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.
Hi all. Before we begin the day properly, here’s this year’s video diary filmed by Robin Scott. It’s just a look at the press centre and all that is happening here in Copenhagen.
I was going to go through all the countries one by one from the Semi-Final 1 Dress Rehearsal, but a general run-overview is probably better.
I’ve got to say, what an impressive show the first semi is. I know I’ve probably heard the songs too often to make a proper judgement, but every song and performance really upped the ante. There’s a really impressive beginning. The three presenters react much better to a packed audience. And they’ve changed the script – no making fun of Sweden. Apparently the Swedes were upset that one of the lights wasn’t working properly during their act so what the juries to judge Sanna Nielsen on her afternoon rehearsal. Don’t know why they’re upset – the performance seemed perfect for me and got a huge response!
I have to be honest – i really can’t see the big fuss about Armenia. I think it’s a great song and performance – but good enough to win? I don’t see it happening. However, I can see us back in Sweden again next year.
The sad thing about these semi-finals is that some really good original songs, just won’t get through to one reason or another. I fear for some of my favourites such as Montenegro, Netherlands and San Marino. And while I might not rave about Estonia, Latvia or Moldova – they all have great acts. Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was the fantastic reception that Portugal got. It’s not my favourite song by a mile, but I always want to see the country in the final.
I think it’s going to be difficult to choose the ten that will get through to the final. But expect a great show. And the view from the seats we got last night were superb – the stage looks amazing.
Anyway – the big news of the day for the UK is that at the UK Press Conference, a draw was made by Molly to determine whether the UK perform in the first or second half of the Grand Final. We’re in the second half. Hurrah! Hopefully we’ll be placed in the 24th slot – two before the end. That’s always a good spot.
Molly’s second rehearsals went well, but she is trying to save her voice so that she sounds perfect for the Jury Dress Rehearsal on Friday night and of course the Grand Final on Saturday Night.
At her press conference she came across quite humble, but confident. She never imagined Eurovision was so vast and professional. She’s also amazed how much of a family Eurovision feels – she got Birthday greetings from all over Europe from Eurovision fans.
There’s a nice vibe about the UK song. Fingers crossed for a great result.
Just watch Italy’s Emma on the screens here at the press centre – she looks great in her glittery while and silver outfit. It’s was a bound for the contest when the country returned to Eurovision a few years ago.
I’ve just got an email from Universal Music Catalogue UK. They’re currently working on a Eurovision Song Contest 2014 album campaign. Here’s a YouTube album sampler featuring clips of all 37 songs.
We’ll try and review the product properly in the next issue of Vision.
Here’s something hopeful: A Spanish journalist has just come up to me and said he thinks the UK are going to win! Always like the Spanish. Such lovely people.
Here are a few more of David’s pics from today’s rehearsals.
Okay, here are our predictions from our little entourage: Remember – these are not our favourites, but rather the ten acts that we think will qualify for the final.
David Elder: Armenia, Latvia, Sweden, Iceland, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belgium, Montenegro, Hungary.
David Ransted: Armenia, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belgium, Portugal, Hungary.
Robin Scott: Armenia, Latvia, Sweden, Iceland, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary.
Hass Yusuf: Armenia, Latvia, Sweden, Iceland, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belgium, Montenegro, Hungary.
The four of us seem to agree on eight of the songs. And David Elder any myself agree on the same acts. Personally I would love to see Netherlands and San Marino qualify than some of my choices – so I hope I don’t get ten out of then. It’s always good to see a surprise entry – maybe Portugal? We’ll know in a few hours time!
And that’s it for today. Have to go and give out more tickets to OGAE UK members. Enjoy the show tonight on BBC 3 – which we can’t vote on by the way.