It’s a kind weird situation, even if it’s the best weather for weeks here in Stockholm, the press for this year’s ESC is captured in a dark hall without windows called “press centre”. The sense of time is getting lost absolutely, but it does not matter, the rehearsals, press conference and interviews are ongoing like a marathon. There are 42 countries this year and that’s a tough thing for everybody who is covering the ESC.
Today it’s the run of the first countries of the Semi Final 2. That means that the following countries will have their first rehearsals: Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, Israel, Belarus, Serbia, Ireland, FYR Macedonia, Lithuania and Australia.
The Latvian singer Justs has not made any big changes from his performance back in Riga at the Supernova show. It was a solid and good rehearsal. His superb voice was the best male voice of today. A very sympathetic guy as well.
The Polish entry appeared a bit overloaded. Michal was wearing some aluminium foil which looked unpleasant. The song is lovely, but the stage performance accompanied by violinists is not supportive. But the red colours do fit very well. Michal was also suffering from a cold and did not give any interviews.
Rykka from Switzerland had a pretty good rehearsal. Much better than in the Swiss national final. She has probably rehearsed a lot. She had blue hair, which looked very striking, but it’s gonna be Marilyn Monroe blond on Thursday for sure. The darker outfit seems to work better than the shining white as she is a bit pale. This was the surprise of the day.
Hovi from Israel had a black stage with glittering stars as the song is named “Made of Stars” so it’s obvious that this stage colours have been chosen. Hovi has a strong voice and a very special look. This performance was touching.
The singer Ivan from Belarus has uttered his wish to bring a wolf on stage and being naked. He is really doing this! But not live of course, this would be against the rules to bring animals on stage and being naked isn’t allowed neither. This is being done with a projection which appears almost real. The song presentation was good and Ivan obviously seem to enjoy every minute.
A very good rehearsal was also provided by the Serbian representative Sanja. She is full of energy and has a wonderful voice. The whole appearance is a bit smoother than in the national final, as many people found it too exaggerated. This was a wise choice.
The high expectations having the famous Irish singer Nicky Byrne on an ESC stage have come down to earth. The presentation was ok, but not overwhelming. This could have been his chance for the Grand Final, but it all appeared a bit uninspired. Maybe there is room for improvement. Nicky didn’t even gave interviews, he better should have done.
The beloved Kaliopi from FYR Macedonia is giving it a third attempt at the ESC. This year’s song is already been named as “Donut” song, as there are so many “Dona’s” in it that it sounds like “donut”. Kaliopi is a great and very sympathetic singer but the song is polarizing. Either people love it or hate it. So it might be difficult with the qualification.
The well experienced singer Donny from Lithuania is trying to top his act from 2012. There is a little trampoline which appears a bit redundant on stage.
The highlight of the day was the Australian act by Dami In. The famous Korean born singer was wearing an unpleasant white dress with an oversized collar covered with diamonds. Looks a little bit like the Sydney Opera House. She was sitting on a blue tower like a mermaid, only in the last part of the song Dami was standing. Dami is playing with her voice, which is very different from the original version, this is being seen as far too much here among the press people. This got a lot of applause in the press centre already. The presentation still needs some little corrections to be perfect.
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About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!