STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Welcome to the Jury Dress Rehearsal for the First Semifinal of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. The show opens with a video getting us to Globen Arena and Måns performing a new version of “Heroes” along with his new hero who replaces last year’s cartoon and lots of children on stage. The the intro video presents various places in Europe with people getting ready to #cometogether in Stockholm. Enjoy the live report as in this show everything has to be perfect for the artists: the European juries are casting their final votes!
The video ends and the hosts are presented coming from aside the stage (each one respectively) and then playing with word games they make people laugh all the time.
Interesting kick off for the show by Finland as a disco dance song opens the show. Still Sandhog seems to be a lot stressed and pressures herself to get the voice out. I like the stage presentation but her facial expressions show she is pressured a lot. I don’t think it will qualify at least easily. Greece is showing what Pontian dance means. Full ethnic but with descent vocals, the stage presentation impresses you a lot although the song and the vocals are indifferent. The last part with the naked dancer could bring Greece to the final? Hmm, we will see (I personally think not). Moldova’s Lidia Isac at least gave a descent vocal performance. After the ethnic song, this entry sounds heavenly to my ears. I think Moldova can do it if tomorrow night keeps singing in tune. I still disagree with the use of the astronaut in order to explain the song title on stage.
Hungary follows with Freddie performing with our his leather jacket (finally). There is a hunk on stage (Freddie) spreading a big message about impact in life. The outcome is seriously good. At least this one will qualify (me thinks!). Croatia performs very artistically her Eurovision song and there is light all over the stage and the dress which is huge and her team has a special person just to carry it. The dress is torn apart and Nina plays with her sleeves and makes more light. I love this weird performance and definitely would like to see Croatia to the Final. Måns and Petra and a special funny video with the hosts as taxi drivers played the fans! We move to The Netherlands where Douwe Bob and his band are performing “Slove Down” with their huge… clock playing a key role in the stage presentation. A safe country song which will easily The Netherlands the qualification for the final, especially with the trick of stopping the song before the last part made the audience applaud.
Armenia is next and Iveta is the Armenian version of Nina Moratto (France 1994) with similar stage presentation. Stunning performance, indifferent song but definitely in the final. San Marino is represented with a Turkish singer who although a superstar in Turkey and with decades in the music industry decided to go retro / vintage and disco in Eurovision. In 2000 he was in the audience at Globen following the contest and now he will surely fight for a ticket to the final. The song is SO damn kitsch that in the end will make me vote for it! Petra mentions that San Marino is the smallest participating country but she adds ‘size doesn’t matter’
We move to the big favourite for 2 months, Sergey Lazarev from Russia. Despite the bad professionalism by SVT to dark the performance, the outcome is stunning. Sergey Lazarev is a superstar who came here to win and we all damn know it. Yes, it’s confirmed it’s gonna be Sochi. Powerful ballad and performance by Czech Republic, a stunning Gabriela who doesn’t convince me though with her facial expression. I cannot believe that I see a combination of an amazing voice with an unexpressed face!
Cyprus lead singer gives the best vocal performance we heard since we came here. The facials are though very aggressive but the overall presentation is powerful and special effects and pyros are used. I think the song will qualify. I love the hollowing of François in the last part of the song. Austrian entry is so loved by the press and media representatives here but I still don’t see how this song can do something, especially qualifying to the final. Nice fairytale in French by an Austrian singer with a tune that in the end doesn’t become memorable. Estonia’s entrant Jüri is definitely better than the first dress rehearsal and I personally love this type of retro / James Bond songs but I am not sure if the use of his left hand will help him a lot. I think Estonia can do something like qualifying to the final. Not 100% sure yet though. Time for a break!
The entry we all felt with here Azerbaijan. Is Samra going to be ready to finally sing well tonight? Well a small MIRACLE happened: she wasn’t as dreadful as we expected. Azerbaijan was decent tonight and gave a real fight to perform as perfect as possible. Samra you did well! (but there’s still tomorrow!) and since it appears 14th can get some jury votes. Surely the male dancers of Samra will get MY… votes! Montenegro now: well it’s not bad at all, but somehow it’s too noisy and too fuzzy at many parts of their song presentation. We have many Balkan countries in this semi final, will they help this country to qualify? Well I don’t believe Montenegro can surprise us although the song, as a tune, outside Eurovision, is definitely a pure rock hit. Iceland is a bit disappointing for me when it comes to originality and stage presentation. A confusing mess of video mapping without a good reason. Iceland doesn’t anyway do well anymore in the bets but I still believe that Greta and this entry could qualify, after all the singer is excellent performer. Surely the juries will love it.
Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the strong ethnic songs I truly believed they can make it to the final. The stage presentation and the dreadful outfits plus the monotonous and fuzzy vocal performance with all the four artists on stage is not convincing me. I might be exhausted from work but I don’t have any faith that Bosnia and Herzegovina will qualify. Ira Losco walks on miracles! She is hot sexy future mama. I don’t know who allowed her to wear this dress but still I believe the vocal performance and the sweetness of her shiny face will send her to the final. BUT for the Final I already have negative estimations.
France, Spain and Sweden presented their full version of the song tonight at Jury Rehearsal. Caution! In tomorrow’s Live Semi Final 1 show, the SVT will broadcast 1 minute from those rehearsals. That’s all folks! See ya all tomorrow at the live show for the first semi final!