ESCXTRA: Live from Lisbon

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

We will be providing a live stream throughout each and every day of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 as well as reports from every rehearsal that takes place over the two weeks. Furthermore, there will be Facebook Live videos from the Altice Arena and snapshots of Eurovision life from around the city on Twitter and Instagram.

Eugent Bushpepa and Aisel disagree: is Eurovision a contest for all music genres?

Eugent Bushpepa and Aisel disagree: is Eurovision a contest for all music genres?

Today, Eurovision officially begun as 10 countries had their first rehearsals. They also gave press conferences, and two of the artists in particular seem to have very different views of Eurovision. Azerbaijan’s Aisel describes the contest as a pop contest, whereas Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa says that every genre has a place at Eurovision…who do you agree with? Aisel’s view In her press conference, Aisel described Eurovision as a pop contest. It seemed that she believed that the music that takes part in the contest is all pop music, with little room for other genres. The beautiful jazz songstress was asked if singing a pop song may harm her qualification chances, her response was: I don’t think so because first of all, Eurovision is a pop music contest and a good song is a good song, no matter the music genre. Spreading a positive message should be the main goal, and I don’t think that it harms my chances to qualify. Eugent Bushpepa’s view Eugent clearly disagrees strongly with the Azeri representative – he believes that rock music is a “sparkle in the Eurovision Song Contest”: Generally, I can’t say that it’s a pop festival. It is a festival that has …
Daily Press Poll 2018: Results from day 1 of rehearsals

Daily Press Poll 2018: Results from day 1 of rehearsals

Day one of rehearsals at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 has come to an end! We’ve seen the first 10 entries from the first semi-final take to the stage. As our very own Gil Laufer has done in previous years, we have conducted the daily press poll to discover how members of the press rate today’s performances! How it works After the conclusion of today’s rehearsals, we asked 35 members of the press to rate today’s performances based on their rehearsals rather than by their favourite songs. To do this, each press member chose their top 3 performances and we allocated 5 points to their favourite, 3 points to their second favourite and 1 point to their third favourite. Daily Press Poll 2018: Day 1 results The full results of the first day of ESCXTRA’s daily press poll 2018 are as follows: Catch up on day 1! If you want to catch up on all of today’s rehearsals for yourself, click on the links below to read our summaries and watch clips of the performances! Azerbaijan Iceland Albania Belgium Czech Republic Lithuania Israel Belarus Estonia Bulgaria Daily Press Poll to continue tomorrow Make sure you check back at around 7pm …
Day 1: Camera is the key for Bulgaria´s EQUINOX – REVIEW

Day 1: Camera is the key for Bulgaria´s EQUINOX – REVIEW

ESCXTRA are live from Lisbon for day 1 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Azerbaijan, Iceland, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel, Belarus, Estonia and Bulgaria. We’re streaming live from the press centre 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 Altice Arena by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is EQUINOX from Bulgaria. We have just watched their first run through of Bones live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Staging Bulgaria have reused their Kristian Kostov camera shakes in the first verse of Bulgaria. Each vocalist gets their moment in the main frame, overlaying camera shots are used to combine vocalists into ‘one’ and strobe lighting is also used. A perspex box is used as the prop for Bulgaria, with the vocalists arranged in a line. Vocals Right from the start, the vocals are as strong as they have been every time Equinox have performed. A pitch perfect three minutes and the harmonies will sound even better by the time the second rehearsals are …
Day 1: Elina Nechayeva wows with revamped dress and perfect vocals – REVIEW

Day 1: Elina Nechayeva wows with revamped dress and perfect vocals – REVIEW

ESCXTRA are live from Lisbon for day 1 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Azerbaijan, Iceland, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel, Belarus, Estonia and Bulgaria. We’re streaming live from the press centre 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 Altice Arena by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Elina Nechayeva from Estonia. We have just watched their first run through of La Forza live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Staging The first verse of the song focuses on Elina´s face, with the extent of the dress revealed as we entered the first chorus. The projections have changed since Eesti Laul, they are now brighter, and on the whole more effective. As the dress doesn´t extend to the edges of this massive stage as it did on the smaller Eesti Laul stage, the dramatic effect is minimised slightly due to the significant use of wide shots in the second half of the performance. Nevertheless, there is a beautiful camera shot from above at …
Day 1: ALEKSEEV is shot with a rose by his dancer – REVIEW

Day 1: ALEKSEEV is shot with a rose by his dancer – REVIEW

ESCXTRA are live from Lisbon for day 1 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Azerbaijan, Iceland, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel, Belarus, Estonia and Bulgaria. We’re streaming live from the press centre 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 Altice Arena by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is ALEKSEEV from Belarus. We have just watched their first run through of Forever live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Staging ALEKSEEV is on a platform at the beginning of his performance with a camera shot tight on his face disguising this prop. He picks up a red rose from the floor and then proceeds to sing to it, presenting it to the camera which spins around holding it, handing it over to a dancer before we head back to ALEKSEEV on his platform. The dancer prances around before picking up an arrow and firing the rose THROUGH ALEKSEEV’s hand. Yes, this is as ludicrous as it sounds. There’s some augmented reality, throwing thousands of …
Day 1 – Netta gives us an Asian-inspired Toy – REVIEW

Day 1 – Netta gives us an Asian-inspired Toy – REVIEW

ESCXTRA are live from Lisbon for day 1 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Azerbaijan, Iceland, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel, Belarus, Estonia and Bulgaria. We’re streaming live from the press centre 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 Altice Arena by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Netta from Israel. We have just watched their first run through of TOY live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Staging There’s a LOT of maneki-nekos for some reason…you know those waving gold cats in Chinese takeaways? Those. Netta’s stood behind her looper, but now it’s all lit up, and the gold and white combination looks incredible. She’s using the looper a lot throughout the performance and it looks so creative. Near the end of the song, she’s helped onto the catwalk by her “stupid boy” and dances with the dancers. It. Looks. Amazing.   Vocals Netta is starting with the “Oooh!” “Ouch!” introduction rather than straight into the song which we LOVE. Netta’s vocals …
Day 1: Press centre in tears after stunning Ieva rehearsal for Lithuania – REVIEW

Day 1: Press centre in tears after stunning Ieva rehearsal for Lithuania – REVIEW

ESCXTRA are live from Lisbon for day 1 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Azerbaijan, Iceland, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel, Belarus, Estonia and Bulgaria. We’re streaming live from the press centre 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 Altice Arena by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Ieva Zasimauskaite from Lithuania. We have just watched their first run through of When We’re Old live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Staging The camera begins behind Ieva who sits on stage looking out to the audience. There is initially no lighting except for a spotlight. Gentle yellow lighting appears at first chorus. There are lots of close shots with slow camera changes until the camera pans out so holograms can join Ieva on screen for the second verse. The holograms show all types of love, whether it be a couple or a family. For the final chorus, Ieva moves onto the staircase and belts When We’re Old out from the bridge. As seen in the Lithuanian …
Day 1: Mikolas Josef shows off his gymnastic abilities – REVIEW

Day 1: Mikolas Josef shows off his gymnastic abilities – REVIEW

ESCXTRA are live from Lisbon for day 1 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Azerbaijan, Iceland, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel, Belarus, Estonia and Bulgaria. We’re streaming live from the press centre 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 Altice Arena by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Mikolas Josef from Czech Republic. We have just watched their first run through of Lie to Me live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Staging Two breakdancers against light-up screens, Mikolas starting on a small staircase, lots of blue and pink, looks good! Mikolas is having fun but it’s obvious that he’s reserving his energy for the live performance, which is a shame for us. About halfway through, the dancers join Mikolas on the staircase and they do some pretty cool dancing together. My favourite part is Mikolas doing a gymnastic breakdancing move near the end….although in the second run-through, that changed to him doing a front flip off the staircase. Either way, both moves elicited …
Day 1: Sennek’s voice shines brighter than the staging – REVIEW

Day 1: Sennek’s voice shines brighter than the staging – REVIEW

ESCXTRA are live from Lisbon for day 1 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Azerbaijan, Iceland, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel, Belarus, Estonia and Bulgaria. We’re streaming live from the press centre 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 Altice Arena by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Sennek from Belgium. We have just watched their first run through of A Matter Of Time live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Staging The performance starts with almost all of Sennek’s stage for the opening half of the first verse. She is standing alone on the catwalk with a microphone stand. The rehearsal doesn’t really engage the audience at all. There’s nothing going on on stage with her. There’s no backing singers and no backing dancers. Vocals Sennek sings well. She doesn’t vocally challenge herself with such limited staging, so it allows her voice to shine. Costumes It’s a black dress, a little sheer in parts, but we aren’t sure if this is her stage …
Day 1: A majestic vocal from Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa – REVIEW

Day 1: A majestic vocal from Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa – REVIEW

ESCXTRA are live from Lisbon for day 1 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018! The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Azerbaijan, Iceland, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel, Belarus, Estonia and Bulgaria. We’re streaming live from the press centre 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 Altice Arena by visiting our YouTube channel. The latest artist to rehearse is Eugent Bushpepa from Albania. We have just watched their first run through of Mall live on screen and here is our initial reaction. Staging The Albanian delegation have their full quota of performers on stage, with Eugent backed by two female backing vocalists, a drummer and two guitarists. The guitarists begin the performance to the side of the stage, joining Eugent by the first chorus. At this point, the lighting switches from a dark blue into red and black which brightens up the performance. Vocals Eugent’s vocals are faultless as always, and his confidence is soaring as he tries several new notes throughout the performance. Of course, his now legendary final high note is present and correct! Costumes All …
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