Semi 2 – Jury Performance (rehearsal)

May 23, 2012 by

Semi 2 – Jury Performance (rehearsal)

Double reminder to readers, nothing riding on this performance, but a chance to see how the 18 songs in semi 2 stack up alongside one another. Zeljko and Kaliopi in fine voice, both wearing black outfits – well, Zeljko in a black jacket/white t-shirt combo, a look probably better suited to Kaliopi, given her song is called ‘Black And White’.

Joan, head-dress and all. A bit off in this performance, maybe saving her best for later, or maybe a sign of things to come. Netherlands has got the double Timeform squiggle now.

Interesting opinion among many semi 1 viewers that the staging backdrops are not really coming through. So won’t focus too much on that aspect here.

Mohawk guy on the mixing desk and Kurt with his fast-footed shuffle. Little slip up from Kurt vocally.
Kurt gives it a ‘hello Crystal Hall’. Female backing singer still in there, and sounding off. One nugget of info picked up here – Malta has a funny way of landing jury votes among unlikely nations. Will say no more than that. Don’t want to set tongues wagging.

Ah yes, Dimtry, Litesound, in a sexy chain mail vest. And the sound goes off. Having to start again. Few teething troubles with this run through.The new instrumental mix at the start of this song is much better. This guy will be a dreamboat for young ladies across Europe, even if his pronunciation sucks with his, ‘We are the weeners’.

Given Sinplus missed out in semi 1, maybe this is up against it, or maybe this sort of weak rock fronted by a pin-up plays out better with voters. Both countries bang in the middle by way of voting strength in their respective semis… time to put thinking cap on some more.

Filipa giving it some Iberian crooner action, sounding good, but really not sure about this presentation. Backing singers in awful shiny black jackets.

Here comes Gaitana, wearing pink flowers in her hair. Ukraine supporters should be nervous. This is a hugely demanding song. A volatile stock for sure. Every time Gaitana seems to come up with a different rendition. Hard for her to keep up, she has to adapt and improvise. 2 big performances for Gaitana to negotiate tonight and tomorrow.

Poor Sofi. All alone on a massive stage in knee-length, white f*ck me boots. This lady would eat you alive. She sings the song well, but this is worse than the Kati Wolf staging last year for Hungary. Whoops, said no staging would be discussed today. Sorry.

Eva sounding good, while looking like a bride from Land Of The Giants. Ah yes, the old Slovenia/Croatia double whammy in this semi. It’s a hot potato, catch. Will likely come down to the tastes of those Balkan music aficionados. Nina matches Eva vocally. Need to get these two in the ring to fight to the death. Would obviously come down to a points decision. Solo females did not fare well in semi 1 of course, barring the amazing Rona with her USP.

Now, Loreen, reverting to her Melodifestivalen outfit, on the advice of fans. A little inside scoop for you there. Oh yeah, this reporter keeps his ear to the ground. We can see her face a lot better. Less tassels. A wise move. Looking and sounding pretty much on the money.

Georgia. Anri and his whores. Dangerous to under-estimate Georgia’s voting strength in this semi, decent late draw, but this really can only appeal to burlesque tastes.

Can Bonomo comes across as Captain Sensible of Turkey compared to the insanity of Georgia even if his song and staging is leftfield for Western Europe.

Ott Lepland. Another story for you. Ott gets very nervous ahead of performing resulting in the embarrassing offshoot of getting ‘angry’. He sounds good here and no discernible signs of wood in his tight trousers. Maybe they’ve strapped it down. Let’s hope for his sake he is as calm, and unaroused later, and tomorrow live on tv. Estonia backers you have been warned (it’s not called a ‘semi’ for nothing).

Little chat – presumably with Can Bonomo in tomorrow night’s live semi – about Turkey missing out last year. Can he get through this year, she asks. If anyone can Can can… not his reply, just couldn’t resist writing that.

Max Jason Mai and his band really go for the screechy, hard rock start. No sign of the masks. You fear one screech too many will wreck his vocal cords. He is a man on the edge throughout this and struggling to hold it together. Slovakia is a dangerous qualifying investment for sure. Lack of allies and a vocalist tested to the full, and coming up short on occasions.

Tooji next. Big contrast. Maybe not Tooji’s best vocal but more than adequate for such a well staged, slick pop tune.

Maya Sar, another contrast. Gentle, solo female ballad. Maya sat at the piano. Bosnia has big voting strength in this semi, late draw. Probably won’t score much outside the Balkans but of course there is some serious Balkan action going down in this semi.

And last, our friend Donny in his diamond-studded blindfold. Grown a strange sentimental attachment to this guy, one-handed cartwheel and all. It’s a love-hate thing, clearly, and he is sounding vocally excellent. No question he is pushing hard for a final place this lad.

Are we any wiser regarding this semi, ahead of the jury performance? Reckon there are now 8 very solid looking potential qualifiers here, but that view might well change after tonight.

Dima Bilan is the interval act by the way singing his winning song from 2008 ‘Believe’… extremely badly here. And in comes Marija singing 2007 winner ‘Molitva’ much better. And now it’s Rybak. Yes, ‘Fairytale’, from 2009. What a joy. Followed by lovely Lena and ‘Satellite’ from 2010. They are accompanied throughout by Azerbaijani musicians. And lastly, Ell & Nikki, and the last 5 winners of the ESC all join in in a rendition of ‘Waterloo’.

Keep an eye on the Comments section below where news of said jury performance will appear some time after 10pm UK time.
Rob Furber

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  1. Henry VIII

    Georgia. Anri and his whores.

    🙂 At least they’re more discreet than Trackshittaz’ pole dancers.

    Come on Rob, you have to tell your readers Malta’s novel way of getting jury votes? It’s all in good fun and we’ll keep it to ourselves.

  2. Rob

    semi 2 jury performance thoughts:
    Zeljko – this guy is a consummate pro, very solid
    Kaliopi – backatcha, Zeljko, Kaliopi brings it too, including the tricky high-pitched scream.
    Joan – she was poor in the earlier rehearsal how will this go? She is doing much better. Little hint of nerves in her voice but fine.
    Kurt for Malta – really good from Kurt, one of best performances I’ve heard from him. Just a shame the female backing singer has to join in and sound off-key, as usual.
    Litesound – Dmitry starts well… seems like they have all raised their game tonight. They have all been ‘weeners’ so far.
    Portugal – Filipa has nearly won me over. Found this song hard going before; got through it ok tonight cos she nailed it. This one is not to be discounted.
    Gaitana – This is the big one. Can Gaitana get through this unscathed… wow, hats off to this woman. She brought it alright. She owned that stage, and got through the tricky vocal gymnastics of the song very well.
    Sofi – bless her. She sings this fine, alone on stage. Who is in charge of the Bulgarian delegation? They need a strong word regarding staging. Not a clue. You’ll see tomorrow night. Might apply for the job.
    Eva – part I of the big Balkan female solo showdown in this part of draw… Eva started fine here. Again, there is a backing vocalist who is a little off in this. Eva holding it together.
    Nina – You sense she has raised it a level here. Going for it more with her vocal and her entire body language. Croatia just got back in the game vs Slovenia. Nina has really gone for it here and it has added something to an otherwise fairly ordinary ballad.
    Loreen – the big fav, can she produce when it matters? The first of 4 big performances, potentially for her. Credit to the lass, she has risen to the big occasion. More impressive than one or two rehearsals when, as suggested here, it looked like she was mainly marking things out, going through the motions with the song and not pushing it. Back to her Melodifestivalen best here.
    Anri – giving it some welly here with his trash barrel whores. This guy has an able vocal, but the song has to be one of the worst Georgian entries in many years. Will its vote allies still help it through? They really shouldn’t but I wouldn’t bet against it.
    Can for Turkey – Not sure this is the best I’ve heard Can perform this. Still adequate enough though. He really gets into the character too, and it’s a song that is a lot more about the total package.
    Ott – playing a blinder here. Always knew he had plenty in his locker. A sea of vocal purity following 2 strange songs. Really leaps out and should be enjoyed by juries.
    Max Jason Mai – can he get through this? Fair play, he has done a very good job here. Miles superior to earlier rehearsal. He encouraged the crowd to join in clapping instead of having to hit some tricky notes in one part. Wise move. Looked a sounded a proper rock tune any rock fans among juries out there should at least respect.
    Tooji – excellent. In any battle with Eric Saade, my money would be on this guy. Better tune, better choreo. Saade would have just been ‘served’ had he been waiting in the wings having to come out and beat that.
    Maya Sar – sweet, lovely Maya, rather like her song. She has sung this ok, maybe not at her very best. Overall, semi 2 artists have done better in front of the juries tonight compared to semi 1.
    Donny – really, what’s not to love? Look out for the one-handed cartwheel and air guitar tomorrow night, folks. It comes just after the ripping off of his blindfold and was textbook in front of the juries. Donny’s vocal is absolutely fine.
    So, winners & losers? Ott was a definite stand-out. Loreen, Tooji & Gaitana all got through their routines well… struggling to find losers. All performances either adequate enough or better than seen previously. Will come down to song quality with juries. Check in tomorrow to see the semi 2 pearls of wisdom. Bed time 🙂

  3. steve

    Cheers rob seems some hought Slovakia was well off tonight, so will wait for your full review though it may be too late to change my book.

  4. Rob

    Hi Henry – well, apparently the old jury tit-for-tat goes on big time, and Malta has plenty of previous, landing jury votes among non-allies, ie, they’ve taken a bung.
    Steve – I think Max performed the song much better than the earlier rehearsal and held it together well enough in front of the juries. It’s a song that makes him sound like he’s teetering close to being off-key throughout, but it is more about his delivery. It’s whether the rock fans coalesce tonight. Hard one to call and not one to stake money on imho.

  5. fiveleaves

    Cheers Rob,
    I’ve managed to watch a few of these performances with what looks like the tv feed and I have to say I thought Sweden was superb.
    You were bang on about the change back to the MF costume and the whole package just looks class to me.
    I reckon it will be hard to beat even with an early draw.

    Netherlands I’ve always loved and thought it was a lovely performance. To use your phrase, she gives very good camera 😀
    I’d love to see this qualify.

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