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Semi-Final 1, Jury Rehearsal: Live Blog from the Press Center

by | May 13, 2019

Semi-Final 1, Jury Rehearsal: Live Blog from the Press Center

by | May 13, 2019 | escgo at Eurovision, Eurovision, Featured |

This was the live blog of the first semi jury rehearsal. Come back to ESCGO! in the next days for more live coverage and View from Tel Aviv articles. See you soon!

00:43 It works! The prop works! Which is more than I can say about my voice. I felt bad for Kobi because this was pretty unnerving, but at least it was in the part that wasn’t the show so they had the time luxury of fixing it. It was just some of the lights on the stage shapes that didn’t work properly, so they’ve taken the time to fix it, but would have gone with it as is on a live show.

00:35 Just so you know, Israel apparently dared to dream a particularly bonkers Eurovision montage. It’s all kinds of awesome. Also, Spain re-performed, Israel is yet to perform, but the hosts are now practicing the remainder of their text, and they are now trying the Israeli prop again in the hopes it’d behave.

00:22 And they now put the Spanish prop back on with Miki about to go for another run. I have no clue what’s going on. Good thing the jury is already done with its work because this is very confusing.

00:20 Looks like the Israeli prop had failed, and they actually took it off stage now. I’m sure the audience is thrilled about that one, considering most of them are Israeli. No idea what they are planning to do, because they actually shut off the audio on the feed.

00:13 They are having an oddly long pause before starting to record Israel – we can’t actually tell what is going on, but since it’s not a part of the actual show, we’re using the time to figure out arena shuttles to Euroclub. Multitasking galore.

00:00 Spain has done its thing, and I now get to watch someone watching France for the first time, which is almost as interesting as watching the actual screen. It took him about two minutes to react before saying he hates it but it’s going to do well. And the audience reaction was bigger than Australia. Fun times.

23:50 The hosts closed the fake televote, and we’re now having a bit of a break in the actual scripted show as they are getting ready to record the performances of Spain, France and Israel. They seem to have some issue with getting Spain started for whatever reason, though, so we’ve had Spain waiting in the darkness for the last couple of minutes.

23:41 At some point seeing Assi photo bombing the other hosts in green room shots will stop making me laugh. Not yet.

23:39 The postcard montage with A-Ba-Ni-Bi is so much fun! I might rewatch it a few times once it’s on youtube.

23:34 It’s playback Dana and Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars time, so I might need to step aside for a few minutes. Ugh.

23:31 Recap notes: Cyprus picked the part where the pyros sound like a terror attack in the hall, good going there. Slovenia is dead. Czech Republic picked a part where he is actually trying to belt a note, which is a bit of questionable choice. Greece put the big note in its entirety, which is courageous.

23:20 San Marino: There was a point this week where this actually sounded very good in the mix. But give Serhat a couple of nights of parties and he sounds at his worst (and let’s face it, his starting point wasn’t that great either). Good luck with that.

23:16 Greece: It was a bit of a nervous performance from Katerine, and it was more pitchy than she would have hoped for, although for the most part she wasn’t off key until very end. Song wise and singing style is very much a jury thing. This could have been better, but unless something unthinkable happens she will get another chance to impress the juries.

23:12 Portugal: It’s performed as well as it can be performed, but it comes down to whether interpretive dance and this music style are your thing, and if it makes you willing to forgive the fashion choices and the color scheme of this.

23:08 Estonia: Victor is still shouting at me. What did I do to you? The big note at the end is way off, but the graphics finally all work and he’s so incredibly sympathetic it might as well serve as a test for how forgiving juries are with vocals (because they sometimes are).

23:04 Iceland: This comes after a green room break, since it takes a very long time to take 3 people on poles off the stage. It had the most accurate camerawork we’ve seen of it so far. I’m also wondering whether they broke the Eurovision record in pyro usage per minute.

22:58 Australia: This will never be my thing, but I will give it that – it has improved massively on the visual aspect since the first rehearsals, and Kate is amazing pretty much every time she sings. It still makes me sad that the story of the song doesn’t really make it through, but it’s clearly a televote magnet.

22:54 Georgia: Same as it always been – intense vocals and expression, stunning staging and a very very difficult song to sell.

22:50 Belgium: My favorite bit of this is that they properly use the moving small triangles from the ceiling throughout the performance, which is a sign I’ve watched this way too much. On to more important topics: unfortunately for Eliot this was very weak vocally, which I don’t think is a luxury he can afford with that kind of song.

22:46 Serbia: They were adjusting Serbia’s visuals until the very last moment, but when all put together it looks amazing! Vocally, Nevena never faltered during rehearsals and this was no different, although she looked the most emotional I’ve seen her all week.

22:42 Belarus: I still have no idea what the point of their staging is, but it’s a good time to mention that I forgot to report about our first green room break, where our hosts talked to Tamta and Tulia and cut their Polish folk singing abruptly because they need to learn to time this segment better. Also: Zena was good, but the entire thing is still a non-coherent mess on stage.

22:38 Hungary: Beautiful voice and plenty of emotion, as always, and they managed to not mess up that one shot they somehow did mess up in the earlier dress rehearsal. I had a bet with myself about this working well with the audience in the hall, considering it’s mostly Israelis, and it did.

22:31 Czech Republic: Well, that one went down well in the hall! Albert has the same level of energy and enthusiasm at every rehearsal and this one no different. But we did get to see one new surprise shot!

22:27 Slovenia: The most interesting thing that happened here is that she had a microphone feedback at the beginning for about half a second. Otherwise it’s still this lovely mellow song with an overly tedious performance. Missed opportunity.

22:23 Poland: Another performance, another studio version and this surprising magnetism you wouldn’t expect four Polish Ladies standing and singing in that style. Their stage looks incredibly good on stage and the audience was really into it (well, we do have quite a few people of Polish origin here)…

22:20 By the way, I love the postcards. Love. They are incredibly creative in the way they are shot and the music, and really serve as a great way to show off the artists, as well as showing the production made a great effort to match the theme of the postcard to the artist. I’m not telling anything else because I want you to enjoy them when you get to see them!

22:19 Finland: Sebastian wasted all his good vocals on the afternoon rehearsals and now he sounds the worst he had all week. Luckily for him, it’d make no difference: this was never going to make the cut.

22:15 Montenegro: in the risk of sounding like an evil and grumpy human being: I’m really glad I only have one more time to watch this after tonight. They do their best, they really do, but they’ve actually sounded better until now – I think the nerves have been getting to them a bit.

22:11 Cyprus: It’s not Tamta’s best vocal – the afternoon one was better – but honestly, imperfect vocals were never a problem in that sort of performance, and she looks like a pro popstar doing her thing, and she even improved vocally as it went on. A fun one to start with!

22:00 We start off we a video montage of past Netta watching Dana winning 1999 and starts to (dare to) dream and present Netta’s winning moments in Lisbon, before the wonder woman herself and about 32432 dancers dressed in her Eurovision outfit take the stage for a new (and great) remix of Toy. It’s a great opener! And With the audience in the hall it looks way bigger than what it actually is.

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