Today marked a very important day in my first Eurovision bubble experience. Today…we went to the arena.
Now this is not my first Eurovision completely. I was lucky enough to be in Stockholm for a week back in 2016 so today was not my first time walking into a Eurovision arena. However, today marked the first time I could walk into the arena to see a rehearsal. And what better country to see live than Hungary. Today has undoubtedly been the hottest we’ve had since we arrived but nothing in comparison to the fire and flames I was about to experience from the stage. I was accompanied by the wonderful Ellie Chalkley from ESC Insight and to say we were both taken aback would be something of an understatement. I was literally breathless by the end of the final performance. Despite the fact we were some way back you could feel the heat coming off the immense pyrotechnics. The lead singer managed to use every inch of the stage and his vocal coming through the arena made me feel genuinely emotional. The live show in the hall is just as good as the TV show. I cannot wait to be there for this on Thursday night, though if I get too close to the stage I may lose my eyebrows.
I admit that I am now fully behind Moldova for the win at this stage. I had always liked the song, it was placed firmly in my top 10 pre-Contest. I had it down as a qualifier based on song alone but it’s final finishing position was always going to be determined by it’s staging. As I already discussed back on Tuesday the staging for this is utterly perfect. Having seen it a few times I now think I know how most of the tricks are done but if you’re watching this for the first time it’s going to be utterly mesmerising. If it doesn’t win the UK televote 12 on the Saturday night I’ll eat Paddy Ashdown’s hat.
Of the morning sessions very little had changed had from first rehearsals to the second. Both Russia & Netherlands remain as problematic as we’d seen on Tuesday. In terms of practicality it looks messy when Russia’s dancers end up in front of the projection and you can see the casters underneath the mountain so it can be wheeled on. It’s almost as if they aren’t really trying. Nothing has changed about the Netherlands, Waylon is still being his pompous self, the performance still contains the intriguing choice of dancers and and their out of place routine. It’s not a great watch.
As stated previously semi final 2 does just trundle along for me after Hungary. Latvia, Sweden & Montenegro illicit absolutely no reaction for me. Never has there been a clearer bathroom/beer break in the Contest than this. Slovenia are persisting with their ridiculous fake technical problem, no time for that for either. The end of this show is only rescued by the wonderful gothic melodrama from Melovin and Ukraine. Rising from a piano crypt at the start, ending with flaming steps. Good ol’ Ukraine, they always go the extra mile. Beautiful bastards.