Eurovision 2016 – Day 2 First Rehearsals LIVE ROLLING BLOG – START 1000 CET- JUST REFRESH
Just when you thought you had seen the best of us, we are back and better than ever!! If you were thinking of going anywhere else for your fix of Eurovision rehearsal news, then SHAME ON YOU!!
You can follow our LIVE BLOG HERE – You know the drill by now. Just refresh the page for our live updates. We start at 1000CET. You will be taken care of by Phil (our good friend from OnEurope) – So if you want an honest opinion of how the rehearsals are going then tune in here. The other members of the team should be chiming in from time to time, but mostly its all me me me me me!!
Who do we have rehearsing today?
10 – Czech Republic
PHIL – …..or Czechia as no one should be calling them ever! They seem to be either a little bit late *or* they are doing things on the stage that we can’t see….. changing their song is at 9/2……. Not Falling over at 6/1.
If you bet “not falling over” – collect your tickets now… though she did have to stop and start again as, ironically, she didn’t know where to stand!! Gabriela’s styling och consulting leave a touch to be desired if her dress is the one in the final but she is the first act that uses the stage and all it’s gubbins to the full effect. There seems to be a lot of Pyro spaces in the rehearsals and this, rightly, gets roundly applauded in the press room.
A great rehearsal, pretty and nice performance but change the dress!!
JAMES: Poor Czech Republic… not a single Eurovision final to your name, but I really have a feeling that’s about to change! On top of a flawless and confident vocal performance, Gabriela’s staging is bright, simple and should stand out a mile considering the songs it is between. I’ve always said that sometimes less is more, and this performance illustrates that perfectly. I put this on par with Not Alone (Armenia 2014) and Undo (Sweden 2014)! C’mon Czechia… you’ve waited long enough! This deserves to qualify!
JOHN: Triangles are in, in Prague in 2016. There’s lots of geometry in stage for Gabriela, mainly in blue and pinks. It makes the stage look huge. She’s able to hold her own on this ‘massive’ stage and stands out in a long white dress. She’s slim and quite perfectly formed. The song comes across really well, and it’s the only big ballad of its type in this semi-final. Looking at the running order, after the kitchen sink of Russia and before the testosterone of Cyprus, it’s likely to stand out.
11 – Cyprus
JAMES: Forget the understated ballads of 2015! Cyprus are loud, in your face and EPIC! Adventurous camera angels give us a unique view of the band’s steel cages and jolting visuals of wolves certainly give us a memorable show! This song has already proved itself to be a fan favourite and the belting vocals do not disappoint. Both the arena audience and those at home are going to have a blast rocking out and howling along!
RICHARD: If an entry hasn’t grabbed anybody’s attention by now, then this one certainly will, especially on the night. I can see this doing very well and the audience both in the arena, as well as those watching at home will turn into their inner Rock Gods for three minutes. Visually this is an amazing stage show too. This wins both vocally and visually – something that is sometimes hard to achieve.
JOHN: First run through of Minus One featured monochrome wolves. They are not on stage; the cameras keep cutting to them in a subliminal fashion. They are doing their best to be a rock outfit and some of them are caged up to prove how fierce they are. Talking of the cameras, there might need to be a few changes to their angles, as there could be the danger of them putting the audience off what is a great song.
12 – Austria
RICHARD: One word describe this performance – Disney. The song is lost amongst the visually display on stage. Vocally brilliant, however Zoe appears lost amongst all the visuals. If, Zoe was to perform this song on the satellite stage at the end of the catwalk, this would work.
JAMES: They say if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. And as the technicoloured trip has done Loin D’ici so proud in both the Austrian final and the official music video, it’s little wonder they’ve gone for the same ooey-gooey pink sweetness in the final. So why does a feel a touch flat now? I don’t think it’s because it’s been overdone by this point – I think it’s lost impact because Zoë is dwarfed by the stage around her. It’s also a rather static performance for a song that makes us want to skip merrily. Zoë looks like she’s having the time of her life though, and that enthusiasm will be invaluable during the semi.
PHIL – Who broke this song? – It’s suddenly turned from a fan favorite to a song that is doomeder than Doomy D mcDoom from Doomshire. There has been an overhaul and there is NO Travelator and it’s all sickly and sweet and I have brought my insulin thankfully!!. The charm has been forcibly removed from this by Disneyfying the song and now the question that has to be asked is “Who on earth is going to vote for this??” At least the “aww bless” factor was in the preview, now it’s just something that melds into the background and, after Cyprus which is loud… this is not standing out at all.
13 – Estonia
PHIL – Juri is now dressed like a croupier and has the background to the local casino on the stage as well. He’s got the cards… all he needs now, are his Players…. He still looks like he knows where the bodies are kept and, when he reveals his ace, he throws it into the crowd like a ninja would throw a death star (or whatever they are called.)
There is clearly a theme here ( Cards), but again, like Austria, i’m not sure if it’s covering the fact that the song just isn’t that good or was supposed to enhance the performance. This should have been decent but I do think that ETV have overthought the “cool” factor of this. Juri, to his credit, hits his camera marks and his boyish good looks help a bit but it needs a lot more help!!
14 – Azerbaijan
PHIL – The group have gone for Lunch and have left me to hear this one. The buggers!! – Samra can’t carry a tune in a bucket at the moment. This has gone horribly horribly wrong in this rehearsal. Her pitch and tuning were all over the place, she looked all at sea. To say that this was far from perfect would be an understatement of the decade!! – I hear that she “has a bad throat today” ( that’ll explain it then!!) so hopefully she’ll be back on form on Thursday….. Personally doubt it.
15 – Montenegro
JAMES: I applaud Montenegro for sending a bold and daring choice of song to this contest. It takes a lot of courage to take a risk in Eurovision. The staging suits the feel of the song perfectly, but is poorly executed. It tries to replicate the mood of a live gig, but the camera work is far too erratic and disparate and adds nothing to the performance. Added to the music, it’s too chaotic.
16 – Iceland
PHIL – This seems to have split opinion in the press centre. Russia have definitely Stolen all of her power and thunder with the visual effects and the song itself seems to be lacking attack when she comes to sing it. It appears to have been choreographed to within an inch of it’s life and whilst Greta clearly knows how to perform this, how to emote in just the right ways and how to give the camera a killer look…. it appears that since the National Final all of the power and visual impact has been blunted by Russia and the fact that there are massive pauses between some of the visual elements and where she needs to be. It is a very good job they are not back to back as they could be the same staging idea if not, thankfully, the same song. Qualifying definitely but not winning. The Press Centre stayed strangely quiet through out this with one or two bits of applause. Strange really considering it was a fan favourite.
17 – Bosnia and Herzegovina
JAMES: Having the singers separated by a barbed wire fence is a hugely powerful image, especially coming from Bosnia. But, oh, how I wish the cellist (and the singers at the beginning) were not wearing that foil cape! I won’t go as far as to say it ruined it for me, but I think it detracts needless from what is otherwise sublime.
JOHN: The song with four named artistes has a lot going on. First, in deference to Chanée & N’evergreen, Deen and Dalal start either side of a barbed wire fence, her initially dressed in the sort of foil capes they give marathon runners when they cross the line. Ana, the cellist, and Jalal the rapper do their stuff in an OK way. Rap isn’t my thing but I can see that it having its appeal among rapfans. The cello is gold keeping with the shiny motif. It’s busy but highly likely to qualify.
18 – Malta
JOHN: Final song today and it was one of the highlights. Ira does undergo a costume changebut more of that later. She makes great use of the catwalk in her long dress that has the look of beaten gold. It’s floor length and billows out at the bottom. This is because images are on it – a common theme of recent years. There are plenty of overhead shots which show off the watery theme of the song. Towards the end the dancer (who we saw in the video) removes her long dress to reveal something short and black. The effect is very striking and sure to catch the eye of the televoter. A definite qualifier.
PHIL: Sorry for neglecting you dear readers, I’ve been busy milking cows!! – I heard Malta and thought “Qualifier” straight away which should please people on this table and beyond. My only thing with this is that the chromakey dress doesn’t appear to work. Not work in a technical sense but there seems, from our perspective, a disconnect between the workmanlike visuals and the challenging dual-nature of this modern slice of pop. If I were on the delegation, I would try to either make the visuals work better or, if not technically possible, try to make the dress a skirt. That would improve it no end.
F – Sweden
PHIL : There is a big contrast here between the character that Frans is playing in the song, and the performer Frans. The character that Frans is playing is mumbling a 3 minute tease towards his loved one and when he says “no” you really do want to beat him to within an inch of his life. The performer, Frans, is very very engaging and whilst even if you don’t like the song you are going to be looking at him all of the time. Nans, Mums, Kids, Twinks and everyone has a chance of voting for it. It is as dangerous as a stick of C4 with an electric current.