the fact of many Eurovision parties across the world followed by seeing Mans in Tele2 arena where two staff members pretend to be Loreen and Carola and he asks them their favourite song. Followed by a short-out to the next performing artist Australia!

15:34 – Poland flawlessly delivers ballad
Vocally remaining one of the strongest. Outfit and performance remains same as last night. Being placed beside France and Australia could lower it’s chances of standing out.

15:31 – Amir for France with improved graphics
France’s performance doesn’t utilise blue constantly helping add some dimension and colour to Amir and his performance. Vocally far stronger than previous rehearsal. Could still be a potential winner.

15:26 – First opening break followed by Germany.
Mans and Petra make a joke regarding thanking ‘Mans’ for having the contest here however Petra meant another ‘Mans’ who founded Stockholm. Germany requires a lot of prop placement therefore requiring the very short break. Nothing new performance-wise still haunting beautifully however may not harmonise.

15:23 – Few, small technical issues with Sweden
Some fine-tuning is needed in terms certain camera angles as you can see camera present on-stage however we now have the addition of the stage blocks being used alongside the black and golden backdrop.

15:20 – Poli seems fresh from last night’s qualification
Throughout she smiles, delivers flawless vocals and perfectly gets through her choreography. We were also shown last night during her press conference that the LEDS are turned on by Poli from the side of her dress.

15:17 – Israel delivers with “Made of Stars”
Another flawless performance from Hovi. Performance-wise exact same as semi-final two. Training floor lighting for the dancers was not used for rehearsal.

15:10 – Italy delayed due to lack of music in ear-piece
Franchesca asked to halt the performance as it was about to begin due to faulty ear-pieces. The audience applaued her for her good nature and for apologising to everyone. Once the performance began, it went beautifully with the addition of different white doodle over-lays including river ripples and stars.

15:06 – Hard to understand Freddie’s English
Hungary up next and deliver another great performance. Pronunciation very hard to pick up in Globen. However solid performance with full outfit however his hair is not styled, they may keep this within the final.

15:02 – Samra’s vocal sound decent at arena.
Azerbaijan continues to go from strength to strength in terms of performance and vocals. Placement potentially hinders chance of top five especially after performing after Douwe. They tested use of actual fireworks as opposed to pyrotechnics and spark-wall.

14:58 – Netherlands ask us to “Slow Down”
After Czech republic bringing the tempo down, Netherlands helps to bring us from mid-tempo country to silence during the bridge. Overall works very well in terms of placement however performing so early may hinder it’s chances of winning.

14:53 – Gabriela mellows the mood
After seeing the speed in which the runners have to disamble Belgium’s platforms to clear the stage for Gabriela it’s noticable that great effort is going into to make this Eurovision as flawless as possible. As previously, extremely strong vocal ability from Czech Republic. Staging remains same however slightly better placing as they’re not following Russia.

14:49 – Belgium first up
From ending semi-final two to starting the grand final. We see Laura’s postcard followed by her fresh performance. Performance involves throwing cloth of the colours of their flag before the first verse.

14:46 – Mans and Petra are on-stage.
First few sentences and Mans makes a joke about being able to eat carbs again. Mans wears a blue navy suit while Petra wears a peach, glitter dress. Petra and Mans stumble slightly on their lines however they should have it nailed for tomorrow’s televised show.

14:39 – Stage awakes to the sound of Avicii and models
Pre-recorded short videos of several of the countries artists awaiting back-stage open the show followed by the avicii-styled music followed by a fashion run-way involving models wearing elaborate fashion outfits in white which are projected into the countries flag while they walk down followed by the artist(s) who walk down beside them.

14;35 – Floor manager explains the opener
We were further explained that the opener will involve models in a cat-walk (fashion) parade will come onto the stage with flags alongside their respective artists. That will be tested today along with the winner’s walk from green room to stage.

14:30 – Rehearsal will start a ten minutes late.
Floor manager explains that communication testing will need to be done from Tele2 arena. We were also told that Justin Timberlake wont perform now but will later tonight!

14:00 – On our way to the arena!
Team ESC Daily is getting ready for the first dress rehearsal for the grand final. Stay tuned for our first thoughts and what you can expect for tomorrow’s show. Thanks for watching!