Eurovision rehearsals: The big 5 and hosts
Day 6 of Eurovision rehearsals are complete and overnight we got the first look at the big 5 nations and hosts The Netherlands.
There was some real surprises and by the end of the night we had two new countries at the top of the odds.
We run through each entry below:
Italy: Måneskin - 'Zitti e buoni'
The Italian group were first up out of the Big 5 and brought a rock concert meets Eurovision extravaganza to the stage. The final minute features pyros galore and looks to make a real impact on viewers. There's some issues on camera work, lighting and staging which loses the connection with the charismatic group. But we expect that to be fixed in future rehearsals for a truly epic Eurovision performance.
The group rocketed to favouritism in the odds after the rehearsal! But they would drop to 2nd by the end of the night...
Germany: Jendrik - 'I Don't Feel Hate'
The type of energetic and quirky performance we expected to see. Jendrick is backed by a trio of brass wielding dancers and his main counterpart - the middle finger! Great LED use but at times Jendrick is going at such full pace is struggles with some breathing. Easily fixed, a performance not for everyone but it has a charm that just needs to be polished.
The Netherlands: Jeangu Macrooy - 'The Birth of a New Age'
The surprise of the night. Jeangu and his team have put together a ready-to-go Eurovision package. Strong visual and tight camera shots are backed by a dark grey LED with the English translation of his lyrics to 'You Can't Break Me'. Some simple but effecitve choreography is included before an explosion of colour finishes the performance. An amazing vocal, this was really well put together.
France: Barbara Pravi - 'Voilà'
Her national final performance was brought to the Eurovision stage incredibly well. The lighting is impeccable and Barbara delivers her vocal with passion and style. They have kept nearly all elements including the bird LEDs, the steadicam finish, but instead of the white dust/snow effect, it's stars now. Overall a good translation of her original performance to the main stage without losing its intimacy.
The bookies were impressed with Barbara now the new favourite to take out the crown!
UK: James Newman - 'Embers'
This is a really well put together package. James begin standing between two giant white trumpets. He has backing dancers also with brass instruments and he engages with them throughout. There is enough movement and different LEDs to avoid it being one note and it's quite a bop. This could even be a show opener. There is still work to be done on shots and James will grow into his confidence but potentially UK's best package in years.
Spain: Blas Cantó - 'Voy a quedarme'
Blas starts out his performance singing acappella and does a really good job of it. The staging revolves around a moon that moves from a total eclipse (of the Blas..... ha sorry I'll see myself out...), to a giant full moon that comes down on stage with Blas, before it flies off into a space with the LEDs behind. It's impactful to a point of being distracting. But overall a decent first rehearsal for Spain.
Tonight will see the conclusion of the second rehearsals for semi-final 2