Yesterday, 15 countries had their second rehearsal at the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv. We got a look at the official staging/performances and outfits from all the contestants. Here are my thoughts about those second rehearsals:

SWEDEN

This performance hasn’t really made any improvements or changes at all, but it didn’t really need those because it was already on point to begin with. I thought his vocals were slightly better in Melodifestivalen, but that’s something that can still change. I still think that Sweden won’t be the winner of this semi-final, because they have to perform first. But anyhow, this is a definite qualifier and I can see a top 5 placement in the grand final.

GEORGIA

Georgia, on the other hand, has made a lot of improvements. I think this song is still the typical dramatic Eurovision-ballad but it’s nicely done. Normally, a staging like this isn’t original at all but this year there’s nothing like it. The message of the song still doesn’t really get to me, I think it’s a bit bland and very typical. I think overall this song will make a good impression in this semi-final but the juries will have to save her to get through to the final.

AUSTRALIA

I’m extremely disappointed with Australia this year. The combination of the song and the performance is so underwhelming for a country like Australia. Based on that, they don’t even deserve to qualify, in my opinion. I don’t like looking a him on stage, he can’t really grab my attention for the full 3 minutes. I think the projections on the big screen are just weird. I mean, I don’t get what they were trying to do or what message they were trying to bring. It doesn’t suit the song at all and it’s just too simple. This song is so easy to forget, especially since it is performed third in the semi-final.

ALBANIA

This staging could really save the song. It’s very memorable, in my opinion, and it stands out. There’s actually something to see, the visuals look great. I’m not impressed with her outfit, I think the outfits she wore in the music video were better than this one. But I can live with it. I still don’t know if Albania will make it with the overall package. But I’m sure that if this came from a bigger or more important country it would definitely do well.

BELGIUM

I’ve read so many comments about this and people are saying that she has really improved since the first rehearsal. I’m sorry but I don’t see that at all. For me, this gets worse every time. I can’t imagine that someone likes to watch her sing. She looks so uncomfortable on stage, it’s like she doesn’t even want to be there. Her dress is just a joke for me, it doesn’t fit her at all and it makes her look really big. Her vocals seemed weak, especially compared to the studio version of the song. She’s singing a very modern song but it looks like she’s singing the most boring ballad ever. I don’t like the hand gestures, they looked way too forced. The projections are actually becoming the best thing about this whole performance. Too bad, because based on the song only, Belgium could have reached the top 5 easily. Right now, I’m still in doubts about her going through to the final, to be honest.

MONTENEGRO

If this qualifies there’s something majorly wrong. I mean, the song itself is quite nice and Slavko is a very interesting individual and entertainer. And I can see this doing well with the televoters. But this has to be the last place for the juries. Vocally, he’s very weak. And I can’t imagina juries appreciating this. So I don’t see a future for Montenegro this year. Nevertheless, I think it’s a performance that needs to be seen. It’s Eurovision-trash, but it’s so much fun. And unlike other performers this year, Slavko really grabs you on stage and you can’t help but watch every step he makes. You want to see what he’s doing. I still think that if they had more dancers and made a routine, it could have been more successful. Right now, it’s just like he’s the diva and everyone needs to look at him only.

FINLAND

This performance and staging really brings you to another world, a world where you get the song and you get every word she’s singing. I wasn’t sure that this would be successful because the song is so unusual, for Eurovision but also overall. But I think a lot of people are convinced right now after seeing the two rehearsals. The staging is very simple but so clever. This really is one of those songs that you have to watch when it’s being performed instead of just listening to the studio version, because it adds so much feeling to the song. So yeah I’m really pleased with Finland this year.

AZERBAIJAN

This is a great staging. I still don’t really get the whole concept but it’s nice to look at. There’s something going on. The song was more convincing in the studio version than live, in my opinion. So it doesn’t really move me, neither does her voice. But this song is definitely a qualifier and will reach the top 10 in the grand final. Mainly because it’s Azerbaijan, but also because the performance is very memorable. It’s not one of my favourites but I can see why it is one for so many people.

PORTUGAL

I feel like I can’t really judge this since Salvador isn’t there. But I have to say that I quite like her performance as well. She’s a great singer, for this song at least. In the video below we don’t really get a clear overall view of the stage, or the projections, since Salvador won’t be on the stage but on the small island. So I think Portugal wants to keep some mystery until Salvador arrives and until the semi-final is aired. Overall, this is still my number 1 because I really believe there will be magic when this is performed by Salvador in the semi-final. There are a lot of close-up shots so it really gives Portugal the opportunity to connect with everyone watching. It brings Eurovision back to basics and I think that’s a nice change for once.

GREECE

The staging is very memorable. The dancers look good and actually fit with the entire performance. She looks great as well. I just can’t help but hate the song and her vocals. The song is so simple, there’s no real message in it, apart from some quotes about love. And her vocals aren’t bad at all, but when the part comes on where they sing ‘this is love’, well I don’t know but for me that just hurts my ears. That’s so bad. You can hear the backing singers too much and it gives you the impression that Demy can’t reach the notes and the backings have to help her, but they can’t reach them either. So it’s just a cringing moment for me. But this will definitely go through, I can see people voting for this.

POLAND

People say this is the darkest song this year, but from this performance and staging I don’t get that at all. I think Finland manages to be way darker than this. I think her vocals are nice, it’s actually the singer that carries the song in this case. She could save it. For me, it’s not that great because it doesn’t really move me. I am preparing myself for seeing this song again in the grand final but I would rather not see it again.

MOLDOVA

They have brought the wedding dresses again. For me, it makes the entire song look like a joke. I really enjoy the song and the live vocals as well, but the staging is not that impressive. It’s definitely a lot of fun and it’s very memorable but I really wished for something more classy to go with the fun song. Right now, it’s a bit too much for me. I do think this will receive a lot of televotes, with the juries it won’t do great. So I’m not completely sure about this being in the final, but I think so.

ICELAND

I actually think this isn’t that bad, it elevates the song a bit for me. I really enjoy her voice, she manages to sing loud enough for the song but without screaming. That’s really nice. I do have to say that the performance doesn’t really move me, since there’s nothing happening. And her vibe doesn’t match with the song, she sings that she’s actually very vulnerable but she looks so fierce on stage. But the overall package has improved for me, but probably not enough to qualify to the final.

CZECH REPUBLIC

I’m not impressed by this. I just don’t like the staging. I do think that she does a great job, she’s singing a rather dull song but she actually does something on stage to make it more interesting. But it’s not enough to save the entire thing. There’s no variety in the song that makes you want to listen to it. It’s too boring for Eurovision, in my opinion. So I would be very surprised if this qualifies, but since Czech Republic did last year there’s probably still a chance for Martina.

CYPRUS

I like the fact how much this has improved compared to the first rehearsal. I really appreciate that. The visuals look nice, the choreography is on point and vocally he’s doing fantastic. I’m really impressed with Cyprus this year. This deserves a place in the final, for sure. At the end of the song, he lays down and right there I get the Loïc Nottet reference but I don’t really mind it, to be honest. I just think Cyprus brings a show, something that until now we haven’t seen a lot. So it’s nice and for me a totally memorable performance.


We have seen the rehearsals of 15 songs already, with only 10 possible qualifiers. In the beginning I was sure of a lot of countries for qualification in this semi-final, but those definite qualifiers don’t really impress in Kyiv. I’m thinking of Australia and Belgium. For me, there was no doubt that these countries would qualify but their performances disappoint. Other countries that were almost certain of not qualifying, like Cyprus and Finland, have managed to bring an incredible performance. So I’m confused about how this will work out in the end. From the 15 songs above, these are the ones that I personally think, deserve to qualify, based on the first and second rehearsal:

Sweden – Portugal – Finland – Cyprus – Moldova – Azerbaijan – Greece

We still have to watch the second rehearsals from the other three countries from the first semi-final. So right now I can’t really put an entire top 10 together. But for now I think semi-final 1 has major disappointments, but great surprises as well.

Advertisements