Hej! This is Jamie again live blogging the first dress rehearsal of semi-final 2 inside the press centre!
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Latvia: Justs – Heartbeat
So the first song up is Latvia; the stage is unusually bright for the song at the beginning, until it gets darker as it goes on. Justs holding back on his voice until the jury final later. Certain qualifier!
Poland: Michał Szpak – Color of your life
Michał is dressed in is iconic red jacket and is joined by three violinists and two backing singers. The stage is dark and dramatic. There is a slight screech from Michał, but I’m sure this will be sorted by the jury final.
Switzerland: Rykka – The Last of our kind
Just catching up with Switzerland, a little behind! Rykka sounded okay, but still will struggle to get through
Israel: Hovi Star – Made of Stars
Hovi is vocally strong, the stage is dark and dramatic with white lights for stars. Hovi is also joined on stage by two acrobats dancing in a hula hoop. This may prove a distraction on stage, but this is highly likely to qualify.
Belarus: Ivan – Help you fly
This is the staging I have been waiting for. Ivan is projected naked with a wolf, until he appears dressed in a silver suit. The staging is odd, wolves are projected to the left and right of Ivan and at the end a baby appears, for some odd reason. This will struggle for sure
Serbia: Goodbye (Shelter) – Sanja Vučić ZAA
Strong performance, Sanja didn’t hold back on her vocals. Sanja and her backing singers are dressed in black in front of a red backdrop. There was a ‘Molitva’ style moment where they all held their hands up together. This should qualify.
Ireland: Sunlight – Nicky Byrne
Nicky is dressed in an unusual jacket, a bit of cowboy style with brown suede with red leather and jeans. Performance was missing something, the stage used just lighting effects. This is going to struggle in the semi-final for sure.
F.Y.R. Macedonia: Dona – Kaliopi
Kaliopi is dressed in a black and white dress and the stage uses orange and black. Kaliopi is joined by five backing singers and gives a very strong performance. She definitely holds back on the really high notes. This is one that could just qualify into 10th position.
Lithuania: I’ve been waiting for this night – Donny Montell
Donny is wearing a white leather jacket and black t-shirt and trousers. Vocally strong, the trampoline element features in his performance too, and then he takes his jacket off. A very confident performance and he’s likely to qualify.
Australia: Sound of silence: Dami Im
Dami is wearing a sparkly white dress and opens the song sat on a block. I find that this is totally different to the studio version of the song. I feel there are too many different vocal rangers towards the end of the song and I think it may confuse the viewers. This will certainly qualify, but I don’t think it will do as well as the bookmakers make it out to be.
Slovenia: Blue and Red – ManuElla
ManuElla is dressed in a white dress with a blue backdrop on stage. Vocally she is rather strong, then she is joined by a pole dancer which I feel confused the whole performance. I don’t think this will be the car crash I initially made it out to be, it could come around the 12th – 13th scoring mark.
Bulgaria: If love was a crime – Poli Genova
Euan: Poli presents a retro-futuristic style which could be off-putting to some viewers. Poli is vocally strong, and is pretty certain to qualify
Denmark: Soldiers of Love – Lighthouse X
The boys give a simple performance of their song which is rather effective. Vocally they are ok, I think they are holding back for tonight’s performance. But I think this will surely qualify, its catchy, I’m still singing along to it now and its quite a passionate song.
Ukraine: 1944 – Jamala
Now for one of the favourites. Jamala is wearing a purple dress and the staging is stunning for this. It progresses to fractured red blocks and there’s effective use of orange lighting during the instrumental harmony. I love how the staging tells the story of the song, which is what I feel many countries have missed out on doing this year. Surely this will top the semi-final?
Norway: Icebreaker – Agnete
Norway are next up, Agnete is wearing a white dress and is stood on a blue stage. We see white smoke coming out during the chorus. Vocally, Agnete is strong and I think she will qualify.
Georgia: Midnight Gold – Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz
Now for something totally different – Georgia are up next. On the broadcast, they use a mirroring effect which is exceptional – they have used the technology available to them with great effect. Surely this has to qualify?
Albania: Fairytale – Eneda Tarifa
Eneda is wearing a gold dress and this also features in the background on the stage. Its very simple staging, Eneda is good vocally but this will certainly get lost in the semi-final.
Belgium: What’s the pressure? – Laura Tesoro
And finally Belgium, Laura and her backing singers and dancers are dressed in silver sparkly outfits. This whole performance oozes confidence, its exceptional. It is very ‘Uptown Funk” and retro and the colours on stage a brilliant for this. A certain qualifier!
So from these rehearsals, I predict the following:
The interval act for the semi-final is called “Man versus Machine” and features three dancers and three robotic arms on stage.
Now we have performances from three of the automatic qualifiers tonight: Germany, Italy and United Kingdom
Germany: Ghost – Jamie-Lee
Jamie-Lee is dressed in bold Decora Kei designs and is accompanied by four backing singers. The staging is purple and vocally, Jamie-Lee is rather strong. However, I feel as though she will get lost in the running order.
Italy: No degree of separation – Francesca Michielin
The staging for the Italian entry is colourful and fun, and Francesca is joined by flowers and balloons on stage and she is standing on fake grass. The back screen features a tree trunk. Francesca delivers the song and this should hopefully do Italy proud.
United Kingdom: You’re not alone – Joe and Jake
Joe and Jake give a strong and confident performance, and they are joined on stage with a band and the screens behind them feature selfies which people could send into the BBC. Its a great performance and I think with the UK being drawn in the second half, this could give them a good result