Reporting for OGAE UK and Vision magazine we have Hass Yusuf (words), David Ransted (photos), and along with Robin Scott who’s helping us out, especially with any videoing. This blog will be updated throughout the day.
Today we have the second rehearsals for the host country and the Big Five.
While we’re waiting for the link from the arena to the press centre to be switched on, a quick word about Lisbon. We haven’t actually seen much of it as we’ve been stuck in the media all day long (normally 12 hours every day), but we ventured out to the Eurovision Village last year. All very civilised with loads of restaurants to cater for most tastes. And some lovely buildings to admire as well. And the Portuguese are a very relaxed and laid back crowd. Lisbon is very multicultural with everyone all looking at ease with other. The metro system is well run – though trains aren’t as frequent as, say London, but easy to understand.
First up on stage we have Portugal. Claudia Pascoal (with songwriter, Isaura) is performing O Jardim (The Garden). And they’re trying to do the double here! What a beautiful and soulful performance of this gentle ballad. The only thing going against it is that Claudia and Isaura don’t make much of their setting or any effects. But the song should be good enough for Portugal to be awarded many points. A perfect choice for the hosts!
And next up is the United Kingdom with our girl, SuRie, performing Storm. She starts her performance in a diamond shaped ‘tunnel’ which she walks though to make full use of the stage. It really is difficult to tell how well this song will do, but SuRie sure knows how to perform! She is one of the best singers in the contest. Anyway she looks great in her white ‘trouser’ dress and performs the song with much gusto. She really brings out the best in this anthem. It’s a song and performer that we should be proud of!
Time for some Marmite now – Spain! Amaia & Alfred perform Tu Cancion (Your Song). Personally I love Marmite, and think this is a really charming love ballad beautifully performed by the young couple. The whole performance will remind you of a school prom. It’s a simply performance with great chemistry between the duo. I hope it does well for them.
Time now for Germany where Michael Schulte sings You Let Me Walk Alone. If any song deserves to win the contest this year, then Germany should be up there. Michael’s performance is outstanding and so are the background animations that accompany him. Very emotional and magical the song tells the story of Michael’s father who died when Michael was a teen-ager.
France are next on stage where Madame Monsieur perform Mercy. The duo are actually married and have combined their talents to represent their country. Emile sings while Jean-Karl is the musician. This is a highly regarded entry about a serious problem of immigrants risking their lives for a better future. Emile makes full use of the stage going across one the bridges and meeting up with hubby at the end. It’s perhaps difficult to display the message of the song with strong graphics, but Emile’s vocals do it all! Another entry that deserves to win because of its message.
Last but not least we have Italy. This anti-war song is outstanding – which is why it also deserves to win! Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro perform Mon Mi Avete Fatto Niente (You Did Nothing To Me). It’s a powerful performance with lyrics from different languages appearing on our screens. The two male voices also really mesh well together.