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From Sweden to Montenegro: 2nd rehearsals, as seen by an absent fan

by | May 4, 2017

From Sweden to Montenegro: 2nd rehearsals, as seen by an absent fan

by | May 4, 2017 | 2017 Rehearsals, Eurovision

I’m blogging about the ESC rehearsals from home. While I’m an absent fan, and my sources are obviously limited, I will still try to give my comments about what’s going on in Kyiv.

It’s a rainy day here in Berlin and I decided to cancel my appointment at the hairdresser, so that I instead can watch the rehearsal clips that are being shared with us.

Time to find out and comment on what Sweden, Georgia, Australia, Albania, Belgium and Montenegro are doing with their songs on stage!

1. Sweden
Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On

I really had no clue what this one would look like in Kyiv. Oh, treadmills. That’s a surprise! Not. Well, the common viewer will see this for the very first time… and some of them will be as unimpressed as I am. Others will find it slick, modern, competent, catchy. I’ll just keep calling it lame, unpersonal, whatever. It keeps looking like a fashion ad. And I still don’t see any hint of charisma on the singer’s face.

image: Thomas Hanses, EBU

If you have followed our own ChatVote a few weeks ago, you will know that Sweden failed to reach our final for the second time since 2010, when Germany won our own contest. And you do remember what happened to the respective entries in Oslo, right? Well, I do still think that Sweden will qualify – but if not, then it won’t be a shock for me.

2. Georgia
Tamara Gachechiladze – Keep The Faith

She looks a lot younger than in the Georgian final. I wonder why that is. Anyway, this very much looks like a semi-finalist, it’s all very red and not very impressive. I do like the song, but… if she wears that dress on the night, it will trigger more discussions than the actual song… now that the stage isn’t drowning in slaughterhouses and horror clowns. Or similar, I can’t remember what it was in the Georgian final. It was something horrible at least. I try not to interpret the red as “blood”. That would be a bit creepy, considering the shapes of her dress.

image: Thomas Hanses, EBU

My first impression is that this will stay in its semi, but then I still haven’t seen the rest. Could be a borderline qualifier at best.

3. Australia
Isaiah – Don’t Come Easy

It’s the third entry in the running order, and year after year, this is usually the point during a first semi where I am attempting a decision: Do I care about the song, or do I look around the screen and see what the stage actually looks like, what they are doing with it, and what kind of “feeling” this Eurovision edition comes with? I go for the latter. The backdrop, as seen behind Isaiah, is a big LED screen, which can be used for all kinds of “projections” (I know it’s technically the wrong term), for example: footage of the performer, and especially their faces. It’s been a thing this year since Lisa Ajax didn’t give a. The next thing I see is that I really like the stage this year. It’s a very classy one, in the arc tradition of 1978, 1997, 2003 and 2015. Clear shapes, easy on the eye (more than last year’s messy look), colourful. However, Isaiah is the 3rd entrant in a row where I get the feeling that things feel quite cold and distant so far. But as said for Georgia, we’re still very early in the running order. And Isaiah, well, the song is very unspectacular, but he seems more competent than Tako.

image: Thomas Hanses, EBU

Might qualify after all.

4. Albania
Lindita – World

Oh, a screaming woman! It’s the signature concept of Albania at Eurovision, lately. Between being an OKAY tune, and all the wailing around it, is she actually good? Not as good as she could be. Also, judged by her expressions, I don’t know why she looks like she’s in the middle of one of those things that Tako would have projected behind her, but I don’t think this kind of behaviour on stage will get a lot of love. The stage though looks very nice, with floating boats on the backdrop, very pale-yellowish in the bit that I saw, and at some point I got Eurovision 1979 vibes from the stage, in a good way.

image: Thomas Hanses, EBU

Hard to call, it might just sneak into the final, but I think its safer side is the NQ one.

5. Belgium
Blanche – City Lights

Is this the same entry that won the jury voting in our ChatVote? It might be the same song, but it’s not the package that we (as in: we, who didn’t have seen her performing before) expected. The first question that comes to my mind is, why is she doing that to herself. She looks like she’s completely devastated to be on stage, getting stabbed by light, having to wear this dress, or is this the actual concept? Whatever it is, it’s not really transporting the haunting atmosphere of the studio version. It’s haunting, yes, but for other, unintended reasons, as it screams “car crash of the year” to me. Ouch, nope, that’s not what Belgium 2017 could have been.

image: Thomas Hanses, EBU

I don’t see this qualifying, which is a shame, because it’s a good song and Belgium seemed to be on a roll, but do we need this in the final? We don’t.

6. Montenegro
Slavko Kalezić – Space

Oh I love Eurovision. This is exactly what last year lacked. It’s epic, epic trash. And I don’t feel any sign of embarrassment when I say that I think this is a real good song. I am only embarrassed for watching this. Especially while my mum is visiting me here. And now that I kind of calmed down after 3 minutes of laughing hard, let’s get back to serious business: This is crap. And I say that as a fan of the song. He was supposed to sell it, but instead he’s selling something else, and I’m not sure I want to buy that what he’s trying to sell. Okay, Blanche is safe, she’s not the car crash of the year after all, I am forwarding this award to Slavko. This is very, very semi-final-like. And it’s one of those things that make Eurovision unique. And that’s why it actually should be in the final.

image: Thomas Hanses, EBU

But it won’t.

In my next post, I will cover the rehearsals of Finland, Azerbaijan, Portugal, Greece, Poland and Moldova.

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