ESC 2014 / SEMIFINAL 2: JURY REHEARSAL

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – Live from the Danish capital, the team of oikotimes.com (Olivier Rocher from France and Fotis Konstantopoulos from Greece) bring you live report from the crucial jury rehearsal of the second 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!

SHOW INTRODUCTION
The show starts with a quick reminder of what happened 2 days ago (semi-final 1) and then we are taken to downtown Copenhagen to follow glowing cubes til the B&W Hallerne arena! A girl in a car sees those cubes and is walking to Eurovision Island with her parents, where they are joined by hundreds of people. Classical musicians get trapped in those cubes and then appear on stage in the hands of young dancers for a strong choreography in an industrial scenography. Then our hosts Lise, Nikolaj and Pilou appear on stage to welcome us for the second evening of Eurovision 2014.

01. MALTA – FIRELIGHT – COMING HOME
Fotis: The song gorws inside many Eurofans and press / media representatives. I don’t think it’s strong enough to qualify though after the Dutch qualification this could make it. Not sure it’s the right song to open the contest tomorrow night. Something is missing here for sure. On the edge for me to qualify.
Olivier: The first performance for tonight’s show is Malta. The postcard takes us to the beautiful archipelago were the entrants, Firelights, are making their national flag out of pyrotechnics. “Coming Home” is a pleasant folk song. The stage is really nice with images of blooming fields, and the pictures of Eurovision fans appearing on the screens give the act a very family, friendly atmosphere. Being performed first is never a good thing in a contest, but the good reception by the audience and the press centre could means this average entry could be performed again on Saturday.

02. ISRAEL – MEI FINEGOLD – SAME HEART
Fotis: Agressive and sexy Mei Finegold makes you wanna dance with her. At least we did that in the Israeli party when she made everyone going frantic. Israel will not Eurovision but for sure they will go to the final. The female dancers are almost like top models and the camera work makes amazing work presenting the song in a way that most of us not wanting to vote for it, now we will.
Olivier: Beautiful postcard on a beach for Israel, and just an astounding performance. Mei delivers a powerful flawless performance and MUST go to the final with “Same Heart”. The lights effects are amongst the best ones so far and the girls and her two dancers just take possession of the stage. Huge reactions for the Israeli entrant!

03. NORWAY – CARL ESPEN – SILENT STORM
Fotis: mMobile flashes are instructed to be used by the audience and Carl Espen gives an amazing performance. This person can make you cry even if you don’t understand the lyrics, the reason is simply, he sings from his soul, the biggest secret about performance. You just get in love with the music but don’t worry you will liten to it again on Saturday.
Olivier: Carl Espen is turning a typical wooden window into his national flag. Here is the most emotional song of the night. Beautiful voice, beautiful melody, beautiful staging with violonists and beautiful layout: I get shivers every time the Norwegian entrant takes the microphone. Not only “Silent Storm” will process to the final, but he could be the surprise entry of 2014 with a Top 5 finish.

04. GEORGIA – THE SHIN & MARIKO – THREE MINUTES TO EARTH
Fotis: Lovely earth song, lovely street music but Georgia will never qualify with this piece of crap. Besides the noize made for nothing and Mariko’s horrible English accent what we laugh with is the … parachute!
Olivier: The Georgian postcard introduces The Shin and Mariko and their “original” entry (not to call it “weird”). Of course “Three Minutes To Earth” is illustrated by parachutes on screens, as well that one on stage (a premiere at the Eurovision Song Contest). Anyway, I cannot see this get many votes neither from the Jury nor televoters. This entry is quite disappointing after the powerful ballade we had last year from Georgia. See you in 2015!

05. POLAND – DONATAN & CLEO – MY SŁOWIANIE / WE ARE SLAVIC
Fotis: Powerful, folk, sexy, trashy and unique. Yes it might look like a cheap porn film of the 70s made in Eastern Europe but for the first time I enjoy so much a show from Poland. Cleo is making a great job and stage not to mention the two amazing sexy girls who keep implying sexual things with their “hard-on” waching of clothes. Poland made the difference this year and I wanna see it to the final!
Olivier: This time the Polish flag is made with graphics from a recording studio. That entry will definitely be remembered. The song is a very catchy mix of modern beats and traditional Slavic music. Moreover, the stage performance is just one of a kind: sexy Polish hotties in traditional costumes everywhere on stage! This is just fun and very well delivered. This MUST go to the final will no doubt, and could even get the first title for Poland.

06. AUSTRIA – CONCHITA WURST – RISE LIKE A PHOENIX
Fotis: Theatrical entrance of the camera towards Conchita with total darkness onstage before revealing her face as we should all concentrate on voice instaed of a beared. Truly I am not able to review this one live, I am totally speechless and Austria can actually win the entire thing this year. The last part of the song makes the arena really shouting out Conchita’s name, and she feels proud on stage, you can tell that. AUSTRIA CONGRATULATIONS one of your best (if not the best) entries ever!
Olivier: The Austrian postcard was shot in Vienna Opera House, and Conchita uses dresses to recreate her flag. One word here: DIVA. What a performance! So classy! Conchita is alone on stage in a beautiful dress and her voice as well as the music is close to perfection. The screens are superb and those wings of fire… WOW! Not only “Rise Like A Phoenix” must go to the final, but, for many reasons, it must win the whole contest. Huge reactions in the arena as well as the press centre. We want to go to Vienna next year!

07. LITHUANIA – VILIJA MATAČIŪNAITĖ – ATTENTION
Fotis: OK now I am sure Lithuania will not qualify to the final, the vocal performance of Vilija’s is dreadful especially in the beginning of the song. Dance act song which could be a club hit or an action movie OST but something stops it from growing in me.
Olivier: Such a long selection to end up with the worst 2014 entry, not to say the worst Lithuanian entry ever. It’s aggressive and somehow painful to my ears. Since I’m not a rude man, I will keep silent about the song! On the other hand Vilija has a great voice and the choreography is nice. What a waist!

08. FINLAND – SOFTENGINE – SOMETHING BETTER
Fotis: Do you want a surprise qualifier for the final tomorrow night? I have you one. The popish rock band from Finland. Originally hating the song, right now and with this semifinal’s line up I am almost sure we will see Softengine in the final. Trust me they make the arena tremble and they are the most original sound this year in the contest. Static but spectacular the performance is amazing (even though you still hate the song).
Olivier: A flag made from Baltic ice, yes, it’s Finland. Softengine’s “Something Better” is the great surprise of the night. No one mentioned that entry before, but once on stage it’s actually pretty good and the presentation is really nice. I just love the light effects! Not a winner but definitely a finalist I hope.

09. IRELAND – CAN-LINN feat. KAISEY SMITH – HEARTBEAT
Fotis: The problem in this semifinal is that too many songs are on the edge (for most of us) to proceed to the final. Can-linn feat. Kasey Smith is on the edge for the final. Not sure that the Irish folk dance is not enough to bring votes at least from the juries.
Olivier: The Irish postcard is full of balloons! Let’s discover Celtic-dance music with “Heartbeat”. Once again here is an entry that really benefits from the staging, and Kaisey seems much more confident than during the first rehearsal. Could it be a finalist? Not sure though. I cannot say why but I can see this entry finishing at the threshold of the final.

10. BELARUS – TEO – CHEESECAKE
Fotis: Teo is giving one of the most theatrical and confident performances this year. Simple tune and effective lyrics with the catchy cheesecake on the top of the preferences for many fans and media. I wouldn’t be surprised if I see it in the final!
Olivier: Teo from Belarus builds his flag on an ice rink with hockey pucks. A simple classy presentation for this groovy “Cheesecake”. This very well-performed song is rather unique in tonight’s line-up but I’m not sure it stands out enough to proceed to the final. It’s really a 50/50. For sure teo is a performer and that could make a difference.

11. FYR MACEDONIA – TIJANA – TO THE SKY
Fotis: A true trip to the sky with a magnificent bass voice of Tijana which I already consider a superstar and a song that for the first time doesn’t look alike any other desperate attempts to shine, as IT SHINES automatically. Yes, this is Fotis Konstantopoulos from Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece and just wrote this post. I want Tijana to go to the final and fight really hard for a good ranking in the final. (trust me they didn’t pay me nothing)
Olivier: One of the best postcards with Tijana playing the cello. This was one of my favourite from the beginning. Catchy, up tempo, great voice. A true PINKish hit. But, while other use the staging as a key part of the entry, I must say that FYROM ‘s colourless presentation just ruins this great pop song. Tijana is perfect but the lights and the choreography aren’t worth this great entry. Anyway, “To The Sky” remain an almost certain qualifier because it’s simply good.

12. SWITZERLAND – SEBALTER – HUNTER OF STARS
Fotis: Sexy, charesmatic and good singer. Yes, Sebalter has it all. Folk tune which originally I hated it and now I can’t stop wanting to watch him on stage performing. True performer along with his band and always smiley. Well done Switzerland you just got your spot in the final. Lots of fireworks used for this entry!
Olivier: A Swiss flag in dominos? That’s nice. Sebalter is another good surprise. The studio version of “Hunter of Stars” was so-so, but when the boy his live on stage it’s another story. He is really enjoying himself and he’s very natural. He is giving a nice performance. This entry reminds me of the Latvian entry actually. Let’s just hope it will not have the same fate.

13. GREECE – FREAKY FORTUNE feat. RISKY KIDD – RISE UP
Fotis: Although unstable vocally, Freaky Fortune and Risky Kidd delivered the song in their best way and hope the juries will apreciate the freshness and innocence of these three guys. Too many shots on the audience, never seen that many in other performances. If Greece get a better vocal performance and a seond half draw for the final, then they can do the miracle! AGAIN!
Olivier: Let’s go on a beautiful Greek beach to see the beautiful blue and white flag made of seashells. This act should not be missed, it’s soooo good and catchy. The three boys set fire to the stage with “Rise Up”. No one can actually stand still neither in the press centre nor in the arena. And the trampoline sequence just makes the performance even more powerful! This will qualify and will fight for the trophy!

14. SLOVENIA – TINKARA KOVAČ – ROUND AND ROUND
Fotis: Interesting song but comes right after Greece and with an outfit which doesn’t fit the song as it’s not as mystic as they believe themselves. The use of flute is suppose to prove what exactly? That Tinkara can blow? We could suspect that if she really wanted it.
Olivier: Slovenian books to create that country’s flag. I rather like this entry. It’s nice and powerful with a wise mix of classical music and modern sounds. Tinkara is a good performer and the lovely spinning colours on screen make a great impression. An outsider maybe, even if I think performing between Greece and Romania is quite challenging for Slovenia this year despite the quality of the song.

15. ROMANIA – PAULA SELING & OVI – MIRACLE
Fotis: I am so happy to see them both back on stage. In 2010 I would really love them to win and could have been the same feeling this year but somehow there are some (here and there) exhagurations with the stage presentation which we don’t really understand. Anyway this is a qualifier to the final and we will love it.
Olivier: Paula and Ovi from Romania use fireworks for their flag. This is another strong entry from the Romanian duo and a potential winner if viewers appreciate the staging. I personally don’t. I call it the spoilt entry of 2014. Too much everything. This song is a hit and doesn’t need more than great light effects! But of course “Miracle” remains a very strong contender!

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