Hass Yusuf, editor of vision magazine reporting from Copenhagen. Photographs by David Ransted. Disclaimer: Apologies for any typos, bad grammar, missing words, etc. These blogs are being written live as the action happens. Back again. Didn’t find time to write up about the last few press conferences last night, so before we begin today’s rehearsals here’s a quick catch-up. At the Montenegro press conference Serjey revealed that he thought his entry would sound better in his native language rather than in English – but he did sing the song in the Queen’s English for us. He felt proud that he was the only Balkan country in in Semi-Final 1. That may actually be an disadvantage – it’s one of my favourite songs in the contest, but not too sure if he’ll qualify for the final – will the rest of Europe appreciate this lovely Balkan music? Hope so. But they’re in it to win it! The backing vocals are from Serbia and Croatia. The song tells the story of a young man trying to catch his first kiss. Brings a tear to the eye doesn’t it? The innocence of youth and all that. Hungary had the final press conference of the night. Kallay and friends sang an acoustic version of his song. The boy can sing – so this bodes well for him winning the contest. In case anyone is in doubt, even though I slightly prefer the Israeli song – and if the UK can’t win, then I want Hungary to win. Coming from America he had to explain to his friends over there that the Eurovision Song Contest was like an Olympics for music. Singing the song in concerts many people came up to him in tears and thanked him for his song – they all related to theme of child abuse and domestic violence. After some technical difficulties, David managed to take some lovely shots.
And here we are for the second rehearsals for Semi-Final 2 First off this morning is a press conference from an Australian broadcaster. Eurovision is very big down under – and the Australians have organised the interval act for Semi-Final 2. I asked the team on stage that they should try and persuade the EBU to let Australia in the contest – so least the UK might get some votes! But I was assured that the UK will definitely get votes this year! Hope so – saw a YouTube of Molly performing on the Graham Norton Show and she looked fab. First on stage this morning are Malta. The floor manager has just said that was a good way to start the day. And I wouldn’t disagree with him. The more I hear this song, the more I like it. Just pure class and with a message to all those migrants that travel abroad to make a better life for themselves. Something many of us can relate to (myself included – coming over to the UK aged 3). At their press conference the lead singer, Richard, said he spent some time in London. But he did miss his home and family which really inspired the song. Most of the group are related to each other so there is a family feel within Fireflight. They’re trying to forget that this is a competition – they just want to have fun and enjoy themselves – and do their best. The group even sang a bit of Chira’s Angel – one of their favourite Maltese entries. I went along to the arena to see Israel rehearse. They made a few changes to their routine. No more lying flat on the floor – just a bit of kneeling revealing a bit of thigh. Nothing to argue about there. At their press conference, Mei says that they just need to make a few minor changes to the lighting. They’ve hired a private rehearsing room to perfect their act. Well it seemed perfect to me. This really is my favourite song of the contest.If this or Hungary win I’ll be delighted – and it’ll be the only winner that I truly liked since 1995. Those of you coming over to Copenhagen and have bought tickets from the club will be pleased to know that we now have them in our hands. Please check your emails for distribution details. Anyway – where are we now. Due to timelapse typography I think I’ve missed a few rehearsals and press conferences. But her mind you have to eat and chat to old friends. That;s one of the best things about going to Eurovision for all the behind scenes – you see old friends that you only meet up with once a year. Just watched Finland on the screens.Nothing more to add really. Just a solid performance. But the boys are so miserable at their press conference. They’re obviously not used to this sort of limelight. Apparently the lead singer never looks directly at the camera or the audience. And, get this – they don’t even know who’s in their Semi-Final! Give them a slap. The head of Delegation told us that the song wasn’t written especially for Eurovision – it had to be song that would be popular to the Finnish public. Sounds like a very sensible approach. The result is a great song and performance – even if they aren’t looking at anything. You’ll be pleased to know that the Irish second rehearsal went off so much better than the first. Kasey knew where to stand and walk and looked very comfortable. Really fab looking Celtic backdrop and the song just grows on me with each hearing. Let’s hope our nearest neighbours the best of luck. The entire say they love the stage and setting – and they all feed the energy off each other. The song tells a story of dark and light. Kasey represents the centre. Which way will she turn? Jedi or the dark force? She comes into the light of course. Some readers might be disappointed that the dancers in kilts do not go au naturale. Just appreciate their knobby knees instead. Watched the three acts at the arena. Greece were a lot of fun as usual – more trampolining and all that. Tinkara of Slovenia looked very dashing in dark blue. But there’s a poor male backing singer right in the corner of the stage not being in the act at all. EBU rules states that all performers must be on stage singing live – but do not need to be shown. The same thing is happening with the Romanian act – we only see Paula & Ovi. I don’t know where I got the idea that the first shot of Paula was an hologram as I previously reported. It looked like she was miles away from Ovi when we first see her – but she’s only yards away. Camera trickery! But they did say at their press conference that the hologram will be ready for the live shows.
I think that might be for tonight – back tomorrow with David’s pics. He’s been standing all day photographing all the acts in the arena.
But before we sign off, one of our lovely members, Jude Habib, is working with the Guardian newspaper to promote Eurovision. Just go along to this link where you can share your stories and party photos:
Come back tomorrow for reviews of the Big Five and host nation – which of course will feature Molly representing the UK. Excited? You should be!