ESC 2014 / SEMIFINAL 1: JURY REHEARSAL REVIEW
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – Live from the Danish capital, the team of oikotimes.com (Stefan Resimic from Serbia and Fotis Konstantopoulos from Greece) bring you live report from the crucial jury rehearsal of the first semifinal. Tonight the national juries cast their votes and oikotimes.com will describe you the show and the interval acts. #JoinUs and let’s all have a great time!
One a year ago in Malmoe the show was breathtaking but only one girl won… this is how the first semifinal begins. After a year Emmelie is wondering all over Denmark in a great produced video film. Then Emmelie turns into Lego and back to reality she spreads her arms to all over EUrope from where various videos with Only Teardrop versions are presented, all of them traveling eventually to B&W arena. At the arena the fantastic graphics of DR lead the way towards the stage where Emmelie is performing live her Eurovision 2013 triumph entry. Backdrop LED are full with the videos of the fans singing “Only Teardrops” and dozens of singers join Emmelie on stage and we meet our hosts for the evening!
01. ARMENIA – ARAM MP3 – NOT ALONE
Fotis Konstantopoulos Armenian postcard shows Aram dealing with crafting. Spectacular graphics although barely we hear him the first seconds, the song though grows and becomes spectacular and give us goosebumps towards the end. Amazing camera work and graphics plus the fire props make this definitely a definite qualifier adn a potential #Eurovision 2014 winner. Big applause in the arena. Congratulations Armenia!
Stefan Resimic Aram is maybe singing that You’re not alone, but on stage he is. His performance vocally is perfect, as are the lights and animations on the screen. The thing I don’t like are his facial expressions. Pyro’s on the very begining. What can we expect next?
02. LATVIA – AARZEMNIEKI – CAKE TO BAKE
Fotis Konstantopoulos Latvian postcard is about Aarzemnieki finally baking cookies! They finally did it (lol). Coming from the catwalk towards the stage the band is clearly having fun on stage and you can see it. Too weak as a tune and the simple camera work doesn’t boost this entry to my interest at all.
Stefan Resimic I think that someone has to explain to people in Latvia that in the National final they should pick the best song there is. Is there a reason to participate if you’re gonna end up last every year? This is for sure Aarzemnieki’s breakthrough. They are having so much fun on stage, sound is ok as everything else, but there is just no point of voting for their song. I am sorry Latvia, but you should pick better song next year.
03. ESTONIA – TANJA – AMAZING
Fotis Konstantopoulos Estonian postcard present Tanja working in a shipyard. The song begins with Tanja and her dancer laying on the floor and they already start their magical dance performance. You have to dance this one although as I told you before you have another “Euphoria” copycat on stage. Maybe the dance act is kinda lost in the huge stage. Tanja is barefoot and her acrobatics don’t mess with her voice at all. Well done, great applause in the arena and this one should go to the final easily!
Stefan Resimic Tanja won Estonian edition of Your face sounds familiar with Pink’s famous performance of Try. That was also inspiration for her Eurovision performance. Since good choreography can really buy the viewers there is no doubt that she will qualify. She sounds so perfect and she is all over the stage. Influence of backing vocals is making the performance even better. Is history gonna repeat once again? Are we again going from Copenhagen to Tallinn?
04. SWEDEN – SANNA NIELSEN – UNDO
Fotis Konstantopoulos Swedish postcard presents Sanna Nielse in an indoor poll creating the national flag and picturing it! Finally after 7 years she is on a Eurovision stage and gives one of the best vocal performances we heard so far. The stage looks amazing with the lights and the backdrop stars on LED screens. This is not only a definite qualifier but also a favourite to win #eurovision 2014. One of the light balls didn’t turn properly though! Huge applause in the arena!!!
Stefan Resimic Our hosts from last year are also one of the bookies favorites to win the contest again. The thing I don’t like about Swedish performances is that they are always the same as in the Melodifestivalen, so people know what to expect. This time Sanna is wearing a beautiful black dress made of lace. Her voice is AMAZING and camera is really working with her. One more qualifier for sure if you ask me.
05. ICELAND – POLLAPÖNK – NO PREJUDICE
Fotis Konstantopoulos The Icelandic postcards presents Pollaponk filiming their national flag in the ice and during the night. Very clever. Confident and happily agressive (yes, this is how I see them) they have a rock pop party on stage with their ska song which actually the northern European countries might actually love!
Stefan Resimic Icelandic guys must had influnce of Power Rangers or Teletubbies for their outfits. Unfortunately for their song, that has a really good message, they look just low budget and ridiculous. The stage and the lights are also colorful. Luckily to other contestants in this semifinal, they will not qualify for sure.
06. ALBANIA – HERSI – ONE NIGHT’S ANGER
Fotis Konstantopoulos Hersi makes her national flag by a tatoo in the Albanian postcard. Hersi could have been in the Titanic therefore she sings on a very high prop which reminds me the scene from the succesful movie on the edge of the ship. Anyway Hersi is giving a nice performance but somehow I think this might not be a song distinguishing from the rest but I have to admit I won’t be suprised seeing it in the final.
Stefan Resimic In Albanian postcard we Hersi doing a tattoo of the black eagle that is on Albanian flag. Suddenly we see her back and tattoo is not there. So we are tricked at the very begging of her performance. She might be standing hi on a pedestal, but that won’t be the case in the scoreboard. I know that she has a very good voice, but I don’t get why she has such a crappy song. Bye, bye Hersi. It’s time to go home.
07. RUSSIA – TOLMACHEVY TWINS – SHINE
Fotis Konstantopoulos In Russian postcards the twins photo their flag in a room full of mirrors! The staging is amazing, the JESC 2006 winners begin performing with their hair attached and with two glass sticks in their hands. Then the balance prop starts to move up and down and the girls in their white dresses are coming closer to the audience. The vocal performance is really good and they both smile all the time. The colors of the stage change from blue to golden and it’s really impressive. Some may say it’s an oldfashioned song, I have to corect them saying it’s a mystic song, a fairytale! If it wasn’t the political shit happning right now this song would easily be Top 3 for me in the final!
Stefan Resimic They won the Junior Eurovision eight years ago and now they are back with a very good song. Girls are looking sooooo cute and it would be a shame that because of the politics they don’t qualify. Their performance is worthy for the final 100%.
08. AZERBAIJAN – DILARA KAZIMOVA – START A FIRE
Fotis Konstantopoulos The Azeri flag ia made by Dilara using a lighten stick with three colored plastics. Once again Azerbaijan brings a great song on Eurovision stage. Dilara in her spectacular red gown gives a true performance of one of the best Azeri entries ever. The girl hanging from the sealing is truly amazing and the backdrop showing the vitros of a catholic church (at least this is what we understand) are replaced by a big city lansdcaspe with skycrapes. Azerbaijan not only is amazing but it can even do Top 5 in the final. I have toa dmit though the lights on stage are too low and there is a lot of darkness.
Stefan Resimic There is no chance that Azerbaijan ca miss a Grand Final of a Eurovision, specially now, when Turkey is absent. But I find this song so boring and hard to listen to. Dilara is in a beautiful red dress and she has a dancer hanging from the sealing. Twenty or thirty years ago this song with this performance would win for sure, but now, I don’t think so. The one thing this very monotonous song needs is a big culmination.
09. UKRAINE – MARIYA YAREMCHUK – TICK-TOCK
Fotis Konstantopoulos Ukrainian flag in the next postcard is made by Mariya using post-its and a Kyiv metro wagon. The camera follows the introduction of the song from upside down and Mariya is starts performing very confident and aggresive on stage, she is fucking hot and she knows it. Yeah girl, rock them out! The man in the spinning wheel definitely running of time to catch up with the gorgeous and sexy Mariya. The dress is stunning, it has stripes all over and through the fan you can see her amazing catwalk. Can she bring us back to Kyiv? well the video shot with Mariya on top of the wheel is definitely making Ukraine MY FAVOURITE to win #Eurovision 2015. Amazing high note and great applause in the arena and press center.
Stefan Resimic Tick-Tock it’s time for Ukraine. On stage we have a dancer/hamster in a time/spinning wheel. Maria is in a black dress that is all over the place thanks to wind efffects. Maria looks hot and camera just loves her! The best part of her performance is when she climbs up on the wheel. The crowd seems to like her very much. Welcome to the final Ukraine!
10. BELGIUM – AXEL HIRSOUX – MOTHER
Fotis Konstantopoulos Belgian postcard present Alex netting in a laundry shop his country’s flag. OK this entry has one problem and one remarkable point. The good thing is that Axel is totally superb when it comes to vocal performance. The problem starts with the pessimism the tune brings to my ears. Too much drama. I think it’s too dramatic for Eurovision in the 2010’s. Though only for his voice he deserves to go to the final!
Stefan Resimic Axel was smart enough to use his glory from the Belgian edition of The Voice. In my personal opinion thing that will distract people of voting for him is his looks. He has a dancer on the stage but for me that is making his performance even worse. Only the national jurors can push him into the final, nothing else.
11. MOLDOVA – CRISTINA SCARLAT – WILD SOUL
Fotis Konstantopoulos Cristina is creating the Moldovan flag through pottery in the postcard. Too theatrical I would say but it’s good. I am having the impression that this one might not be liked so much by the audience but the choreography with the medieval dancers and outfits are perfect. Vocally Cristina doesn’t start as good as I expected but at the half part of the song the tune is already monotonous. The part that Cristina cuts her hair for many here is quite funny!
Stefan Resimic A lot of people find Cristina’s song and performance ridiculous, but I am the few of those who likes it. The only thing I don’t like is the new dress. The one from the national final was better by miles. New version has even bigger goth influence. I love when she does the high notes. I am hoping that we will see Moldova performing this Saturday.
12. SAN MARINO – VALENTINA MONETTA – MAYBE (FORSE)
Fotis Konstantopoulos At least she knows how to draw! Valentina is painting the national flag in her postcard. OK I know I was a bitch in my previous reports but I admit at least she tries. She tries though too much, too melodramatic. My personal problem right with this song is that it should have been in Italian. She also has to understand that last year’s theatrical performance was not suppose to be an excuse for a more dramatic performance in this one. Still trying to underatand the prop she uses. Well if they promise not sending Valentina to Eurovision again, then I agree to vote for the country and qualify it to the final this year! Let me be more generous tonight: vocally Valentina is totally correct. GUESS who’s playing the piano on stage
Stefan Resimic Will third time be the charm for Valentina? Let’s hope because everybody had enough of her. I like her song from last year a bit more than this one. Valentina is in a white dress standing in a prop that should represent a shell and she should be a pearl. Stage lights go from blue to gold, a little bit of smoke and wind. A very nice performance. MAYBE San Marino finally qualifies this year.
13. PORTUGAL – SUZY – QUERO SER TUA
Fotis Konstantopoulos Suzy creates her flag by painting on the wall the flag, also painting herself in red color and going on it. It’s Portuguese entry and you can tell it from the first second. The samba is nice but not for Eurovision, the running order might help them get to the final the very last moment but the fuzz with everything happening on stage really troubles me. Drummer, bigger drummers, dancers and banner waving still seem quite confusing. Just let the team of Suzy know that massive voting is not allowed in Eurovision by Digame!
Stefan Resimic Portugal is back after a small break. Bad thing is that they are back with such a crappy song. Everybody wanted Cristina and Mea Culpa in Copenhagen, but a Miracle has happened and we got song that should be in a Lion King movies. Is there a need to mention the joke tittle of this song. Stage and lights are in Portuguese colors – green and red. But nothing can help Suzy go to the final. Not even her multilanguage thanking.
14. THE NETHERLANDS – THE COMMON LINNETS – CALM AFTER THE STORM
Fotis Konstantopoulos The Common Linnets create the Dutch flag with flowers of course. Listen now: this song is a great country song and presented in a spectacular way with amazing graphics and great camera work starting from the sealing and showing a highway route line. Both othe them stand on stage looking to eachother although there is too much darkness around them. Not sure what’s the fate of this song. It’s not a Eurovision song but it’s definitely a very good tune!
Stefan Resimic Land of tulips is presenting us a country typed song. They are standing in front of each other, what is making a special feeling for everyone. In my personal taste, I like this song so much more then Anouk’s birds. I am just scared, since most of people who will vote, will hear this song for the first time tomorrow evening and they will find it very monotonous.
15. MONTENEGRO – SERGEJ ĆETKOVIĆ – MOJ SVIJET
Fotis Konstantopoulos Sergej creates his Montenegrin along with two kids and by solving a puzzle! Clever! Great intro with the Irish/Balkan tune and the roller-skater using the C-Stage. Solo performance for the 2.01 cm Sergej who doesn’t need special effects or props, fireworks. He will go to the final with his amazing and erotic voice. Three backing vocalists join him in the end of the song. Throughout and while the female dancer is skaing the stage floor follows her with white bubbles. One of the best songs in terms of quality, this year in Eurovision! Big applause for Sergej.
Stefan Resimic Montenegro is the onliest ex Yugoslav country in this semifinal. They had such a luck with order of performance. Sergej’s song is a typical Balkan ballad and he will certainly collect votes that would go to Serbia. He has three backing vocals and a girls that is on roller skates. A big round of applause. This is the year for Montenegro. We are finally gonna see them in the grand final. Welcome to the Saturday’s show! You deserve it.
16. HUNGARY – ANDRÁS KÁLLAY-SAUNDERS – RUNNING
Fotis Konstantopoulos Andras is creating his national flag through a kubrick’s cube. Sexy but modest Andras knows that he has the looks and the voice AND the talent to convince you he has a message in his song. He talks about child abuse. We ALL SHOULD listen to him. In the press rehearsal I was shocked by the camera work done in this song, tonight somehow I am a bit more satisfied, but still sceptical. Especially at the moment Andras throws his chari and runs to the C-stage!
Stefan Resimic Andras from Hungary is the last one for tonight. His song is based on a true story. Performance is almost the same as at A Dal. Before the first refrain he is running to the catwalk, and there were some screams. This performance will give you chills. Another certain qualifier. I think that this song will win jury’s votes and if it ends up in top 5 in televoting, Budapest is our next destination.
Danish ballet, takes the stage for some modern dancing to illustrate tonight’s motto: Join Us In Denmark. They use the famous Andersen’s fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling” as a framework. Great use of the LED screens, the interactive floor and the cubes. The start is a bit boring but it’s gets better and better. Anyway, we are so used to dance acts as interval acts. Let’s hope DR come up with a more original idea for next shows.
Now, while votes are being counted, Pilou is taking us for a very ironical tour of Wonderful Copenhagen. Lots of Scandinavian humour where Danish are making fun of themselves. All “negative aspects” of the Danish capital city are being fixed by Pilou before the visit: the size of the Little Mermaid (which is too little actually according to most of tourists), the dungs on Amalienborg Square (the Danish is sometimes not as clean as expected) and so on! That’s a very fun act that reminds us a bit of last year’s Lynda Woodruff’ visits to Sweden.
Fotis predicts: Armenia, Sweden, Iceland, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, Ukraine, Russia, Montenegro, Azerbaijan
Stefan predicts: Armenia, Estonia, Sweden, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldova, San Marino, Montenegro, Hungary
To the final: Sweden, Ukraine, Montenegro, Iceland, Latvia, Belgium, Armenia, Albania, Hungary, Russia
PHOTO: SANDER HESTERMAN , THOMAS HANSES (EUROVISION.TV / EBU)