Home / News / Azerbaijan / Eurovision 2015 Rehearsals: Day 6 Review

Eurovision 2015 Rehearsals: Day 6 Review

IMG_3513_EVAfter last night’s San Marino party, Lithuania were just the tonic I needed this morning. Monika & Vaidas tried one or two new camera shots, and at the end of the song, they now stand with their back to the camera with the audience cheering behind. I can’t see Lithuania not qualifying.

After Lithuania’s exuberant display, Ireland came like a rain cloud on a sunny day. Molly continued to evade the cameras and has even started to look quite slappable. When she does bother to throw a glance our way, it’s more like a “what the f*ck are you looking at” look, rather than one of affection. Even the backing singers look glum with one hunched over like a Skeksis from The Dark Crystal.

At last night’s San Marino party, Michele performed famous 70s funk hits right up to more recent songs like Happy and Uptown Funk. Having to sing this sugar-coated-turd of a song must be absolutely soul-destroying for him! Last night revealed Anita to be the weaker vocalist of the two. We also learned that Daniel Gould is a demon on the dance floor!

IMG_3697_EVMontenegro continues to look strong, but given Adio’s slow build up, I’m struggling to add Knez to my list of qualifiers. With Malta and Norway following, I think Knez will be bottom of the ballads.

Amber has reigned in some of her superfluous, overly rehearsed hand gestures, but there are still subtle diva moments. Amber does have a tendency to overcook the “break through the silence” line on the run up to the climax, which is something to lookout for during the jury rehearsal. I think there’s enough from Malta for jurors and televoters to enjoy.

On Wednesday, I wrote a brief email to the Norwegian head of delegation highlighting the strengths of the MGP national final performance, in the hope they’d revert back to the circling camera and stronger climax lighting. Their Eurovision staging is far too beige and it misses that nuclear explosion of white light during the most important part of the song.

Norway could still make the top-10, but I feel that’s their ceiling this year.

Leonor Andrade rehearsed straight after lunch for Portugal. The big news story of the day is the removal of the backing-singer’s hats. Ha Um Mar Que Nos Separa is like an audio sleeping pill.

Another song that leaves you reaching for the nearest razor blade is Marta & Vaclav’s Hope Never Dies. I think coming after a prolonged glut of dull or slow songs, viewers will be growing increasingly restless, which will count against the Czech’s chances of qualifying.IMG_3859_EV

Boom! Israel hits the reset button, which definitely spells danger for those nations in the first half lacking allies.

Nadav suffered a few false starts today, but this lively package is starting to look dangerous in a number of markets.

Aminata was sporting some tattoos today, which was the only change to this classy musical package. Netherlands was the standout stage package last year, but Latvia has every right to claim that prize in 2015.

IMG_3911_EVAzerbaijan has taken great strides forward with their vocal layering and staging. Elnur works the camera better and I think TV viewers will react more positively to what is a complex song. Having been an early backer the outright, like Norway, I think top-10 is the ceiling for Azerbaijan.

Maria Olafs, joined by Hera Bjork on vocals, was much stronger today. The choreography has changed and features Maria performing a few half-spins in front of a steady-cam. Maria was visibly shaking throughout rehearsal, so the jury final might see some cracks in the Icelandic package.

Måns Zelmerlöw was at his usual confident best. No problems with delivery, but maybe setup. There was a 15-minute lull between his first and second run-through due technical issues. I think it’s likely that Sweden will be positioned after an advert in the final.IMG_4108_EV

Talking about the final, one person who probably won’t be there is Switzerland’s Melanie Rene. During her first two run-throughs, her vocal wondered off key and the visual performance lacked the determination we’ve come to expect. Melanie might be another to watch out for during the jury rehearsal.

Flushing Switzerland down the memory hole is Cyprus’ John Karayiannis, who is making a strong top-3 finish shout for the semi-final. Boylesports are the only high street firm offering 3-places. If this goes big in the arena, one could see a price crash to around 20/1-30/1.

Slovenia made some slight lighting changes today that freshened up the overall impression of Here For You. The addition of white accents during the chorus adds energy and should make Slovenia a more solid qualification prospect.

Poland ended the day’s rehearsals on a slight high. Monika gave us a few breathy moments during the first run through, but the latter rehearsals were much sharper. One change: Monika’s wheelchair is now in shot from the start.

We’ll be back tomorrow morning with a review of the automatic-qualifiers’ first rehearsals.

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About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. If the odds for cyprus get that low I’m laying them. Cyprus is just axel heirsoux all over again, a song everyone thinks is going to be a surprise but will end up doing as badly as predicted.

    • Comparing it to Belgium 2014 isn’t really fair. Belgium was dark and funereal with a creepy lady at the end. Cyprus is much simpler, while being better staged and performed by a more relatable and attractive guy. Belgium didn’t qualify. Cyprus, in my opinion, will cruise qualification, so it will have already surpassed Axel Heirsoux by next Saturday.

      • I’m not saying there the same song wise, I’m saying that it’s one of those songs that we think is a dark horse but in the end flops badly. Cruising to qualification is to far at best it’s borderline as poland I feel will take more of the aww vote. And that is if people somehow remember it ster Slovenia blows it away. In the origional version I would have agreed with you but in its new version they got rid of the accapella part which in my opinion destroyed the song. And Cyprux have no Allies meaning there starting from 0 which is why it’s gorderline…and I’m being generous in saying it’s borderline.

        • Well it’s a great price to lay in the qualification markets if you think Cyprus doesn’t make Saturday’s final. Though, I really don’t think Cyprus suffers coming before either Slovenia or Poland. If it was in Montenegro’s slot, then yes, but if you look at the semi-final as a whole, there will be enough support for Cyprus with UK & Malta on hand too.

          • Both of those countries are going to have other preferences as in terms of voting from those countries Cyprus comes way down the pecking order. We will need to see its just out of those last 3 I think 1 will miss out and the only one I can see missing out is Cyprus.

          • And I think it has a dreadful draw because at that stage of the show most people’s attention span will be narrow and I think it’s just going to pass people by.

  2. Have I read some positive review about Israel from you?
    Who would have thought that this could be possible

    • I think the song is disjointed, Shai, but it packs a great punch after the first half. And it’s delivered with great enthusiasm too.

      • I agree with you it is a disjointed song and I also agree that after the gloomy first half this is a wake up call for televoters. I’m not sure how this will do by the juries, though. Somehow I see a repeat of last year’s Poland in regards to televoters – juries split.

        And it seems that Israel got the staging right this year even if it isn’t a slick as sweden

  3. Would Ireland be worth an outside bet to qualify.. It’s hard to get an idea of camera angles from the impression clips

    • Black 'n' Blue15

      Exactly that. All about the camera angles. Visually it’s stunning. My feeling about this entry having observed the two rehearsal videos is that Molly’s team could possibly have had her solely focus on vocals, only for them to hone in on camerawork perhaps for the third one, if so they’re leaving it late, aren’t they? :(.
      Personally I can see this even as an enticing top ten bet for Saturday if they can make it look convincing on telly, which I feel like they’re close to doing. Little else stands out for me in this semi, with just a few exceptions.

    • My view on Ireland is simple. If she opens her eyes and connects with the camera Ireland will probably qualify, if she continues her lack of contact then shes probably NOT. Atm in the first half its the most complete performance she will stand out so ATM id lean towards a yes but its marginal.

  4. The closed eyes thing from Molly is a probable red herring. Italy’s Raphael Gualazzi sang with his eyes closed for nearly his entire song in 2011 and made NO attempt to connect to the cameras and finished second.

    Not sure you’ll get much support either Gav for your assertation that Molly is either slappable or contemptuous of her audience : the word “beautiful” keeps coming up under her Youtube clip of today’s rehearsal.

    • But we’re watching the TV feed in the press centre and I wasn’t the only person saying that, it’s just I was the only one who posted my honest appraisal.

      I also note that the three of you commenting on Ireland are actually from Ireland.

      • Since your unbelievably negative towards ireland every year its only fair that we restore balance :). But to be fair both of her rehearsals were on very early in the morning which means she wasn’t focused much on camera work/apperence etc. when your an experienced musician ( Edurne,II Volo, etc) but when your a young inexperienced musician its a totally different kettle. When the next rehearsals start which are at like 2-3 isn we will see, It sounds like a stupid theory I understand but there just my thoughts :), You also must remember it was similar with Topi from Finland last year. Plus I don’t give biased opinions or go around defending my countries act, I will always support Ireland till the end but if there is issues with the performance I will show no shame in attacking the entry.

        • The rest of Europe agreed with me on #CarCrashCasey last year.

          I think I have been balanced in reporting so far this year. I have also reversed my position on a few entries, so I’m not happy with you implying I am biased or simply pick on Ireland.

          Good luck with your opinion, but please respect the fact that I’m watching the TV feed and simply reporting songs as I see them, while also considering the running order and impact of the juries and televote.

          • I respect everything you say and im not trying to start an argument or anything and I apologize if I come across like that. But to be fair the only person who’s been negative towards the Irish act has been you, and as I said above in not trying to argue or anything but I cant think of a better way of saying it.

          • I think too much is being made of the closed eyes thing from Molly by bloggers at the arena, Gav. It’s as if everyone is assuming this is going to be a big obstacle and cost her many points on the night. Who knows though, the juries and televoters might love her style of performing and find it endearing (especially as there is no element of desperation from her in a “vote for me” type of way).

  5. Not getting the love for Cyprus by the way, and I think they’ve missed a trick or two with the staging. A dark suit against a dark backdrop doesn’t seem ideal and makes him appear more like a 90s boyband member rather than a credible and hip young artist. It seems punters have latched onto this as their dark horse of the semis, but I’ve a feeling they’ll end up disappointed.

    • That is exactly what I was thinking, I just wasn’t sure exactly how to word it without sounding offensive 🙂

  6. The head of the Norwegian delegation should be listening to you Gav about your staging suggestions. Do you think these people actually read message boards and postings from the myriad of enthusiasts with a damn sight more collective experience of ESC than they have? There isn’t a fan of the song who is not suggesting a reprise of the 360 degree swirling camerawork and the “Back to back” positioning that were among the better features of the national final. Their vocals have been polished up immensely I think (London and Amsterdam were good for them in that respect), but they have had since March 14th to get this staging problem sorted. And it looks like the “open goal” is going to be missed with a position around 7th/8th more likely than a podium finish. NORWAY…if you are reading this, you have a three days to sort it!!

    • the lack of dry ice is also a puzzle. i had this as a lock for top 4 because of the package but now it will have to fly on strength of song alone. it almost smacks of deliberate sabotage.

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