ESC 2014 / FINAL: JURY REHEARSAL
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – The very important jury rehearsal of the final is on this evening and we eventually get the chance to see what tomorrow extravaganza will look like ! After the “Te Deum” we are being introduced to the Eurovision Song Contest with great memories from last year and Emilie’s victory. The next video shows Emmelie getting the trophy on stage and participants and people gathering from City centre to Eurovision Island. We then have a dance act with the flags of the 26 finalists and lots of acrobatics and pyros. Last year in Malmö we had the first flag ceremony ever to introduce all entries before the competition. This year, the flag ceremony is far less Olympic-like, and each participant enters the stage before a huge flag on the LED screen. That’s quite nice actually. After a few words and “jokes” from the 3 hosts, the competition starts.
01. UKRAINE – MARIYA YAREMCHUK – TICK-TOCK
Olivier: Ukraine is first on stage. Once again Mariya is giving a very good performance and the visual impact of the act is quite good. The choreography and the “human hamster” look great. “Tick-Tock” should end up high in rankings I personally like the song, even if not amongst my fav this year, but it will also suffer from being performed first tomorrow. Great reaction in the arena as well as in the press centre.
Stefan: In my personal opinion Maria is definitely the hottest participant this year. Lights and graphics are the same, but she is playing with the wind soooo much better then in the semifinal. She sounds perfect and of course the top of her performance is the moment when she climbs on her wheel. Ukraine might not win this year, but it is sure that it will be once again in top 10.
02. BELARUS – TEO – CHEESECAKE
Olivier: Teo is a real performer, and his groovy “Robin Thicke” act is pleasant and defective. Belarus, unlike its neighbours, has kept things simple on stage, and it works pretty well. “Cheesecake” is a good song even if it’s not my kind of music. Good thing, this song is unique of his kind in this final’s line-up. No big reactions to this act though…
Stefan: I am a bit surprised watching Teo’s performance one more time, but every year there has to be a surprise. I don’t like that they wanted to make a boy band feeling with the viewers. I think that this performance needs at least one female dancer. I am not sure, but I think that backing vocalists are actually singing this song and not Teo. Let’s not forget on teenage girls, as they are the only ones enjoying this performance.
03. AZERBAIJAN – DILARA KAZIMOVA – START A FIRE
Olivier: This is one of the most beautiful performances tonight. Classy, sober with a very nice trapeze on stage and beautiful background motives. Dilara has a superb voice and “Start A Fire” is a song for her. I do like this powerful ballad with ethnic elements. It’s a shame it’s performed so early in the final. Dilara does deserve a good position on the blackboard in my opinion. Big applause for Miss Kazimova.
Stefan: This is the first Azerbaijani song I don’t like. I know that it has a lot quality and that jury will probably like it, but I always expect a WOW effect from them. Dilara is of course beautiful and her dancer is making a very special atmosphere for everyone, but every moment I feel like I am gonna fell a sleep. Without Turkey participating, there is no doubt that they will do well.
04. ICELAND – POLLAPÖNK – NO PREJUDICE
Olivier: The first fun act of this final. Pollapönk were not expected in the final to be honest. After Azerbaijan, it’s difficult to find a more different song! The performance is colourful and you really want to sing along with them. “No Prejudice” can be seen as a weird song, but it’s actually quite effective and will be remembered for sure. The audience seems to be enjoying themselves on this song, and the press centre’s reactions a rather positive.
Stefan: Ahhh, our low budget Power Rangers. It’s good that their song actually has a message, but the way that they are sending is so wrong. They are might fighting against prejudices, but this for me more looks like a circus act than a serious song, what should it actually be. Another song that certainly didn’t deserve to qualify to the final.
05. NORWAY – CARL ESPEN – SILENT STORM
Olivier: Time for big emotions with Carl Espen. “Silent Storm” gives me shivers every time it is performed by the Norwegian hunk. That is just beautiful and moving. The stage gives a poetic atmosphere to the act and the violinists are here for the feminine touch to the act. This could be the dark horse of this year’s contest I think. Strong reactions for Norway!
Stefan: The moment I’ve heard Silent Storm, I knew it will represent Norway at Eurovision. The thing I didn’t know is how Carl looks. Nobody could expect that someone like him could have a voice like that and to sing this kind of song. I just love the pian, violins and the flashes in arena. My biggest doubt for this guy is that he is performing too early and that people won’t like how he looks. If Icelandic performance was a bit more serious, they would also like Carl more.
06. ROMANIA – PAULA SELING & OVI – MIRACLE
Olivier: The 2010 Romanian duo is back! “Miracle” is a great dance song, really, and could do well in the scoreboard. But the stage performance is too sophisticated for such a good track. Too many things are happening on stage and on screen. The arena reacts very positively to Romanian dance rhythms. “Miracle” definitely is on track for a very good ranking tomorrow! Mixed reactions in the press centre, but the arena goes wild!
Stefan: They already won third place back in 2010. Playing with fire was by miles better than Miracles. They should be lucky just to make the same success like last time. Good thing is that there is too much ballads and they have a song that just makes you dance. A lot of pyros in their performance is another thing that will help them do well. I just love that almost all the favorites are in the first half.
07. ARMENIA – ARAM MP3 – NOT ALONE
Olivier: Early favourite Aram MP3 is on stage for his greaaaat entry. “Not Alone” is a very good song, and the performance is astounding, ever more on TV than inside the arena. I really like this ballad with a very powerful ending and electro effects in the tune. Armenia deserves to do very well this year! Just hope that it won’t be forgotten by the end of the show. Strong reactions.
Stefan: Bookies made Aram the favorite this year. Finally they are gonna be wrong. Mystical animations and lights are totally going on with this song, but this is another song that really needs a female dancer. Camera is just working perfectly with Aram. At the same moment we can see him and the fire effects. Top ten for sure. It’s good that Armenian national broadcaster cleared their minds after last year’s embarrassment.
08. MONTENEGRO – SERGEJ ĆETKOVIĆ – MOJ SVIJET
Olivier: Another ballad now from the Balkans. Sergej gives a flawless performance of his entry “Moj Svijet”. I like this song very much. It is not, for once, too Balkanic, jJust the right amount of ethnic elements. The staging is nice, even if the skater could have stayed home in Podgorica in my opinion. Once again, this entry may be forgotten by the end of the show and may not get the good ranking it should have. Welcome to the cruel world of the 1st half of the final! Surprisingly good reaction in the press centre.
Stefan: Sergej is from Montenegro, but he lives and works is Belgrade, so I consider him also as a Serbian representative this year. Moj Svijet is a typical Balkan ballad. There is no doubt that the jurors will love it. If this song was in the contest back in 80s or early 90s it would have won for sure. No it doesn’t have many chances, but at least people here in the press center seems to love it, as Sergej got big round of applause.
09. POLAND – DONATAN & CLEO – MY SŁOWANIE – WE ARE SLAVIC
Olivier: Would it have been performed first, the Polish entry cannot be forgotten, believe me. It’s is typical, very catchy and the staging is one of a kind. The dancers are just on the border between being entertaining and being rude (and so are the lyrics of the song). So this is a risky entry, you either love it or hate it. I personally like it even though the dancers performance is a bit too much for me. As far as the song is concerned, it’s a bit repetitive and tiring (but I’ve been listening to it so many times here…). Very strong reactions in the arena and press centre; Another dark-horse in my opinion.
Stefan: Well everybody here is clapping along Cleo. Poland finally has a good song and performance. They say that they actually wear the same clothes in the village. If that is really true, I wonder how elderly there are still alive and didn’t suffer a single heart attack. They will do very well in televoting, but jury will just bury them.
10. GREECE – FREAKY FORTUNE FEAT. RISKYKKID – RISE UP
Olivier: Thanks to DR (…), the two catchiest songs of the final are performed in a row. “Rise Up” is one of the best Greek entries ever and people just love it! In my opinion, in the Poland-Greece battle in this final, Freaky Fortune and Risky Kidd win by a landslide. The arena goes totally mad! The staging is very good, especially the trampoline. I bet those kids will give Greece a great result, if not a second victory! And the press centre LOVE “Rise Up”!
Stefan: Greece is almost always bringing us dance – pop – folk songs. Amazing reception in the arena and also in the press center. I think that the camera work is the best in this performance. Boys are just having the fun of their lives. If you don’t like the jumping part, there is something wrong with you. Athens 2015?
11. AUSTRIA – CONCHITA WURST – RISE LIKE A PHOENIX
Olivier: The guy is a phenomenon and will be remembered for years! First of all, Conchita has a great voice and is a great performer. The song, “Rise Like A Phoenix” is my favourite entry this year, I love the James Bond soundtrack touch, the music, the use of orchestra sounds and above all, it’s classy, with capital C. The staging is just wonderful and gives me shivers. I want Austria to win!!! (and the arena and press centre seems to agree with me big time!). The strongest reactions so far.
Stefan: Here we started to call her the queen of Austria. Conchita’s song got by far the best reactions in the arena and in the press center, but unfortunately that is not enough for a win. She still needs some votes from Eastern Europe. There is no need to say that she sound perfect and that she just gave the performance of her life.
12. GERMANY – ELAIZA – IS IT RIGHT?
Olivier: The first Big 5 is on stage now. In my opinion this entry is neither good, nor bad, it’s just … nothing. I cannot see it do very well in such a strong final. The girls are giving a good performance but this is just not the right song. A sign, all press centre is coffee for a coffee during the German act.
Stefan: Germany proved us that they are the most democratic land. Elaiza first won the wildcard contest, and then all the big names in the national final. Lights and animations are almost the same as in the national final – yellow and purple. Two things I like about this performance are the confetti and the accordion. If Cascada didn’t make into top ten, Elaiza shouldn’t make to top 20 then.
13. SWEDEN – SANNA NIELSEN – UNDO
Olivier: After a break we’re back with a hot favourite (once again). Sanna has a great voice and the staging is simple and really appealing (no special use of the LED screen though). “Undo” is a beautiful and powerful ballad and has many supporters in the arena (well we are just 20 km away from Sweden). This song will definitely do well tomorrow!
Stefan: A break just before Swedish performance. Coincidence? I wouldn’t say so. Like I said it before, every year we already know how Swedish performance will look like as it is 99% same as it was in Melodifestivalen. I am glad that Sanna finally made it to Eurovision, but I am sad that she has done it with this song. Of course that crowd inside like the song. Sweden is just across the bridge. It’s easier to get there then to the press center. Once again people inside are asked to use their flashes, but since Norway did it first tonight, others are just copycats.
14. FRANCE – TWIN TWIN – MOUSTACHE
Olivier: Second fun act of the final, the French energetic trio! “Moustache” is a cheerful song and the arena is positively reacting. The staging is even more colourful than the Icelandic one (as if it was possible). The entry is so original that it’s difficult to predict its final ranking actually. One thing is sure, the press centre like it more that I could have imagined.
Stefan: And you thought that Icelandic performance is the only joke of the night. French guys are so enthusiastic, but think, who would vote for France. Too much colors, too much camera work. I just got dizzy. After Patricia Kaas, French broadcaster should think a bit more who is gonna represent them.
15. RUSSIA – TOLMACHEVY SISTERS – SHINE
Olivier: After the French twins, here are the Russian ones. I found this song a bit old fashioned, and the girl’s look does not help to be honest. It’s very well performed and the staging is quite sophisticated, even if it’s a bit too mechanical (like soviet gymnastics). The girls are great performers and deserve a good raking (not a very high though). But unfortunately they will unfairly suffer from being Russian. (and some booing prove me right).
Stefan: No booing before start of Russian performance? I am really wondered. Girls are looking so cute and innocent. Remember that this is a SONG festival, and you should only judge a country here by a song and a performance. In my opinion this should be in top 5.
16. ITALY – EMMA – LA MIA CITTÀ
Olivier: Glam rock for Italy this year! Emma is very professional and gives a flawless performance of “La mia Città”. I’ve like this song for month now, and the live performance is just great. A bit too Italian maybe. For once the Italian entrant gives a real show, and that’s great. Good reactions in the press centre.
Stefan: The land that gave us so much delicious food – Italy. Emma and her band look just amazing in their white and gold costumes. She is singing in Italian, and how can you not love that language. There are some moments where her voice goes electric, what makes her sound sexy. In the end we have some fireworks. Very good reception by the crowd. Since Italy came back, this is the first song that deserves to win.
17. SLOVENIA – TINKARA KOVAČ – ROUND AND ROUND
Olivier: She was the surprise of the 2nd demi-final. Tinkara is giving a sweet performance and the staging is just perfect: spinning colours, that’s so catchy. “Round And Round” is a nice song even if one can’t expect very high rankings tomorrow I’m afraid. Anyway, well done Slovenia! Unfortunately most of the press centre does not seem that interested by the performance.
Stefan: Second former Yugoslav country participating in the final is Slovenia. Tinkara and her backing vocalists sound and look just perfect. A lot people are saying that she shouldn’t have qualified, but I think that she totally deserved it. I like the most the moment when stage goes from dark blue to gold. I hope that besides Montenegro, Slovenia does will tomorrow evening.
18. FINLAND – SOFTENGINE – SOMETHING BETTER
Olivier: Finland, or “when great lights effects can make a good performance into a great one”. This pop rock act is good but could be lost in the middle of this year’s songs. BUT, the performance is just amazing. I love those lights that turn the Eurovision arena into a real concert venue! Softengine may achieve a surprisingly good result tomorrow. Mixed reactions though.
Stefan: Finnish boys will definitely win hearts of teenage girls of Teo. At first I liked their song, but with every next listening it was more hard to listen it to. Since they are still in high school, I suggest them to go straight home to do their homework, as there is no chance that they will do well here.
19. SPAIN – RUTH LORENZO – DANCING IN THE RAIN
Olivier: The Spanish diva is on stage now. What a voice! What a performance! What a staging! This could save this song, which is a bit boring and old-fashioned in my opinion. But I totally understand why she is amongst the favourite, even if I would be surprised if “Dancing In The Rain” fans were disappointed tomorrow. Great reactions in the press centre when Ruth reaches the high note. This girl is just amazing!
Stefan: At first you will think that it is actually raining on the stage in B&W Hallerne, but unfortunately it’s not. Stage effects and Ruth’s makeup are made to look like it is. So far the best reactions. Even better then those Conchita got. I believe that Ruth will prove that a big 5 country can win the contest again.
20. SWITZERLAND – SEBALTER – HUNTER OF STARS
Olivier: “Hunter Of Stars” is another surprise from last night, but this is the simplest and friendliest entry this year. You just want to join Sebalter on stage to share the moment with him. In its studio version, this song was “so-so”, but when performed on stage it’s quite catchy and brings a good vibe in the arena. Everybody is clapping to the sound of Sebalter’s music. This entry could rank higher than expected!
Stefan: Boom on the very start. Switzerland is back into the final after two years, but this time I think that Sebatler will do so much better then Anna. Everybody is clapping along the rhythm of his song. He is so cheerful on stage what will give you an impression that he is such a nice guy, what he really is.
21. HUNGARY – ANDRÁS KÁLLAY-SAUNDERS – RUNNING
Olivier: I’ve always liked András’ song. Well, the message is not that easy to deliver, but the performance is great, flawless and powerful enough to be remembered. “Running” is a great song and some see it as another dark-horse. I couldn’t blame them. Being in the 2nd half of the show could really help Hungary achieve its best result ever! Strong reactions!
Stefan: I was there when he won A Dal, and since then I just know that he will do well in Eurovision. His song has a true message and meaning, he is good looking, he knows how to sing, he has a perfect performance, all what a wining song should have. I won’t be surprised if he wins the votes of jurors, because he deserves it. In my opinion it all goes down on Budapest, Madrid and Athens.
22. MALTA – FIRELIGHT – COMING HOME
Olivier: Firelight were quite impressive during the semi-final. People really like their country-folk “Coming Home”. The staging with pictures of fan is a very clever idea: we actually feel home with the band. This is a great performance from Malta! Once again, in the 1st half, this song would have gotten lost, but at the end of the show… it could do very well.
Stefan: Maltese representatives prove that family is everything. But instead of them I would more like to see Mei in the final. There is really not much to say about their song. We are used to see weird songs from Malta. At least one thing is sure about Malta. They will give their twelve points to Azerbaijan this year (again).
23. DENMARK – BASIM – CLICHÉ LOVE SONG
Olivier: The host country is on stage now, and Basim can definitely count on the audience to make his performance unique. That’s a fresh and incredibly catchy entry! The staging and the choreography are simple but “Cliché Love Song” doesn’t need more. I bet on Saturday the Danish audience will set fire to the arena with this track. And the flag effect at the end will not calm them down (even if this is not the in initial Danish flag). Of course, great reaction in the arena, much less enthusiasm in the press centre.
Stefan: I think that Danish song was written by Fred Flintstone and Shaggy (Scooby Doo’s best friend). Since Basim is very young, this is the best breakthrough for him and his career. He also has some fireworks in his performance and a big love banner falling from the ceiling. I also don’t like that he is performing at the very end, because his song is very catchy, so most of the people will remember it and automatically vote for it.
24. NETHERLANDS – THE COMMON LINNETS – CALM AFTER THE STORM
Olivier: The Dutch duo is performing a cool country song that is THE dark-horse according to bookmakers. Very simple but classy staging and two professionals on stage. At first I found “Calm After The Storm” too calm (not to say boring) but it’s been growing on me since then. But let’s not forget that most viewers (and voters) will only listen to it once. That could be a surprise winner in my opinion. Great reactions for the Dutch!
Stefan: Land of tulips and clamps is in the final for the second year in a row. I usually don’t like country songs, but this one I do. The thing I don’t get is why there is not many more people agreeing with me. Bookies also predict good placement for them and I agree with them on that.
25. SAN MARINO – VALENTINA MONETTA – MAYBE (FORSE)
Olivier: Well every year we have one: the song that should not be in the final. OK she has a great voice, OK she the symbol of perseverance… but come on, this is so old fashioned that I cannot see Valentina higher than the 20th place tomorrow. In fact, I even think this is the third (unvolontary) fun entry of the year.
Stefan: San Marino is finally in the final. YEY! I am so happy for them and Valentina. That means that we will have a chance to meet another artist from the smallest participating country next year. I really like Valentina’s stage performance, but I am scared that many of the voters will find her song boring.
26. UNITED KINGDOM – MOLLY – CHILDREN OF THE UNIVERSE
Olivier: UK Great song, great performzance but I just don’t really like this song. Sorry. I cannot see it as a winner even if many disagree with me. Wait and see then…
Stefan: Molly form UK is the last competing performance of the night. She was really “lucky” with the draw. She is in gorgeous gold dress and her band has so interesting costumes. The thing I like about this song is the POWER TO THE PEOPLE part and the firework waterfall. I wouldn’t like her to win, because the contest wouldn’t be held in London, but in Manchester.
Now we have the interval act (amongst which recaps of the songs are aired for the viewers to vote tomorrow and the juries to cast their votes). The interval act includes: Eurovision 2075 with performances of hidious entries from the future (not sure we laughed with it), presentation of Gaia Cauchi who performed acapela part of her song, a city tour video by Pilou and three hosts’ song video about 12 points.
Thank you all for sharing the passion with us! Good night from Copenhagen
ARTICLE PHOTO: THOMAS HANSES (EUROVISION.TV / EBU)
GALLERY PHOTO: ANDRES PUTTING (EUROVISION.TV / EBU)