We will be back at 21:00 CET with the Jury Rehearsal live blog
Eurovision 2018 🇵🇹 First Semifinal live blog of the press rehearsal
Fotis Konstantopoulos (Greece)
Thank you for following our live review. You can see our team review for the first semi final and potential qualifiers ➡️ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQSyaOe8Be0
We take another tour of the green room. The voting countdown has just been taken by the main stage presenters and we have a recap of all semifinal participants.
Performances concluded and now the hosts are taking … selfies!
CYPRUS 🇨🇾 Eleni takes to the stage walking towards her microphone and then proceeds to twirl as she is joined by backing dancers. She is wearing very skimpy clothing and there is a lot of on stage dancing. The song is very well perfomed in terms of choreographed dance moves and the range of gesturing used. The lighting is flashing in red and sudden changes to blue or darkness. As the song reaches its crescendo, there is more dancing by Eleni and some good lighting flashes on stage. The backing dancers are moving well and the song flows continuously. It’s well received and the camera has followed the dance moves and panned out into the audience on conclusion.
IRELAND 🇮🇪 Ryan appears on stage with a guitar next to a standing microphone and scanning the stage. The song is very melancholic and includes two dancers mirroring the words of the song. Both dancers are performing as Ryan continues singing, with the camera moving from on eto the other. In fact, aside from the dancers there’s not much other staging to this song. Ryan has not moved once from his position. The song ends with Ryan in the exact same position, holding his guitar and standing in front of the microphone.
SWITZERLAND 🇨🇭 This song starts with flash lighting and camera focussing on the drummer. The singer is wearing a pink hat and a scarf which she quickly disposes of, leaving her looking very much at home. The camera work is very much panning and zooming and the singer keeps moving around the stage. Vocally its nothing fantastic and at times the voice drowns out the melody. There is a lot of walking about the stage with the camera following until it focusses back on a pan of the stage. The song ends with a handshake between singer and other stage person present.
🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨
🇳🇴 The Director General and staff at NRK have already begun discussing how the broadcaster could host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 and ensure that the same issues that happened in 2010 do not occur. Speaking to the Stavanger Aftenblad, NRK staff commented: “I hope the NRK management has taken account of a possible Eurovision win and other costly productions, so this does not endanger the everyday production at the channel” source: http://www.eurovoix.com
ARMENIA 🇦🇲 Sevak on stage in darkness with lights moving steadily and slowly as the melody plays out and there is a little body gestures and rather agressive camera movements, zooming out suddenly without reason. The vocals fo Sevak are emotive but the stagin is very simple and it doesnt reflect emotion all that well. Some smoke emerges as the song proceeds and Sevak starts bopping up and down in the same place. There is nothing else to the staging except use of light and its with that strong light that the song concludes. The stage prop reminds us of an Armenian genocide monument (political?)
FINLAND 🇫🇮 Former UK X-Factor finalist Saara takes to the stage in darkness and is immediately joined by dancers. The vocals are strong and Saara makes use of the stage to move about. There is some choreographed dancing on stage and lighting is constantly flashing all around the stage. Camera is panning in and out with static focus on Saara. Overall, even during higher notes, Saara remains fairly static, moving about with hand gestures once in a defined position there is strong presence of lighting to this song and it concludes a little dramatically, with a burst of light and a high note.
GREECE 🇬🇷 Yianna is wearing a long flowing white dress and standing on stage with the lights shimmering over her and no visuals on her hand, simply her hand outstretched.The lighting moves quickly as does the camera to constantly zoom out and then immeidately into a close-up and there are smoke signals which come behind her and Yianna is surrounded by light and cloud. Vocals are good and match the melody, one not overbearing on the other. There is also a strong wind effect lifting her dress briefly towards the end of the song. Song ends with Yianna walking away.
Greek rehearsal delays obviously due to technical problems and is about to kick off
AUSTRIA 🇦🇹 Cesár Sampson appears on stage, again in darkness and he is wearing a lylac top and the camera focusses very much on a faraway capture alongside close-ups. The song is viually simply lights behind Cesár and some hand gestures to accompany the words. Each time Cesár hits a higher note there is a blast of light behind him, as the song progresses, he moves towards the audience and around the stage, first quickly and then simply walking very slowly. The camera work is overcrowded by the lighting which suddenly changes to red and Cesár ends the song by simply standing on stage looking to move elsewhere.
WATCH RYBAK PERFORMING LIVE NOW
Back to the show and it’s time for Austria
🗳 Europrediction 2018: Finland second in the online voting now -> http://www.oikotimes.com/vote
💶 BETTING ODDS: Estonia back 2nd in the win odds and Cyprus remains 4th.
The green room presenters are joined by some performers for a brief interview and its very empty back there and it feels much bigger than is probably the case.
One more break and we move again to the empty Green Room
CROATIA 🇭🇷 From darkness, we turn to bright light as Franka appears on stage wearing a black see-through dress and standing in front of smoke and the blue lighting. There is a strong focus on lighting in this one, more so than on the song itself. The camera pans a 360 on Franka and proceeds to zoom in for a close-up and out for an audience capture. Vocally, Franka is good but the song seems to lack any dynamic. Franka does very little gesturing but otherwise just remains static on stage. The lighting shines from one end of stage to the other and song ends with Franka just standing there, on stage, belting out a high note.
FYR MACEDONIA 🇲🇰 (AGAIN) – Now singer shows us a male dancer standing behind and then a band on stage. The lighting is again blue and our female singer starts to dance with a male counterpart moving on stage. The song seems to be a mish mash on stage, we now have the backing singers/dancers dancing with the main singer and then she’s off again to another part of the stage. We now have a costume change, off goes the dress and there appears a more casual look of shorts and tight top. As everyone on stage huddles together to see out the song. However it ends with the singer standing next to the male she started with. Vocally its not very strong and melody is a little underwhelming.
💡 In the meantime an oikotimes.com crew is attending the Rybak concert in Lisbon. More -> http://www.instagram.com/oikotimes
🗳 REMEMBER you can still vote in Europrediction 2018 -> http://www.oikotimes.com/vote. You can edit your vote throughout the poll duration. First Semi Final poll ends tomorrow at 20:00 CET. Invited jury voting has now been closed and all of them are reported to have cast their choices with lots of surprises! More than 43,000 unique votes are already cast by the online users.
FYR MACEDONIA 🇲🇰 Singer is shown on stage but camera appears to be badly zoomed, waiting until melody starts to stabilise itself and singer uses gesturing to introduce the song and again we’ve restarted as song suddenly stops. Singers adapts same pose until eventually commencing. No, we’ve stopped again and now zoomed out. We are left with nothing as it appears the last song is being restarted once more.Singer was not happy with melody and vocals matching and stopped, audio issues now seen a few times.
BULGARIA 🇧🇬 This is again a dark stage to begin with as Equinox appear on stage. There is flashing leds and some movement from the group playing out as a unification of three people into one. The staging includes the band and little else. there is however plenty of smoke surrounding them and the lighting altering between different shades of blue. The band proceed to sway as the song continues and lighting sparks to life as the vocals reach a crescendo towards the end. There is also a group embrace to conclude the song.
ESTONIA 🇪🇪 This is again a very dark stage with blue lighting. Elina presents herself dramatically in that led dress which flows from nothing as the notes reach higher tones. There is little on stage aprat from the led dress and Elina briefly gesturing throughout, however she stays in the same position throughout. The lighting moves from blue to red at certain stages of the song and vocally Elina presents herself well, strong operatic vocals. The song concludes with close up of Elina hitting those high notes and her just standing on stage with strong lighting behind her.
BELARUS 🇧🇾 Alekseev on stage wearing white shirt and dark jeans. He is holding a rose in one hand and the microphone in the other. The stage simply has led lights behind and midway a female dancer in a long red dress emerges. There is simply Alekseev gesturing to the camera but otherwise very little movement from him although the leds are focussing on his arm movements. Vocally, it upstages the melody especially at higher notes. Alekseev has mostly stayed static on stage and camera pans around him with focus on dancer, leds and audience. The flower effect works perfectly,
The leds are more vibrant now, flashing continuously and the camera moves around to capture Netta, dancers and audience. As song progresses, dancers join Netta on stage and they dance behind her. This is a powerful vocal performance with the chicken sounds. There is very little movement side from camera work on stage. Ending on a high note, Netta says “love you” and song concludes.
We’ve gone back to the beginning. She was left on stage midway through the song and nothing was being heard. Netta makes some chicken movements with her arms as the song restarts, this time the backing dancers/singers mimic her movements.
ISRAEL 🇮🇱 Sudden burst of led and on stage, Netta is in what appears ot be a japanese dojo. She is wearing a long japanese pink robe and has a white keyboard in front of her. The staging is otherwise dark with some red and blue leds which alternate and the emergence of some backing singers occasionally. There appears to be some lapses in the perfromance, since it goes quiet for no reason. Melody keeps playing but no vocals are being heard. Yep, they lost the feed.
Flashed back to two presenters as show about to restart.
Time for a break and a quick tour at the Green Room which is right now is empty!
LITHUANIA 🇱🇹 This is presented with storng led lighting being an otherwise dark stage. Singer is focussed on as the song develops and she stays lying on the floor, this is very much a vocal performance although melody plays well. Singer is lying on stage in a long white dress. Staging is nothing else and movement is very limited. There is some gesturing and now singer gets up and moves towards front of stage, moving about slowly as she gestures emotion into the song. The song is very melancholic and towards the end she is accompanied by a man on stage and they share a kiss and embrace.
CZECH REPUBLIC 🇨🇿 This is immediately introduced with a dancer and a trumpet player on stage; the singer is wearing a white shirt with braces and dark trousers. Staging is simply rainfall led lights behind and nothing else. On stage, singer is simply moving from side to side. Focus from camera towards the dancer who is not near the singer until further into the song. Singer then joined by two dancers and they form a small sollective dance group until the singer takes to front of stage with dancers, breakdancing behind The song is very dependent on the melody and is at times crowded out by the sound of the trumpet.
The performance is solid, the conclusion a little strange, with singer standing there looking away
BELGIUM 🇧🇪 This starts very melodical, the singer hidden by darness and emerging slowly to the public as the song proceeds. The staging is very simple, with little on stage except the use of led lighting when high notes are reached. There is good gesturing and artistic use of the stage area, moving around the stage and showing expression towards the song. Singer appears to be emotionally expressing the lyrics and dancing to the melody.
ALBANIA 🇦🇱 This starts off with a guitar being played and the singer immeditely surrounded by blue lights, a total blue image is then altered with red and the singer proceeds to open up as the backing chorus emerges. It is a steady performance, with some gesturing on the part of the singer and good use of high notes. There is a lot of use of high notes. Simple and vocal.
ICELAND 🇮🇸 the singer is dressed in a strange white jacket with red stripes, looking a little like a holiday camp representative. Vocally its very strong, with limited artistic movements on stage. He is accompanied by a series of backing singers who are standing far behind. A use of lef lighting focusses on the singer and when a high note is reached, the lights behind come to life. He is then surrounded by the backing singers and embraced in a group hug.
There are some postcards for each song presentation. This one shows the creation of dolls, as a couple proceed to show different ones. Iceland comes on stage, this is a very sudden use of vocals.
AZERBAIJAN 🇦🇿 Our first contestant, Azerbaijan is introduced
a lot of flashing lights onscreen and the singer is wearing all white surrounded by smoke. The performance is very visual, with plenty of hand gestures and very lively
there is little going on stage apart from our singer, although a dancer immediately comes by to accompany her and lift her up. The vocals are clouded a little by the melody
the beat is strong and there is a good artistic performance although some elements still appear a little raw. The song concludes with singer standing looking at camera
We are given the order of performance onscreen
All four are on stage, two in black, another in blue and the last in a red dress.
THE SHOW BEGINS
We are shown onto stage with various flashing lights and the four presenters take to the stage.
💡 Israel, Cyprus, Estonia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, Austria, Lithuania, Belgium and Armenia are the betting odds potential qualifiers for the Grand Final at the current time. By the end of the show and if changes occur we will report you more about the odds
🗳 Remember you can still vote in Europrediction 2018 -> http://www.oikotimes.com/vote
Good afternoon from Alice Arena, my name is Jaime Solloso and will be reporting you live from the Press Rehearsal of the First Semi Final