Eurovision Rehearsals Day 2: analysis, stand-outs and general impressions
The rehearsals for Eurovision 2021 semi final 1 continued for a second night on Sunday evening in Australia! For press and fans it brings us one step closer to the finals and gives us an all important look at staging. As most can agree - entries can rise or demise once we get a good look at the full package being brought to the contest.
Bringing the contest well and truly into the twenty-first century - Aussievision has the delight of being present in the press centre via internet stream. As part of the press centre we view the full performances as seen 'down the lens' as they will be seen on television. For Eurofans - you have access to the EBU official photo gallery and performance 'snippets' on the official Eurovision YouTube channel taken in the arena.
The closing batch of rehearsals featured the second half of semi-final 1:
Now down to the nitty gritty - which entries rose, which dropped and which delivered essentially what we expected from the performances tonight:
Ukraine: Go_A - ‘SHUM'
Wow wow wow! A very slick and well staged performance with a great concept. The addition of two male dancers with halo lights was unexpected, but they help carry the performance through. Great use of striking visuals and the background LED. Kateryna's vocals were on point and well executed, also love her dead pan look close camera shots! A great performance and a highlight of the night.
Cyprus: Elena Tsagrinou - ‘El Diablo’
A lot of anticipation for ‘El Diablo’ in the lead up to the rehearsals, is it going to be a ‘Fuego’ or is it going to be a ‘Replay’, it doesn’t disappoint! Impactful staging with lots of red, choreography, pyro and a large mirror to make this performance next level, simple yet well executed and slick. Her back up dancers are clad in red while Elena is dressed in a stunning sparkling silver fringed outfit. Cypriot stans will be extremely pleased, expect this to up in the odds and be a potential 2021 BIG favourite. A strong entry!
Delivered about what we expected
Malta - Destiny - ‘Je Me Casse'
As the current hot favourite to take out the Eurovision Song Contest we had high expectations. Destiny absolutely delivered and did not disappoint. Every time she was in the frame she was great. The staging is very bright with fluro yellow against the bright pink costuming. It looks very Melfest and possibly too polished losing some of the authenticity from the music video. As a package the performance isn't quite there just yet, but some refining and more focus and close ups of Destiny will definitely elevate it to let her shine.
Norway: TIX ‘Fallen Angel'
Tix keeping with his overall theme from Melodi Grand Prix. He’s still got the bling going on, but in the rehearsal he went for silver sparkling diamond look instead of gold. Nice use of lighting and digital clouds gives the performance an impact especially that moment near the end of the song. Great use of smoke and pyros. A sold performance.
Belgium: Hooverphonic - ‘The Wrong Place'
Hooverphonic delivered something very true to themselves and it was expected. A very dark performance overall, to suit the mood of the song. All the band members and backing vocalist surrounding the lead singer Geike, with all the focus on her as the camera pans around them. Nice use of the screen in the main hall. Great shots of the lead singer with the backing vocalist. Vocals were exceptional sounding just like the studio.
Israel: Eden Alene - ‘Set Me Free’
Eden demonstrated the great performer she is. Great full use of the stage, and lovely use of bright pink, and blue neon colours throughout. Quite a fun and energetic entry, where Eden is accompanied by five dancers. She hit that whistle note every single time which was impressive. There does seem to be a lot going on in the last 30-45 seconds of the song, simplifying the end a bit will elevate the performance as a whole.
Azerbaijan: Efendi - ‘Mata Hari’
The simple staging and choreography worked will with the song. Great tight camera shots. The long shots do get swallowed up by the stage. The colour palette of pink, blue, brown and gold is a choice. I may be a little harsh here but most of all though the performance needs more impact! Where are the pyros? Where is the fire from Azerbaijan that we love so much?
Croatia - Albina ‘Tick Tock'
Some nice elements to try and bring the performance up another level from her Dora performance. The overall performance needs some polishing. Not overly convinced by the outfits, as a package it has lost its grit and authenticity from Albina’s national final performance. Fans of the song would be pleased with this though.
Romania: Roxen - ‘Amnesia’
A few nerves from Roxen giving some shaky vocals. Staging wise similar to the music video with Roxen and the dancers. The addition of the smoke effect took the staging to another level. The performance has an independent theatre, Rock Eisteddfod vibe to it. Some polishing up overall could elevate it.
Press poll result
The ESCXTRA press poll result had some similarities with our take, but also some key differences.
Members of the accredited press voted (including us) with this the final result:
Ukraine - 81
Cyprus - 61
Croatia - 46
Belgium - 45
Malta - 45
Norway - 26
Israel - 12
Azerbaijan - 11
Romania - 9
That rounds up the second night of rehearsals. Follow Aussievision at @aussievisionnet on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram for updates and live-tweeting for the ongoing rehearsals including times in AEST for fellow Aussies to join in.