photo: Andres Putting / EBU /

ANASTASIS BACHAS REPORTING LIVE FROM KYIV, UKRAINE – Good afternoon, International Exhibition center is starting to be excited as we are starting the first full dress rehearsal for the semi-final of tomorrow. 18 countries are eager to jump on stage. The brpadcast starts with an intro of traditional dresses and then we enter the arena to meet the artist Monatik and the song “Spinning” . It’s quite a simple opening show but they will probably set fire to the audience and the arena.

Sweden: No big surprise for Sweden it is exactly the same staging as for Melodifestivalen . Robin Bengtsson is staring from the backstage and he is ending on a rolling carpet on the middle of the stage. As Sweden is opening the show, this move works very well. It’s clearly one of the favorite to qualify for the grand final.

Tamara is alone on stage wearing a red dress .We could say this is a powerful song, the “James bond ballad” of this year. Since Conchita’s victory in 2014 we are used to see each year this kind of song. She has a stunning diva voice that fills up the space. Her qualification seems possible.

Isaiah , winner of the Australian X Factor in 2016 is alone on stage on a revolving circle on which he is walking during all the song. Led screens behind him are projecting mainly his face and body. Very possible to qualify to the final even though it’s the weakest entry since Australia joined the competition.

Lindita is on stage with two backing singers and she wears a long white dress . As many songs this year staging is not very colourful, she has a solid voice but maybe at some spots it is too strong. Albania will probably have some difficulties to qualify for the grand final.

: Blanche is also alone on stage in a very grey background … again. She wears a large black dress that gives her a bit more volume and presence on stage. Her voice is a bit sensitive and fragile and she has to pay attention to remain focused on stage. This is the first huge deception as Belgium arrived here in Kyiv as a potential winner. Qualification would be normally not a problem as the song remains very strong.

Slavko is definitely an Eurovision U.F.O. on stage he wears the same long blue skirt as in his video clip. He will get rid of it in the middle of the song to reveal a glittering silver and black trousers. His trademark is definitely his long pony tail that is even used to mimic an helicopter. Very few possibility to qualify despite this song is working amongst the fans.
After the entry of Montenegro is our first connection and impression from the Green room and the participants we have already seen.

Lena is in a long black dress and Lasse plays piano beside her. Led are presenting blue surface of water in movement. The staging is pretty much the same as per the national final. The part when the piano plays alone is very emotional and her voice fits perfectly to the atmosphere. Very possible to qualify to the final

Probably the most sophisticated staging of this first semi-final. Dihaj appears on stage in a box representing her inner feelings . At distance from her a man wearing a horse mask is sitting on a ladder . This represents the distance between her and the man she loves. This is the second song that we are sure about qualification.

Salvador Sobral appears for the first time on stage of the Eurovision 2017 and in addition the first time on stage B of the arena. So far it was his sister, the composer of the song, who replaced him during the rehearsals due to his health problem. A very nice retro song with a plain staging that is going up amongst the press center. The third certainty to go to the final and probably the winner of this first semi final.

Demy appears like a goddess on stage. She is on a rising pedestal behind a little water pool in which two dancers are playing with water and make it spits. There is a great invention where Demy stands behind a translucent cloth on which an hologram is projected. It’s the second time that we see dancers on stage. A wonderful staging that fits perfectly the song. Greece will definitely reconnect with qualification after last year failure.

Poland: Kasia is again on the list of the lonely appearances on stage. A plain staging , she in a white dress with led projecting dark blue night sky where plenty white birds are flying. This song might be lost in the canopy of ballads we have this year. Very few chances to qualify.

Moldova : Sunstroke Project are six on stage, the first time today that we see the maximum of people filling the stage. The scenery behind is again black and white but saxophone part is emphasized as the screen behind is reproducing the musician. They make a party on stage with a remarkable choreography this is why they have some good chances to qualify.

Iceland : Svala is one more time alone on stage . Her dress and the staging on the screen are reflecting the title of the song, “Paper”. Not a very powerful song despite it has been upgraded compared to the national final. It will be difficult to remember her therefore qualification seems a little bit difficult.

After the performance of Iceland is a second connection with the Green Room.

Czech Republic: One more ballad from Martina. She is starting the song seated on the stairs in front of the stage . Despite we have one more time a lonely singer on stage, the impression is a little bit less empty as we have plenty dancers on the screen behind, same as per her video clip. Probably a little bit weak to reach the final.

Cyprus: Hovig is wearing black outfit and he is on stage with two dancers. On the stage ground white lines are appearing on which he is walking and dancing like a path. Led on the screen are again black and white. This is the most controversial song in the press center as this is an all or nothing song.

Armenia: Artsvik is on stage with two dancers, wearing dark red outfit. Not necessary to mention how this dark atmosphere is starting to be a little bit boring now. Despite this is an ethnic song, we see very few chances for Armenia to qualify this year.

Slovenia: Second time for Omar in Kyiv as he was already representing his country in the first Eurovision held here in 2005. This song was written 10 years ago by him and you can feel it a little bit as it sounds old fashioned. Once more he is the only one on stage and a little bit brighter than the others. Let’s hope that the second attempt will give him the ticket for the grand final.

Latvia: Triana Park are the last on stage . The image is very colorful something that we have almost not seen so far. The song shall probably not succeed to qualify but we have to pay attention to the extremely colorful scenery that might boost her qualification, especially as singing in last position.

After the performance of the last country in this semi final, 3 countries from the big five have rehearsed their own entry. We had Spain , United Kingdom and Italy. Since last year change of rule, they have to perform for Jury’s Semifinals in order for the juries to listen to their songs before the grand final. This concludes our live report. Tune in with us tonight for the Jury Rehearsal.


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