Recap of Rehearsals Day 2

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 second 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 first 8 from semi 2). So stay tune!

84 comments on “Recap of Rehearsals Day 2

  1. Serbia-Bojana is so adorable and someone you wanna hug so tight but we aren’t picking the cutest artist here…I can’t stand the song,it is so loud and below average…

    Hungary-One of the loveliest backdrops…Boggie sounds and looks great.The song is not great but it has a soothing effect:)I have a feeling that we’ll see Hungary in the final

    Belarus-not as strong as studio version but I think the song is very memorable

    Russia-noone can boo pretty girls like Polina so Russia knows whom to send :)The song is nothing special,she looks stunning and the backdrop is very identical to Greek one but If one had to qualify,I’d pick Greece

    Denmark-“The way you are” is one harmless,catchy song so it can make its way to the final.Love the monochrome backdrop

    Albania-Lovely outfit…Elhaida looks and sounds good as expected.I am not sure about the song but without a doubt they have better chance to qualify this year

    Romania-this song is one of the song I’ve noticed recently..I think I like it and want it to qualify😊

  2. Personally I don’t find mans attractive but i know some on here do


  3. I’m gonna make a first, wild guess how Semi 1 will turn out:

    1. Estonia
    2. Russia
    3. Georgia
    4. Belgium
    5. Armenia
    6. Greece
    7. Finland
    8. Romania
    9. Denmark
    10. Moldova
    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    11. Albania
    12. Serbia
    13. The Netherlands
    14. FYR Macedonia
    15. Hungary
    16. Belarus

    • I’d say replace Belgium with Hungary.
      Although I like Belgium and absolutely detest Hungary I think Beligum will be the shock non qualifier and every year theres a song I really really hate that makes it, and I think thats Hungary.

    • You’re probably right.

  4. Rehearsal really do change it all!
    I’m not changing my scores in my ranking yet, because I’ve only seen 30 seconds of each act, however I do expect some countries to climb up- and other to sink.
    Positive reaction:
    Armenia, Belgium, Greece, Estonia, Russia, Georgia
    Middle of the road:
    Finland (I strongly dislike the song, but at least it seems to be well staged), Hungary, Denmark, Albania, Serbia. Belarus
    Negative reaction:
    Moldova, the Netherlands (sorry but I really don’t get why they staged it that way! It just doesn’t seem to fit the song at all… She’s now last in the betting odds) Macedonia, Romania (the song has a really noble message, but who can get it without previously knowing the lyrics?)

    My very first prediction for this semifinal:
    1-2: Russia, Estonia
    3-6: Georgia, Armenia, Albania, Belgium
    7-9: Greece, Finland, Serbia
    10-12: Hungary, Romania, Belarus,
    13-16: Netherlands, Macedonia, Denmark

  5. My prediction for semi 1 after the first rehearsals:

    Definitely to the final: Russia, Greece, Belgium
    Likely to qualify: Finland, Estonia, Denmark
    Borderline: Armenia, Albania, Hungary, Romania, Georgia, Serbia
    Likely not to qualify: Netherlands, FYR Macedonia
    Definitely out: Moldova, Belarus

  6. Thumbs up: Hungary,Romania,Russia,Georgia
    So-so: Belarus,Denmark
    Thumbs down: Serbia,Albania

  7. It’s 35 degrees outside, I am feeling tired and dire need of a shower (and a drink), but ESC comes first! LOL According to the available snippets, Russia and Georgia have put on a good show; personally, I am not keen on both songs; I also have to say that I enjoyed the backdrops used by Romania and Denmark.

    I am not able to make predictions based on small snippets.

    P.S. – I still do not know how to react to the Albanian song. It sounds so convoluted to my ears.

  8. My reactions as well:

    09 Serbia: overly kitsch and camp, but what else could we expect from the country whose last entry after all was the 2013 horror and whose NF, which on paper was great (good composer and three interesting singers), was a disaster… While I still find it my guilty pleasure of the year, it’s still an insult of a song from Serbia and the live goes down the awful road. Which I think could work to qualify them, like Hera Bjork, only to die in the final except for BIG points from the balkans…

    10 Hungary: nope not for me, just like Armenia, it’s overrated cheese. The lyrics are bad to the point of they’re beyond dumb and naive, and the song is a snoozefest. On the other hand, Boggie is a fine singer, with lots of charisma, and while I don’t like the backings look (more cheese), her dress and hair make up is fine. I do think I prefer the Armenian tree, more stylized and not this microsoft-backdrop like nature friendly zzz But her chances to qualify are now back up!

    11 Belarus: nope, it was an ok song imo, a bit lame but not insultingly awful, but they wanted to be smart and artsy with it, but the campy-song dosn’t fit with it all… I dunno how that’ll do, considering Slovenia last year looked too much to me, with the flute and the awful dress, but it qualified after all… Anyway, this was lame

    12 Russia: awful in every way, except vocals

    13 Denmark: they’re fresh, young and stupid, and after the very up-your-own-ass entries of Hungary, Belarus and Russia, this is a marvellous draw for them. The added 50s backings will work its touch of freshnes and in general, Dk always does very well live and the juries always eat this up, so I expect this to qualify easily, and end up around 15th in the final…

    14 Albania: the disaster of the day: awful look, dumb visuals, very disturbing backings that are awfully distracting to the song… besides ok vocals, she has almost no charisma (weird she won the voice in italy, are there only communities voting in that show maybe?) and overall this looks like a boring snoozefest. It’s not a bad song (though it’s a bit empty, the last 90 seconds are all about her vocals), but the overall package will be annoyingly pretentious adn too empty to do well I reckon

    15 Romania: nope I hate it, I always thought it was a bit boring musically and the lyrics don’t do it for me much, they’re too in your face and going in english to make it more evident to the contest was an annoying move… now they went with Romanian lyrics on screen, so that’ll throw off some televoters… And it’s WAY too in your face as a live, which I really don’t support… But it’s not the worst one and I think these lukewarm mainstreamy pop-rocks will find its televoters and a top 5 jury spot to qualify and end up around 18th in the final… Romania can’t miss the final apparently…

    16 Georgia: I dunno… Some visuals look cool, some are over the top kitsch and look too teenagy-cartoony-mangaesque, no? But at the same time, it’s got a clear personal visual that’ll work perfectly with the teenager televoters and makes the song stand out and underlines the lyrics perfectly. Her vocals were spot on and Nina is really cool to watch perform, even if some people find her offputting, i’m with her. So overall, this has chances to stay in my top 10, to be top 5 overall in this semi and could be top 10 in th final, or close.

  9. Im going out, the day 3 article will be posted sometimes during the night!

  10. Where is Alex???He didn’t even comment on Hungary’s first rehearsal. :-o

  11. Top-10 of the 1st semi with the betting odds after all acts have completed their first rehearsal:


  12. Serbia- Playing up Bojana’s quirky demeanor was a great choice, but the backing singers/dancers remind me too much of “Let’s Get Happy” from Germany 2003.

    Hungary have the best backdrop so far with the AK-47 turning into a tree :)

    Belarus- It could get lost by recaps; however, Maimuna is absolutely stunning (especially 10 years older than Uzari)

    Russia- Trying a bit to hard to recreate “Frozen”, Polina is solid vocally. The drummer isn’t necessary.

    Denmark- A welcome breath of fresh air. The running order helps them immensely, and I couldn’t help but bring a smile to my face. This may do a lot better than expected (or deserved).

    Albaina- Elhaida is a car crash waiting to happen. Her voice is already worn out. Even on the Voice of Italy she was vocally strong throughout the season; maybe the stress of ESC? I can’t speak for her, but its clear she’s ruining her chances.

    Romania- No real problems, but why did they keep the information on screen in Romanian during the English lines? It would work better if translated at the same time the song is.

    Georgia- Fierce. Staying alone on stage was a great call by the Georgian delegation. This should easily qualify, with a mid-table result on Saturday night.

  13. Off-Topic: Last episode of the Swedish preview show is over. Which is nice, because I haven’t enjoyed this year at all. The panelists, and especially Eric Saade and Tess Merkel have been annoyingly arrogant with their comments. Very well, here are the results:


    Christer Björkman never mentioned that he was in the Cypriot jury this year :p

    • Did they really award 4 nulls to Germany?

      • Yep, they did. :p

        I didn’t expect that coming at all, but they went totally crazy. Everyone talked about how they got absolute panic by watching Ann Sophie. That they knew for sure what she was doing and that was hyper-nervous manner, from an artist who knows her limits and thus try to push even harder by doing “stage tics”.

    • I think that the people forming the Swedish ESC universe are scared like shit to be pushed out of their comfort zone (pop, big ballads etc.).

  14. In response to Niclas’ comment above, here are my predictions:

    1. Estonia
    2. Russia
    3. Georgia
    4. Romania
    5. Belgium
    6. Armenia
    7. Denmark
    8. Finland
    9. Greece
    10. Serbia

    As for the non-qualifiers, Albania are still borderline at this stage but I’m just convinced by her voice. She’s been shaky in each and every live so far, and the staging for this is a little vague as well. The rest I don’t really see having much of a chance (although Netherlands might get some jury support?) unless they overhaul their staging, or in some cases – song.

    11. Albania
    12. Belarus
    13. Moldova
    14. Netherlands
    15. Macedonia
    16. Hungary

    • *just NOT convinced, lol

    • Makes sense but I still see the Netherlands in with a good chance. And I don’t think that Hungary will come last because some juries will love the delicate harmonies. I’d rather put Moldova last because I expect the juries to finish off any televoting support they might get. On the other hands, they will probably get 10 or 12 from Romania …

      • “I still see the Netherlands in with a good chance”
        You have to eliminate 6 songs at the end of the day :P

        • I’d say Moldova, Belarus, Macedonia, Finland, Albania and Hungary, Denmark or The Netherlands. I might be totally wrong about Finland though. There’s no precedent, and thus I don’t have a clue how they will fare.

      • Well, it seems they are sticking with that outfit after all (Trijntje picked it herself, apparently) and we all know what happened to Moran…

        • I don’t think that Moran failed because of her dress but due to much more disturbing reasons. I hope that I will be proven wrong = Israel qualifying and Trijntje flying back home on Wednesday … not for strictly musical reasons though.

          • I don’t think it’s fair to attribute Israel’s recent failures to politics or anti-Semitism.

            While at the time I was surprised by most not qualifying, in hindsight their results make sense.

            2011 – just awful
            2012 – too alternative
            2013 – the dress, the dress and the dress
            2014 – bad draw, flat live, awkward Hebrew

            • Im with you, plus we know by principle esc results have little to do with actual politics (in the long run, we could discuss some shift in powers by regions, but actual countries and their policies are pointless in comparison to their esc-attitude in itself and Israel had very low interest in the contest anyway, threatening to quit almost every year).

              In the end, how can one laugh at the UK “europe hates us” and more precisely “our first nil point because of war in iraq” and at the same time pretend that THIS is what is going on with Israel and its palestine policies?

            • I mean, Russia made the top five with a song about peace in 2013!


            • sure, I was waiting for you on fb lol

            • We’ll see. Unfortunately, I can tell you that there is a lot of anti-Israel sentiment in Europe atm, at least in the counrtries I’ve been to recently … which are quite a lot. And even reading comments on ESC fan blogs (not here though …), I can sense this anti-Israel sentiment of people naively supporting the Palestinian cause. Don’t get me wrong, I totally support a Palestinian state … but then I have this Palestinian friend with an Israeli passport. She keeps repeating that the discrimination of Palestinians in Israel is much easier to deal with than the discrimination of women in Palestinian society. She would stay a citizen of Israel even if there was a Palestinian state. There’s no black and white to this issue but unfortunately, many Europeans long for easy answers to complex questions these days. This has an influence on the televote in ESC imo. (The German jury gave 12 pts to Moran f. e., and German juries are not known for supporting Israel.) IMO, Israel deserved to qualify in 2012, 2013 and 2014 … even if I personally don’t like Mei’s song. Come on, Valentina qualifying and Mei coming second to last???

            • Of course, but that had been going on for a long time before 2011, no? And Israel had a perfectly decent qualification record up until then.

              There’s a difference between agreeing with results and understanding them. Valentina was in a different semi-final too, so it’s hard to compare.

            • Not in Germany. Anti-Israel sentiment became obvious here in Germany with the Operation Pillar of Denfence in 2012. That’s when we had the first anti-Israel demonstrations with people shouting stuff they should go to jail for. :(

            • Well if we go by “this deserved to qualify over that”, the list would be quite long: in the end Israel barely cared for the contest lately, sent amateurish acts like Moran, alternative ones like Izabo and a very dated madonna wannabe: regardless of the responses in esc world (ogae fanwanking Finegold, ET overloving Izabo…), none really stood a chance and I didnt predict any of these three to qualify. I’m putting aside 2011: it was horrible and even the hardcore Diva fans hated it.

    • Same top 3! :)

  15. Georgia has this “don’t mess with a slut” attitude. Love it … :)

  16. The esctoday pre-rehearsal poll result for semi 2:

  17. As for the Israel debate: I DID prefer Valentina in front of Mei last year. (a)

    And I agree with Marc, while I personally think that both 2012 and 2013 should have been in the final (not 2014, I really dislike that one), I can perfectly understand why it failed. And it wasn’t like crash and burn, Israel has always ben just outside the top 10.

    • OK, I am probably all alone on the Israel issue here but I’ll stand my ground. LOL Perhaps my sensitivity (and fear) is partly due to me being German. I honestly don’t know. :(

      • We do have anti-Israel voices here too, especially among the left-wingers. But I don’t think it has increased or anything like that. I remember a lot of them wanting Israel to be disqualified already back in 2007 for their “Push the button” entry. And I highly doubt that such things would be the reason why Israel haven’t qualified. I mean, we have a lot of anti-Muslim voices in Europe too, which never prevented Turkey or Azerbaijan from doing well.

        • We’ll never know the truth about the voting patterns around Europe. And when it comes to Germany, the top points to Turkey can be easily explained. Only a few days ago, Mr. Erdogan gave a huge speech to thousands in Karlsruhe. Luckily, my German friend of Turkish decent hate Mr. Erdogan. I’ve made some good choices when it comes to socialising. :)

      • Unfortunately,i have to agree with you.I don’t really know if politics and antisemitism have hurted their qualifying chances but i know that there are people who would never vote for Israel no matter was the song was.But then i don’t really know if these people who even vote in esc in general.

        • *would ever

        • A voice of reason. Even if you are a hopeless conservative, I love you to bits. ;) :)

          • Lol!But i’m not a conservative,I would put myself closer to social liberalism.However,if i had to choose between Die Linke,the Greens or CDU f.e i would embrace lovely Angie,no doubt about that. :P

            • GRRRRR … the Greens FTW. We’ve had a Green Party led aministration in Ba-Wü for 4 years now, and the country is flourishing. :)

  18. Some changes in my ranking after having watched DR’s preview shows:

    10/12: Latvia
    9/12: Austria, Estonia, Belgium, Georgia, Sweden
    8/12: France, Slovenia, Denmark, Ireland, Germany
    7/12: Italy, Lithuania, Cyprus, Australia, Romania, Hungary, Norway, Azerbaijan, Montenegro
    6/12: Switzerland, Armenia, FYR Macedonia, Iceland
    5/12: Czech Republic, Portugal, United Kingdom, Albania, Russia, Finland, Greece, Moldova, Malta
    4/12: Serbia, Israel, Belarus, Netherlands, Spain
    3/12: Poland, San Marino

  19. The sad thing about the Israel situation is the fact that a lot of people on both sides don’t distinguish between the country and the politics from that country. Plus a lot of people are choosing side in a conflict that is very complex, and where there has been done a lot of wrong things from both sides.

    We have a saying in Denmark: “gå efter bolden, ikke efter manden” (go for the ball, not the man). There is a difference between being against the Israeli politics towards Palestine and Gaza and being against Israel.

    It is wrong to label people as anti-Israel because they are against the bombings of Gaza and the settlements in Palestine. It is not the same as not supporting the existence of the state Israel and their right to be there. I do appreciate them being in Eurovision, and I of course vote for the Israeli song if I like it. But I am deeply against the bombings. Just as I am against attacks that go the other way. Violence is wrong, no matter who is doing it to who.

    • So the exercise is to keep focus on the actual case rather than blaming a whole country and everyone living in it. Unfortunately, not everyone are capable of that.

  20. Today was an..interesting day..

    Serbia : I adore Bojana as a singer and a person but this stage presentation and the mood and colour change in the middle is just way too tacky in my opinion. I don’t believe it is in with a good chance to qualify personally.

    Hungary : Pure class from Boggie. Everytime I listen to this song and watch her performances I say I will force myself to dislike it but I simply can’t. She believes what she is singing and she makes me believe it.The backdrop sounded bad when described but was actuallt pretty nice when seen. Best dress to date btw. I want her in and I think she may be after all.

    Belarus : Props for not going over the top with hourglasses and such shenanigans but I am afraid this song might need them after all. It was borderline for me and just fell out my qualification zone.

    Russia : She will be booed, she will qualify and be an unfortunate danger on Saturday.

    Albania : Most commentary was negative towards that one. I have mixed feelings. She seemed to be good vocally despite the technical issues. I do not like the outfit, especially that cape, it just seems very “light” for the drama the song builds. The backdrop is ok. The backing vocalists are bothering me the most though. Awkward stage presence near an over energetic Elhaida and I did not enjoy their vocal contribution either. Marginally in because I can see it being effective on tv.

    Denmark : And to think that for a brief period of time I went through the period of thinking they would not qualify. There is style here, there are vocals and retro freshness. And I like them as people in their interviews as well. These guys are in imo.

    Romania : I like the message a lot, still not feeling the song though, although it has grown on me. They did try to went for subtlety on stage but I feel it may be too much in your face with all the suitcases, real and digital. Plus the singer has a rough presence and it does not get any better with that scary cross right under his chin. They are a great band, proffesional, composed, they have an honest message and they will easily qualify imo.

    Georgia : I absolutely detest the feathers. Just had to get that out of my system. Other than that, Nina knows how to own the stage really and the dark, raw, ominous staging helps her a lot.Her vocal performance could be a tad better given the clip I saw but she doesn’t let the graphics overshadow her for sure. This is sailing to the final.

    So for today :

    YES : Hungary, Denmark, Romania, Georgia
    MAYBE : Albania
    NO : Serbia, Belarus

    Russia is a yes as a performance unfortunately but it’s a no in general with this song so…

  21. Interesting day of rehearsals. Here’s what I think so far:

    QUALIFYING: Estonia, Russia, Georgia, Greece, Armenia

    Finland (Stands out and has a great draw too)
    Denmark (I think televoters will love this one)
    Albania (vocals were good, camera angles I heard were terrible, that can be fixed, I still think this one stands out at the end of the semi)
    Belgium (if they can fix the messy dancing and staging, it will go through)

    Romania (Honestly thought this was a definite qualifier before, but now I see shades of Turkey 2011, a good popish-rock song that’s going to get lost, especially with Georgia after it)
    Serbia (So torn on this one. Is going to get a lot of camp voters and she gives it her all, but can’t help but feel it doesn’t have many friends in this semi, except Macedonia)
    Hungary (this stepped up in my estimations today, great stage design, vocals spot on, looks extremely classy after Serbia, juries will love this)

    Netherlands (said from Day 1 this will be a non-qualifier. It’s lyrics are grating and her costume is going to distract from the song, like Israel 2013)
    Belarus (love this song, but it gets lost with Russia and Denmark after it I feel)

    Moldova (trashy and much better pop songs later on, weak vocals, something televoters will have in like 9th but juries will absolutely kill it)
    Macedonia (so mad about this one, was perfect in Macedonian but have completely ruined it)

    So for now, I’ll say unless drastic changes are made in second rehearsals, which might, these are my predicted qualifiers:

    Estonia, Russia, Georgia, Greece, Armenia, Finland, Belgium, Albania, Denmark, Hungary

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