Ads help us keep this site online
08:00 BST – San Marino
The opening act for this morning was asked before they went on stage if it was too early in the morning for them. Valentine said although she was a creature of the night, this early morning start was not going to be an issue for them, but it seems that was not the case. The vocals were all over the place and they could not even keep up with their own backing track, not to mention even the backing dancers could not clap in time with the music. This is their first attempt here in Kyiv and they still have a few more attempts to iron out these issues. They have a lot of work to do.
08:40 BST – Croatia
People are asking if an opera song can win this year’s competition. From what I have just witnessed, the answer is no. I really wish they left out the opera but for me, as the rest of the song is not to bad; I just do not think that the mix works. The backing dancers on this one look like they are trying to learn the first few steps of a line dance (not a good look). Jacques himself seems like a happy enough chap and has a big smile on his face as he leaves the stage. I wonder if that will still be the case when he has a chance to listen to this back. The silver finished instruments was a nice touch and it will be good to see if that theme continues next time they come on stage in a few days’ time.
09:20 BST – Norway
Before they even got to the stage JOWST were having issues. Someone managed to leave their masks and clothing back at the hotel, and with time running out the lead singer even joked that if they did not arrive on time then they would go to the stage naked. Sadly, they did turn up and we missed out on the nakedness (I’ll make sure I hide them better next time). It’s a very busy performance and they spend most of the time making sure they are getting the correct camera angles, so we did not get a true reflection of the song in its entirety. The best looking one of the group is made to wear a mask unfortunately, but there is still time for them to go missing before the live shows. I like this and it reminds me of Daft Punk, which is no bad thing.
10:00 BST – Switzerland
At last, someone is making an effort with the actual staging. Okay so it does not really go with the music, and does not make much sense either, but at least they made an effort. A shame the same cannot be said about her wardrobe department who must have drawn inspiration from one of the old toilet roll holder dolls that your Nan used to have in the bathroom. Before going on stage Timebelle was asked where Beast was (obviously a reference to Beauty and the Beast). Her reply was that it was inside her. Let us just hope she can channel that inner beast going forward, and for God’s sake someone do her a favour and step on the back of that dress.
11:40 BST – Belarus
It would not be Eurovision if it never had a hippy act. It seems that every year over the past few years there has been one, and this year is no exception. Naviband certainly do tick all the boxes when it comes to your free loving, free flowing, “let us be happy together” type song. With this being Eurovision I can see it making it to the Grand Final but ending up towards the bottom of the pile. At least it will give us all three minutes to make daisy chains and hold hands (or not as the case may be).
12:20 BST – Bulgaria
Another one of my top three and one that I think can be a big shock in the competition. It was one of the last songs to break cover and from the first time that I heard it, I thought that it could be a winner – so much so that I have even been asking people from Bulgaria where they think it will be held if they win, just so I can start looking for my hotel now before the rush starts. The screens behind him at the moment are only showing what looks like one of the pre-installed screen savers for Windows and if they want to win I hope there is something more impressive by rehearsal two. Kristian Kostov is the youngest in the competition and the first Eurovision act to have been born in the 21st century (now I feel old). His youth does not display any weaknesses and he puts a lot of the older more seasoned acts to shame.
13:00 BST – Lithuania
This is the stuff that nightmares are made of. Who ever thought of using the Eye of Mordor as the backdrop needs shooting, and the mix of black and red just makes the performance so dark. A serious re-think needed here or Fusedmarc are not going to make it to the finals I am afraid.
14:00 BST – Estonia
Rumour has it that Koit and Laura do not actually get on, and by the looks of things on the stage the rumour mill might be true. They could not have been further apart if they tried and they even struggled to get stage direction right. This is something they really need to work on over the next few days if they even hope to get anywhere. For the sake of three minutes I am sure they can stand a little closer and even attempt a smile at each other, even if that does mean that after the performance they have to run backstage, jump in the shower, and scrub down with bleach.
14:40 BST – Israel
I had really big hopes for this one, but things did not work out the way that I thought they would. Imri and his dancers are out of sync with each other, but that is something they should be able to sort in the next few days. What does surprise me is once again this backdrop of red and black, especially given that Imri and most of his backing dancers are dressed in black meaning they just blend into the background and you do not get the full effect of the routine or the performance. As always, this is only the first run through so they might come out next time in big glitter ball suits or half naked, who knows?