Select Page
A German in Lisbon: The first results (and more)

A German in Lisbon: The first results (and more)

The first results are in: It hit me. I have the infamous Eurovision cold, as a result of exhaustion and many windy situations. So I’ve taken things even easier in the last days than I already was.

On Monday, I was walking around the Alfama once again and went up to Castelo São Jorge, where I was rewarded with a breathtaking view over Lisbon. Here you can see the Eurovision Village at the bottom left of the picture:

View over Lisbon with Eurovision Village

Later I was at the jury semi-final in the arena, and you know the outcome already, no need to report from that event. Just one thing: If you plan to go to the arena and haven’t been before, do leave yourself enough time, because traffic, including the metro, can get very… stuck.

Euroclub on Monday was a disappointing event, badly visited and I hardly saw any familiar faces. It’s becoming a bit of a theme of this fragmented fan experience across multiple locations.

On Tuesday, I went discovering some more of the city, including the Eurovision Village (which was once again not much worth visiting – and beware of those hotdogs costing €5 or more!), as well as the Lisbon’s landmark #1, Torre de Belém.

Of course, in the evening, we had the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. I got 7/10 right in my prediction, my usual result. My top 3 thoughts after the show were:

  1. Will Azerbaijan finally stop buying Swedish songwriters now?
  2. Will Russia show the complete final including the Irish performance?
  3. Why do my favourites always draw the first half in the final?

While for 3 there won’t be an answer, I am curious about what happens concerning 1 and 2.

After the semi-final we went to Euroclub, which was much better visited and had more familiar faces showing up, too. However, by that point, I had already developed a cold. Boo!

As a consequence, yesterday, on Wednesday, I woke up with a sore throat and felt really crappy, so I spent the day relaxing as much as I can and didn’t attend the jury show for semi-final 2. Best to save myself for the night that really counts! Instead, I went for an early night in my hotel, so that I have the chance to enjoy the remaining days. It’s going fast now – Lisbon 2018 will soon be history.

Are we heading to Nikosia, Tallinn or Bratislava? We’ll find out very soon…

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...

Blue Carpet Gallery: Semi-final 2

Blue Carpet Gallery: Semi-final 2

We attended the Blue Carpet event in Lisbon on Sunday, and we’re happy to share our photos of the artists from the second semi-final with you. Enjoy!

Alexander from Norway

Cristina (The Humans) from Romania

Balkanika from Serbia

Jessika and Jenifer Brening for San Marino

Rasmussen from Denmark

We didn’t manage to catch Julia, but here’s one of the Russian team with a cute dog

Marina (DoReDos) from Moldova

Everybody’s got a little outlaw in ’em… except for our camera memory card. (Sorry Waylon.)

Jessica from Australia

Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao from Georgia

Gromee and Lukas from Poland

Christabelle from Malta

AWS from Hungary

Laura from Latvia

Benjamin from Sweden|

Vanja from Montenegro

Lea from Slovenia

Mélovin from Ukraine

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...

Download and print your voting sheet for the first semi-final

Download and print your voting sheet for the first semi-final

Download and print our voting sheet for semi-final 1!

We know there are a lot of scoresheets that go seriously heavy on your printer ink, so we’ve gone for an economical design instead. No point in doing the same as everyone else, right? That means:

  • Greyscale only!
  • No flags!
  • No images!

So if you want a printer-friendly voting sheet that still looks nice, you’re very welcome to download ours – and do pass on the link to anyone else who might want it.

Download your voting sheet here!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...

Blue Carpet Gallery: Semi-final 1

Blue Carpet Gallery: Semi-final 1

We attended the Blue Carpet event in Lisbon on Sunday, and we’re happy to share our photos of the artists from the first semi-final with you. Enjoy!

Aisel from Azerbaijan

Ári from Iceland

Eugent from Albania

Sennek from Belgium

Mikolas from the Czech Republic

Ieva from Lithuania

Netta from Israel

Alekseev from Belarus

Elina from Estonia

Equinox from Bulgaria

Eye Cue from Macedonia

Franka from Croatia

Cesár from Austria

Yianna from Greece

Saara from Finland

Sevak from Armenia

ZiBBZ from Switzerland

Ryan from Ireland

Eleni from Cyprus

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...

A German in Lisbon: The middle weekend

A German in Lisbon: The middle weekend

Uff, hello from Lisbon! A few things went wrong here and there in the past two days, so I’m very sorry that there’ve been no new updates for quite a while. Being alone here with an F accreditation is already quite restricting, and I’ve also felt really unwell since yesterday morning (exhaustion basically) so decided to reduce my activities to a minimum, i.e. attending the Blue Carpet event, which is always a favourite – but I’ll write more about later!

Now, where were we?

On Saturday, I was walking around beautiful Alfama, a part of Lisbon in which medieval buildings survived the earthquake of 1755, which destroyed most parts of the city. Eurovision isn’t just about Eurovision when it’s hosted in a beautiful city like Lisbon.

Alfama

Later on the same day, I was attending the Israeli party, which had a massive queue in front of the location where we kept standing and queueing for nearly an hour. At least I got a free hug. We heard rumours that we might have trouble to get in with our OGAE cards, but in the end it all worked out fine and we had a really good time there. We saw the acts from Iceland, Finland, Ireland, San Marino, Denmark, Georgia and Poland perform (I’m sure I forgot some), and of course Israel’s Netta.

San Marino performing at the Israeli Party

Denmark’s Rasmussen was being original by not performing on stage, but Viking-style unplugged in the middle of the crowd on the floor, surrounded by smartphones pointing at him. I was a bit too far a way to join these, but it was very effective and stood out from all the other acts. Still, he can’t do that in the actual shows.

My Sunday turned out slightly different to what I planned. Originally, I wanted to see the rehearsals of the finalists, then go to the Blue Carpet, then to Euroclub. But already on Saturday I felt like I needed to slow down (brother), so I stayed at home, and it was good that I did exactly that, as I was starting to feel really unwell around lunchtime yesterday. I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to do the Blue Carpet, especially considering that it’s very hot and sunny (which is a good thing generally, don’t get me wrong!), but thanks to the Eurovision gods, the fan area was under the roof of MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology), so I could take it easy in the chilly shade and follow the delegations as they were making their way along the Blue Carpet.

It all was staged in the most spectacular scenery that I can remember for any other Blue, Red or Pink Carpet, with a stunning view of Ponte 25 de Abril. I managed to get photos of all the artists (bar Russia and the Netherlands – unintentionally, honest!) and will post them later today (those of semi-final 1), on Wednesday (semi-final 2) and on Friday (the six finalists), but for now here are some general impressions from the event:

As I’m still not feeling great, I will take things step by step for now, but I’ll try to be at the jury final tonight and live-tweet about crowd reactions and vocal performances from the Altice Arena as half of the votes for tomorrow’s second semi-final are already cast today. Stay tuned!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...

A German in Lisbon: Russia, Moldova, Cable Car!

A German in Lisbon: Russia, Moldova, Cable Car!

Hello from Lisbon!

This Saturday morning began with a shock moment: Just when I was about to leave and pack my bag, I couldn’t find the second lens for my camera. I went full drama queen and was already trying to call the reception, when I finally found it in my room after all. So, I was running uphill to catch my low-frequency shuttle bus to the Altice Arena (got it in the last second), as I didn’t want to miss the first rehearsal:

Russia. And what can I say? Nothing works here, apart from the support vocalists. This doesn’t feel like those top-notch Russian stage shows that we are used to, it’s probably the weakest complete package that Russia has ever delivered in the contest’s history. Interesting side note: Julia gets brought on stage already sitting on the top of her mountain. When asked at the press conference about what she wants the audience to feel during the song, she simply responded that the song is “about everyone.” Hmm.

I myself had my lunch break in the lovely restaurant by the water, as you can see above (nearby the Russian delegation – minus Julia – whose HoD celebrates his birthday today). I was still fascinated about Moldova‘s show at this point. It will enter Eurovision’s “Choreography Hall of Fame” with ease, in one line with Bucks Fizz and Brotherhood of Man. This is the entry that will get the most attention from TV viewers in both shows it’s participating in, and we might even get Chisinau 2019, as it’s just so captivating and entertaining that you can’t take your eyes off the screen for a second. A Kirkorov masterpiece, top 5 for sure.

I also saw a bit of Georgia, which was quite static, and I never like the use of red on stage, especially not in the combination with black clothes. Vocally it was fine, but the whole staging is way too generic to sell the song. Non-qualifier.

I called it a day at the venue after my lunch break and went for a lovely walk through the park (see below), and finally my anticipated ride with the cable car, which gave me a stunning view of the Altice Arena:

Now I’ll pay another visit to the city – it’s finally summer here, and in true Eurovision style, that calls for a costume change. Later tonight it’s the Israeli party, very much looking forward to that!

More about that tomorrow – until then, lots of Lisbon love from Felix

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...

A German in Lisbon: Justice for Valentina!

A German in Lisbon: Justice for Valentina!

Hello from Lisbon!

It’s been my first proper day here, having got my first actual impressions of the host city earlier on. Once my little city trip was over, I paid a short visit to Altice Arena, where I got an idea about Romania, Serbia, San Marino, Denmark, Portugal and unfortunately only a hint of the United Kingdom

My highlight of the day was clearly San Marino, which I watched in full in the hall. Oh, San Marino. First, one of the robots holds a sign “This is just a rehearsal”. Later in the song, he holds a sign “Justice for Valentina!”. And it doesn’t stop there: The performance was actually good. Vocally strong, in tune, and most importantly: Adorable and very approachable because the complete package isn’t perfect. We’re not watching a Swedish entry here, with human robots; we’re watching robots and humans. Guilty pleasure? Not only that, it’s actually also a quite good song, I think. Sure, the rapping part is questionable, but in general, San Marino adds so much lightweight, honest fun and colour into this dark and heavy 2018 contest. So much so that I even begin to believe it will qualify, and maybe even do very well in the final. You heard it here first, San Marino will win.

And the robot was also a star in the press conference:

San Marobot

What else can be said about those few rehearsals that I got to see? Denmark was a bit out of tune here and there, but will surely find a lot of fans who will vote for it. I won’t, though I have a relatively neutral attitude about this one. Portugal was hard to judge as the volume in the fan tent was too low. However, Barbara Dex would be proud of the main singer. I only saw SuRie from the United Kingdom before the song began, so I can’t say anything about her performance, but her white dress and the pink/blue neon bulb rectangles behind her looked very promising.

And with that, it’s off to finally do some partying!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...

A German in Lisbon: First impressions from the host city

A German in Lisbon: First impressions from the host city

Yesterday I talked about the German side of me. Today it’s time to remember that I am 1/16th Spanish too, so I’d better let my inner Iberian out while I’m here. Bom dia Lisboa!

I began this second full day in Lisbon with a short trip around the city with the hop-on-hop-off bus, and did not regret it. My first proper impression of Lisbon turned out to be a very good one. I’m really happy to be here (again, thank you very much for voting for Salvador Sobral!). However, I didn’t read up much about Lisbon before my arrival, so I am still very much unprepared. See, my southern genes do exist!

As I was travelling through the city, I was beginning to get a feeling for Lisbon, and noted down areas which I would like to pay an extra visit to. Bairro Alto, for example. Or Baairro Aalto, like I called it in our Instagram story earlier today.

I got off the bus at two stops, which gave me some time to walk around a bit. First at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, later at Portas do Sol, both being breathtaking viewpoints, as you can see:

Miradouro de São Pedro

 

Portas do Sol

 

Portas do Sol

What can I say? Lisbon has a very nice feel, I think I can taste it even without having eaten any local specialty so far. The light is miraculously bright, but not blinding. A really enjoyable, pleasant vibe, sehr angenehm as we say in German. It’s really hard to describe, you just have to feel it.

After a quick stop at my hotel, I am now – as I start to type this – in the shuttle bus to the arena, where I will follow the rehearsal of San Marino as my minimum “must do” Eurovision task for today. Robots.

Then I will also know where the shuttle buses leave from the venue, as I didn’t manage to find any information about this matter yesterday.

Update from the venue:

Now I know where the shuttle bus leaves: it’s behind the train station on the left-hand side (as seen from the walk from the arena), just in case you’re in Lisbon and had failed to find it too.

Romania just completed their second set of rehearsals. Vocally it was okay as far as I could tell here in the fan tent, but the staging… oh well. Now Serbia have taken to the stage to rehearse, so it’s time for me to get ready and get in place for the secret highlight of the day: San Marino! More about this – and other rehearsals – later today.

Love from the fan tent, Felix

 

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...

A German in Lisbon: The first full day

A German in Lisbon: The first full day

As anyone who ever lived in Cologne would say:

“Et es wie et es, et kütt wie et kütt, un et hätt noch emmer joot jejange.”

That’s Cologne dialect for “It’s how it is, it will be like it is, and it has always worked out fine in the end.” It’s time for me to adopt this relaxed attitude now.

If you know me well, you’ll know I did live in Cologne before, and if you know me very well, you’ll know that I am the least flexible person in the world. One of my best developed typical German quirks is the fact that I have a compulsive disorder that forces me to do plan everything into the last detail, and try to stick to my schemes and plans… and obviously I fail, when my German organisation craze collides with the situation that we face here.

So, step 1: Delete the plans, and do what you can do, Step 2: Just roll with it, that’s how you write a blog!

Now my takeaway food is cold, because I focused on the introduction for way too long, but anyway, here we go.

Stunning view from Pavilhão de Portugal

I arrived at the venue, which is really beautifully located with a breathtaking view, around 9:15 in the morning. A little later, the arena opened for the press and fans for the first time. So, I grabbed a seat at the press area, and began to note my thoughts and impressions:

My personal highlights were clearly Albania and Austria. Sure, both of them were in my personal top 5 already, but they both work really well each in their own way: While I think Albania could have gone for a darker stage, Eugent’s vocal performance is so outstanding that the song gets sold no matter what. Qualification becomes a bit more likely for Albania now, but still, their start position remains a problem. Austria on the other side impresses with a gorgeous complete package. Wow. Winner? I still think it would have been better if he had a handheld microphone. He actually used one at one point during today’s rehearsals, but either they discarded my idea again or it was just a temporary substitute mic for whatever reason.

Speaking of which, there were quite some technical problems at the rehearsals, including Iceland singing with the wrong microphones. This and most other hiccups were, however, parts of a general mess that was originally caused by Iceland’s delayed arrival to the venue, and the slot swap with Albania as a result. Don’t blame Ari though, he’s adorable – and unlike the fashion disaster, this was not their choice. No, it’s a bit more serious, as the reason for their delay was a traffic jam caused by a car accident.

Lovely Lithuania doesn’t have the most rewarding staging for the viewer in the hall, but the camera captures the feel of the song very well. It’s the other way round for Israel. While it is fun, and will totally rock Altice Arena, and it is quite pushing Lithuania aside, the complete package somehow doesn’t work on screen. I think the strict shapes of the props swallow Netta and take a lot of dynamics and flow out of the performance. As a whole, it’s not the ideal execution of the big fan favourite, and if you haven’t been a fan of the song so far, you won’t become one based on the live performance. It’s certainly not bad, it’s still a strong one, but winner? Not so sure.

Pushing Lithuania aside: Netta from Isarel (photo: Andres Putting, eurovision.tv)

On the other hand, if you were not a fan of Belgium‘s song before, you might become one based on what I saw in the arena today. Sennek performs this one really well, and I had been a bit afraid she wouldn’t be able to sell the song as well as she apparently does. Great performance, though her look is a bit questionable. Also, the beginning is a bit odd, and not in a good way. First you only see her eyes, before Sennek gets revealed to the viewer in full, but the way it’s done is rather weird and makes me shrug.

The other country beginning with Bel? Belarus! Oh my god. Cheesy ad nauseam. While I love the song, and Alekseev performs it very well, this staging concept is the creepiest, weirdest thing we’ve seen since the Russian piano woman in 2006. Expect a lot of red on your screen.

Mikolas from the Czech Republic was obviously playing it safe with his back injury, so he didn’t move a lot, but decided to run in the last run-through (no pun intended). He still has a few days to recover, and we hope he will be able to show us his moves on Tuesday!

After I was told that it’s not allowed to take photos from the press area, I decided to skip Estonia (which was vocally flawless as I still could hear), and instead achieve some clarity about the situation. It turned out that nobody from the staff could provide clear information that felt trustworthy enough, and since my laptop doesn’t run on battery for a long enough time period, I ditched my plans and decided to not cover all the songs. Eventually I went back to the arena, just to watch a bit more, type some notes into my phone, and leave the arena after a very good Greek rehearsal.

Altice Arena in half glory

And at the end of my first full day here, Lisbon begins to feel really nice. I haven’t seen much of the city yet, as I was at the venue and in the subway the whole time so far, but the few metres between the subway station and my hotel already suggested a very good, bright and lightweight feel about this city.

So, under the line, this day wasn’t only a rehearsal day for the artists, it was also a lesson in flexibility for me. You’ll get the result now and in the upcoming days, as escgo!’s coverage will go very freestyle this year. I am really sorry that we can’t cover the rehearsals of each country in detail this time, but we’re just one F-accredited person on-site, and the information we get about permissions and restrictions isn’t particularly well rather poorly communicated and is often contradictory. But there we are – I’ll adapt to the situation and try to make the best out of what’s possible, both for myself and for our coverage on escgo!

So I’ll do what I can – after all, we are who we are, and who we are is who we wanna be. Let our freestyle Eurovision coverage continue!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...

A quick update from the arena

A quick update from the arena

Hello from Felix in the Altice Arena! It’s this website’s first full day in Lisbon, it’s the first day of open rehearsals, and… well, let’s just say things went a bit differently to how we imagined. So we’re adapting to the situation and changing our plan to something a lot more freestyle.

In short, although we are allowed into the arena, there is a lot of confusion about whether people with F accreditation – myself included – are allowed to take photos of the rehearsals or not. I started by doing so but was then informed it wasn’t allowed, and since then every member of staff seems to have a different and inconclusive answer on the matter. So I’ve decided to play it safe and not take any photographs after all, at least until someone can tell me for once and for all that I’m not going to get into trouble for doing so!

We planned to cover all the open second rehearsals, but since even blogging them live is technically problematic for us this year (with no power points in the area for fans with F accreditation, battery life quickly becomes a fatal issue), we’re moving to Plan B instead. Or maybe that should be called “Plan F”. I’m going to continue to deliver occasional bits of news and insight via our social media channels like I have been already, but my full blog-based review of my impressions from today’s rehearsals will have to wait until my daily personal blog, which will be coming within the next hours. And that’s how we’ll proceed for the time being – at least until things change… again…

This much for now: Austria is simply stunning. At this point I even see it as a candidate for the trophy. Belarus is absolutely hilarious, and Macedonia comes with a new dress! I’ll be sharing more details and thoughts later today in my regular “A German from Lisbon” post, so look out for that very soon. Until then!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!
Visit our Eurovision Chat!
Join the Chat!

Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

read more

Round-up: Czech friends, ‘rude Finns and more

Who says exciting things only happen on Super Saturday? It's been a busy working week in the world of Eurovision as the 2019 contest moves ever closer! On Monday, the Czech Republic completed its non-televised selection, with a public vote and a jury of recent ESC...

read more

New format, same old story? Reviewing the 2019 UK contenders

The BBC has revamped the format of its national selection for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest – but will this make a difference to the UK’s international fortunes, or does it just mean making the same mistakes in a different order? Martin takes a look at the three songs and six performers in the running.

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Darude performing for all 3 people in Tel Aviv arena who could afford the tickets

"For real? Guy, come on!" is our new go-to line for every situation.

I'm not sure what went wrong in my life that I'm spending my Monday nights making things like this, but fine

National final bangers 💃 and ballads 👩‍🎤 from Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal are waiting for YOUR votes in Heat 3 of SongHunt 2019! #eurovision

https://t.co/ivAdPt9zCC

#DareToDream? More like #DareToSort lol

Mr. Gerbear's #Eurovision 2019 Favorites Sorter is now available! Have fun :3

https://t.co/wLCLL5lz9y

Load more tweets...