Monday, 13 May 2013
Monty: the welcome party and the first dress rehearsal
Well it's a bit late in the day but this is the first moment I've had in the press centre after a much needed lie-in this morning. Well until this afternoon to be honest. We've just watched the first dress rehearsal from the arena, more of that in a moment. But first let me bring you up to speed on last night's Welcome Party.
As the press would have numbered too many to fit into the welcome reception at the Opera House we didn't have access to their and rather than squeeze into the flanks of the red carpet to snaps the back of some well-lacquered hairdos, we plumped instead for the warm up event at Dr and Lady Eurovision's Gin Palace (aka the apartment shared by Paul Jordan, who you'll see during the semi finals on the BBC Broadcast and Elaine Dove, of Eurovision Ireland). We quaffed some aperitifs to get us into the mood then headed for the party itself which after the formal reception was being held in the EuroClub, with the artistes bussed over following their nibbles.
Again we had some very tasty food and a small nod to the Greek song with one free drink before we whored ourselves around anyone who wanted to have their photo taken with us. We missed a good many, given some of the Facebook snaps I've seen today from others (I'm clearly slipping this year) but we did see Georgia, Iceland, Slovenia, Serbia, San Marino, Montenegro, Sweden. Switzerland,and some of Macedonia and Greece. I'm pleased to have completed my double set of the lead singer and the drummer, my stalking here is all bit done, just Italy to add to the special set, and a few more to the PG rated ensemble.
Also present were some previous entrants, Glen Vella from Malta, Ott Letland from Estonia, Melodifestivalen entrant Matie Sernholdt, and Eurovision legends Bobbysocks letting it swing and letting it rock and roll.
Bolstered by the earlier gins we launched ourselves very energetically onto the dance floor were we stayed until almost the end, my exit delayed by a particularly timely spinning of Jag Ljuger Sâ Bra, before we schlepped through the Central Station, bedecked in Eurovision regalia and still pumping out Eurovision classics from a sound system as over-exhausted revellers and those who had missed their last trains tried to get a bit of shut eye on the benches. I was on a mission for a bag of dill flavoured crisps, my favourite snack that I'm yet to have a whiff of since getting here, but to no avail. Malmö is fun but it leaves a lot to be desired in the late-night munchies department.
Our marathon sleep session left us only awake and out at about 2pm, barely enough time to fodder up before getting here for the rehearsal. I won't give away any of the surprises but there are a couple of lovely comedy moments on stage and on screen from host Petra Mede, and the whole thing looks great. I've not changed my opinions about much, so I'll refer you to earlier posts and our video blogs for thoughts rather than repeat them, but I will pick out a few moments.
We were a little late starting but once we did it ran pretty smoothly, the only obvious hitches was a second start for Ukraine (it looked like an issue with her mic pack), and the wrong semi's country names coming up on the reprise at first. As to your ins and outs, I think out are Austria, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Montenegro. In we have Denmark, Ireland, Moldova, Russia, And Ukraine. The remaining 5 will come from Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Netherlands, and I think any of those could make it. If your favourite is amongst them you might want to be prepared for a surprise... Asked to pick a winner from this semi it would be Ireland by a country mile. Its energy was fantastic in the hall. I do hope it gets a decent draw.
Yes, yes, I know you want me to be more specific and nail my colours to the mast. We'll be partaking in the ever-popular Serviette of Doom tomorrow where we all commit our 10 for judgement, so I'll finalise my list for you then.
Well, that's me done for just now. I'm off to have a quiet night in. Ha! Fooled you! We're off to the Israeli party at 9.30 where I expect to eat my own body weight in hummus (making a considerable dent in the world's chickpea mountain as I do) and then it's on to the Euro Fan Cafe to see if we can win a seat in the Green Room on Saturday night with their devilishly difficult quiz. There'll also be special guests performing so should be another great night. Expect to here from me in the post meridian tomorrow...