ESCXTRA: Live from Kyiv

Follow all the latest from rehearsals in Kyiv, Ukraine and keep up to date with the breaking news with us at ESCXTRA: Live from Kyiv!

We will be providing a live stream throughout each and every day of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 as well as reports from every rehearsal that takes place over the two weeks, Facebook Live videos from the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, Ukraine and snapshots of Eurovision life from around the city on Twitter and Instagram.

Stick with us throughout the two weeks for instant updates from Kyiv about your favourite artists and make sure you check out our XtraVoix podcast with our friends at Eurovoix.com.

Day 1: Norma John complete first rehearsal for Finland – REVIEW

Day 1: Norma John complete first rehearsal for Finland – REVIEW

escXtra are live from Kyiv for day one of rehearsals ahead of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Sweden, Georgia, Australia, Albania, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal. Furthermore, read our handy guide for a more detailed look at this contest’s rehearsal schedule. In addition, for our immediate reactions to every single rehearsal, you can follow our live stream from the press centre at the International Exhibition Center by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Norma John from Finland. We have just watched their first run through of Blackbird live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Summary in a sentence It is so simple and elegant and beautiful.  Staging Its simple. With Norma and a grand piano. It is a combination of by gone Years and modernity. There is simple and subtle use of the floor and smoke machines. It just looks stunning. Vocals Flawless vocals and she hits every note she has to or needs to. Her voice is great and she makes the whole thing seem effortless. Costumes She is wearing a dresss that is either the exact same or very very similar to her national finals performance. Black bird obviously means black dress …
Day 1: Slavko Kalezić completes first rehearsal for Montenegro – REVIEW

Day 1: Slavko Kalezić completes first rehearsal for Montenegro – REVIEW

escXtra are live from Kyiv for day one of rehearsals ahead of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Sweden, Georgia, Australia, Albania, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal. Furthermore, read our handy guide for a more detailed look at this contest’s rehearsal schedule. In addition, for our immediate reactions to every single rehearsal, you can follow our live stream from the press centre at the International Exhibition Center by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Slavko Kalezić from Montenegro. We have just watched his first run through of Space live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Summary in a sentence Oh my god. If you thought Eurovision couldn’t get any camper have we got news for you! Staging So it’s just Slavko on stage. But he chews it up like it’s no body’s business. He struts. He has hand choreography. But most important of all   He has HAIR CHOREOGRAPHY. Rocket to the Yass Vocals His vocals are pretty consistent however there’s are some incredible moments of falsetto, could we ask for more?! Costumes He is wearing a very sheer black top (read: totally see through) and a blue cape pant as with his film clip, …
Day 1: Blanche completes first rehearsal for Belgium – REVIEW

Day 1: Blanche completes first rehearsal for Belgium – REVIEW

escXtra are live from Kyiv for day one of rehearsals ahead of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Sweden, Georgia, Australia, Albania, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal. Furthermore, read our handy guide for a more detailed look at this contest’s rehearsal schedule. In addition, for our immediate reactions to every single rehearsal, you can follow our live stream from the press centre at the International Exhibition Center by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Blanche from Belgium. We have just watched her first run through of City Lights live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Summary in a sentence Belgium appear to be making changes to their performance with each rehearsal run through that we saw today. As it stands, we aren’t sure exactly what we will see from Belgium when they come to a second rehearsal later this week. Staging The staging is simple but effective. There is wonderful hand choreography (I’m a total sucker for hand choreography) and Blanche stands in the centre of the stage allowing the graphics to envelope her. Vocals The vocal here is as strong as ever for Belgium, no surprises there. The vocal mix is good too, which …
WATCH: Robin Bengtsson chats to our viewers on the live stream!

WATCH: Robin Bengtsson chats to our viewers on the live stream!

Our ESCXTRA: Live from Kyiv team have been lucky enough to get Robin Bengtsson, the Swedish representative, on the live stream to chat to our viewers today. Hear his answers here from a quick chat we had with him backstage following his first rehearsal today.
Day 1: Isaiah completes first rehearsal for Australia – REVIEW

Day 1: Isaiah completes first rehearsal for Australia – REVIEW

escXtra are live from Kyiv for day one of rehearsals ahead of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Sweden, Georgia, Australia, Albania, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal. Furthermore, read our handy guide for a more detailed look at this contest’s rehearsal schedule. In addition, for our immediate reactions to every single rehearsal, you can follow our live stream from the press centre at the International Exhibition Center by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Isaiah from Australia. We have just watched his first run through of Don’t Come Easy live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Summary in a sentence Class. If there is one thing Australia does it’s a classy performance!  Staging We have a notoriously difficult prop, a rotating platform! The first run through didn’t go perfectly but he second run was great! There is a cyclical motif in the performance with him spinning in from black and out to black at the beginning and end, it works perfectly with the the story arch of the song and I’m completely sold. The images behind him are also really classy. The images are of him and they just all work so well Vocals …
Day 1: Lindita completes first rehearsal for Albania – REVIEW

Day 1: Lindita completes first rehearsal for Albania – REVIEW

escXtra are live from Kyiv for day one of rehearsals ahead of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Sweden, Georgia, Australia, Albania, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal. Furthermore, read our handy guide for a more detailed look at this contest’s rehearsal schedule. In addition, for our immediate reactions to every single rehearsal, you can follow our live stream from the press centre at the International Exhibition Center by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Lindita from Albania. We have just watched her first run through of World live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Summary in a sentence Nothing stand-out or special but Lindita is an incredibly talented singer and that shows in her performance from rehearsals today. Staging Lindita is on stage, similarly to the Festivali i Këngës performance, and there isn’t much going on on stage at the moment. Four backing singers are on the stage with her and there is a clock motif used. Vocals As ever, Lindita is such a good singer and she is at ease singing her song, but still holding something back for the later run-throughs. Very impressive. Costumes Lindita is wearing a pink jacket over her outfit today. We aren’t …
Day 1: Tamara Gachechiladze completes first rehearsal for Georgia – REVIEW

Day 1: Tamara Gachechiladze completes first rehearsal for Georgia – REVIEW

escXtra are live from Kyiv for day one of rehearsals ahead of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Sweden, Georgia, Australia, Albania, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal. Furthermore, read our handy guide for a more detailed look at this contest’s rehearsal schedule. In addition, for our immediate reactions to every single rehearsal, you can follow our live stream from the press centre at the International Exhibition Center by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Tamara Gachechiladze from Georgia. We have just watched her first run through of Keep The Faith live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Summary in a sentence There isn’t too much to say about the Georgian entry, its a solid performance but not particularly memorable!  Staging Simple staging with lots of red and white, classic Eurovision camera angles Vocals Vocally she is great, absolutely flawless. I don’t think she is giving the full performance level and when she does I think it’ll blow us away! Watch the rehearsal! Stay tuned for our reaction to Isaiah as he rehearses Don’t Come Easy next for Australia. Meanwhile, remember to tune in to our live stream from the press centre for instant reactions to each rehearsal.
Day 1: Robin Bengtsson completes first rehearsal for Sweden – REVIEW

Day 1: Robin Bengtsson completes first rehearsal for Sweden – REVIEW

escXtra are live from Kyiv for day one of rehearsals ahead of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Sweden, Georgia, Australia, Albania, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal. Furthermore, read our handy guide for a more detailed look at this contest’s rehearsal schedule. In addition, for our immediate reactions to every single rehearsal, you can follow our live stream from the press centre at the International Exhibition Center by visiting our YouTube channel. The first artist to rehearse is Robin Bengtsson from Sweden. We have just watched his first run through of I Can’t Go On live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Summary in a sentence This rehearsal is exactly what you expect from the Swedish performance. It is the same as Melodifestivalen 2017 and carries the same slick, well produced style that was evident in the Swedish selection process. Staging Robin has staged his rehearsal in exactly the same way as the performance in Melodifestivalen 2017. The backing dancers are all mic’d up to help provide vocal support. Vocals The vocals are good and there is a decent mix between track and voice. Costumes Robin and his dancers were all wearing their stage outfits, again very much the same …
Welcome to Kyiv from the ESCXTRA Team

Welcome to Kyiv from the ESCXTRA Team

It is that time of the year again. A warm welcome to Kyiv to all of our readers from us in the ESCXTRA team, both at home and in Ukraine. ESCXTRA: Live from Kyiv This year sees ESCXTRA: Live from Kyiv take on a different form to previous years. First of all, we will be running our iconic live stream from the press centre every day via YouTube. You can find this appearing automatically on the homepage of our website including with the live chat built in. As ever, we will be muting during the first rehearsals, following EBU regulations, and then you can hear the second rehearsals in full from Thursday through the live stream from Kyiv. The most wonderful time of the year is just a day away! As always we've got #Eurovision well & truly covered on https://t.co/hUUbS1qf6k 😉 pic.twitter.com/EjdmSQqW8r — ESCXTRA (@escxtra) April 29, 2017 New this year are rehearsal reports, direct from the press centre, following each country’s time on stage. These will be available from our homepage as they are published, allowing you to catch up on the day’s proceedings in your own time. This replaces our old live blog system. Finally, we will be …
EBU and UA:PBC publish new rehearsal schedule following Russia’s withdrawal

EBU and UA:PBC publish new rehearsal schedule following Russia’s withdrawal

A few days ago, EBU and UA:PBC published the first version of the rehearsal schedule for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. However shortly afterwards Russia withdrew from the contest. Therefore, this schedule quickly became outdated. Today, a brand new version of the schedule has been published on Eurovision.tv. Rehearsals begin on April 30th! You can read the schedule in its original multi-page form by visiting the Press section on eurovision.tv. However, we have taken all the information and made it available on a single image. Hopefully this will make it easier to digest and refer back to. Check it out below! (If the image is too hard to read, simply right click on the image and “open in new tab”. You will then be able to zoom in where necessary) This data is taken straight from the official press release. Thus, we have no reason to believe any of it is inaccurate. However, on May 4th, we notice that the second rehearsals of Iceland, Czech Republic and Cyprus start an hour later than the previous rehearsal of Moldova with no notice of a dinner break. Therefore, either there is a dinner break that hasn’t been acknowledged or those last three rehearsals of the day …
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