Recap of Rehearsals Day 1

vienna eurovision 2015Eurovision 2015 – With two weeks to go to the contest, daily rehearsals start and of course the Eurovision Times will do its best to cover them; here’s for the first rehearsals to the first half of semifinal 1: pics and vids have been officially released, so tell us what you think so far!

This is how it works: for each country, you can click on the picture to see a full photoset, or in the song’s title to watch the recap video (the artist’s name will redirect you to the participant’s official page on Eurovision.tv).

So that’s it for today’s rehearsals. Tomorrow, there’ll be 8 more (the last 8 from semi 1). So stay tune!

141 comments on “Recap of Rehearsals Day 1

  1. Belgium, Estonia, Armenia and Greece were the best imho.

  2. Some thoughts on today’s rehearsals

    1-Moldova-leathers,flexible half naked girls,cops…this looks like a low budget fetish movie😎(can’t qualify)

    2-Armenia-very nice purple staging,cool costumes,the guys seem useless though….(can qualify)

    3-Belgium-I really like the backdrop it suits the song perfectly…Loic is very likable and more importantly he has a good contemporary song😊(qualifying)

    4-Netherlands-I couldn’t see anything to write home about….she has the voice and the song is not bad so…(can qualify)

    5-Finland-As much as I respect the band and find them adorable,the song still sounds pretty annoying to me but looks like they have so many fans supporting them😐(will qualify for wrong reasons)

    6-Greece-love her voice so much…She looks stunning in that dress and plain back drop has been a good choice👍🏼 (qualifying)

    7-Estonia-Simple yet effective…I like the song so I can’t see anything bad here😍(qualifying)

    8-Macedonia-Once there was a great song in Macedonian then they messed with the language and threw 3 R&B dudes on the stage dancing awkwardly…I don’t like the backdrop,it is just too much…I hope I am proven wrong but this doesnt look good(can’t qualify)

  3. Greece is stunning… goosebumps !!!

  4. So they had Lisa Angell on France’s #1 talkshow and half of the editorials liked it “ok” and the other half not (one person said it really was too suicidal for Eurovision)… they then showed “four really bad songs” to showcase the horror of Eurovision and it featured: Israel, Slovenia (!), Moldova and Italy (!)… Then they showed Finland as their favorite and one to support (because, they said, it wasnt the usual music in Eurovision and Lordi was the only winner still remembered here in France in the last decade)

    • I am not surprised if Finland wins the whole thing

    • Slovenia one of the worst and Finland nice like Lordi?This doesn’t sound good for France in esc.Bring back B.Berberes.

      • Why? Bruno is god awful (as if Anggun or Les Fatals Picards were any good, or the results thrilling…) and this is a talk show on another channel than France Television (so NOT belonging to Fr2 and Fr3 who host esc). Just THE most popular (and actually good) talk show in France. And yes that’s how France would see Eurovision: not that I agree on Slovenia which is in my top 5, but the other three (Israel, Moldova and Italy are definitely in the worst ones of the year so… and some people among the editorialists did say they were surprised to see Israel and Slovenia in the bottom 4 overall since they liked those ok. One editorialist said that France will end up lower than all these four anyway…

        • I see!I thought they were people responsible for eurovision in France.Their view on Lordi and PKN is the way a non esc fan sees esc.As something out of the box that ruins the party for the esc fans.I don’t really think they care about quality.They just like the fact it doesn’t sound like an esc entry.Although,Lordi were more of a gimmick and less of a song.I disagree on Italy too.It’s clearly not one of the worst.I understand people calling it pompous or not liking popera but it’s not really bad.

          • Yes it’s interesting coz it’s exactly how people who dont follow esc see it, especially in France, and these are people who actually openly said they genuinely like the contest (“even with all its cheese”) and have strongly supported Conchita!

    • Slovenia? No comment …

      • When you dont follow esc regularly, and you see a girl in wedding dress with headphones and a fake violin… you go “over the top eurovision cheese”, and who can blame them? Ive always hated that performance from Slovenia…

        • But if they listened to the song instead of letting themselves be distracted by superficial things, they would hear a totally different story.

          • Probably, but some of the editorialists as I said defended that one when it came up, when no one had anything nice to say on Italy or Moldova. Plus, they represent the random televoter who’ll discover it live, and they tend to be very distracted!

            • I hope that you won’t get distracted by Loïc … ;)
              I don’t have anything nice to say about Moldova either. It is different with Italy. I can tell that it is a competently crafted song sung by 3 young men who know what they are doing. I wouldn’t call Italy bad. I simply don’t like it because it is in a style I do not enjoy. That’s the reason too why Italy is ranked as SO-SO on my list whereas Moldova is in DON’T LIKE IT AT ALL, which translates as total shit imho.

            • Italy is a better entry than Moldova, for sure. But I hate Italy way more on a personal bias.

          • Quite right. I hated the staging with those ridiculous headphones when I first watched it but the song does have a certain something hence it has managed to score strongly amongst fans. Am sure the whole of France’s view isn’t swayed or represented by contributors on some chat show.

  5. Thumbs up: Armenia,Belgium,Greece,Estonia
    Thumbs down: Moldova(kitsch trash),the Netherlands,Finland(because of the song.Stage-wise they’re ok),FYROM(This was the biggest disappointment of the day.Once it was a romantic love and loss song.Now,it became a kitsch and irrelevant r&b thing).

  6. I’m off for today. Sizzling with fever at 39 here. Guess what, I caught a cold yet again. Yes, a cold; in May!!! The weather is trolling us here.
    Good night, everyone!

    • Another cold? Get better soon.

    • take care of yourself dear Oxi, weather here is abnormal too in Spain. I mean such high temperatures and we have to put on air conditioning etc before June, at least I started my outdoor swimming early! :-)

      • We are expecting 30 degrees tomorrow. In Stuttgart! In May!

        • wow! indeed it crazy, here we are used to it, but worst here in Spain when we get high temperatures outside the normal ones “for working” (usually here in August), we still have to work!! like now in May!

    • I am getting chills too…the weather is like a belly dancer here…get well soon!

      • My grandma told me as a kid, eat an orange every day and you’ll be fine. I’ve eaten a few (around 2 or 3) every day of winter since I’ve lived on my own and never got flus and colds anymore. However, I do have the spring allergies a bit (but since I’ve lived in Paris it’s calmed down from when I lived in the suburbs, way more polluted than the capital).

        • oranges don’t work for me…once I catch cold,it takes nearly a month to get rid of it…I have to take supplementary vitamins :/ I hate sudden climate changes

    • Sorry to hear you’re feeling poorly. Hoping you get well soon dear Oxi, especially in time for next week ;)

  7. The full three minutes of one of the Dutch rehearsals can be seen here http://songfestival.avrotros.nl/index.php
    The dress is rather horrible. Curious about how the camerawork will look on screen.

  8. Copy/paste:

    Moldova: Not good vocals; there are some pretty false notes. Also too sexualized staging with dancers dressed as cops and such. However, I don’t think the song is that bad. For instance, the production is not without qualities, especially the beat (the drum leading up to the final 4th-beat in the 4/4 bar is particularily effective). The least good part of it is perhaps the “want want want want…” in the chorus.

    Armenia: Nice colour in the backdrop, but what is it with that tree? (2007, 2010, 2015). Musically a pros and cons entry with many interesting elements and some fine changes in time signature and such. Goes beyond the hit formula. Weak chorus, and six solo artists at the same time is not necessarily a good idea.

    Belgium: A very hard and cold visual expression that somehow seems a bit repellent to me. Not much cozyness here. Probably not artistically uninteresting, but I would like to see it in full length.

    Netherlands: It becomes too much with such strong colours, especially the red one. I have noticed a lot of talk about her outfit. I personally wouldn’t wear that, but I hope the viewers will be able to concentrate on the song first and foremost.

    Macedonia: Visually impressive backdrop, but it is in danger of taking too much focus. It also seems a bit random: some sky scrapes in the sides and some ancient pillars in the middle – and where is the connection to the song?

    Finland: Not so much to say about it.

    Estonia: It looks good, but what does New York have to do with the song?

    Greece: A very diva-like staging. Perhaps a bit too dramatized for my taste. Interesting with the eye-backdrop, but if the song is called “One Last Breath”, a mouth would be more fitting. But that is peanuts. In any case, it won’t affect my voting, nor will the visual aspects of the other entries (unless they go against my moral principles).

    • “some sky scrapes in the sides and some ancient pillars in the middle”

      That sounds like the motto of the current remodelling process going on in Skopje … (which I hate btw, all those hideous and huge monuments of national heroes …)

  9. I’m kinda happy with the way the recap looks: chosing “the” pictures to represent the rehearsals is very fun too!

    Anyway, my thoughts, at last:

    01 Moldova: well it turns out I wont be as tough as most people, I don’t like it at all, but that was to be expected; at the same time, I do think Moldova is actually really trying to put together a fun show (people who like that sort of esc approach like Jade and Max had a positive feedback to Moldova’s rehearsal after all) and that’s to their credit. Plus turns out I was one of the most critical to old Moldova which I thought was always utterly overrated (except 2011 which I like) because of their over the top performance. People don’t like this one because they don’t like the song, but that’s unfair. It IS a better performance than what they had in the NF for sure and well credit to them.

    02 Armenia: as expected, it’s dull and over the top in cheese with the map, the tree (what’s Armenia’s obsession with tree symbols in esc really?!) and the wind machine. Guess what? I hate it. The very positive feedback is irritating so much. Such cheese is so cringe worthy. I openly say I prefer something cheeky like Moldova. As long as you’re a bad song (and both Moldova and Armenia are), I’d rather somethign that’s openly silly to something pompous that takes itself too seriously. And I remain dead certain the message of the song should have had it banned from the EBU.

    03 Belgium: the idea we have to be overly critical and rough on songs coz we love them and we don’t want to sound unfairly positive is understandable. The video wasn’t the most exciting thing ever but that’s mostly because of the dancers not looking dressed or not even being quite synchronized yet. But the backdrop, the very dark and edgy/contmporary approach was ALL things we expected and truly hardly wanted for Loic. And Loic still sounded fine to me. Probably the best of the 8 videos, close to Estonia.

    04 Netherlands: the idea of looking hot even when you’re not the Maria-Elena type (Greece doesn’t believe in sending people outside the “model catalogues” looks) is something I strongly support. The problem is, because you’re not the usual “look young dumb and hot”, when you go that road you need to be twice as smart, and subtle; Israel 2013 failed miserably in being not subtle about it and just probably making everyone laugh out loud and move on. I’m worried this could repeat here: while she’s way better looking than Moran and more experienced to not be lost on stage, this looks like a very bad direction for NL to have taken with this cheeky and fun entry. This isnt Birds or CATS anymore, don’t try to pretend it is and you’ll be fine.

    05 Finland: everything looked and sounded really good. While I find it annoying as an entry, because the song imo fails to do what it wants to do, I find it fascinating at the same time, and YLE doesn’t seem to be doing any promotion at the “retards in esc” we could fear from some less subtle delegations (look towards Poland: boobs and wheelchairs since their return. Plus YLE is giving them as much a chance as cuties Softengine, with a great visual backdrop: all that seriousness is really to YLE’s credit, and could damage the guys’ chances to televote but help them with the juries for a rightful balance.

    06 Greece: while one of the most annoying if not plain bad songs of the year (and a singer I think is cruelly overrated, that breathing is insanely amateurish), I do think they did everything to up their chances. The overly stylish look is over the top in a subtle way that, with the piano, should work very well with televote and the very big diaspora (Australia will be a close 12pts): it reminds me a lot of Uk 2009, another polished awfulness that worked its way. Now I see Greece qualifying and Netherlands and/or Albania as the one surprise that won’t make it (possibly both). At least, I give Greece credit for that in esc, while I detest almost all their entries and “singers” (plenty of them, like 2007 and 2012 really don’t deserve to be called anythign but “hot people shaking it”), they always know just the right way to present the entry in that it works so well. Will save it from my last place!

    07 Estonia: the lamps are gone and they decided to go gimmicky over the top, but in a subtle way, which I think is always key to success in Eurovision. The gimmick is simle, B&W visuals, extremely “lonely” start with the two very openly wide apart, then the connection at the end with them connected in front of a metropolis-like empty skyscraper is THE perfect mood for it, and that way they DON’T have to “have chemistry” (I love that people say Lithuania had more chemistry when each kiss was more awkward than the next) for like 2 whole minutes. I still don’t think it’ll win sadly, but it really deserves to by now.

    08 Macedonia: plain awful, probably the worst one of the day by far. Why? Coz they promised a big surprise, and the surprise was what, 3 black guys and another “in your face Greece” attempt of a visual. Seriously!? Each year Macedonia promises us to be modern, contemporary, disco, fun, smart and each year they disappoint. I knew once they said big surprises we were in for a disaster but gave them benefit of the doubts. But this looked stupid. The song is NOTHING like the one that won the NF (in Macedonian, slowerish…) and the “I look modern and stylish” jacket + pillar don’t match at all the new R’n’B direction with the black backings. Don’t get me wrong, I love mismatching on purpose, but this won’t work at all and we have a true candidate for last place here.

    • “Greece doesn’t believe in sending people outside the “model catalogues” looks”

      What about Agathonas? :)

      On Macedonia, Tamara should have won. Full stop!

      • What about Agathonas?
        LOL!And Giorgos Alkeos(Greece 2010).I think it has to do with the record labels which choose the candidate singers.I don’t think the Greek audience votes for the best looking hopeful.

        • Bruno Berbérès who did the comments for France in 2010 (coz yeah when he was in charge, he was a real tyrant and did everything) said that Giorgos was to him the hottest singer that year, so obviously Girgos fitted the “bear/hunk” genre for many gay fans, who, let’s not kid ourselves, are the majority of esc fans (sadly)…

        • Nah it’s not due to the televote of the Greeks, but when you have NF with 3 or 5 singers only and all of them are young and hot model-like and 90% of them can’t sing, you tend to follow the same type of singers every year…

          • Yes,as i said it’s the current system with ERT letting the record labels propose the artists and then MAD organizing the NF.What a lazy broadcaster.

      • Let’s say Agathonas was well accompanied on stage…

    • Re. YLE not doing any promotion… They gave access to the Finnish journalists ahead of all others. We all waited for over an hour to be then turned away as Finn journaist after Finn journalist went in. Not the band’s fault at all. I think Oikotimes and esckaz eventually got in. How is just doing press with Finnish press going to raise the profile elsewhere and in countries that can vote? The band were so lovely when they got whisked off to a movie premier, shaking our hands and apologising.

  10. The voting of the reporters at the press center after day 1:


  11. Thanks for all the info, guys. I thought I would be working from home today, but life never is as one expects it to be. Ok then, I watched all the snippets and read the comments and these are the rehearsals that impressed me the most in a positive manner:

    Greece, Estonia, Armenia, Belgium and Macedonia.

    On the stage – it looks like a stylized 70s TV set, but I like it.

    Moldova and the Dutch dress were the worst part of the day.

    Good luck, everyone! :)

  12. I am watching the meets and greets now and I have to say I kinda like the guys from PKN, they are pretty cool. I still absolutely detest the song and believe it will easily win the televoting in the semi which will be unfortunate imo, but they are interesting guys (as expected).
    Loic was an absolute sweetheart, while the geneology members came accross as the fakest mainly because they seemed so awkward when asked about what the song means and had to go on about love and strength and hurdles and all that when we all know what it’s about but they are not allowed to tell us in the esc context.

  13. Donald Duck will attend ESC this year … and look who’s there too:


  14. We love tress! We adore trees…. Tree of hope, tree of apricot, tree of genealogy…. We still have a lot of ideas with trees in ESC….

    • Trees galore! :) The Armenian song is still not to my liking at all, but the singers were very well dressed.

  15. Greece: there is not way Greece will miss the final. It can do surprisingly well.

    Estonia: this is ready to sail to the final as well. It was as expected it. Great.

    FYR Macedonia: Everyone knows I don’t like the song but the staging isn’t anything good either. I never thought FYR Macedonia stood a chance anyway.

  16. Moldova: For a camp entry, this takes itself way too seriously. This will do a lot better than it deserves, but I will be surprised to see it qualify. NQ

    Armenia: I actually thought they’d go more over the top, to be honest. Not sure about this one’s chances – the diaspora will vote like mental for it, but there’s not really much here for the average televoter. Borderline.

    Belgium: Some of the choreography borders on try-hard artsy, but the lighting is incredible and so is Loic. The very early draw is the only thing that could potentially spoil things here. Q.

    Netherlands: Bizarrely awful lighting, camera-work and styling. I can’t imagine they’ll keep everything after the unanimously negative reaction they’ve received, but if they do, there’s no way they’re making the final. NQ

    Finland: I’m still not sure which way this one is going to go. Borderline.

    Greece: The “dated cheese” staging approach (Cascada dress and white piano) was perfect for this one. I still hate the song and her as a singer, but this is making the final – even if it will lose some votes to Russia. Q

    Estonia: Hard to judge without seeing it on camera. The monochrome theme looks slick but the stage looks a bit barren? Q

    Macedonia: What a surprise – Macedonia screw up their changes once again with an awkward revamp and bad staging. NQ.

    • Hey, I gave good feedback to The Netherlands. Am I Mr. Nobody …??? ♫♪♫ ;)

    • We mostly agree. Though I would say Netherlands is borderline (even if I think for the moment that they’re out) and I’m pretty sure that Finland will make it. They will most probably be Top 3 with televoters and that must be enough. Plus that I don’t think the juries will hate it as much as many people might think.

      • And do you agree with meeeeeeeee? :p

        • Yeeeeeeees, I do. :P

          Especially with what you have to say about FYR Macedonia. A ridiculous “big surprise” and, as you also pointed out very well, the song and the performance is now something completely different from what it was in the Macedonian NF. Not to add it’s boooring too.

          OK, we agree a bit about Armenia. I DO like that tree, lol.

      • Oh, I’m actually one of the few who thinks the opposite is very possible with Finland.

        I can see juries loving this for its “social significance” (remember the Australian jurors comments…), while there’s the risk their very visible disabilities could prove too confronting for the viewer, in addition to the song not conforming to a ‘sob story’ ideal.

        • Let’s see how Europe will react. Knowing my countrymen at least, I’m quite certain they prefer an act like this where they don’t get some sugar coated ballad à la Poland shoved down their throats, but instead a bunch of self-confident guys not giving a damn how people will react but just doing “their thing”. But again, I’m not sure how the rest of Europe will choose to judge this. But no matter what, I can’t by now see them miss the final.

          • I hope so. Either way, I don’t think we’ll find out until the last envelope ;)

            • will Iceland be the last enveloppe in semi2 like in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014? usually it’s like a big favorite kept for last or second last (Netherlands was announced 9th last year with Finland last, and Austria last in second semi… so the top 2 and both winners of their semis… how “random” indeed) but PKN doesn’t sound like the kind of entry to keep for last! Maybe Belgium or Estonia, for fans’ sake? Definitely one of the nordics in semi 2 (Norway/Sweden) or friend and neighbour and high in bookies Slovenia.

            • They’re the big story act of this year, like Conchita was last year, so I have a feeling ORF will want to make a big deal of it if they make the final. Estonia will probably be kept late too though.

  17. There seems to be some controversy around one Daniel Diges interview in which he revealed his top-3: http://esctoday.com/103154/spain-jury-member-reveals-votes/

    • Other sources say he was joking but anyway…I knew since 2010 this guys is not to be trusted with anything :P
      I guess that’s a good case to use the back up jury member !

      • Since his top-3 includes Greece and Italy(but also the overrated Australia)i’m willing to turn a blind eye and pretend i never read this. :D

        • LOL !
          Tbh I expected something more exciting as a top 3 from him given what he brought in 2010 (even if I absolutely detest it..!), like some Latvia or Belgium in there.

          Anyway I do hope he is given the boot and learns to behave himself next time around he takes the responsibility of having 10 % of a vote in his hands..!

  18. Betting odds changed after day 1:Greece jumped from 11th to 6th while FYROM fell to 11th.The Netherlands is down to 15th while Moldova remained at the last place: http://www.oddschecker.com/tv/eurovision/eurovision-semi-final-1/to-qualify

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