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.
What a great show it was last night. For photos from Semi-Final One and the British Ambassador’s reception, just scroll down to last night’s blog.
Today we have the second rehearsals and press conferences for the Big Five, Austria and Australia. And in the afternoon, it’s the first Dress Rehearsal for Semi-Final Two.
In the evening a few of us are off to a classical concert. It’s about time we did something cultural in this city! so, it’s another busy day.
just waiting for Italy to arrive on stage. And here they are. Il Volo are excellent. Three great voices in perfect unison. Add in an impressive backdrop of classic Roman statues, and you have the perfect act. This really should win the contest. There are no gimmicks or extra special effects – they just stand there, move around a bit, and just sing a superb song! And they’re styled in fab Italian suits. Vote for Italy I say!
The host nation, Austria, are next on. The Makemakes are a good band, but it’s doubtful that we’ll be back in Vienna next year. They certainly make the most of their three minutes though. A nice throw back to the 1960s. The three-member band perform with confidence. Their graphic backdrop has been stripped back. Just a few colour changes. At the Austrian press conference it was revealed that the Makemakes have a beer named after them. Apparently there’s always been a connection between beer and rock and roll. The message of their song is friendship – but not just between friends – it includes societies. Everyone should work with each other, not against each other.
Went down to the arena to see Electro Velvet perform – it’s still one of my favourite songs – and this rehearsal they really pulled it out of the hat. At their press conference I asked hem how the buzz was around their song. They said they were very hopeful, and that they were having a great time and doing their best. A question was asked on the BBC select our entry. The Head of Delegation said that nothing is ever rules out on how we choose our performers. But in the meantime, I’m getting a more positive vibe from Bianca and Alex.
Another big positive vibe is coming from the French quarter. Lisa Angell is absolutely fantastic. After her second run through, she thanked everyone (and apologised for her bad English) for all the support she has had in Austria. It was a bit emotional I can tell you! At her press conference she said the message of her song was that it was always women that had to pick up the pieces when personal disasters happen. Basically it’s a song about peace and hope. Lisa then treated us to a melody of former French entries.
Right, I’ve now covered press conferences for all 40 acts. Highlights will appear in the next of Vision. Next today, it’s the first Dress Rehearsal for Semi-Final Two.
And I’ve just watch it in the arena with fellow journalists and thousands of school kids! They cheered for everything, but Mans from Sweden got a few more screams from the little girlies.
Anyway, it’s another great show. It’s going to harder to predict who’ll go through from this semi-final to the grand final on Saturday. I’m thinking: Lithuania, Norway, Azerbaijan, Sweden, Iceland, Cyprus and Slovenia as dead certs. And the other three: I’m going to go on a limb and choose Portugal, Latvia and Poland. I quite like Israel and the Czech Republic, so wouldn’t mind seeing them through at the expense of others.
Anyway, to end today’s blog – here are pics from the second rehearsals for the Big Five, host and Down Under.