Today’s metro journey was rather entertaining. It was only escInsight’s Ewan and I travelling in today and we were immediately spotted by an Indian man asking if we spoke English. We both acknowledged him and he proceeded to tell us this story of woe about a taxi driver speeding off with his luggage and passport from the airport. The crux of it was that he wanted 100 Ukrainian for an international phone card. I probed him on whether he’d contacted the embassy, which he immediately brushed off, saying it was closed. Well that’s bullshit, as consular assistance is 24-hours. The he asked if we were tourists or here for Eurovision. Hang on… this is an Indian man who has supposedly just arrived from the UK, I don’t think he would know about Eurovision. Also, why is he on the red line heading out of the city?
The final clincher was when he knew I wasn’t paying attention; he would let out a big sign and raise the map of Kyiv in his hand and shake his head in disappointment. The problem here… the map was frayed and clearly wasn’t new.
So Sherlock is now at your disposal to guide you through today’s second rehearsals…
First up OG3NE gave us three solid renditions of Lights & Shadows. This previous opposer in the top-10 market has had to reverse his position, as the Netherlands deliver a relatable 3-minute performance despite the song’s shortcomings. Top-3 is now a possibility in this semi-final.
Joci looking less nervous today and Hungary’s package is coming together well enough to put them in contention for qualification. The rap still feels a bit shouty and aggressive, so his place in the final remains borderline at best.
Anja is back in her national final red dress. I might be the only one who prefers the pantsuit she wore the other day, but I doubt the viewers at home will care. The vocals are great, and combined with the backdrop, Anja’s fantastic camera connection and the pyro curtain climax, it should see Denmark comfortably into the final.
Brendan took a decent step forward compared to Wednesday’s first rehearsal. He looks less wooden and even sings in-key. The problem for Ireland remains in the lack of staging progression; that and being following by two novelty entries.
Valentina has lost her handbag for San Marino. I has hoping she would chuck it to the floor and start boogieing around it. Despite subtle costume changes, this is very much the like the first rehearsal and probably cruising to a non-qualification.
Jacques wears a half leather jacket and half blazer to illustrate his split personality. The delicate panning shots were replaced and Jacques starts back to camera with the falsetto and tenor parts being captured on the backdrop. This was revised for later run throughs, so Croatia are looking dangerous in this run of mediocrity.
Norway have tightened up the visual package since first rehearsal; however, the song still feels like it could be forgotten by the time this semi ends. JOWST’s vocals were off in places too. The same happened for Miruna, who murders the final part of Apollo. Switzerland look set to miss out again.
Navi Band remind me of that scene from Beverly Hills Cop 3 with the insanely annoying theme park music and the subsequent screaming of “turn that f*cking music off!” It’s nice at first, but jeaz it’s annoying after the first few “hey hey heys.” I think Belarus are edging towards non-qualification here.
No major changes for Bulgaria for today, just some refinement of the overlay graphics and some better camera angles. The jerky arm movements remain, but Kristian does do some nice emoting to camera. The package has come together and could yet challenge, so I remain quietly hopeful, though realistic given I’m no fan of the staging.
There really isn’t much to say about Lithuania. The exploding heart on the backdrop is enough of a turn-off for this hemophobic. Viktorija also has a tendency to walk away from the camera, presenting her back to the TV audience. I will be astounded if this avoids last place. The Beverly Hills Cop video above also applies to this song.
Koit now wears a black, sparkly jacket, which looks much better than the ensemble trialled a few days ago. There’s a few new moves to camera which solidifies Estonia as a qualifier in my book. The vocals were slightly rough in rehearsal one, but were tidied up by the last run through. Some are saying the chemistry isn’t there, which I wholly disagree with.
It has been a trying day for me; semi 2 is like nails down a blackboard and trying to stay awake has been difficult. Anyway, Israel closed proceedings in much the same fashion as last time. Imri still lacks the vocal certainty to guarantee qualification.
Tomorrow this year’s automatic qualifiers get rehearse for the second time before the red carpet event in the evening.