Eurovision 2016 Live Blog: Day 2

Oh my gosh, I feel hungover today. I have literally just woken up after a great first day of partying and going to my first Eurovision show of the week. Last night was the 1st Semi Final, but the Jury Rehearsal, where the National Juries watched from all over Europe and casted their votes. The Juries make up 50% of the overall result so the artists had to ensure that they brought their best to the table last night.

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My view of the stage last night.

Anyway, so I flew out to Stockholm yesterday morning. There was a bit of a drama at the airport to begin with and I wasn’t sure I was actually going to get to Stockholm but luckily I did. I was so tired though from the night before, where it has been hot I haven’t been sleeping so well, so I ended up going for a snooze on the plane. This is no bad thing though, as I probably needed that snooze to be honest, with what was about to happen. I was listening to a lot of Justin Timberlake’s new single “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” on the plane and I kept thinking what a great summer track it was, and how if a song was entered into Eurovision similar to this, it would walk the whole competition. To my surprise, when we landed, I checked my Facebook and everybody was talking about how Justin Timberlake will be the Interval act at this years Eurovision Grand Final. I must have some sort of intuition as this was the second thing like that to happen to me yesterday, the other being I went and sat in an empty part of Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, which turned out to be where my gate would be for departure.

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Justin Timberlake will be performing at the Grand Final this year.

So slightly going off topic there, but I am so excited to see Justin Timberlake perform in the interval on Saturday night. It will be the best promotion he can get as 200 million people (or maybe more) will be watching, get that #1 Justin! So from the airport, I made my way to my hotel. Now, my hotel I was always under no delusion that it was off the beaten track a bit, like it is central and it’s only a 5 minute tram ride to the Globen Arena, but it is a hassle to get to, especially at night. What I didn’t realise is that Stockholm’s Metro line and train systems shut down from like 1am to 5am each night, with a bus service being used instead. This is all good and well, if you can find the said bus service and the station where it begins. I couldn’t. I ended up having to get a taxi back to my hotel last night as I made the mistake of leaving EuroClub too early and should probably have waited to leave like after 4am, just as the trains are about to start again. This is a lesson learned though, and I have all week to perfect this routine, but last night was a bit of a shambles getting home.

Talking of EuroClub, it is huge this year. Every year the host city puts on a temporary “EuroClub” for like two weeks up and to the Grand Final of the contest. This is the place whete delgrations and press can come together and socialise and literally let their hair down, with many surprise performances and events it is the big social event that you do not want to miss at any Eurovision. Luckily for some fans this year (including myself), the organisers have allowed some fans to also attend as well, as it drives revenue for the club and also gives opportunities for fans to meet artists and press themselves. The club is free to get into but you do pay in alcohol, all worth it though in my opinion. I am such a lightweight and a few drinks yesterday and I was having a good time! Last night was the Israeli party, organised by the Israel delegation. The party had many guest performers from this years Eurovision, and luckily I was in a good spot to see them and interact with them. Of course, there was also a lot of Israeli Eurovision songs being played including “Diva”, “Golden Boy” and this years entry “Made Of Stars”.

I have slightly forgotten to mention how the Jury Rehearsal went last night at Globen. It went really well, despite one or two technical difficulties which I am sure they will iron out for tonight (10/05/2016). All 18 acts were on stage and gave it their all, and we also had three full performances from three of the Big 5 (& Sweden). As part of the Semi-Finals this year, they are trying to make more people aware of the finalists which automatically qualify for the final, them being Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. Sweden is also included as they are the host country so they are automatically qualified into the Final as well. Last night saw performances from Sweden, Spain and France. France performed amazingly well and I still think he is a massive contender on Saturday. Spain also surprised me at how well the performance and staging is, watch out for that one. The 18 semi-finalists were also good to see, there were a couple of casualties amongst them, where I think they are not going to be safe to qualify but all will be revealed tonight I guess in the live show.

My qualifer predictions based on how last night went are as follows…

Croatia

The Netherlands

Armenia

Russia

Czech Republic

Austria

Estonia

Iceland

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Malta

You will notice that Azerbaijan and Greece are not mentioned, despite them having a 100% qualification record up to now. I think they are both in trouble to be honest. I love the Azerbaijan song too but unfortunately the vocal was not great, and this is what the juries pick up on. I guess we will see tonight, I wonder how many of the above I will have guessed correctly.

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Tonight people are going to be very nervous sitting here.

So nothing left from me to say really, I had a great sleep in the end, only waking up at about 12pm. I need to go and get ready as I am going to meet Dami Im a bit later at her acoustic and intimate gig, which should be good, then it’s off back to Globen for the official live show of the 1st Semi Final. My feet are not going to forgive me after this week.