Semi 2 – Jury Rehearsals 1&2

May 15, 2013 by

A dance troupe opens semi 2. Not as strong an opening as Loreen in semi 1 but pretty good.

Latvia really is a tremendously fun start to this semi. Ralfs informs viewers, ‘First stage dive in Eurovision history’.

San Marino looks stronger visually. It’s not as dark and despite the fierce red backdrop it works ok.

Lozano sounds really good. Then Esma arrives and joins in…

Farid looking very nervous at song start. You can see his hand shaking as he is holding the mic. But he regains his composure to deliver the song well. He is incredibly expressive and really does give ‘great camera’.

A lot of talk about Krista struggling with ill health… she has dispelled any concerns here. Voice sounds fine. A visual feast this with confetti raining down late on.

Looks like Petra is supposed to be talking to… Greece during first interval after Krista performs. So Finland and Norway both coming before the intervals in this semi.

Gianluca just put in a charming performance and certainly one of his stronger rehearsals of ‘Tomorrow’. So many contrasts in this semi and such strength. Definitely stronger than semi 1.

Bulgaria go through their complicated paces. Elitsa plays more to the arena crowd rather than the camera. This possibly detracts a little from the overall performance.

Eythor strangely in a grey suit and a purple shirt that isn’t flattering on his girth. Presumably these are his civvies as previous info suggested the black suit for him.

Greece enormous fun, great energy, and will spark off the crowd tomorrow.

Moran sounding good. This is a powerful presentation for me, and you feel the power and beauty of the song through Moran’s passionate delivery and the overall classiness of the staging.

Norm from ‘Cheers’ in a pair of shades on keyboards for Dorians. Gor is a strong frontman. This presentation looks a little stronger today.

ByeAlex was a little off-key at song start but improved over the course of Kedvesem. Is this the Lithuania of semi 2?

Marge feeds the audience her love. It’s a demanding song and she produces the goods here.

Albania’s answer to Def Leppard. Identitet is just lacking a, ‘I suppose a rock’s out of the question’ thrown in for good measure. Other than that it ticks all the rock boxes. Sound problem at the start of this and one or two camera issues.

Sophie & Nodi tenpin bowling together during their postcard. Nodi clean shaven today. As before, a powerful presentation.

Takasa is the middle-of-the-road joker in the pack in semi 2. Emil will elicit an, ‘Ah, bless’. He looks like he isn’t entirely sure what’s going on as he stands strumming away on his double bass. They may have just woken him up prior to this rehearsal.

‘Live To Tell’ is definitely the Madge song Cesar’s ‘It’s My Life’ borrows from. Warning for any UK viewers tomorrow night who own dogs: like fireworks night, try and give their ears some protection before Cesar comes on.

In the reprise clips, Iceland’s does not include his vocal trickery – Birgit’s, of course, included her power note in semi 1. The mysterious magic of Kedvesem comes through after Armenia on the reprise. Petra talks to Moran Mazor while the voting window is ongoing.

Some rapid-fire post-jury performance comments will appear below this article later tonight. Also keep an eye on Twitter (@ferrisdayoff). This will be happening 8-10pm UK time.


  1. Mag

    At least only UK dogs have an issue with Cezar’s song! The rest are probably more open minded 🙂

  2. Rob

    Latvia – absolutely fine from PeR. Dangerous to write this one off. Such a lively opener.
    San Marino – Valentina put in a very solid jury performance.
    FYR Macedonia – Lozano was definitely nervous & not as solid on his opening section, missing a few notes. Esma went a bit freestyle. Not the best performance I’ve heard of this.
    Azerbaijan – Farid was visibly shaking throughout the song but for the most part it was ok. Not his best, he missed the last note & was a bit flat at the very start but it was generally ok.
    Finland – Krista put in a very strong performance. So much for being ill – if she is, it didn’t show.
    Malta – Gianluca has often c*cked up something in previous rehearsals but it all came together well tonight.
    Bulgaria – Elitsa really brought it when it mattered. This was significantly better, and more powerful, compared to earlier rehearsal today.
    Iceland – Eyhtor doesn’t make mistakes and he didn’t tonight. This ballad is what it is and he has the voice. Enough for Q? Eythor = Birgit semi 1?
    Greece – Same as it’s always been. Is this one juries will be harsh on? Still a nagging doubt.
    Israel – Thought Moran really shone tonight. Very powerful, heart-felt delivery of this song.
    Armenia – good. Gor is a very good frontman & he carried this well tonight.
    Hungary – fine. Actually one of ByeAlex’s better performances. On the reprise during voting window noticeable how this segment stands out after Armenia – to me anyway.
    Norway – Margaret really upped it tonight. Very good on those tough big notes. Solid throughout.
    Albania – These guys rocked out really well tonight. The band is mostly untelegenic which is a worry for tomorrow night’s televote. And how many rock fans will be watching?
    Georgia – Nodi slightly nervous at the start but really nit-picking as they nailed it further in & put in one of their strongest last minute performances.
    Switzerland – One of Takasa’s best performances. Sarah had sounded a little flat during previous rehearsals. Not tonight. A lot will depend on whether much is made about Emil tomorrow night when broadcasters across Europe introduce the song.
    Romania – Cesar did fine but you look at this and in such a strong semi have to question its chance, even from pimp slot. 2 pimp slots at 1 ESC both NQs?

    Will head into the Arena tomorrow night for 3rd rehearsal in the afternoon – 1st time for me in there. Want to see what comes across best in there.

  3. Mag

    It is by far a stronger semifinal. I would like to see qualifying: Norway, Azerbaijan, Israel, San Marino, Romania, Finland, Malta, Hungary, Albania.
    I really cannot stand the Greek song unless is sung in a pub, but I’m pretty sure it will go thru…Georgia is using Eurovision formula for success…Iceland is boring, Switzerland unconvincing. Esma is horrible and spoiling Lozano’s efforts, Bulgaria is too ethnic and I don’t like Armenia…I rather prefer Latvia…
    But I’m no “fanatic” fan of any of the above, so I won’t suffer tomorrow regardless of the results!

  4. Tim B

    Hi Rob, thanks for the jury impressions. Any idea why Armenia drifted quite significantly today? I backed it heavily to qualify today at odds-against, so was just wondering if there was a piece of info of which I I’m not aware.

    Iceland I backed to qualify today as well. Totally agree about the Birgit thing. A well-written, competent ballad performed excellently should be enough for it to go through I think. I certainly prefer its chances to Finland anyway…

    Bulgaria is one that worries me now. I’m pretty sure it would FLY in the final because of no ex-Yugo countries. But it has to qualify first, and that’s not a given in this tough semi. So the drift of Bulgaria slightly concerns me as well.

    Romania remains a head-scratcher, but I think it’s a value back at anything around 3.0 or over on Betfair. If you consider that Serbia was overturned from the pimp slot at 1.14, it does seem like value. Cezar “The Voice” has potentially more to offer juries than Moje 3 did. Small stake only!

    • Rob

      Market hasn’t got a clue, Tim, & imagine there will be some serious fluctuations during the live semi tomorrow night. Armenia, Bulgaria and Albania have all slowly drifted. No info I’m aware of.

      In the case of Bulgaria there may well be a further drift as UK viewers will probably listen to it & think wtf?

      I can make a strong case for 12 in this semi but only 10 will make it through. Very tough to call – need to sleep on it 🙂

      • Tim B

        But it’s a massive shame the UK isn’t voting in this semi. Last year, the UK gave Sofi from Bulgaria 5 points in semi final 2 despite her receiving nothing from the jury. That’s some serious diaspora voting and completely inexplicable unless you have an understanding of European migration. Nigel Farage wouldn’t be happy 😀

        • Ben Gray

          I might argue that the style of music Sofi offered appeals to a UK market as well.

  5. The predictions for Semi Final 2 from the ESF Magazine editorial staff, including me ;-). Which of the 6 predictions will get it right completely?

  6. Ron

    You say this is the stronger semi Rob and yet there’s no sign of anything from this semi on iTunes, bar Norway and Finland. I have my doubts this will change much after tomorrow evening apart from those two and perhaps Azerbaijan and Georgia and one or two others at most.

    If you look at Semi 1, at least eight songs are charting right across the continent including Denmark in about 20 different countries (and NL and Russia are doing extremely well too). In my own opinion, Semi 1 is by FAR the stronger semi.

    • Rob

      That’s fair enough, Ron. Listening to the songs back-to-back from 1-17 semi 2 has the feel of a much stronger heat imho. Also, in terms of each nation’s past track record at the ESC, semi 2 is statistically stronger based on the qualifying record of the nations involved, not to mention the fact it is simply tougher because there are 17 competing nations as opposed to 16 in semi 1.

      I expect to see qualifiers from semi 2 doing better than qualifiers from semi 1 overall when it comes to the final.

    • eurovicious

      The songs haven’t charted on iTunes because the show hasn’t been broadcast yet. After tonight some will.

  7. neomichael

    does anybody now if there will be any mini-interview in the semi-final 2 during the voting period such as the one with the estonian pregnant singer?

    Mihalis from Greece

    • Rob

      Hi neomichael. Yes, I covered this in my rehearsal report – it is Moran Mazor from Israel who is interviewed.

      • neomichael

        lol! Thanks Rob! I was about to lay that too!!

        Mihalis from Greece

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