Hello there, it’s Richard and I’ll be here LIVE from Tallinn over the next couple of days, bringing you some extra coverage before the Final tomorrow night, when Andrew will have the normal LIVE BLOG for you.
Tomorrow, I’ll bring you coverage of the Jury Final from 12:30 CET, but join me today as I guide you through the finalists first rehearsals – you know the drill, just hit refresh throughout the day to see the latest happenings from the Saku Suurhall.
Refresh from 09:50CET
And we are off!!! I won’t comment on stage outfits today as they are unlikely to be the finished article – I’ll save this for the Jury Final tomorrow afternoon.
09:50 – Karl-Kristjan & Karl Killing (ft. WATEVA) – „Young”
One of the Karl’s starts amongst the audience and then joins the other one on stage. A pet hate of many I know from other websites – the words of the song are on the back projection. They also appear as computer generated images on your television screen too, something the audience in the Saku Suurhall won’t see – very clever.
There is a very strong colour scheme throughout of pale blue and yellow, which is stuck too. This is used in both lighting and the back projection.
The two Karl’s make good use of the stage and cat walk – moving from one side to the other and forwards to back – while one Karl goes one way, the other Karl goes in the opposite direction.
10:20 – Eliis Pärna ja Gerli Padar – „Taevas”
We haven’t really seen much from this rehearsal so far apart from some sound checks and we have a prop on stage! That prop consists of a giant Picture Frame. Whether this acts as something Elis and Gerli will use to mirror images, only time will tell.
Eliis and Gerli individually start at the Mirror Frame – then during the performance there are times where they are able to look at each other. The rehearsal period has been full of technical issues this morning, so I’ll have a better description of this performance in tomorrow’s Jury Final blog. From what I viewed though, it is a very beautiful and sincere performance.
It’s interesting to listen to an answer to a question in the press conference – they don’t think the Saku Suurhall is the most ideal place for a concert venue re sound.
10:50 – Nika – „Knock Knock”
Nika has a very smoke filled stage for her performance of Knock Knock. The performance is very intense throughout with the way she looks into the camera and the way she handles her half naked backing dancers.
Sadly we currently have no sound, but it does look amazing on our screen.
The back projection has some giant pixelated lips along with some icy mountains – another aspect that adds to the intense feeling to the performance.
11:20 – Sibyl Vane – „Thousand Words”
Another vibrant performance with various on screen imagery – just like our first entry from the two Karl’s. The back projection is full of blacks, reds and whites. Sibyl seems to bring a very useful aspect to the show – maybe something that is intentional to gain the youth vote – like Kerli aimed for last year.
Electric guitars and drum kits are heavily used in this performance – something we have yet to see in the proceedings.
Sibyl certainly knows how to smile and has a likeable factor about her. She certainly proves to be enjoying herself.
11:50 – Stig Rästa – „Home”
Stig is on stage with three backing singers – although very much in the far left corner of the stage. Stig seems massively at home on the stage, considering he only represented the country a few years back in Vienna, 2015.
Although part of the stage set, there are some use of LED lighting (although at an angle), not too dissimilar to SuRie’s at Eurovision You Decide back in January.
The back projections use a nice marbled effect of blacks and whites merging into each other – rather classy and actually quite bright – works well with the LED lighting strips.
A colleague on the Press Room has commented it is a throwback to traditional 1990’s Eurovision, albeit the language isn’t the National one!!! In the Press Conference, Stig states the performance is not 100% ready, but will be ready for tomorrow.
12:20 – Vajé – „Laura (Walk With Me)”
Vaje starts off his performance sitting on the stage steps before walking in front of a black screen – where we can see hands moving on the sides. Another comes on stage with a gun firing out what looks like to be dry ice.
A female dancer comes on stage and looks to be manhandling our singer here – maybe this is one of the reasons this progressed through the tele-vote in the first semi final.
12:50 – Elina Nechayeva – „La forza”
Elina has to be rehearsing in her stage outfit as she is in a massive white ballgown – with a black beaded top that covers the whole stage. There are a lot of bright lights throughout beamed in all directions around the Saku Suurhall. Operatic sounds bring drama to this entry. One of the few songs that have achieved this so far today.
The back projection screens give the element of Elina floating amongst the stars in a night sky. Imagery is also projected on to her ballgown – something we’ve seen many times at Eurovision – Petra Mede had the Danish flag projected on to her dress when the country won in Malmo, back in 2013.
Technically, the show has gone up a notch this year I believe.
14:35 – Frankie Animal – “(Can’t Keep Calling) Misty”
And now to a favourite with the girls from ESC Insight – it’s Frankie Animal. Quite a contemporary sound. I am finding the camera work is all over the place and it’s hard to focus what is going on. The Estonians are loving this is the Press Centre – just like Kerli last year – let’s hope the same fate doesn’t await Frankie Animal.
We have Electric Guitars and Drums on stage to accompany Frankie Bridge. At the moment, I’m getting a sixties/seventies type vibe in the way they perform Misty. They are not moving all over the place like a lot of the entries you’ll see tomorrow night, it’s more like Sibyl Vane from earlier in the day.
The lighting is very white and plain – not necessarily anything wrong with that – in fact simple can work instead of dramatic colouring sometimes.
15:05 – Iiris & Agoh – „Drop That Boogie”
We have very strong blue and neon lighting. Iiris does sound out of tune – but she has plenty of time to rectify this before tomorrow night’s big final. The slight colour filter on the camera makes it to be a modern performance – although I don’t think this would make much difference at the moment.
The backing dancers move around using ballerina movements – this certainly something different from everything else we’ve seen so far today.
The sofa on stage, that Iiris lays on at the beginning, is one of the few big props we will be treated to tomorrow evening. Big props seem to be out of fashion yet again – very few were seen at the Eurovision Song Contest last year in Kyiv compared to previous years.
15:35 – Evestus – „Welcome to my world”
Evestus are certainly the hard rockers of the show. The stage is set up with wire fencing and adds to the whole vibe. The backing singers are in drag – not really quite sure how this fits in.
The back projection has fire balls at times and the stage also gets some outbursts of dry ice. Lights are draped from the ceiling of the stage – I can only compared the way they are draped to Molly Smitten-Downes UK Eurovision launch back in 2014 – quite a comparison to make I know!
Not particularly my favourite of the ten, but I’m not the one voting – the Estonians are.
This just about rounds up today’s coverage of Eesti Laul. I’ll be back here tomorrow afternoon, LIVE from the Saku Suurhall in Tallinn. Don’t forget we have a Super Saturday weekend yet again, so stay with Eurovision Ireland for all the coverage of National Finals you require.
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland
Categories: Eurovision 2018