Vienna Blog Day 6

Vienna Blog. Words by Hass Yusuf, photos by David Ransted.
This blog is updated constantly throughout the day, so tune in for all the latest news as it happens.
Disclaimer: This blog is being written as things happen so please ignore any mistakes and go with the flow.

Let’s start the day with David’s photo journal from yesterday’s Semi-Final One rehearsals.

“I’m innocent officer” pleads Eduard from Moldova!

Genealogy from Armenia in a circle of love.

Genealogy from Armenia in a circle of love.

Loic from Belgium is looking for his rhythm.

Loic from Belgium is looking for his rhythm.

Trijntje from the Netherlands looks striking!

Trijntje from the Netherlands looks striking!

One of the punk rockers of PKN from Finland.

One of the punk rockers of PKN from Finland.

Maria Elena from Greece is holding her breath.

Maria Elena from Greece is holding her breath.

Stig and Elina from Estonia look all moody.

Stig and Elina from Estonia look all moody.

Daniel, along with Blackstreet, search for those autumn leaves

Daniel, along with Blackstreet, search for those autumn leaves

Bojana from Serbia insists that Beauty Never Dies.

Bojana from Serbia insists that Beauty Never Dies.

Boggie from Hungary reminds us that war isn't worth it.

Boggie from Hungary reminds us that war isn’t worth it.

Polina from Russia looks a million!

Polina from Russia looks a million!

It's one of those Anti Social Media chaps from Denmark

It’s one of those Anti Social Media chaps from Denmark

Elhaida from Albania is very much alive!

Elhaida from Albania is very much alive!

Voltaj from Romania have a clear message.

Voltaj from Romania have a clear message.

Nina from Georgia is a real warrior!

Nina from Georgia is a real warrior!


Today we have the second rehearsals and press conferences for Semi-Final Two.

Every country has a 20-minute slot to fit in as many run-throughs as possible.

Lithuania is on first. It’s a nice happy tune to start the day. It’s all bright and fun – a sort excitable barn dance. Monika and Vaidas sing their hearts out, smooch, hold hands and all is right in the world. The backdrop is all sunshine and love. It’s so wonderfully uplifting, it makes you sick. It’s all very fab though.

Ireland is on next. If Molly sang this song in the 1990s it would’ve won Eurovision for them. Now days they’ll struggle to get out of the semis. But this is a nice ballad with trees and nature as a backdrop. All very nice, but ultimately, alas, forgettable.

And talking about forgettable, here’s San Marino. No, that’s a bit harsh – even though Michele and Anita perform the song very professionally for their young ages, it’s hard to imagine this going through to the final. It’s just got too big a competition.
On stage next is the Maltese act. Amber sure knows how to belt it out. I have to admit that the graphic backdrop is better than the song. She looks a lonely figure on stage. It’s the second song in the contest called Warrior – and probably second best. But it would be nice to see this small nation in the final.

Just went along to the Lithuanian press conference, Monika & Vaidas went bungie-jumping for their postcard! They wanted to do something different. They’ve actually changed their act slightly and will probably make a few changes for the first Dress Rehearsal.

Montenegro is now rehearsing on stage – which I’m watching from the big screens here from the press centre. I really like this. I’m a sucker for any ethnic Balkan sound. It’ll be good to see this through to the final. Old Knez gives it his all, and I like the little dance the female vocalists do.

On stage next is the Maltese act. Amber sure knows how to belt it out. I have to admit that the graphic backdrop is better than the song. She looks a lonely figure on stage. It’s the second song in the contest called Warrior – and probably second best. But it would be nice to see this small nation in the final.

At the San Marino press conference, famous Eurovision composer Ralph Siegel was explaining the process of writing a song and how to make it sound interesting. Perhaps not this year…

We’re not actually learning everything new from these second press conferences. But there are more journalists arriving each day and the press centre is nearly packed. Luckily our hotel is just a few minutes walk, so were among the first to arrive and grab our regular seats.

Norway, one of the top contenders is on stage now. This is a powerful ballad, A Monster Like Me. There are lots of duos in this year’s contest, and this duet is one of the better ones. Morland and Debrah sing, and more importantly, act the song excellently.

Just catchy bits and pieces from rehearsals on the screens and press conferences now. Getting ready to record my annual video blog of the press centre soon.

My favourite song is now on stage, Azerbaijan, but not with my favourite performance. Elnur is probably the best male singer in the contest, but I was expecting a more spectacular stage act. But the two dancers perform well, even if they are distracting.

It’s been a while since I wrote the above, went to a few press conferences and asked a few questions. Robin Scott filmed my video blog which will go up on Youtube in due course. It’s been another long day.

Tomorrow we have the first rehearsals for the Big 5 – Italy, UK, France, Germany and Spain, along with host Austria and of course, Australia.

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