Despite a few cans of Redbull, I’m still feeling the effects of a late night eagerly awaiting the running order. The last 90 minutes did help in deciphering the positive and negative aspects of the draw. I have coloured each country to represent the effect of their draw position in relation to those around them.
France are first up and Amandine delivers a wonderful opening to the show. The French star does sound a tad horse during the climax, so one to watch for the jury rehearsal.
Andrius is waking up to Eurovision now. He qualified against the odds and he’s displaying greater enthusiasm on stage. There are a few camera changes including a well placed steady-cam orbit. Lithuania are not coming last!
Aliona, half in costume and half not was clearly going through the motions. There was something lacking during her performance of O Mie, though I’m expecting a stronger showing from Moldova during the jury rehearsal.
Finland next and Krista kind of upstages Moldova with her exhilarating, full throttle package.
In contrast, Spain is the early slot for a quick toilet break. Raquel starts off-key and the staging is distinctly low-rent when compared to Finland.
Belgium’s Roberto has clearly found his confidence since qualifying; he’s emoting, gesturing and playing to the cameras like a seasoned pro.
A smiley Birgit brings her cheerful Et uus saaks alguse now. I can’t help think that the draw kills Estonia’s chances of scoring a respectable finish, especially sandwiched between Belgium and Belarus!
And speaking of Belarus… It’s a visual and vocal treat and certainly confirms my earlier thoughts: Estonia are history after Solayoh. That’s said, Belarus are on my long-odds last place radar.
Like Tony Blair, Malta’s Gianluca transfixes viewers with his permasmile. His profession as a Doctor is helpfully picked up during his postcard and that should resonate with mums and grannies.
Russia benefits from a couple of camera angle changes, in addition to some effective smiles from Dina. There were a few off-key moments to be wary of for tonight.
Natalie Horler’s vocal was a little thin to start, but with some new pyros introduced for the opening chorus, the German package is given a whole new lease of life. Back in the game!
Armenia’s charity song is a massive anti-climax and is followed by an advert and the brilliant Linda Woodruff. This kills Armenia and they represent a good top-10 lay.
Netherland’s Anouk provides a soft and gentle start to the second half of the show. There are no changes to this flawless song, though Romania’s Cezar kind of stalls it’s impact.
Time for the Bonster and the UK! They’ve tightened up the visual package for Believe in Me and the final lingering shot of Bonnie smiling is televote gold! The backing singers were a bit loud to start off.
Robin Stjernberg did little to aid Sweden’s creditably in this contest. As host nation, you’d expect a competent package, yet it’s clear they’ve done a hatchet job on You.
ByeAlex was the surprise qualifier from semi-final two, which indicates a certain amount of underground love for a song that has clearly transcended the Hungarian dialect.
Denmark was as per semi-1, though it looked a little flat on stage. Clearly just going through the motions.
Iceland is the nap top-10 right now and does steal some of Denmark’s limelight. Eythor has the best ballad presentation in this contest and is vastly underrated.
Farid is going down in my estimations. A shaky semi-final performance followed by a less than impressive final rehearsal. Is Azerbaijan moving into top-4 lay territory?
The Koza Mostra crew were probably hungover after last night’s qualification, yet their energy levels remained more or less the same during rehearsal. Still a certain high top-10 for Greece!
Ukraine is starting to show form. Despite the gimmicks, it packs a punch and feels like a decent top-10 banker.
Marco is dressed in a full turquoise suit and performs his brooding ballad brilliantly. How ironic he should bother to turn up in his full stage attire when it’s non-uniform day for everyone else! The problem here is his lack of connection with the camera. He’s either shy (not an Italian characteristic) or it’s a deliberate act.
Unlike Mengoni, Norway’s Margaret manages to find every camera in the arena. I still worry that I Feed You my Love is too dark and edgy, even though superbly written and perfectly executed.
The concerns on many forums after last night’s Georgian performance were that Waterfall gets a little to shouty during the climax. That still remains a concern, though Sophie and Nodi’s position in the running order may still secure a very respectable finish.
Ireland is a piece of cheap and cheerful pop and for that reason, I don’t envisage Ryan getting much traction on the scoreboard.
That’s it folks. Make sure you follows us on twitter or join the chat room for updates during tonight’s jury rehearsal!