Day 5 in Belgrade (Wednesday) brought with it the first rehearsal of the second semi-final. Ask anyone in these parts and they’ll tell you that this is more competitive than the first, and the more difficult to call. I was really looking forward to this semi-final as it has a really strong opening, with the first four songs seeming like sure qualifiers – Iceland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine. Many of my friends know that I’ve been gushing about the Swedish entry since February (as has pretty much every Euro-fan on the planet), before Charlotte Perrelli won the Melodifestivalen to represent her country. Look on my iTunes alone and I’ve listened to it over 150 times!
So, with eager anticipation the dress rehearsal got under way at 1500hrs local time (1400hrs UK time). The arena was busier than it was for the previous rehearsals, due perhaps to the added interest in this group of songs. Technically a better rehearsal, and on performance alone the first four songs did not disappoint (although Charlotte wasn’t going at it full throttle – and why should she, it’s the dress rehearsal).
I have no pictures to illuminate the proceedings as I forgot my camera – so I’ll be sure to get some at the final dress rehearsal on Thursday afternoon. As we did for the first semi-final, here are the songs on which Karen, Milija and I all agree should progress to the final:
On Tuesday night I didn’t post the songs that we agreed would not make it, so here are our unanimous songs from our ‘list of death’:
- Czech Republic
- FYRO Macedonia
Our split decisions are as follows:
- Karen and Milija Albania YES!, Phil NO!
- Phil Latvia YES!, Karen and Milija NO!
- Phil and Karen Georgia YES!, Milija NO!
- Phil and Karen Malta YES!, Milija NO!
- Milija Cyprus YES! Phil and Karen NO!
- Milija Portugal YES! Phil and Karen NO!
As you can see we’re not aligned as much as we were on Tuesday for the first semi-final, so it makes it all the more interesting. Oh, and just to explain the title of this post – sitting behind me at the dress rehearsal were a couple from the UK whose conversations I could occasionally hear between songs. They compared notes on the styling of the singers, proclaimed various levels of success as they saw it, but the best observation they made (and the funniest thing I heard all day) came after Latvia’s daft pirates performed ‘Wolves of the Sea’. She turned to he and muttered the prophetic words (which will make sense if you watch the semi-final on BBC3 at 8.00pm on Thursday night) ‘you can see better than that at Butlins…’