This afternoon, we sat through the first dress rehearsal for the Eurovision 2009 Semi Final 1. It was a full run through of the show which will be broadcast live tomorrow night.
The most spectacular aspect of the show is probably the stage itself. It’s a complex, versatile, adaptable platform, surrounded by a giant tv screen. And circling above, are blocks of screens which change images for each performance. It’s all rather overwhelming, and it makes watching the show even more exciting. The presenters were, well, really awful to be honest. But it was only the 1st dress rehearsal, so they’ve got two more run throughs before the acual show. Apart from our favourite songs, the part of the show we enjoyed the most was the interval act! It starts off with a Russian male voice choir dressed as soldiers, and it all goes a bit ‘Tingaliin’! Then a few more traditional aspects of Russian musical culture take to the stage group by group, until finally the hundred or so performers that end up on stage part ways in the middle to reveal t.A.T.u.!!!! The girls then launch into ‘Not Gonna Get Us’, accompanied by the male voice choir for some if it! It’s a magnificent interval act and worthy of being the performance used in the final! But if that’s what they’ve relegated to semi final one status, then there must be a really big treat in store for the final.
And as for the songs themselves? Well, we’ve got our favourites;
Sweden was thoroughly enjoyable. Malena Ernman looks great in her expensive white and feathered frock. The best part is during the first and second chorus when the stage and tv screens are turned to blank white – turning the stage into a barron landscape of electric light. Brilliant! The vocal was great too, as you’d expect.
Iceland sounds like it might do very well indeed. Yohanna delivered another flawless vocal of ‘Is It True’ – the last chorus has to be heard to be believed. The backdrop is a night sky, and it matches her dress, and the costumes of the backing vocalists perfectly. It’s a simple performance and needs nothing more added to it.
Finland was a lot better than we’d expected. We absolutely love the song on record, but weren’t sure exactly how their live vocals would sound, since there’s a lot of shouting and running around needed! But they sounded fine. The pyrotechnics and fire looked better for this performance than any other act that use it this year too. You really can’t go wrong with a barrel of fire and a couple of flame throwers!
Armenia was stunning! We love the song anyway, but the girls, Inga & Anush, looked amazing in their royal blue outfits and elaborate head costumes! The highlight of the performance though was at the final chorus, when the backing dancers donned what looked like knuckle dusters, but had thick, green lazers shining out of each knuckle! An update on the Charlotte Perrelli classic!
Romania and Turkey were enjoyable romps through the classic performance template of a hot female singer being flanked by four scantily clad girls dancing provocatively. It works every time! Both performances embraced one of the elements – Romania paid homage to earthy features, and Turkey played with lots of fire.
The live show takes place tomorrow night, and the ten countries out of eighteen who recieve the most votes will progress to the final which happens this Saturday. Here are our eight favourites in no particular order, that we’d love to see in the final! Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Armenia, Turkey, Romania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro.