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Stockholm Blog, Day 12, Friday 13th May

Vision magazine editor Hass Yusuf (words), and assistant editor David Ransted (photos) report from Stockholm. Additional material from OGAE UK President Alasdair Rendall.

Well that was another great show! It was probably a tougher semi-final than the one on Tuesday night.

As for predictions, David Ransted and my self got 9/10 correct, while Robin Scott and David Elder scored 8/10, so we all did pretty well. None of us predicted Georgia going through – so well done them. It’s good to have a few rock numbers in the Grand Final. A big shame for Nicky Byrne of Ireland, and I was hoping Macedonia would make it through – along with Belarus.

Let’s see the lucky winners:

LATVIA: Well done Justs singing Heartbeat



POLAND: Well done Michal Szpak singing Color Of Your Life



ISRAEL: Well done Hovi Star singing Made Of Stars



SERBIA: wel done Sanja Vcic singing Goodbye (Shelter)



LITHUANIA: Well done Donny Montell singing I’ve Been Waiting For This Night



AUSTRALIA: Well done Dami Im singing Sound Of Silence



BULGARIA: Well done Poli Genova singing If Love Were A Crime



UKRAINE: Well done Jamala singing 1944



GEORGIA: Well done Nike Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz singing Midnight Gold



BELGIUM: Well done Laura Tesoro sing What’s The Pressure



Thank you David for the fab photos.

The running order for the Grand Final has been revealed. We’ve got a good placing at number 25! Shame it’s just before Armenia – which will be a show stopper. Good luck to Joe & Jake!

  1. Belgium
  2. Czech Republic
  3. The Netherlands
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Hungary
  6. Italy
  7. Israel
  8. Bulgaria
  9. Sweden
  10. Germany
  11. France
  12. Poland
  13. Australia
  14. Cyprus
  15. Serbia
  16. Lithuania
  17. Croatia
  18. Russia
  19. Spain
  20. Latvia
  21. Ukraine
  22. Malta
  23. Georgia
  24. Austria
  25. United Kingdom
  26. Armenia

Yesterday afternoon OGAE UK had it;s annual gathering at the Hard Rock Cafe here in Stockholm. We were joined by our Australian and Irish fans. Well done to OGAE President, Alasdair Rendall for putting together this enjoyable and popular event. Special guest included Cheryl Baker of Bucks Fizz fame who was filming a segment for ITV’s Good Morning Britain TV show.

You can see lots more images in another blog segment – check out the home page. Too many images to show here. (Photos were by me, so don’t blame David!)

It's Eurovision winner Cheryl Baker!

It’s Eurovision winner Cheryl Baker!

Here are some comments from our Twitter feed as organised by Alasdair Rendall.

Sentiments that I’m sure all can share with from Latvia’s Justs: “I feel great…..but tired!”

Michal Szpak from Poland notes how he’s received supportive comments from international star Hozier.

“No politics, we came here to have fun” are Hovi’s closing words

Anyway, back to today.

The first Dress Rehearsal is about to begin soon. I’ll chat about each song quickly as they’re performed.

They’re eight minutes late starting the performance. They can’t be late on the night! Don’t mind me Mr Director – I’ve got all day apparently! While I’m sitting in the press hall, David is in the arena taking more photos. Watch out for a gallery of his unique pics on our website.

Anyway, here we go!

There’s a special catwalk introducing the acts. The models are wearing some unusual outfits.

BELGIUM: It’s Laura. This is a good opener. It’s funky and full of energy. Should keep the youngsters hooked! Laura’s smile adds to the happy mood of the act. And her silvery outfit helps. It’s good to see the four backing singers play a big part in he production. Bien joué.

CZECH REPUBLIC: It’s Gabriela! This number two position is said to be cursed as no one has ever won from this position! Gabriela probably won’t win, but regardless, she’s a great performer and this is a great ballad. She’s dressed in while and alone on the stage and let’s her hair down. This is the first time we’ve seem the Czech Republic in a final. Well deserved. Výborně.

NETHERLANDS: It’s Douwe. Time for some Country music. This is the act that stops for ten seconds asking us all to slow down. Not enough time to put the kettle on, so don’t try. Douwe gives an impressive performance Goed gedaan.

AZERBAIJAN: It’s Samra! She’s looking good in her (Very) tight gold sparkly outfit. Her backing dancers give it their all as well. Samra’s had difficulty with her vocals (she’s been a bit ill), so wasn’t spot on this time. But it’s the Jury Final tonight that really matters. And she will be spot on. Maşallah.

HUNGARY: It’s Freddie! Freddie’s got a gravelly voce, so he may ill for all we know. But he knows how to sing. He does need a new pair of jeans though – the one he’s wearing is full of holes. I like the drummer giving his all as all. Still not sure why he’s really needed. But hey-ho. Another great performance from Freddie. Hopefully this will do well. Szép munka.

ITALY: It’s Francesca! Whoops – she wasn’t ready. Let’s start again. Probably her earpiece going wonky. But that matters not – she’s a great singer and this Italian offering is rather fab. An excellent rock ballad that sounds typically Italian. Ben fatto.

ISRAEL: It’s Hovi! This song probably has the most emotion and sentiment attached to it. Hovi is simply magnificent – such a powerful ballad. כל הכבוד.

BULGARIA: It’s Poli! She looks so happy on stage. Her super-hero outfit obviously empowers her! It’s a great up-tempo number. DC Comics or Marvel Comics should give her own comic series! Bulgaria has returned to the contest with a vengeance! Много добре.

SWEDEN: It’s Frans! There was a good reason why this young man and his song have won the hearts of the Swedes. This gentle pop ballad with a good beat just impresses. And it’s good see a performer looking so relaxed and natural. He certainly sings it from the heart. Bra gjort.

GERMANY: It’s Jamie-Lee! Mmm…. This is too sickly-sweet for me. And dressed like a candy bar, looks odd, but as long it makes her happy. She’s a gutsy performer though. Gut gemacht.

FRANCE: It’s Amir! Ah… my favourite of the contest. It’s just an uplifting up-tempo act. And Amir knows how to draw the audience in. However, the presentation could’ve been much better and original. But Amir doesn’t need gimmicks to bring out the best in him. Bravo.

POLAND: It’s Michal! It’s the man in the red coat with all that hair. Wonder how long it took him to grow it? He’s ready-made to star in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar! . Back to the stage: Michal is able to capture the entire even though he just stands there and belts out his song. Dobra robota.

AUSTRALIA: It’s Dami! She brought the house down in her semi-final – and with good reason. She’s magnificent! She just belts out this impressive and powerful ballad. It deserves a top three position at the very least. This will probably be the one to challenge Russia. G’day — sorry, well done.

CYPRUS: It’s Minus One! And this another favourite of mine. Pure Brit-rock – and I love it. The act is pure energy. The performance is spot on – even the wolf-howling! How to best describe it? Just with a wolf-wolf! Εύγε.

SERBIA: It’s Sanja! This is another passionate performance with a special message dealing with domestic violence. Sanja has a rather special quality to her voice. Very Amy Winehouse-ish – but nothing wrong with that. Браво.

LITHUANIA: It’s Donny! This song is a guilty pleasure. I shouldn’t like it, but I do. Donny has a decent personality and just gives this loud up-tempo song his all. And he’s very brave doing gymnastics on stage. Well, if you’re fit enough, why not? But I worry about the insurance his record company has to pay… Gerai iškeptas.

CROATIA: It’s Nina! I really like this, but was afraid it wouldn’t get through to the final. I should’ve had more faith. It’s another song with a message of hope. And that outfit looks so odd that it’s great! It’s got a life on it’s own. Bravo!

RUSSIA: It’s Sergey! This is a great song staged superbly. The effects are outstanding. But even without the gimmicks this would’ve done well regardless. It’s gonna win though – unless sometimes goes wrong.  Mолодцом.

SPAIN: It’s Barei! This performance should do well for Spain. It’s full of energy and colour. And another song that try to interrupt the message with full force. ¡bien hecho.

LATVIA: It’s Justs! This song has really grown on me. The electro-heartbeat effect is impressive. Justs sings his heart out. Can you hear his heartbeat? I can from here. labi izcepts.

UKRAINE: It’s Jamala! Here she is – more passion and mood with another serious message. The song is a tribute to her great-grandmother who was forced out of the Crimea in 1944 by Stalin. Quite intense and you feel you have to listen. Mолодцем.

MALTA: It’s Ira! She’s looks very elegant in her sexy black and gold outfit This seems to be the year of the thigh. This isn’t a favourite of mine, but it’s a great performance regardless. Isir ukoll.

GEORGIA: It’s Nika and pals! Time for a bit of Brit-rock headbanging. Very pleased this got into the final. Just close your eyes and go all psychedelic. კარგად გაკეთდეს.

AUSTRIA: It’s Zoe! Time to put on your happy face. The world is set on a right course again with this lovely French number. This is a well-deserved fan-favouite. It’s got a lovely beat and Zoe’s grin is a joy. Gut gemacht.

UNITED KINGDOM: It’s Joe & Jake! Saving the best near to the last. This is surely the best UK entry for a while now. The lads give it all their best everything I see them perform their song. Well done chaps.

ARMENIA: It’s Iveta! Let’s hope she keeps any political flags away from her – because I love this song and would hate to see it disqualified! This could easily challenge the top-spot. The staging is excellent as is she. Another super-hero outfit with thighs. լավ է.

So, there we are! What a great show! Good luck to ever wins.

Fans of Vicious, the ITV comedy will be in for a surprise… Wasn’t expecting that!

Lynda Woodruff makes a welcome return.

There are new press confreres for the Big Five and Host Country.

Been to the French one. Amir was on good form again. He says that he now understands the whole Eurovision addiction thing. He loves the ‘Eurovision Bubble’. But he says he won’t be back to Eurovision. He wants to this year to remain asa special memory. He’s very happy to perform in 11th position, because that number means a lot to him. While his name is Arabic sounding, he’s proud of his Jewish heritage and things singing in English will be good for France as more people will understand his song.

Will report on what Joe & Jake say in tomorrow’s blog.





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