The third day of rehearsals is over. The first nine contestants of the second semi-final have performed their songs for the first time on the big stage in Kyiv. Here are my thoughts about today’s rehearsals:

SERBIA

Thank god Serbia is not in the same semi-final as Greece because those projections look alike so much. They both have water as the main element in their performance. Personally, I think the staging by Greece was more successful than this one. It does elevate the song, which I thought wasn’t that good to begin with. I think performing first in this semi-final won’t help Serbia at all. I don’t think this is a qualifier.

AUSTRIA

The song itself is sweet but rather bland, it doesn’t really move me. I think they definitely needed something in the performance that made it not so forgettable. And I think they did a good job. I still don’t know if it’s qualifying or not, but I can see the chances going up. I think Nathan has great stage presence, so I can imagine that people would like to support him and give him their vote.

F.Y.R. MACEDONIA

I just can’t help but hate her live voice. I think it completely ruins the song. The performance right now doesn’t move me, I immediately forget about it after just watching it. There’s nothing special going on, showing parts of the videoclip is so unoriginal. I get that the song is called Dance Alone and that it would be kind of ironic to put dancers next to her, but I really think some sort of extra touch could save the entire thing.

MALTA

I think Malta did great in this rehearsal. She’s one of the best vocalists we have this year, she looks very classy and the colors in the projections also suit the song. I don’t really like the fact that her face is on the big screen, I don’t get why everyone keeps doing that this year. But anyway, I still can’t see people voting for this, although I’m sure that she will receive a lot of jury votes. But I just don’t think those votes will save her, and make her qualify to the final.

ROMANIA

The song is very memorable and now, the performance adds up to that. I just think it’s a bit too much. I mean, they project cannons and then they also bring them on stage. I don’t get that at all. I like the colors, it’s a very happy performance and certainly energetic. I think it depends on what camera angles they will use because it really could look like a big mess on camera. There are so many things going on and in the semi-final they will probably also have a special outfit on, so that will attract even more attention. I think they need to slow it down a bit.

THE NETHERLANDS

I have always quite liked this song and now I’m really happy that the performance is as good. Their outfits look so classy, that’s a great choice although I would prefer it if Amy was in the middle. That would look better, in my opinion. I don’t really know what else they could have done with this kind of song. It asks for the performance that they have given us.

HUNGARY

This performance was actually the same as the one we’ve seen in A Dal. I don’t really mind that because I already thought that the performance was on point. I have my doubts about the violinist being on the island, I don’t really get why they have done that. But anyway, I still like the dancer and now the projections make it even better. I really like the choice of color when he’s singing, but then when the dancing part comes on there’s blue. Again. I feel like everyone is using blue this year and it really annoys me. But overall I like this performance by Hungary.

DENMARK

I wasn’t a big fan of this song to begin with and now the performance has completely ruined it. I think it’s so boring. Like, I can’t imagine someone watching this for a full 3 minutes and stay interested. I actually prefered the use of color in the national final, it was warmer and more approachable. Right now, I really get a distant feeling from this performance.

IRELAND

This song has grown on me like crazy. At first I didn’t get it at all, but now it’s one of my favourites. I’m really happy with the staging. It’s something completely different and something that stands out, in my opinion. I don’t think everyone will get the hot air balloon but it does give a nice effect to the performance, that’s certainly memorable. I also like the use of color. There have been a lot of comments about the backing vocals not being on stage. I get why people are annoyed by that. Personally I don’t mind it just being Brendan on stage but I wouldn’t mind if they chose to change that either.


From the three power ballads we had today, The Netherlands has left the biggest impression. Malta is doing great, but the performance won’t save the song. Denmark is a huge disappointment for me, overall. Serbia and Macedonia are too forgettable, although the songs aren’t that bad. Austria could be the dark horse in this semi-final. Romania has too much going on, and in my opinion they need to make decisions about what they want. Hungary and Ireland had the best performances, in order of being memorable. Here’s my top nine of today’s rehearsals, based on the performances only.

  1. Hungary
  2. Ireland
  3. Austria
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Malta
  6. Romania
  7. Serbia
  8. F.Y.R. Macedonia
  9. Denmark
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