Czech Bounces

May 4, 2019 by

Czech Bounces

We kick off with the first half of semi 1. Montenegro and Czech Republic have switched so we will see the bouncing Czech (Albert) second today.

Cyprus trades at 21 pre-rehearsal on the Outright, 1.71 for Top 10. Four Luca Hanni clones, complete with his official video hat, join Tamta, and they’ve nicked his dance moves too. It is all visually on point. Some interest in Top 10, matched at 1.69 while its Outright price doesn’t move much. Not backed for the semi 1 win at this point either. Not enough intel plagues traders’ minds despite what appears to be Cypriot competence, without the sound feed to get the full impression.

‘Can you hear it?’ The press conference is delighted as Albert’s opening song lyric is the first audio to be heard today. Nice visual concept for Lake Malawi, each band member in a box with those boxes shifting around the screen. Czech Republic trades at 160 on the Outright, 6.6 for Top 10 pre-rehearsal and both prices dip. Some backing for top 3 in semi 1 too, matched at 5.1, and for the semi win at 25.

Finland was friendless in all markets pre-rehearsals and that remains the case. It has been layed at 7.6 to qualify on the back of this and drifts further out, like a lonely iceberg. Darude is now positioned on a platform at the back of the stage. It possibly worked better visually at the Finnish national final with the female dancer, who remains, dancing on a small iceberg. She appears as a projected image behind drowning in water. Harrowing imagery of a polar bear set adrift on a melting ice-cap might have hammered home the message of the song better.

Poland is layed at 1.71 after a very rough-round-the-edges and vocally poor first rehearsal. Visually, one of the group is the telegenic star and she is used most on the big screen behind Tulia. They are on a rotating disk, wear crowns and gowns and while there is improvement vocally there are still questions to answer with their harmonising especially at the start of the song.

Slovenia is matched at 90 on the Outright and 3.75 for Top 10 as we see a rehearsal that looks very similar to their EMA staging, including the white outfits. It remains the same sort of price to qualify matched at 1.38. The backdrop is of the cosmos which suits the ethereal quality of the song. Zala has an almost mournful, wide-eyed gaze of yearning. It has mesmeric power but this could do with even more use of the close-up cam to capture the intimacy. They appear to have ditched The Common Linnets-style overhead shot that was used during that EMA performance.

D Mol are all in white bar nationalistic red scarves. In a shock development Montenegro remains 1000 on the Outright after 1st rehearsal. Performed from the 2 slot, it was last matched at 1.82 to finish last in semi 1 and is available at 1.5 at time of posting but it might not be banker material. This is like a Poundland S Club 7 trying to be earnest but falling into every cliche possible. Their harmonies at least sound better than Tulia’s earlier in the day.

A barefoot Joci for Hungary sits on a box at song start. An image of his father’s face appears behind him initially, then other fathers’ faces. With this ode to his father he is seeking to tug the heartstrings with what is a simplistic, stripped back performance, but will the imagery be understood? He commands the stage vocally and emotively and Hungary is rock solid after this, matched at 1.27 to qualify from semi 1.

Belarus is risking ‘hot mess’ territory with disparate images thrown in for no reason. Zena is not vocally secure and they are going to have to work wonders with the sound mix. It’s a shame because the song has a degree of modernity and she is a likeable presence on the stage. Belarus has been matched over 3 to qualify after this and having had some keen backers below the 3 mark is now on the retreat.

Serbia is all that it says on the tin: a highly competent Balkan ballad, with simple but effective visuals and competence, you sense, will take countries far in this semi. Hidden backing vocalists lend her able support. Matched at 1.46 to qualify following this first rehearsal. Serbia has also been matched at 10 to finish in the top 10 with Nevena closing out day 1 on a note of quality.

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