This was our last day off and from now it’ll only escalate until one day, much too soon, this is finally over and we’ll all just be sitting here wondering what happened… Apart from helping my delegation fix a few things – getting a contact for their chosen fika place, talking to the logistics manager regarding those press bags they’re giving away etc – I had the day to myself. I also did some work updating our mutual google calendar (my Delegation Host colleague Mia and I choose to create a calendar to put everything in) from the new schedules they sent us and believe me, it’ll just get busier from now on with four different teams doing different stuff simultaneously. Thank goddess for the possibility of colour coding…
For some of the things I needed done I went over to the arena, and once there I hanged around for a while emailing and talking to some other colleagues – and in the meantime catching some footage from the ongoing rehearsals. In both the Press Center and the Dressing room Area (aka the Delegation Bubble) the rehearsals are shown on big screens for all to watch – filming or taking photos of these screens are strictly forbidden of course so unfortunately I can’t share this with you. I had the opportunity to see both Russia’s and Czech Republic’s acts, both of them high up in the rankings for the 1st semifinal, and before I left the arena I even catched the Russian press conference.
Seeing the rehearsals on these screens, even though it’s partly covered with a watermarked Eurovision logo, is so much more rewarding than just watching the small snippets of film published on YouTube. Since it gives you the whole song, and from the right camera angles, it gives you a good idea of what it will actually look like on TV. So, when I remembered they also offered these previews in the Euro Fan Café I decided to go there later in the afternoon when I knew France and Spain would be having their 1st rehearsals. Just listening to all the songs before coming here I’ve always felt France had a good chance at winning this year (something´s a lot of people have actually been agreeing on) but it all depends on the performance and the stage show nowadays so I was really curious to see how he behaves onstage, how his pitch is like live and what his production designer has chosen to do with this stage.
And boy did he deliver – he’s gonna be lethal in this competition, I promise you! According to the odds Russia is still in the lead but I’m not sure Sergey will make it in the end. In my opinion, I think he’s just trying to be Måns Zelmerlöw’s copycat and I think the viewers will notice this and question it. When you see his act on Tuesday you’ll see how obvious this is. Sure, the performance is ok and the staging is amazing – you can buy a lot of cool technology if you just have the money – but I’m not sure that’s what Europe is looking for this year. Just feels like old news to me… French Amir’s performance on the other hand is relaxed, cool and confident, with a very nice use of the available LED floor and screens. It feels stylish and fresh, clean and sometimes even breathtaking – in my opinion… I’m really looking forward to hear what you thought once you’ve seen it as well.
However, some countries who have disappointed me during this week is Spain and Finland. According to me, both of them have really good songs but their staging and general live performance hasn’t been at all what I’ve expected. Others – like Ukraine, Czech Republic and Israel – have done the opposite and really delivered during their performances. We also need to remember there’s still three countries who haven’t entered the stage yet – Germany, UK and Italy – and we’re really looking forward to seeing what their acts are gonna look like when they enter the arena for their 1st rehearsals tomorrow morning.
But back to Euro Fan Café and EuroClub (they’re the same building, café open for everyone until 8pm, EuroClub just for accredited folks afterwards). Tonight happened to be the evening for the Nordic Night, the party orbiting around the Nordic countries. Swedish Frans, Estonian Jüri Pootsmann, Icelandic Greta Salóme, Danish Lighthouse X and Finnish Sandhja performed for their fans and other happy party people from the main stage. Norway was also there of course but since their artist Agnete isn’t feeling well she’d chosen not to perform unfortunately.
On my way back to the subway I passed by Kungsträdgården where Eurovision Village finally opened today. They’ll be open for the public from noon to midnight every day with performances not only from the main permanent stage, but also from another stage built on top of the fountain and covered by a huge glass ceiling. They kickstarted the oncoming week big time this evening when Soul Train had moved out from their regular home in Café Opera and the dance floor was filled with people movin’ to the groovin’. Check out their jam-packed programme and get your butt over there, if only to experience the (free) public viewings of the live broadcasts, under an open sky with this wonderful weather we’re having, next week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 9pm. It’s gonna be awesome!
Tomorrow we’ll get back into the arena for Dami’s 2nd rehearsal onstage, together with all the other entrants of the second semifinal. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that her legs won’t look blue on screen this time…