Wednesday, April 30, 2014

EUROVISION 2014: DAY TWO - SAN MARINO'S FIRST REHEARSAL

San Marino had its first technical rehearsal this morning as the second country after Moldova. It ment also a very early wake up and pick up to the venue "just to be sure". It sure was sure as the ride took 15 minutes instead of 1 h 40 min scheduled.... Anyways, the rest went on smoothly and Valentina had time to reconnect with Cristina Scarlat and later Suzy from Portugal joined in and by the time we were ready to leave also the Netherlands, Montenegro, Hungary and Malta had arrived.
In the 40 minutes of rehearsal the song was performed four times, each performance followed immediate rescreening for changes. Smoke and wind machine were tested as well as different colors. More changes and minor hickups will be fine tuned for the second rehearsal on Friday.
Valentina stands on a giant sea shell like a Botticelli's Venus while her four backing singers (Giovanna Naber, Giacomo Di Benedetto, Sandrina Sedona and Paulo Alves) are placed in the bachround by the side of the stage. 
Lyricist Mauro Balestri was on piano, placed on the other corner of the stage. All in all it was a good rehearsal, Valentina is in top form vocally and the visual things and the smoke/windmachine effects will be sorted out. Sammarinese team brings on Eurovision stage a bit of a good ol' Hollywood glamour! It also stands outs nicely between Moldova's quite dark and gloomy setting and Portugal's explosion of color and rhyrhm. What do you think? Check out the rehearsal video here. Another video worth watching is here. Photos by Andres Putting (EBU)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

EUROVISION 2014. DAY TWO: THE SPOTTED ONES

Waiting and waiting. That's what it is all about. But while you wait you may meet some cool people, like these in the pics :-)
 
You may also need ear plugs....

EUROVISION 2014: DAY TWO: THE VENUE

We got an early wake up this morning as the pick up was 7.20. We arrived to the venue before 8 and then it was a long wait between safety instructions, dressing rooms, delegation lounge, all sort of preparations from in-ear monitors to microphones before we eventaully got to backstage and on stage. After 40 minutes on stage and four (or was it five?) run throughs of the performance, with eventual changes and suggestions and variations in lights and camera angles it was finally time for the viewing room experience followed by make up consultation for those who need it, or the performers. And after eurovision.tv interviews and things before the press meet & greet. That all kept us so busy I only saw Moldova before us on stage.... But the stage looks fabulous, the water around it, the greenroom.... It maybe a jungle out there but inside B&W Hallerne it's the usual glitter heaven!



EUROVISION 2014: DAY TWO: PROPS!

As we know many countries have some special props, everything from drum sets to something weird and strange.... Here are some I spotted today backstage....

EUROVISION 2014: DAY ONE - EUROCLUB

EuroClub was opened and several artists performed on stage and danced the night away. Vega has several floors and venues and appear quite small really. But at least on Monday night it wasn't too crowded.... Better that way for everyone to get to know each other :-)
Hungarian Andras Kallay Saunders was there....
So where the Russian Tolmachevy twins....
And Dilara Kazimove from Azerbaijan....
Oh, it's Alex Panaiy from Cyprus! Or Russia actually.... Rui Andrade was also present.
So was  Marya Yaremchuk from Ukraine....Her cover of Hora din Moldova rocked the house!
And happy DJs Ohrmeister and the Latvian Joran from Aarzemnieki!
And Teo offered us some cheesecake.....
And DQ offered something else upstairs.... Namely karaoke!


Monday, April 28, 2014

EUROVISION 2014: DAY ONE

I arrived to sunny Copenhagen Monday, April 28 around noon. Soon enough I had my accreditation in pocket and the fun started. The team is almost all arrived and ready to conquer the Eurovision Island tomorrow.
The first interview took place in the hotel for a British website and then Valentina and her backing singers etc went for some rehearsals and I was freed for some sightseeing around hotel and the lovely Nyhavn, over to Fan Mile and EuroClub later at night... The city isn't that much decorated with Eurovision flags and banners (yet?) as one might expect. Those who had already been to the Eurovision Island had very mixed feelings about it; especially the surroundings and the tents where dressing rooms, press center etc etc is located. Well, I'll see tomorrow :-)

#ESC 2014 SAN MARINO: VALENTINA MONETTA - MAYBE

San Marino participates for the fifth time and for the third year in a row it's Valentina Monetta for them, making her only the fourth artist to achieve this in the 59 years of Eurovision. Also, she has improved her placing every year (14th and 11th in the semifinal) and so has San Marino (19th, 16th, 14th, 11th). The big question is will they make it to the final finally? Her Eurovision path has been rocky; two years ago she stepped in the last minute to replace someone else, and her song was laughed a lot, while last year she was voted the runner up in OGAE polls right behind the eventual winner. This year the response has been more timid. Like I said there's only one goal: the final.  Maybe.
Robert: Let's hope its third time lucky for Valentina. Like Udo Jurgens did in the sixties, she sings already three times in a row. For Udo, it became a victory the third time but Valentina will not reach that for sure. Reaching the final nowadays is already a triumph and I'm sure Valentina will already be very happy with that. Maybe is a bit of classical pop tune, it has a nice melody but it could also have been on the Eurovision stage decades ago. It's not a contempary song and San Marino could be punished for that. However, if Valentina manages to reach the right notes, and if the staging, light and performance are right, she has a chance to slide through to the final.
Blogilkar: Last but not least.... San Marino. When you read this I have already joined the Sammarinese team in Copenhagen and will be hoping like all of us that one of the ten slots in the final would be for San Marino for the very first time. The song might be old fashioned, having hints of Bond themes, musicals, ABBA harmonies and classic Siegel of late 70's and early 80's. But Valentina makes it work, it fits her voice and she owns the song, singing it in a sincere, heartfelt way. It's catchy and melodic, well written. The arrangement is so retro it actually sounds good. And even if I'm a firm believer national languages are better, for some reason English fits this song better than Italian. A bilingual version would have been a bit confusing so fully English it is. Like it or not, Valentina has worked a lot for this third participation, released a new album, is making history with this triplet. She deserves a final place. Vote! Vote! Vote!

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