This afternoon, we had the opportunity to view all 27 competing songs in the grand final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, in the order of presentation we’ll see in the live show tomorrow night. We also got to see the interval act for the first time. Fast-forward a few hours, and it’s time for the Jury final, after which our 40 juries will rank the entries, providing 50% of tomorrow’s results. You can listen along to the show via our live stream at www.escXtra.com/live or www.escXtra.com/live/mobile, and receive regular updates from here in the Press Centre and within the arena on Twitter, @escXtra.

 


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201511:15 pm

So, that’s it! Now to a recap of all the competing songs from this evening.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201511:14 pm

Our final entry for tonight comes from Italy. The boys from Il Volo put in a stunning performance, despite it looking like there might have been a few small issues with their earpieces, (one of the group was seen adjusting his slightly, while another has removed his completely by the end of the song).


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201511:08 pm

Elhaida has undergone a makeover for today’s performances. Her hair has more volume, and the original dress has inexplicably been replaced by an unshapely black gown, which is rather unflattering from the waist down! Despite the costume change, this was vocally perfect.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201511:06 pm

Lots of the volunteers – both male and female – are singing along to the song from Russia! It looks good, sounds good and has that feel-good factor – pretty much the whole Eurovision package!


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201511:01 pm

It might not necessarily be the most gimmicky of performances we’ve ever had from Azerbaijan, but it’s certainly very evocative and powerful, despite being ‘stripped back.’


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:57 pm

Another ‘fierce’ performance from Georgia. Nina has obviously recovered from the vocal difficulties she was experiencing earlier in the week and is back on form!


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:48 pm

Dramatic and complex choreography from Spain’s Edurne tonight. Not totally convincing vocally, however, despite the fact that it all looks very good.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:46 pm

More emotion now, from Romania’s Voltaj. This has  always been a well-performed, beautifully-staged song, and tonight is no different.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:41 pm

Latvia’s Aminata is not getting much attention here in the Press Centre at the moment, as not only has Bojana joined us, but also former Eurovision winner, Marija Serifovic. Crystal -clear vocals tonight, however.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:36 pm

Bojana has just wandered into the Press Centre, in full stage costume and make-up! Random!


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:31 pm

Germany’s Ann Sophie has had a few minor costume changes today. Her wide, angular gold belt has been replaced by a jewelled alternative, and her single earring has got a lot more feathery!


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:27 pm

It’s about time we had a good, big, ballsy ballad! Maria Elena is faultless this evening. How refreshing to have an entry from Greece that doesn’t rely on traditional/bouzouki music as a ‘hook’ – hopefully that will encourage more diffferent styles of entry from the country in the future.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:22 pm

On home turf now, and the Makemakes! Naturally, there’s a very enthusiastic round of applause introducing the group. Lots of support, too, from the volunteers here in  the Press Centre! 


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:18 pm

It’s clearly a ‘style’ and fits the song reasonably well, but Loic’s ‘scary psycho’ look is still a little disconcerting for me! That’s not going to make any difference, however – this one is bound to do very well tomorrow evening.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:11 pm

Another party number now, from Australia. Guy is very much a showman and it’s a show that we are given! The Australian delegation had mentioned after their initial rehearsals that they would be ‘pulling back’ on some of the lighting/pyro effects, as it all seemed a bit too much. Clearly, this hasn’t happened, and there are still moments which are a little too busy and blinding.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:07 pm

Something a little more sedate now. John, representing Cyprus, It’s mellow and appealing, and really very different from what has preceded it, and what follows. One of those entries which reminds us that this is a ‘song’ contest, rather than a ‘staging’ one.  


Alec Parkin
May 22, 201510:02 pm

One of the hot favourites now – Sweden. I still can’t help feeling this is far more about presentation than actual quality, (style over substance?), but Mans sings it all very well. He’s well-used to solo arena performing so owns the stage comfortably. The position of this song in the running order could well have an impact on its success, however.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:56 pm

Two entries on the trot who make no use of the backdrop and rely heavily on stage lighting – this time, it’s Norway. Hugely atmospheric, as always, and it’s nice to see Debrah crack a smile at the end!


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:52 pm

More froth and frivolity follows – it’s Bojana, representing Serbia. A couple of wobbly vocal moments at the beginning of the song, but when this erupts into a party anthem, you can’t help but be caught-up in it all – itreallly is quite infectious!


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:48 pm

Another injection of colour now, in the form of Lithuania’s entry. We didn’t quite catch the multiple kisses on-screen but they receive a warm round of applause in the arena! 


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:44 pm

Lots of rolling dry-ice on-stage for the performance from Armenia. A couple of awkward camera shots, when it appeared individual members of the group weren’t expecting to be on-screen, but otherwise a very respectable presentation.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:41 pm

Electro Velvet’s Bianca has lost her white shrug this evening, which was being used to hide the ‘jetpack’ electrics on the back of her dress. It now appears that her long hair is being used to do that job! Lots more neon used in this performance, along with two sets of pyro bursts. It’s fun and lightweight, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. 


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:37 pm

Something a little more moody now; Stig and Elina, representing Estonia. A measured, cool and collected performance tonight.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:32 pm

Back to one of our more uptempo numbers now – the Golden Boy from Israel! Tonight’s first real ‘party’ entry, it’s getting people up and clapping here in the Press Centre, (so the audience will no doubt be doing similar in the arena!) 


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:30 pm

Lisa Angell really is a powerhouse. She is able to play vocally with the melody with utmost confidence – no two performances have sounded the same – and yet each has been effortlessly sublime. 


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:27 pm

Maraaya make a very upbeat opener to this evening’s proceedings! Yet another fantastic performance.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:22 pm

Next follows a filmed sequence featuring members of the public ‘building bridges.’ People were invited to submit videos of themselves making contact with others across the world via the ORF website, and selected clips are played to the Russian entry from 2013.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:15 pm

As expected, all the qualifying countries are individually invited to join Conchita, Arabella, Mirjam and Alice on-stage. Everyone is looking very pleased to be there, of course! Not all are dressed in their performance outfits.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:12 pm

Conchita performs the 2015 theme song, ‘Building Bridges’, accompanied by a childrens’ choir. At one point, Conchita flies over the audience, from the green room onto the main stage.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:10 pm

We enter the arena, and a solo violinist plays ‘Merci Cherie’ in tribute to Udo Jurgens, Austria’s only other Eurovision winner, who has recently passed away. The tune then merges into that of, ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’.


Alec Parkin
May 22, 20159:06 pm

It’s been really quite refreshing to be treated to so many performances by a live orchestra in this year’s Eurovision. Tonight’s show opens with a (pre-recorded) except of a performance of the Vienna Philharmonic at the Schonbrunn Palace. This then cuts to a sequence featuring images of the 2015 bubble theme in various contexts and settings across Austria. 

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