Words by Hass Yusuf, images by David Ransted. This blog will be constantly updated throughout the day.
It’s going to be a short day today. It’s time for second rehearsals and press conferences for Ukraine and the Big 5 – Italy, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom and France.
Also today we have the official opening of the contest with the Red Carpet event. This is a chance for all the performers to glam up and get the Hollywood treatment. And why not, they deserve it after all the rehearsals they had to do. We won’t be there – standing around for hours waiting to scream at the performers isn’t really for me – not after we’ve seen them upfront this past week. And besides we’ll get a chance to mingle with them at the EuroClub tonight. We haven’t been to the EuroClub yet, so looking forward to that.
David Ransted is down at the arena again standing and photographing unique shots for us. We’l set up a special photo special when all the thousand of shots he’s taken are sorted out!
So, it’s Ukraine to start. I really rate this rock effort from O.Torvald. Time is face-paced and does the genre proud. Naturally as Ukraine are hosting the country, this effort automatically appears in the Grand Final – and just as well as it’ll add diversity to the show. It’s an unusual sound from the country – but they do seem to put on rock bands when they host.
I went into the arena to see Francesco Gabbani perform for Italy, What a fun and impressive act. Francesco is so charismatic on stage – his storytelling is top-notch. It’s got a catchy tune where the audience can contribute with the “allez” bits. By rights this should win the contest, but you never know. It could be challenged by Portugal, Sweden or Bulgaria.
Probably a non-winner is, alas, Spain.Though Manel and his pals offer a bright song and a colourful ‘let’s have a lot of fun’ act. Off to the beach they go to while away the summer months, singing and playing their guitars, staring at all the girls – and getting sunburnt, That’ll teach the horny little devils.
Time for Germany now with the lovely Levina. This is a rather nice sound from the Germans. The act is all in white and Silver. It’s all very sweet and charming, but may possibly get lost with some of the more OTT shows that will probably get through from the semi-finals. But it is an act that won’t see Germany last again. But if it is, who cares – it’s still a decent song. Devina is performing barefoot – it’s worked five times for previous winners…
Also performing barefoot is our Lucie. What an impressive the act for the UK is. The mirror chard prop works perfectly in tune with the wider backdrop. And talking about ‘in tune’, so is Lucie. Her delivery is excellent – definitely one of the outstanding vocals in the contest. She looks radiant in gold.
And she was radiant in red at her press conference. She said she’s still overwhelmed by the whole production and still feeling excited. She was asked about her musical career and if it helped with her appearance here in Kyiv. She replied yes, as with all things the more experience you get, the better. One of the song’s writers is Eurovision winner, Emmelie de Forest, who just told her to just enjoy herself. The Head of Delegation was asked if the UK were taking the show more seriously now? Guy Freeman replied that the show has changed over the years and is now very different so are changing with the times. There are more discussions about staging.
As you can see from the main image of this blog. Lucie has drawn the UK to perform in the second half of the Grand Final. Hurrah!
Last performing today is Alma from France. She looks a bit lost among that magnificent city scenes on her backdrop, but she stills carries the act through. It’s such a lovely French sound, that should do well for France again. Though I think perhaps that stage is taking over the show!
And that’s it for today. Tomorrow we have the Semi-One Dress Rehearsals. Should be fun – and time to make predictions!
If you’ve got a few spare minutes, here’s a video of a little tour of the press centre, and where we get a few views from some fans…