Blanche, Slavko, Norma John, Dihaj and Portuguese rehearsals

This afternoon the rehearsals continue starting with Blanche from Belgium and ending with Salvador’s sister from Portugal.

Let’s hope that the sound problems from this morning have been taken care of.

Belgium

In a plain pink sweater and jeans, Blanche also was beset with sound problems at the beginning. She stood alone

on stage with the music a little punchier than on the record, but the music overpowered her voice. A white globe shape behind her, shattered into pieces and white laser lights punched the stage. This seems to be one of the favourites, but really nothing much out of the ordinary happens in the song at all.

There was a very long break before the second showing. After Blanche came back she seemed as cheery as ever. The vocals are needing a lot of tuning if the song is to end up at the top of the leader board. Unfortunately due to lingering problems, only the last refrain of the song was broadcast on the screen. Not a good start for this afternoon.

In the third rehearsal of City Lights  we didn’t get the start of the song, but it looked as if all three rehearsals were the same. The blue stage is broken up with white lights and Blanche is trying to up the ante with the vocals but it feels a little low key. Let’s see how it gets polished up.

Montenegro

The sound issues continue with Slavko and his Space, but he’s here to enjoy himself, and enjoy himself he did. The background music has been speeded up and turned more discofied. This received the first bit of enthusiasm from the press centre, as Slavko strutted on stage in a black see through shirt and sparkly pants. Waving the longest pony tail in show business history Slavko swaggered through the whole song, daring anyone not to enjoy it.

The blue pants if we can them that, that Slavko wears in the video, are discarded early in the second rehearsal and with pink lights giving a space like image on stage, Slavko is trying to reach as many high notes as possible. There is not quite so much an over the top performance as expected but surely on this showing, this is a qualifier. And after only two rehearsals Slavko is gone, along with his space ship.

Finland

Lost in an eerie dark world of dark blue and spooky black images, Norma John appeared next, with great vocals, again spoiled by very poor sound.The only movement on stage is when Mister Norma John pretends to play the piano. In the final verse the stage turns blood red in colour and the duo seem glad to be finished.

Back for a second shot, the sound now has interference crackles, but the simple Blackbird, stands out for its purity. What looks like two steps in the background light up with yellow flame like colour as the song progresses and although some of the colours are very bright, the over all mood is bleak.

The piano lights up a little in the third rehearsal and threatens to burst into flames, will it or won’t it. In the end it doesn’t but perhaps in the final there may be some flames. Very melodic, very sing a long, this song comes along at the right time.

Azerbaijan

A graffiti chalked filled black board, opened the act for Azerbaijan. Dihaj has brought everything but the kitchen sink for her Skeletons. Men standing on stepladders wearing horses heads, trust Azerbaijan to out do the home nation with the stage effects. First rehearsal seemed to go quite smooth and this song is really up to date.

So let’s see if we can catch all that’s going on in this second rehearsal. Dihaj is performing in a three sided box, starting in the corner, in what is basically a pink house coat. The hair is silver and there are Sia influences. Red lights illuminate the stage before the horse-man appears on the step ladder. Sensation and Fantasy are some of the many words on the wall. Dihaj climbs the ladder and dancer/singers appear to drop the left and right walls. A bit of arty arm movement follows and the whole entourage joins Dihaj as she chalk marks their backs. She scrawls something on the board, probably saying something like welcome to the final. Old horse man isn’t left to linger up the ladder and joins the rest of the cast for the finale.

https://www.eurovisionary.com/gallery-first-press-conference-dihaj-azerbaijan-2017-eurovision-2017/

Portugal

So Salvador’s sister Luisa stood in for a poor health brother, to test the staging and lighting. Luisa sang her song, Amar Pelos Dios, in a very gentle manner, dressed in a yellow coat. As she won’t be singing in the semi final it is hard to judge how this will fair considering their voices are different and getting the sound balance right is proving to be an issue.

The stage is totally awash in dark blue and nothing else is there to distract from the song. A gentle violin plays along to this very La La Land number which could stand out, due to it being very different, old school Eurovision.

Tune in tomorrow when the second half of the first semi final gets started with Demy from Greece.

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