Stockholm 2016: Live-blog Day 5

Stockholm 2016 has started with day five of rehearsals! Today, all the countries from the first semi final rehearse as well as France and Spain (from the Big-5). Team ESC Daily reports from the press center in Globen to follow everything live for you.

In the following blog, you can find the latest Eurovision news from Stockholm with the newest update appearing on top. For videos of the rehearsals, check our rehearsal blog.

20:30 – And there you have it

We are wrapping things up for the day. If you want to rewatch any of the rehearsals of the day, be sure to check out our rehearsal blog here.

20:15 – France is now online

19:45 – Barei fakes herself through her rehearsal

Surpise, surprise. During her first shuffle dance, Barei fakes that she is falling down. Lies down a couple of seconds, before continuing with her song. Some mirrored shots of her and her four dancers. Vocals were not always on spot, but they group is having visual fun on stage.

19:22 – Australian influences for Iceland

We spoke to Jonathan Duffy, the Australian graphic designer for the Icelandic act this year:

18:59 – Amir not giving it all yet

France has had their first rehearsal. A blue stage, with only Amir working it. He is charismatic as ever, looking charmingly in to the camera and throwing down a smile now and then. Vocals are OK, but he is not going for all the high notes and sometimes lets his backing singers to the work for him. Looks like Amir is still holding it in a bit.

18:35 – Amir is ready to have fun on-stage and in Stockholm

18:25 – Team speaks to Jonathan Duffy

The interview with the Melbourne-born stage director for Iceland will be up soon!

17:35 – Many changes for Malta

Ira Losco has turned things upside down for Malta. The projected face on the ground is now the LED-drop on the floor. She is wearing a different dress, with golden sparkles. The interaction with her dancer is still in there, though, and the vocals are still strong. A strong closer to this semi final.

Watch here for the Maltese second rehearsal.

17:31 – Serhat fools around with his dancers

At least he is having a good time!

17:15 – Deen & Dalal change clothes

Dalal is wearing a red dress now. The cellist still wears the aluminium foil. The act with the barbed wire has not changed. Check out our footage of the Bosnian rehearsal here.

17:02 – Hovi is busy…

But he likes it!

16:53 – Greta improves timing

Visuals for Iceland are a great combination of the well-known shadows on the screens, and the close-ups of Greta during the second verse. Her vocals are good enough, and her timing has significantly improved compared to the first rehearsal.

16:45 – Jüri: “I don’t know how to smile”

The Estonian singer showed extreme dry humor at his press conference – or maybe he was being serious?

16:22 – Busy visual performance by Highway

It looks like Montenegro has given a maximum performance for their song ‘The Real Thing’. A lot of sharp and unsharp images and flashing lights can be seen on stage and the shots switch between all singers quite often. It suits the messy, loud song from Highway. But if the total performance is enough for a place in the final, seems very doubtful. Vocals were better than earlier this week. Might do better in the results than many expect, and most likely no last place for Montenegro. You can watch the rehearsal we taped here.

16:05 – Different dresses

The delegation of Azerbaijan still has not decided which dress Samra will wear. She started in white, and now ears something lightbrown. Very unlike the Azeri, who are usually well-prepared.

You can watch a video of the Azeri rehearsal HERE.

15:50 – Vocals remain problematic

Azerbaijan is on stage and the vocals for Samra are still not good. Visually, Azerbaijan has improved, using the colours white and gold. The movements of the backing dancers also tie closer together than before.

15:30 – Estonia does not impress

Jüri Pootsmann sings for Estonia. Prior to the festival, this song was highly recommended, but the vocals of Jüri are substandard again. His dark looks don’t match with the story of the song. In the press center there are doubts about his chances. Check here for the Estonian rehearsal.

14:50 – Zoë still in Wonderland

Singer Zoë from Austria brings the lovely Loin d’Ici in much the same way as last time. Again a fairytale decor and candy floss, wind machine and timid glances of the singer. All the fuss and the visuals can not prevent that the song is dated and instantly forgettable. Watch here for the rehearsal of Zoë.

14:42 – Check out the video…

…and keep in mind that you cannot see the cut-through wolf shots which will be shown on tv.

14:23 – Effective changes for Cyprus

Some effective small changes during the second rehearsal of Minus One. There has been cut in strange, inimitable shots of projected wolves. The shots that remain seems more logical. This makes the emphasis more on the message and the song title: Alter Ego.

13:55 – Gabriela shows off her vocal skills

Not much has changed since the last rehearsal for the Czech Republic. The visuals have remained the same and Gabriela is still a vocal forces to be reckoned with. She makes no single fault and she is a very, very pretty woman. Especially when she takes off the knot in her hair. This looks to be the first place in a Eurovision final for the Czechs. Check out the rehearsal here.

13:35 – Problems with Russian visuals

It is the turn of singer Sergey Vyacheslavovich Lazarev from Russia. During the first run, the visuals do not run parallel with the movements of the Russian singer and that’s the reason why they stopped the broadcast in the press center. The second time, it went better and we see again the eagle wings, light blue projection wall that turns into a climbing wall and the ice floes on which singer Sergey jumps. While it is visually incredible, some people in the press center  have doubts about the lack of interaction between singer and viewers.

13:09 – Serhat throws in the hat

Serhat who sings for San Marino, has looked in terms of styling clearly to Douwe Bob. The Turkish singer is wearing almost the same costume, but more eggplant colored. At the end of his performance, Serhat throws his purple hat into the crowd. His backing dancers are now dressed in silver. Watch Serhat’s rehearsal.

13:00 – Next, please

We have seen Armenia only once, but Serhat is already on stage.

12:58 – Blue is blue, red is gone

The colours for Armenia have slightly changed. The red influences are gone and it is mostly blue now. As during the first rehearsal, shots attract attention and Iveta sings really good. Watch the rehearsal here.

Armenia 1

12:37 – Break over, small delay

Armenia’s rehearsal time is right now, but we do not see any footage yet in the press center.

11:40 – Time for a short break

We see you in about an hour!

11:20 – Douwe Bob’s effective moment of silence

The intro of the song of the Netherlands takes longer than on plate and starts with The-Common-Linnets-like shot from above which slowly zooms in on a golden-brown colored clock projected on stage. Douwe Bob throws a lot of playful glances at the camera and at the bridge they will zoom in on the guitarists. There still remains a mystery, because what are the Dutch going to do with these ten seconds of silence?

10:50 – Double dressed Croatia

Nina Kraljić from Croatia is singing the song ‘Lighthouse’ with the same striking dress as the last time. The vocals were severely substandard and the camera shots are chaotic. On record the song sounds wonderful, but at the moment it is removed to only 20% of its potential. Check here Nina’s rehearsal. 

10:25 – Lava floor for Hungary

Camerawork improved for Hungary as well. No more chaotic shots but beautiful close-ups of Freddie, the drummer boy and the backings. The floor is orange-lit resembling lava. The colour scheme is more red. Vocally everything is under control. See Freddie’s rehearsal for yourself!

10:15 – ‘If nothing changes, Ukraine will win Eurovision.’

‘If nothing changes, Ukraine is the big favourite to win the contest now. Of course, Russia can still improve and we still have to see countries like France and Germany. But if the fail to deliver, Ukraine will win it,’ said our chief editor Steef van Gorkum this morning in Daily Coffee. Do you agree?

10:00 – French verse for Moldova

Moldova improved almost everything concerning the act. Lidia wears a Gina-G-like dress. The setting is more dark blue. The astronaut, falling from the stars, does not walk off the stage, but keeps on dancing till the end. Anything is improved accept the vocals of Lidia. She desperately depends on the backing vocals. She sings a few lines in French, maybe to please the French jury (who votes along in semi one)? Watch here her rehearsal.

09:25 – Greece goes traditional 

This time in full dress, all in white shirt and beige traditional trousers. The dancer off course takes off his shirt (Greek tradition). There is a sun in the backdrops, all looks well planned, but the choreography is quite dated, including sirtaki and big traditional drum.

09:00 – Sandhja not in top condition

We start the day with the second rehearsal of Sandhja from Finland. For the Finnish singer it is still very early, because her voice is not in top condition. Although the song has quite some potential, too little happens on stage. This time again, they use of a lot of blue and purple and Sandhja is assisted by five dancers who are dressed in black. In short, no major changes compared to the first rehearsal. Check here the Finnish rehearsal.

08:55 – Second episode ESC Daily Show online

Good morning all! The second episode of the ESC Daily SHow is a special one, as we got invited to do it on stage at the Euro Fan Cafe. We were joined by Paul Clarke (HoD Australia) and Philip Houtermans ( Watch it below and enjoy!