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From Finland to Moldova: 2nd rehearsals, as seen by an absent fan

by | May 4, 2017

From Finland to Moldova: 2nd rehearsals, as seen by an absent fan

by | May 4, 2017 | 2017 Rehearsals, Eurovision

As I’m attempting my verdict on the second set of rehearsal clips, I created my own little press centre here in Berlin, with my laptop, a notepad, coffee, my CEZAR pen from Malmö, and some (fresh) Manner for some Vienna vibes.

Time to find out and comment on what Finland, Azerbaijan, Portugal, Greece, Poland and Moldova are doing with their songs on stage!

7. Finland
Norma John – Blackbird

There is always this tension before I first see the rehearsal of one of my big favourites, and this year, with Finland, it’s not any different. Right. Let’s click the play button.

Well, I’m a bit speechless now. I am used to my favourites fucking up, I am used to my favourites meeting exactly my expectations, but my favourites overwhelming me? That’s quite rare. And in this case, Finland completely overwhelmed me. They should do well with the juries. But what about the homes in Europe? Either Finland are getting lost in the aftermath of Montenegro, or – and this is more likely now – Finland are completely overshadowing him. Wow, what an amazing staging there. They are doing absolutely everything perfectly right in the section we get to see. If this isn’t triggering goosebumps around Europe, then nothing is.

Image: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

While I am still scared that it won’t get the envelope that it deserves, I do hope that it gets very very far in the final. It’s looking more like it. Oh man, Finland. Outstanding.

8. Azerbaijan
Dihaj – Skeletons

This hasn’t done anything to me before I’ve seen this clip, and what it’s doing to me while watching this clip isn’t favourable. I’ve seen people crawling on the dancefloor for Azerbaijan before, and what these folks are doing there is even more puzzling to me. What am I doing with this entry? Like, WHAT?
Vocally she seems fine, apart from one of the high notes, but the fans of this shouldn’t have a reason to worry concerning her singing abilities when it counts. I’m not a fan, and especially not after this rehearsal clip.

Image: Andres Putting (EBU)

However, it’s Azerbaijan, it’s decent enough, she’s singing fine, its ticket to the final is not in any danger.

9. Portugal
Salvador Sobral – Amar Pelos Dois

And here’s the second favourite of mine so far: Portugal. It’s a familiar face singing this, at least to those who watched the Portuguese final. And it’s not the actual Portuguese singer, but his sister, who also wrote this song. And so it’s not possible to give it a proper verdict, but at least one can see what they are doing with the staging. We’re getting a few close-ups, the camera leaving the background in a blur, the typical Eurovision Blue (is that a colour name yet?) and probably a lot of flag waving fans around it. Whether that’s an advantage or a disadvantage is as much a question mark as the overall capability of Salvador.

Image: Andres Putting (EBU)

If things go well for him, and if the aimed-for closeness to the TV viewer and the crowd in the hall works, then yes, it can still win this whole damn thing.

10. Greece
Demy – This Is Love

Now that I have commented on Azerbaijan, I think I’m now prepared to comment on the upcoming pile of entries I don’t like. Also, I took quite a long break, and also took a break from my new years resolution, so now I’m drunk enough to comment on Greece.
When I don’t like an entry, there’s hardly anything that can change my attitude. Can alcohol? But well, let’s give it a chance, right? Okay, this sounds better than expected, she looks less sterile than expected, and there are more people on stage than expected. What is that pointless transparent screen in front of her though?

Image: Andres Putting (EBU)

Hey, I don’t necessarily like this, but as a Eurovision package, I like it a bit more than before. It’s not a totally safe qualifier, but not borderline either. Hard to tell.

11. Poland
Kasia Moś – Flashlight

This dark and and heavy song seems a bit more light and lightweight on the stage. Her vocals are really good, and I think as a complete package, this can actually work very well. Yep, I just got convinced, and within a minute, this entry climbs a double digit number on my personal scoreboard. Oh wait, didn’t I say that I’m drunk? Right. Well, heck, I’m surprised, I like this. Solid, intriguing, competent performance there. Well done, Poland.

Image: Andres Putting (EBU)

Will it qualify? I still think it’s a very bulky and unaccessable song, but they did an outstanding job to sell it. The staging and her performance capabilities are much much better than the composition, and due to the strengths here, yep, it will qualify.

12. Moldova
Sunstroke Project – Hey Mamma

And now, on to the last song for me today, and here’s another one that I don’t like from the preview videos. But I have to say that the overall performance here is very slick, catchy and spot-on. Yes I think the bride/groom outfits are a bit pathetic, but for some reason, the whole thing manages to look less offensive than Sweden, but just as competent. At points it might be a bit repetitive, but I have a rather good impression from it, which makes it three entries in a row that I like better than before! Or is it just me being drunk?

Image: Andres Putting (EBU)

Moldova is not the best song, by any means, but I think they definitely have something different to offer that will get them into the final.

The remaining songs from today’s rehearsals will flow into my next post tomorrow, covering Iceland, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Armenia, Slovenia, and Latvia.

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