This is Hass Yusuf reporting from Malmo, home to this year’s Eurovision!
Usual disclaimer: Expect typos, missing words, etc.
Well – that was a exciting show last night!
A shame one of my favourites didn’t get through – but at least another favourite, the Netherlands, did!
Through to the final were:
From our little entourage, David Phillpott and Robin Scott got eight out of ten, while myself, David Elder and David Ransted got seven out of ten. So happy that Belgium and Lithuania got through, instead of Serbia and Montenegro.
Lithuania was probably the biggest surprise – but it is nice been surprised. Have to be more analytical with semi-final two predictions.
After the show, we headed down to the Eurocafe for the Macedonian/Bulgarian Party.
The performers from both countries gave great performances. The lovely Esma gave us a mini-concert. I trust you all noticed that none of the ex-Yugoslav countries made it through. If Macedonia get through on Thursday, they’re going to lap up most of the Balkan vote. They could easily make the top five – or even win! Nothing is impossible! I would love for them to win.
All very quiet in the press centre today. We’re usually the first to arrive. Such dedication for you all.
Anyway, today we have second rehearsals for the Big Five and host country – followed by first dress rehearsals for semi-final two – where I’ll be giving snapshot comments for each song. There’s the Jury Dress Rehearsal in the evening, but I think one viewing is enough for one day.
Anyway, Spain are up for their second rehearsal. And here they are. This is a straightforward performance. Another barefoot dancer. Nice effects with rising lights. We only saw one run-through – the link wasn’t up in the press centre. Tut, tut. So much for Swedish efficiency. Anyway, I really like the Spanish song. It’s all very understate – just has a great melody.
While we wait for the French song – in the press centre they’re offering free tomato soup – to advertise the fact that in Sweden all school children are served nutritious lunch free of charge. They have an option of two meals – one being a vegetarian dish. How very civilised. They’re trying to give School children organic produced food as much as possible. The city of Malmo aims to reduce greenhouse gases originating from food by 40% from 2002 to 2020.
Anyway, here’s the fRench singer, adjusting her ear pieces and looking a bit out of it. She’s wearing a dark grey tasseled dress – she’s got the look of a sultry sex kitten about her. All very nice – as is the song. But she looks very awkward walking across the stage in those high heels. She’ll topple over any minute now if she’s not careful. But no – she made it. Mission accomplished.
Don’t really want to mention it, but she looks a bow-legged, so that short dress probably isn’t a good idea. She looks like she’s fallen out of the Euroclub at 4.30 in the morning worse for wear! It’s probably a deliberate look for the rock chick.
Here’s Germany with Cascada. All blonde and gold.The beat goes on. She’s standing on a glass staircase. She’s wearing one of those outfits that’s short at he front and long at the back. She looks exhausted after that first rehearsal. Those late nights at the Euroclub are not a good idea sweetheart! Not that I have any evidence that she was dancing the night away at the Euroclub – but then I could be right.
At the Spanish press conference I asked the group, El Sueno de Morfeo, if they felt privileged getting a free ticket into the final, rather than going through the whole Eurovision experience of the semi-finals. I got the answer I expected, they believed in the song to get through, the best song will win, etc. I only asked it because these press conferences can be pretty inane, with tumbleweed floating all over the place when the floor is opened up for questions.
The trio thought their rehearsal went well and can’t wait for Saturday’s final. They’re finding their Eurovision experience full of energy. They recorded the song in the USA and tried to get Irish and SCottish influences into it. The message of the song is all about finding true love. They are all romantics.
Missed the french press conference. Have to eat at some stage.
I feel guilty for taking the piss of the German song, as Natalie from Cascada is such a nice person – or that’s the impression she gave off from at her press conference. She was in Germany but to English parents – and sounds like she comes from Essex. (The posh part – only kidding Towie fans.) Even though she’s an experienced singer, she still has many fears – the biggest is Eurovision turning into a let down in her career. Well that certainly isn’t going to happen. She really considers the whole Eurovision experience as a milestone in her career. She hopes the song is accessible to everyone – young and old.
At the Swedish press conference, Robin was describing his white outfit on stage. He said it offered him a lot of freedom – made him feel like a prince (though a slip of the tongue he actually said “princess” to much amusement. He actually trained as a wrestler, so is fit enough to perform an energetic act on stage. He was the first act to win melodifestival from the Second Chance slot. Apparently he used to be quite chubby bit lost a lot weight through a good diet.
at the Italian press conference Marco said he felt a bit sleepy, but had a good rehearsal. It looked quite laid-back to me. As for what he would change for the final: his hair, his face, his eyes, his song. He was only kidding about the last part. But he could do with a good shave. He thinks Eurovision is a cool event – and Italy missed out for 13 years by not being in it. His musical influences started from an early age – he says everything in life influences everything. When growing up, his parents introduced him to music from great Italian stars, then he discovered Billie Hoilday, Michael Jackson and David Bowie to name a few. Before he took up his singing career – winning Italy’s X Factor and then this year’s San Remo festival – he was a sound engineer, and even worked in a bar.
You’ll be pleased to know that Bonnie had a great rehearsal. At her press conference she proved to be a great ambassador for the UK. She’s very realistic life. She had a new album to release, so as business woman, she couldn’t refuse to do Eurovision. She was asked in 1983 to represent the UK in Eurovision, by she was too busy with her international career then to find the time for Eurovision. She says her rehearsals aren’t perfect yet – but that’s the way she likes it, so on the night it will be perfect! She got quite emotional about talking her parents – her mother gave her a great motto – believe in yourself and always aim for the top.
The UK are singing the second half of the final, so hopefully that will spur her on to give the performance of her career – a top ten placing is on the cards!
SEMI-FINAL TWO SNAPSHOT PREVIEW
And here are snapshot reviews from the first dress rehearsal for semi-final two.
Eurovision theme. Dancing. Robotic dancing. All very post-modern. Skating. Cycles. Acrobatics. Keyboard. Buffing. Heartbeat.
Here’s Petra Mede again introducing the show. She’s dressed in black and gold and showing a lot of leg. Oops. Something’s gone wrong already. It’s all okay again. Let’s carry on.
Here we go. Practicing. On the way. Giraffes.
Shaved chests and navels. Up and down they dance. Rap. Jumping. Here we go. More shaved chess. Guitar. Rap. Bending knees. Flashing lights. Walking in a row – slow motion. Jump. Run. Falling into crowd. Back on stage. Worn out.
Mountains. Jogging. Sunglasses. Hairspray.
Bright globe. Widow in black. Embracing globe. Legs up. Rising up. Red outfit. Red capes. Red bat-dress. Flying like a butterfly. A vision in red.
Mountains. Esma in green. Lake.
Back view. Come back camera. Heart. Here’s Esma in red. Tour de Force. Two singers in black. He’s back. Fade out. She’s back. Together. All four now.
Fence. Sea. Baku, Mountains. Skiing. Falling.
On floor. On top of box. Let me out of this box! Upside down. Fog. I can se your bum. Down I go. Sliding down. Come back. Not while there’s this babe in red. Let me out! It’s raining petals in here. Help! Such passion. I still can’t out. I’m stuck her forever. Who’s going to hold me?
Ice. Ice, Knitting, Dancing, Bright lights.
Ding dong, Bride. Masked girls dressed as blokes. Two girlie singers. Up she rises. Ding dong. Teeth and smiles. Up she goes again. Marching. Ding dong. Big veil. Wind machine, Fireworks. Blokes turn into bridesmaid in cheap pink C&A outfits.
Petra in Green Room.
Sea front. Boat ride. Wheelchair. Sea, Waves. Picnic.
Little guitar. Teeth. Smiles. Eyebrows. Going for a walk. Where’s he going? Leave my hat alone! Drums. Listen. What’s that? I can’t hear you! Catwalk. Touch me! Touch me! Bench. Shift over, I’m the star y’know.
Drums, Train. Road. Bells.
Drums! More drums. Bagpipe. Look at me or I’ll smash you over the face. Bagpipe. Outfits.Drumming tether, Drums. Who wants these drum sticks? They can kill y’know. Yellow drum sticks. Drums galore! This way everyone. Follow me. I’m the Queen bee.
Sea. Sharping. Cattle. Mountains. Autographs. Texting.
I’m all alone. Like my hair? My heart is yours. I embrace you all. I love you all. I’m posing like Jesus Christ. Come and join me backing singers.
Flag. Meat. Fog. Fire. Picnic.
Little buzuki, Nice kilts. Knees. Slow motion. Here we go. Move it baby! Move it! Teeth. Knock it out. Jump. Accordian. Guitar. Old geezer Kilts. Running. Old geezer. Accordion. He’s back. Drums. It’s gone dark. Light up! No, no. Shouting. Trumpet. Dancing. Up go the legs. Not too high lads.
Piano. Walking. Sea. Moon. Happy,
Piano. Reflecton. Horrible outfit. Rings. Glasses. Zip. I’m pointing at you. Grab me. All of you. I’m pointing art you again. Earrings. Backing singers. I can’t move because of this outfit. Passionate performance.
Road. Church. Pic in camera.
Fog. More fog. Birds eye view. Hair and teeth. Bright lights. Guitar close up. One finger sign – that’s rude. Up yours too mate. Guitar. Flames. Flames all over.
Train. Gym. TV show. Horses.
Guitarist. Cap. Didn’t wash his hair. Glasses. Guitar. Female singer. Guitarist. Cap. Etc. I can’t be bothered. Listening to song instead.
Boat. Books. Ice hockey. Disco.
Lights! A vision in white. Fade out. Drummer in background. Spotlight. Having a boogie. Nice hair. The world is not enough for her. Though she can’t move far in that dress.
Here’s Petra again.
Lynda Woodruff. Second part of her Welcome to Sweden documentary.
City. Smoking! Stairs. Watcha.
Drums. Flames. Fog. This had got it all. Olive from On The Buses. Guitar. Drums. Keyboards. Roger Daltry. Drums. Electric guitar. Having a jump. Going for a run. Fireworks from guitar. It’s hard rock man. Fog. Fireworks. Wow and fab.
Sea front. Hello. Sound studio. Bowling.
Fog. He’s all alone. I’m pointing at you. More fog. There she is. Lights. I can see you now. Let’s embrace. Hello luv. Hold my hand. I’m standing behind you know. Fog blasts. Waterfall of lights. Let’s stretch out together. Watch where you’re putting your hands – I’m a married woman. Wind.
Hmmm…. chocolate. Yummy.
Hey! Hey! Hey! Another one giving a finger sign! Old geezer. Are you really playing that Chloe? All lined up n a row. You and me. Let’s embrace like the act before. Best song in the contest with the most boring act. Sniff.
Stairs. Haircut. Do up my tie please. Having a cup of coffee.
Fog. Don’t fret – it’s not Gary Glitter. Red sea of waves. Up he goes a notch. Out come the dancers. All red and black. He’s going for those notes. The fog’s back. This red blanket is covering s multitude of sins. Fireworks. It’s raining glitter all over the place.
And there you have it – semi-final two in a snapshot.
Predictions to come!