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The View from San Francisco – First Semi Final, Second Rehearsals

by | May 7, 2017

The View from San Francisco – First Semi Final, Second Rehearsals

by | May 7, 2017 | 2017 Rehearsals, Eurovision, Featured

Last year, when I wrote my view from San Francisco series, I was a full time freelancer and as I knew the chance of work happening during rehearsal week was The MakeMakes and Ann-Sophie, I just told my clients I wasn’t available until later in May. This year, however, I actually work at an office. With people. People who expect me to do work and deadlines that I don’t get to set around the rehearsal schedule. And because adulating wasn’t difficult enough as it is, the good people in Kyiv came up with the rehearsal schedule of the last few days that could easily serve as material for the final exam in Kyiv School of Economics’ Project Management Program. But I have managed to figure out their complex mathematical exercise and come up with three posts you will get between now and the first dress rehearsals. And don’t worry, the trauma has not damaged my computing skills – the big 5 and our host will get one post for both rounds of rehearsals.

This post, however, is dedicated to the joy that is the first semi-final, now that we’ve seen the rehearsals in full and these have also been supplemented with the new addition of the TV feed clips.

Men in Black

At first glance, it might look like there isn’t much in common between Sweden, Australia, Cyprus and Slovenia other than a sensible, even if not particularly creative, approach to fashion. But the truth is that each of those entries shares something with at least one other entry in this group. We have two Swedish songs and two ballads, and while Omar is in a hurry, the other three really are not in a rush.

Right beside you, I’ll never leave you | Thomas Hanses,

Hovig keeps losing his balance and falling while practicing his yoga poses, Isaiah keeps walking towards nowhere on a spinning platform, and Robin and his Groundhog Day mates can’t go on because they are stuck in an infinite treadmill time loop.

I used to move in fast to erase my past | Thomas Hanses,

Three of them also look like they are going to make it into the final rather easily – yes, even Omar, because people like their well-situated-at-the-end-of-the-draw kitsch, although no wonder he’s in such a hurry to get moving. He’s been here once before and he’s definitely not keen on staying.

I’m not afraid to move on | Anders Putting,

For Hovig, qualification still hangs in the balance (sorry!) and it will depend on where the dice of both sets of votes will fall (really, really sorry!) but it’s possible, even if not very likely.

I can’t go on | Anders Putting,


If I remember correctly, the general description of this 2010 film is along the lines of a well-trained assassin interrupting the peaceful life of our main protagonist. I feel like this is a good metaphor for my relationship with Georgia’s entry. Tako’s weapon of choice is screaming ballads at me, and while rehearsals prove she is actually quite good at that, I really don’t need this extra stress in my life. I’m busy enough as it is.

Like a bullet from a smoking gun | Thomas Hanses,

Four Weddings and a Funeral

In this new, updated version of the 1994 cult movie, we have a few surprising twists. The film focuses on a reality show where four women from Albania, Belgium, Iceland and Poland compete for the chance to become the bride of Frankenstein.

Are we going to lose it all? | Anders Putting,

I lose control again | Thomas Hanses,

Does anybody care? I’m weak and I’m afraid | Thomas Hanses,

You call the dogs off, I got them hypnotised | Anders Putting,

Meanwhile, as we go through a chain of somber weddings, it’s the funeral that ends up being the happiest gathering of all, celebrating a great semi-final result while the other four women forgot all about Frankenstein as they got very distracted by attempting to sabotage their qualification chances as much as possible.

Marry Me is so 2013 | Thomas Hanses,

Space Jam

Well, Montenegro’s song is called Space and it’s definitely Slavko’s jam. However, it is not mine. Bye Felicia.

I’m a joker | Thomas Hanses,

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

With only a few months to go until the 15th birthday of this installment of the successful series, a new uncut scene that has never been included in the movie releases has recently been uploaded to YouTube. In this scene, Draco Malfoy and some of his little Death Eater friends gather in the Chamber of Secrets to attempt a ritual that will resurrect Lord Voldemort. With the demise of Professor Quirrell at the end of the previous film (oops, spoilers!) the death eaters are now fresh out of human heads for Voldemort to leech on to, so a horse’s head has to make do.

We could be the same | Thomas Hanses,

In short, I still have no idea what DiHaj wants from me and what I am supposed to do about it, but I will keep liking this in studio and sing my favorite misheard lyric about being drunkdrunkdrunk, which I think is appropriate.

The Man Who Wasn’t There

Monday’s dress rehearsals will give us a chance to see Salvador performing his entry. Until then all we have is his lovely sister and the equally lovely backdrop.

Sound of our hearts | Anders Putting,


I know those dancers are supposed to represent something. I’m just not entirely sure what it is. The internet apparently does know what it is, but the internet is not sharing it in coherent English. But Demy is pretty, and between Dimitris Kontopoulos and the unsinkable Alex Panayi chances are that the attempts to recreate the live performance of Israel’s Ole Ole that we witnessed in the second round of the Greek rehearsals will cease.

‘Cause blue is blue and red is red | Anders Putting,

Wedding Crashers

If we do have to attend a wedding to get out of this semi alive, this is the one I want to attend! They are fun and funny and look like it would be a riot to get drunk with them on the dance floor, and they are probably still super charismatic even when they can’t dance or play saxophone and a violin in a straight line anymore.

Oh, mother bless me, please don’t you cry | Anders Putting,

The Eagle Has Landed

I needed a few days to accept that Armenia has not used their preview video that I got so emotionally attached to, but once I went through a fairly sped-up cycle of the stages of grief, I accepted the new staging and hoped that I’d grow to love it. Which I did, once I saw the entire thing. Like a good gymnastics routine at the Olympics, it maintains interest throughout, always finding different ways to be surprising and creative, even if it does so by the way of bringing up the painful memories of “this is how Same Heart should have looked like”.

We don’t beat from the same heart | Anders Putting

I am very touched, though, by being reminded how Eurovision can truly bridge differences between people. It’s such a remarkable gesture, to have DiHaj perform her entry and then return to stage only to join Artsvik!


My life splits into two parts – the one before and the one after Supernova 2017. Before this dramatic event took place, my first response whenever someone muttered the word “hair” was saying that I really do need to go to the hairdresser to cut my split ends already, and start singing Aquarius in my head. But ever since The Event, all I see is Agnese’s hair, all I see.

Is it true? Is it over? | Thomas Hanses,

As for their song and performance, well, I suppose I can mute and just pretend it IS Aquarius.

The Forgotten

I forgot the Czech Republic. I watched the rehearsals just now to refresh my memory and I forgot it. I checked the list of entries of Wikipedia to make sure I’m not missing anyone since I was writing out of order, and I forgot it. I suspect that this will happen to all the viewers of the first semi-final also. In fact, I am actually quite amazed Martina herself didn’t forget to go to her rehearsals. It would be an understandable slip-up.

Lost and forgotten | Anders Putting,

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