A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

What good are strong vocals?

The reports are pouring in from Vienna, where the contestants of the second semi final are going through their second rehearsals today. I must admit I miss being there. Seeing the entries slowly unfold in rehearsals (or gradually collapse, in some cases) is among my favourite things when on location.

One thing following rehearsals could do to you is however that you may turn deaf and blind to other things. You will watch the rehearsal of Country X and think it is much better than you expected it to be. And you start thinking that if they sing this well, they must be a qualifier.

I have done it so many times myself. Or even kept repeating the mantra: "If they just get this right in the camera work, it will be fantastic."

How easy it is to forget that if an entry lacked a proper strong song to start with, no amount of fine singing or staging tricks will help that. (Unless the country in question is Ukraine. But they're not even in it this time.) If you have no song the viewers can connect to, you're toast.

Reading all the updates on rehearsals is amusing and entertaining, but it's in no way sure that the people on location will have a better guess than us at home in the end.

And to prove my point: back in 2009, when I was doing the commentator job from a tiny studio in Helsinki, I was convinced this one would make it to the final since they sang so well. Oh, bless.

Kamil Mikulčík & Nela Pocisková - Let' Tmou (Slovakia 2009)

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