Day 5: Women dominate the first semi-final

SLOVENIA

Slovenia and Austria swapped their rehearsals for some reason and therefore Hannah opened the day in Malmö Arena. The delegation hadn’t made any major changes to the performance. The song is really hard one to sing live and at times you can hear Hannah is  struggling with it. However, the performance looks really polished and professional.

ESTONIA

Birgit starts her performance from the satellite stage and after the first chorus she walks to the main performance area. Their performance is identical to the Monday’s and vocals sound great. The song is fine but will probably get lost between radio friendly Austria and Slovenia.

AUSTRIA

Natália really manages to stun with her voice already in the rehearsals and the song really is a good opener for the first semi-final. The performance is unfortunately missing something, I would’ve liked to see the pyros from the national final. But this performance will probably come across better when watched on television.

CROATIA

Klapa s Mora consists of tenors and baritones who sound really good together. The song also brings some nice variety to the show but unfortunately you can’t succeed with only good vocals anymore while the performance is bland which, on the other hand, suits this traditional klapa style.

DENMARK

Emmelie came on stage and gave an identical performance with confetti rain and pyros. The song really is a perfect Eurovision – a catchy radio hit which doesn’t really annoy anyone that much. Visually the show is impressive, too. Emmelie’s innocence can either benefit her chances or do the opposite. Today Emmelie wasn’t in her best shape but of course these are only rehearsals where more important are camera angles etc.

Danmark Olle Kirchmeier/SVT

RUSSIA

Russia knows what to do to make an impact at Eurovision. Dina can really sing with her backing vocalists, it’s a shame that the song’s message is so cheesy but it hasn’t been a problem in previous years, either. The choreography underlines the ‘let’s save the world’ message and eventually they all hold each other’s hands.

UKRAINE

The Ukrainian giant revealed his outfit for next Tuesday’s show (see the picture below). Zlata herself looks like a mermaid with her colorful dress. This year is the year of good singers and Zlata joints the club. Despite the giant-scene in the beginning, the whole performance is surprisingly ordinary but that’s only a good thing.

Ukraina. Olle Kirchmeier/SVT

NETHERLANDS

To continue the line-up of talented female artists, Anouk was next on stage with a confident performance of ‘Birds’. The specialty and strength of this song is that it doesn’t have any choreography. It really suits the song and Anouk’s style who avoids cameras. Some say it leaves the performance cold and distant, we’ll see if that is what the televoters and juries think. Ironically the birds in the background do fly.

MONTENEGRO

The Montenegrin performance is just what this semi-final needs. Nina Žižić rescues the performance vocally while the boys take care of the show. A nice, refreshing entry after many ballads. Can’t see Europe will go crazy over some Balkan rap, though.

LITHUANIA

Andrius Pojavis’ stage show, on the other hand, seems a bit tired and even the eye brows don’t move any longer. All that moves in this performance are his hands. But, you never know, Lithuania has qualified before when it is least expected to happen!

Kom igen då, lyft på ögonbrynen Andrius! Foto: Olle Kirchmeier/SVT

BELARUS

Alyona seems to trying to get the ‘shortest dress of the year’ award with her blue-gold dress. When watching this performance one wouldn’t necessarily guess it comes from Belarus – latino rhythms, drums and hot atmosphere sounds like an entry from Southern Europe. Alyona does sing well so she isn’t resorting to bare surface only because she couldn’t sing, like some other artists in the past.

MOLDOVA

Moldova has one of this year’s power ballads and it surely leaves no-one cold. Dancers, Pasha playing a grand piano, a dress projected full of colors and a trick where Aliona is lifted high above the stage. Once again it must be said that this year the singers are really talented and Aliona’s voice would gain attention on its own without tricks.

IRELAND

Drums are beating in the Irish entry as well with topless fake-tattooed men. The song really sounds better on this big stage unlike in the national final and it is a very radio friendly tune which should guarantee lots of votes from around Europe.

Ryan Dolans dansare är populära. Foto: Olle Kirchmeier/SVT

CYPRUS

All what Despina needs is a wind machine and microphone. She is alone on stage and somehow the song reminds of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s entry from last year which did qualify. Whether Despina can do to the same remains to be seen but it’s good that Cyprus stands out between very similar Ireland and Belgium.

BELGIUM

At the national final it seemed as if Belgians had made a wrong decision after choosing a hard song to sing for young Roberto. However, after a revamp and some time to practice Roberto manages to pull it through quite well. The choreography on the other hand looks a bit weird, the dancers seem to be listening to a totally different song than others, that’s how their moves look like every now and then.

SERBIA

The outfits and choreography were completely changed from the national final which is a shame. As most of the viewers don’t understand the lyrics, the story behind the choreography remains a mystery and looks just weird. The girls and their backing vocalists do sound good together, though.

Det ser bara rörigt ut när tjejerna i serbiska Moje 3 bråkar på scen. Foto: Olle Kirchmeier/SVT

PICTURES: Dennis Stachel/EBU, Olle Kirchmeier/SVT
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