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.
Before we begin, here’s a reminder of the project that Jude Habib is doing with the Guardian newspaper – tell us about your Eurovision stories and share your party photos (those that don’t need censoring of course – we know what some of you are like). Just go to this link and reveal all!
Bit of a late start today – %@/*&%! shuttle bus decided not to stop at our hotel today – and they only run once an hour in the mornings. If anything has let the organisation down so far is the dreadful shuttle bus service for the press. It’s difficult trying to reach this island by public transport until the live shows so we really have to rely on these buses to get us to the venue.
Anyway, today we have the Big Five and host doing their first rehearsals. Missed the German one – but here’s Molly for the UK singing Children Of The Universe. She didn’t have a good first run-through – she couldn’t hear the music from here ear-pieces – kept asking for for musiv throughout the song. but the second run-through was much better. She did start off looking nervous, but soon got into it. They’ve given the song a very nice backdrop – nothing to what I was expecting – it’s a lovely paisley-style design (a sort of cross between tulips and blue-bells), with Chinese lanterns rising up towards the end. It’s a very static act – Molly just stands and signs her heart act, with the backing vocalists and band behind her.
One good sign – she got a lot of applause from many journalists here at the press centre. And they only clap when they really like something. Maybe they know something? Hope so. I think I’m too close to the song to make a decent judgment – but fingers crossed – we might actually get a good result.
The French have just done their first run-through. Twin Twin sing Moustache. A fun song – but a very messy performance so far – the lead singer didn’t look that impressed. Still – that’s why every country has time to perfect or change things. I’m sure it’ll be right on the night. The French do habit of either sending a serious ballad or a fun upbeat offering.
That’s better – their second run-through was much better. I like it, but I’m sure it won’t get anywhere. The trio are joined by two dancers – and a vocalist stuck all alone in the corner. I worry about these poor singers that are never shown on camera. Seems a bit mean to me. They must think “Wow! I’m going to be on Eurovision!” Then they’re actually told: nope – you’re just going to be in shadow singing alone like Billy Nomates. It upsets my British sense of fairness. I quite outraged actually. (But I won’t say anything.)
And here we have the host nation – Denmark. Basim sings Cliche Love Song. It’s a lively performance with Basim being joined on stage by five singers/dancers. It’s not really my cup tea – but it is highly regarded, so what do I know? But I always like the host nation to do well. I worry for them if they don’t. I remember back to my first Eurovision abroad – Riga in 2003 – when Latvia hardly scored any points despite having a great song in my opinion. That was the year where we got nul points, so let’s not mention it again.
Anyway, Basim looks dashing in his black bow tie. It’s a bouncy number. I’m trying to be more positive, but I can’t be bothered. Because inbetween this paragraph I went to the UK Meet & Greet. And it couldn’t have gone better. I told Molly that she got the biggest cheer from the press since rehearsals began. I asked about the graphic backdrop with the paisley-like effect. Apparently it based on her henna tattoos on her hands. I knew there was a subtle connection somewhere.
Her song does have a special meaning. We are all important – and play a small role in this vast universe.
At the German Meet & Greet, the performers, Elaiza, said their song Is It Right? was about taking tough decisions. What direction should we take? Make a choice and go with it. Their ‘new folk’ has gone down a storm in Germany. They entered the national finals as a wildcard entry and won the whole thing! Well done them!
Just watching Italy on screen now – just one word for Emma singing La Mia Citta – wow! This is my third favourite song of the contest – and you just can’t go wrong with Italian rock songs. Emma is joined on stage by a white-clad band – and some fabulous backdrop images of electric guitars and such. White seems to be the colour of this act, but Emma is dressed all casual. Hope she remembers her Italian roots and goes stylish on the night.
The French had a really fun Meet & Greet. The three members of Twin Twin are a real hoot. You can really feel their sense of humour. he decided to sing their song in French because Moustache is a cool sounding word in any language. Maybe it reminds it you of your grandfather. Maybe a girl should have a moustache – why not, they argue. Enjoy your life – don’t worry about possessions – enjoy your life! Have fun! And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do here in Copenhagen!
At the Danish Meet & Greet Basim came across as a confident young man. He’s aged 21 now and so is trying to enjoy his life. He’s been in the spotlight since he appeared on Denmark’s X Factor when was 15 years-old. The inspiration for the song is just to have fun. He helped write the song – he was after a hook that every one could attached themselves to.
He wants to be a good host and to make sure his Eurovision colleagues have a good time in Denmark. Now, if he could sort out the shuttle bus problems that everyone here experiences everyday, that would be fab. I tell you – the organisers have spent all their money on the arena and got a tin-pot coach company to courier everyone either the long way or the most awkward way. Absolutely dreadful. Hah! And we all complained about Baku – they were far more organised there than here. Who would’e thought it, eh?
Anyway – back to the show. Spain are last to perform today. Ruth Lorenzo sings Dancing In The Rain. I like the song and the rain effects on stage look great. She’s dressed in a white dress with a black waist and when she stands in front of the microphone stand, it creates a cross effect. She also disappears a few times in blinding white light. Just like an angel. I hope Spain get a good result from this act. Ruth really belts it out!