Semi 1 – Jury Rehearsals 1&2

May 13, 2013 by

A chance to see semi 1 in order, in its full tv glory, as you will see it tomorrow night. Great start with overhead shots of Malmo and Oresund Bridge. It has a very BBC Olympic coverage feel leading into…

… Loreen singing ‘Euphoria’ with a children’s choir, which makes for a compelling and evocative start to the show. Petra Mede is our host in a silvery dress, looking like a mermaid.

Will only comment on anything especially different here. Probably best not to read too much into some comments as nit-picking now – this is the 8th time I’m hearing and seeing these songs performed.

Natalia sounds a little better. Birgit as before. Hannah’s dancers have added silver masks. This has found another gear. Her vocal is more solid and choreo has come together well.

Backdrop to ‘Only Teardrops’ is bright orange/red lava effect that is rather overpowering. Still think this presentation isn’t as strong as it looked at the Danish final.

A break after Emmelie. Petra quips about Norway being more expensive than Denmark – a sneaky anti-Norway comment?

Zlata goes wrong at the start of ‘Gravity’. Something fell off her – her battery pack apparently. They have to re-start. Jon Ola says they will glue it for tomorrow. Zlata still loves the camera possibly rather more than the camera loves her back. Blue lighting lights up an enchanted forest behind her. Is this magical?

Dina’s backing singers have glowing balls but this still looks messy and superfluous – you actually see the stage hands handing the balls to them before they toss them away moments later.

Anouk does some kick boxing in her postcard. This song oozes class and authenticity following Ukraine. May have said that before but going to say it again. Felt it needed saying.

Straight into Montenegro after The Netherlands. The breaks come after songs 5 and 13 in the semis.

Saw Andrius out on the lash last night, and he looked like he had had a few. He does the Andrius thing. Nothing new here. Alyona and Aliona both sound fine.

Ireland gets the break after it. 7 wins for Ireland, Petra reminds viewers. Julia Zemiro does an amusing segment reporting from Australia and how the ESC became so big there, covered by SBS.

Despina delivers her song the best she has sung it yet. She looks to have shrugged off her illness.

The sound of ‘Love Kills’ comes over really well here and Roberto is in good voice. Another improvement. Moje 3 also do a good job. In first rehearsal this looked a staging mess but has tightened up a lot and actually looks fine now.

On the reprise, Birgit comes in on a note that immediately over-shadows Natalia’s segment. Emmelie’s reprise has the pyro curtain on it. On Dina’s reprise she definitely misses a note. Hadn’t noticed that live. Luckily, this is just the jury rehearsal.

Petra talks to Birgit while the voting is taking place but surprisingly doesn’t ask her about her pregnancy.

Lynda Woodruff does a funny segment. We see and hear the Big 5 songs and Swedish song, set to official postcards for each nation.

Will be Tweeting later (@ferrisdayoff) during the jury performance which takes place 8-10pm UK time, and will add concise round-up regarding how it goes in Comments section below. Stay tuned and please do keep posting your thoughts.


  1. fiveleaves

    Cheers Rob,
    It sounds like nothing much has changed.
    Let’s hope Ukraine don’t mess up again in the jury rehearsal 😉

    • Rob

      Ha, ha – funnily enough, that same thought entered my head as I was watching live 🙂

      Added in Anouk clip – some filming of this rehearsal is allowed in the arena & the esckaz team are fastest with their footage.

    • fiveleaves

      It sounds like the crowd loved it as much as I do.
      Off to stick another score on it 😀

  2. Henry VIII

    Thanks Rob, and thanks for the tweets which I am reading as they come in right now.

  3. –> Belgium 2003 (2nd place)
    –> Serbia-Montenegro 2004 (2nd place)
    –> Hungary 2007 (9th place)
    –> Iceland 2009 (2nd place)
    –> France 2009 (8th place)
    –> Belgium 2010 (6th place)
    –> Georgia 2010 (9th place)
    –> Ukraine 2010 (10th place)
    –> Italy 2011 (2nd place)
    –> Ukraine 2011 (4th place)
    –> Germany 2011 (10th place)
    –> Albania 2012 (5th place)
    –> Estonia 2012 (6th place)
    –> Germany 2012 (8th place)

    And now….Netherlands 2013. Me = smiling :-). Eurovision has become better in the recent years. Eurovision = good music :-).

  4. Rob

    Semi 1 jury performance – thoughts in-running:

    Austria – Natalia a little nervy at song start but got through it fine.
    Estonia – Birgit hits her power note very well. This felt a level up again from Natalia.
    Slovenia – Poor Hannah had an off night. Nerves got better of her. Missed some notes early on. Seemed to retrieve it, then lost it in a couple of places late on too.
    Croatia – Again, slightly nervy start, but the tenors powered through this fine.
    Denmark – Emmelie rose to the occasion, with confetti raining down on audience adding to the overall presentation.
    Russia – Dina did well & song looked much better with the glowing bracelets in the audience. Staging came together well in the end.
    Ukraine – Zlata was at her confident best.
    Netherlands – beautiful from Anouk – it’s so subjective but this reeled me in far more than the previous 3 songs. Juries should rate this highly.
    Montenegro – Nina the star of this again. She sang her segments really well.
    Lithuania – Andrius produced one of his best performances of this.
    Belarus – Alyona sold this well & did a fine job. Really felt the beat of this throughout.
    Moldova – Aliona not as good as I’ve heard her in previous performances. She was very nervous at the start but regained her composure later on.
    Ireland – Ryan Dolan did a fine job. This was competent.
    Cyprus – Despina produced her best tonight. She has certainly given herself the best possible chance of qualifying as she’ll be relying on a decent jury score.
    Belgium – Roberto got his timing slightly wrong early on, then dispensed with his earpiece and produced a solid enough performance. He was given chance to perform again due to earpiece issue. An advantage? Who knows.
    Serbia – Moje 3 really sold this song well tonight. Noticeable how they improved with each rehearsal. So all those Serbia 25-1 e/w backers still have a chance of a return.

    Will offer a full betting preview of semi 1 tomorrow.

  5. Rob

    Roberto sprang to life when he sang ‘Love Kills’ for a 2nd time. A very impressive job.

    • Anonymous

      From my point of view i can see the following qualifiers;


      although my favourite is netherlands, i can not see it grabbing lot of point due to historical low average and that the only allies being belgium and maybe denmark.

      i seems to me that croatia will not qualify. Although it seems to have many many allies it will not obtain maximum point of them as the points will get splitted among Serbia, Montenegro & Slovenia.

      Rob, keep up the good job!
      Mihalis from Greece

  6. fiveleaves

    Cheers Rob,
    A nice life line for us Belgium to qualify backers.
    I make it a close to even money shot now

  7. Matt

    Went reasonably big on Belgium after the draw and was starting to have doubts. Maybe the stars have aligned and we’re back in the game?

  8. Rob

    Belgium has long looked a value back to qualify at anything above 2-1. Getting to sing the song a 2nd time, and for him to perform it well, you have to assume has helped Roberto’s chances.

    • Boki

      What keeps me from backing Belgium is actually the song title/message – it’s supposed to be an up-tempo cheer and he gets killed over and over again with bitter pills 🙂

  9. History doesn’t matter at all. I hear that so many times. Yes, you can take into account demographical factors. And with that Netherlands might have a slight disadvantage. Until a country called Germany manages to win in 2010. And believe me, Germany hasn’t got any natural ‘friends’.

    Results from the past however are by no means a good prediction for the future. No televoter knows how ‘bad’ Netherlands scored in the past 14 years.

    Nah, Netherlands is already qualified. I’d say Netherlands managed to grab a 2nd place or 3rd place tonight. Then tomorrow a more than respectable 7th or 8th place among televoters. Overall that means around 5th place.

    What I am excited for is now the draw. I cross my fingers to be drawn in the 2nd half of the show, because then SVT/EBU probably again will give Netherlands a nice starting grid :-).

    By the way, these are the predictions of our editors:

  10. neomichael

    you have a good point, My main concern is actually that the song is neither uplifting, nor exciting. But for some people (including me) is mystical and unique. Let’s hope that televoters will have the same idea.

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