Eurovision has started! The first half of the first Semi-Final contestants had their first rehearsals today. And one of the favorites looked so poorly, they dropped out of the top 5 in most people’s estimation. But not to worry, that’s why they rehearse.
Here’s how each did (click on the links for more details & videos):
If you’re a fan of Lindita’s music video for “World”, then you’re going to be a huge fan of her staging at Eurovision 2017. During her first rehearsal she took visual elements of her music video and made them bigger and more arresting. The performance opens with her singing before mountains and bathed in dark green light. The clock from her video appears on the LED walls and fills the entire circular stage floor, ticking to the beat. Her armada of spaceships sails past, eventually interweaving with the clocks on the screens. (more...)
Australia frequently rides under the radar before bringing the house down at Eurovision. And they definitely surprised us this morning as Isaiah Firebrace oozed class and soul during his first rehearsal. The 17-year-old star stands on a Lazy Susan — you know, that wooden table that you use to pass the bread and butter. At times it turns him, but at other times he walks against the grain, suggesting the struggle that he discusses in his song “Don’t Come Easy”. (more...)
Avant-garde and totally original, Dihaj does Eurovision her way. And today during her first rehearsal she made that very clear with a performance melding performance art and pop. The opening sees the singer in a small room of chalkboards, which feature the lyrics of her song. She serves face and writhes against the walls as she sings about her “Skeletons”. Eventually the camera pans up and the audience sees a man in a suit wearing a horse head. The room soon collapses, Dihaj runs riot on the walls, and she expresses disdain for a series of male dancers by marking them with Xs. This is dark and artistic — and one of the visual highlights of the day. (more...)
She sings that she’s “all alone in the danger zone” in her song “City Lights”. And unfortunately Blanche’s first rehearsal at Eurovision 2017 reflected that. Perhaps overawed by the vast stage, she had visible stage fright and her hands seemed to tremble. Early on her voice wobbled, but she did pull it together as the rehearsals progressed. The staging is disappointing — though it’s not clear whether that’s down to producers not having perfected their cuts…or just a poor concept. Blanche stands centre stage and alone before a blue-grey LED that features a white Earth and lots of shining lights. The strength of her music video was its simplicity and sparseness. This just feels too busy and borders on a mess. (more...)
When you dominate in your national final, it only makes sense to recreate that at Eurovision. That’s certainly the case for Finland’s Norma John. They’ve transplanted their UMK staging and simply added some minor flourishes here in Kyiv. Atmosphere builds once more and Leena was in great form vocally. (more...)
She’s working with famed Swedish choreographer Sacha Jean-Baptiste. But after her first rehearsal at Eurovision 2017, Georgia’s Tamara Gachechiladze should ask for a refund. The staging — essentially a red screen with white baubles and some waves — gets bland very quickly. The LED floor, also red, looks like blood. Tamara stands on a plasma-like bubble which made us think of menstruation. (more...)
If you’re going to do crazy you have to commit. And Montenegro’s Slavko Kalezic did just that during his first rehearsal at Eurovision 2017, turning his man-braid into the centre of his over-the-top and ultimately uplifting performance. The X Factor Adria star turned up and turned out, wearing a translucent, skintight black top that showed off his ample assets. During the song’s introduction he wore his blue-ish Venus skirt from the music video, before stripping it off to reveal spray-on diamond-studded leggings, which cling to each of his gym-honed contours. He works hard for that body and it shows! (more...)
She’s the older sister of Salvador Sobral and she’s filling in for her brother during the first two Eurovision rehearsals. And on Sunday Luisa did him proud as she steered the first technical rehearsal. Ahead of today’s performance I worried that the big setting and over-the-top LED options might distract from the purity of the song. Thankfully it hasn’t. In fact, it’s enhanced the atmosphere and made a classic song feel more contemporary. It’s also my favourite performance of the day. (more...)
He may have been the surprise winner of Melodifestivalen 2017, but Robin Bengtsson proved he was still a worthy one during his first rehearsal at Eurovision 2017. Having shipped his treadmills to Kyiv from Stockholm, he didn’t falter as he threw it down on the movable machines. (more...)
Let us know who you think did best in the comments.