A slightly underwhelming first rehearsal was what we received from Mikolas Josef and the highly fancied entry Lie To Me from the Czech Republic. This though, is why they rehearse and as of today there’s nothing to worry about yet.
Czech Republic is competing in the first semi-final as start number 5. The country is represented by Mikolas Josef and his self-written entry Lie To Me.
1 First Rehearsal
2 How Mikolas Josef was chosen
3 Czech Republic at the Eurovision Song Contest
The staging for Czech Republic has a white Hollywood style staircase in the centre of the stage, with two white walls on either side of the staircase. There seemed to be an awful time taken getting everything ready. Mikolas is dressed in a white shirt and bow-tie, and white boots. Surrounded by a group of accompanying teenage dancers, the whole performance oozes youthful-ness.
However there seemed to be some issues with some of the vocals, especially from the background singers who seemed a little weak. As the performance continued it all seemed to fall apart a little, as his back pack slipped from his shoulders. The dancers seemed a little off and in places Mikolas looked totally bored. He ends the show with a somersault flip and it too fell flat. This was just the first rehearsal though and it looks as if the group are discussing what needs fixed,
The stage is awash with light blue and lavender lights and that looks very appealing, and on the positive side Mikolas was fine with his vocals. The trumpet playing was fine too, but of course that’s not live and the bass was booming.
The second time around was a bit better and there was some chorography with the back pack. He called out with a Whats Up Eurovision, never a good sign, he should stick with the refrain. Judging by todays rehearsals though, this entry still has a good chance of giving the Czech Republic it’s best result yet.
Third time round and the backing vocals were way turned up, maybe they had them low first two times, so we could hear Mikolas. The poor guy is probably sick of the amount of times he’s had to perform the song lately.
How Mikolas Josef was chosen
The Czech broadcaster, Česká televize, received more than 400 entries in their open submission. Six songs were selected for the final phase of Eurovision Song CZ where the public could vote via an AP. Ten former Eurovision participants representing each their country made up a jury. This included names such as Jalisse (Italy 1997), Dami Im (Australia 2016) and Robin Bengtsson (Sweden 2017).
Mikolas won both the jury and the public vote.
See alsoPoints in Czech Republic national final – this is how convincing Mikolas Josef won
Czech Republic at the Eurovision Song Contest
It has not been easy being a Eurovision fan in the Czech Republic. The country debuted, at the contest back in 2007 representing by Kabát and Malá Dáma.
After three miserable years, the broadcaster pulled out. In 2015, they returned – and have reached the final once, in 2016 where Gabriela Gunčíková came second to last in the final. With that being their best ever result, Mikolas Josef is expecting to become a national hero and improve this.
It’s a love gift we would all love to have: our loved one bringing us on stage of Eurovision. That’s what Ieva Zasimauskaitė will do at this year’s competition. Despite the cute moment, Lithuania is not in the best place to predict a qualification.
Lithuania is competing in the first semi-final as start number 6. The country is represented by Ieva Zasimauskaitė and the song When We’re Old, which is written by Vytautas Bikus.
1 First rehearsal
2 How Ieva Zasimauskaitė was chosen
3 Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest
Ieva Zasimauskaitė will probably remain sit when the qualifiers for the first semi final are announced as she will struggle to qualify. Judging from the first rehearsals, Ieva’s pretty romantic ballad will most likely get squeezed by the two giants Israel and Czech Republic.
As for the performance itself, it’ll probably be uneventful for people at home. In her performance, the Lithuanian singer remains sit until the song’s second chorus which may lose people by then. While she is sitting, there are holograms of couples holding hands and showing love which may not be a benefit the performance as it overall doesn’t look that good.
The performance is, nonetheless, saved by a cute moment towards the end, when Ieva’s husband meets her in the Eurovision bridge and share a cute lovely moment, it’ll melt people’s hearts at home if they’re still watching. Nothing to critique when it comes to vocal performance.
How Ieva Zasimauskaitė was chosen
After six heats, an online wildcard rounds, two semi-finals and a final, Lithuania had a long selection. They reached the end of the process on the 11th of March where the final of Eurovizijos took place.
In the final, the jury points placed Jurgis Brūzga ahead of Ieva Zasimauskaitė, but as tele voting placed Ieva first and Jurgis only fourth, Ieva is representing Lithuania at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. This was Ieva’s fifth participation in the national selection of Lithuania.
See alsoIeva Zasimauskaitė wins Eurovizijos Atranka 2018 and heads to Lisbon to represent Lithuania
Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest
Back in 1994, Lithuania joined the Eurovision family, but their first representation by Ovidijus Vyšniauskas placed the country last with zero points. After that, it took another five years before the country returned to the 1999 contest. Aistė did do a little bit better with her song in the Samogitian dialect, but the country did once again pull out. The same thing happened in 2003, but since then, Lithuania has been a steady participant.
In 2006, LT United scored a 6th place with We Are The Winners. To date, that entry is Lithuania’s best Eurovision result.
Over the years, the country has shown that they aren’t afraid to try different styles, and that has given mixed results. Since the introduction of semi-finals in 2004, Lithuania has failed to reach the final on six occasions.
Attention was high as bookmaker favourite Netta today rehearsed on the Eurovision stage for the first time, and just as expected, she delivered, though the chicken sounds were muted a bit.
Israel is competing in the first semi-final as song number 7. The country is represented by Netta and the song Toy, which is written by Doron Medalie and Stav Beger.
1 First rehearsal
2 How Netta was selected
3 Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest
Standing in front of two walls of yellow lighted toy cats, Netta ouches and clucks as she gets herself warmed up to start the song. Dressed in a costume of purples, pinks and reds its not long before she gets the vocals started. Totally in-tune but for some reason the song doesn’t have the same impact as it does on the video .Her three female dancers are up there on a bridge behind her.
On her second run through she got a lot of laughs when she said she couldn’t hear mid song. After standing behind her looper for a good portion of the song, she comes forward, microphone in hand. A stage hand comes on and he’s treated as a stupid boy, while Netta gets down to some kind of beat. The last note is a high light.
The word Toy, it can now be seen is flashed on the looper in various colours. On the last rehearsal things were turned up a notch with explosions of purple smoke bellowing from the stage. The dancers actually started to become a distraction now. A good rehearsal, leaving Netta in with a good chance, but now leaves the competition more open.
How Netta was selected
In Israel, HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion (The Next Star for Eurovision) was used as selection method. It is based on the talent show format Rising Star. After a long season, they had reached the final on the 13th of February. All through the competition, Netta stood out, and up against three other acts, she won the final, and as such the right to represent Israel at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
Netta was then matched with the song Toy, which she recorded, and in March, it was presented to the public. Soon after its release, Israel went to the top of the bookmaker lists making her the favourite for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
See alsoIsrael 2018: Netta's Eurovision Toy officially released
Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest
40 appearances, 34 finals and three victories, such are the facts on Israel who joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973.
Very few countries have won the contest twice in a row, but Israel is one of them. They first won in 1978 by Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta’s A-Ba-Ni-Bi, and again the year after with the now classic entry Hallelujah. In 1998, Israel also got a lot of attention. Dana International, born a man, now a woman, won with the song Diva.
Since the introduction of semi-finals in 2004, Israel has failed to reach the final a total of six times, though it has not happened since Mei Finegold in 2014.
From shaky vocals in the national final to a very theatrical performance here in Lisbon. A performance that you’ll either like or think is over the top.
Belarus is competing in the first semi-final as song number 8. The country is represented by Ukrainian singer Alekseev and the song Forever written by Kyrylo Pavlov and Evhen Matyushenko.
1 First rehearsal
2 How Alekseev was selected
3 Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest
Well… Be prepared for some big surprises during this performance. And don’t read further, if you don’t want to know. Spoilers ahead.
The performance starts very sad with Alekseev singing his heart out to a red rose. The rose is then placed just in front of the camera and it follows the picture and spins around for a while. It all end in a big red-light explosion. The rose has now transformed itself into a dancing lady in red. The lady then takes a shot at Alekseev – with a bow using the rose as an arrow. Alekseev is deeply hurt, as the rose comes through his bleeding hand. It all explodes once again. This time in a big inferno of rose petals. The lady in red keeps dancing, while Alekseev is lifted up in the air by a stage lift. At the end of the song he turns around and you realize that his back is bleeding and hurt by dozens of red roses. All in all a very theatrical and emotional performance.
The big question until now has been how is Alekseev’s vocal? But we still don’t really know because all our attention during the song was on the red rose. Even if you don’t understand a word Alekseev is singing you get the feeling it’s about love story with a very sad ending.
How Alekseev was selected
The broadcaster in Belarus received 95 potential entries for their national final. 11 of them were selected – and then the controversy started. Alekseev’s song had been performed publicly before the 1st of September deadline set by both the EBU and the broadcaster. 7 of the 11 participants openly complained about that he was able to take part despite the break of rules. One act even withdrew from the national final in protest. Both EBU and the broadcaster approved of Alekseev’s entry as it was seen to have had an advantage from this breach of rules.
So, on the 16th of February, the Belarussian national final took place – and with Alekseev winning both jury and televoting, he is representing the country this year.
See alsoAlekseev will go to Lisbon for Belarus with his entry Forever
Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest
Some countries aren’t particular faithful in their first years of appearance if they get off to a bad start. With Belarus it is not like that. The country debuted in 2004 and they have taken part every year since despite some shaky results.
The first three years, Belarus didn’t manage to qualify for the final. They had to wait until 2007 where Dmitry Koldun sang Work Your Magic. Not only did he make it to the final, he also finished 6th, which to date is the best result the country ever achieved.
With 14 participations and only five times in the final, Belarus has had some problems finding a steady steam of qualifying entries.
“We could have died today, thanks to the pilot that didn’t happen”. A plane carrying 2007 contestants Serebro “Miraculously landed” after their plane went off radar for nearly an hour. Fortunately for Serebro they managed to exit the aircraft unhurt but were very shaken by the experience.
Lead singer of the Russian pop group Serebro told a chilling story on a Facebook post today. Olga Seryabkina told how “there was hell on board” after their plane had to make an emergency landing in Montenegro following a technical issue. Seryabkina was travelling with her band mates Tatiana Morgunova and Katya Kischuk as they were booked to perform a concert in the Montenegran city Tivat. It was clear from the post that the girls were scared for their life onboard the plane.
“Today we miraculously landed in Montenegro. Right after take-off we did not close the flaps of the aircraft and we could have crash. Our plane disappeared from the radar for almost an hour and no one knew where we were. Before landing, we circled for more than an hour. The stewardesses realized that a terrible thing was happening – all were shaking, pale. Declared an emergency landing elsewhere and asked if there are doctors on board” announced Olga Seryabkina.
She went on to admit that the group were able to keep calm thanks to another passenger who was travelling with his son. Olga explained that his calm and important words helped them while all but one of the cabin crew went into meltdown. She expressed regret that she doesn’t know who he is.
Serebro represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007. They came in 3rd place with their entry Song No 1. They quickly earned a fan base and became one of the biggest and most successful pop groups in Russia. There has been a few changes to the line up since then and Olga is the only original member left.