It’s that time again! Let the rehearsals of the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest continue! Today see’s the second ten acts take to the stage for their first rehearsals – you know the drill, join me, Richard from 08:00CET by regularly refreshing the page for all the up-to-date commentary from here in Minsk!
Refresh From 08:00CET
10:00 – 10:40 Italy
Melissa & Marco start Wednesday rehearsals with “What Is Love”. Marco starts off on a Swing (Prop 1 of the day), before joined on stage by Melissa where there is a connection and chemistry.
Marco is in a black suit, white shirt and yellow bow tie. Melissa has a big yellow feathery dress, with a grey jacket and top.
We have a moon on the back projection with subtle blue lighting throughout. There are hints of yellow lighting throughout to elaborate on key moments throughout the performance. The moon changes to a Disney-esque castle during the performance.
The second run-through see’s the removal of Melissa’s jacket and the top shows the skirt is in fact a yellow dress.
10:40 – 11:20 Kazakhstan
The first of our two debuting nations has taken to the stage. Daneliya Tuleshova is having to restart due to sound issues. She is dressed in a long white dress.
Visually, money has obviously been spent on the back projection. Many browns and oranges, it shows a moving landscape – with this, lighting and cinematography, it is dramatic throughout.
11:20 – 12:00 Malta
Ela is “Marchin’ On” in this next rehearsal. She is dressed in a red T-shirt, which is half tucked in to some red trousers. Her backing dancers are in black tops with yellow dresses and black trousers.
The music video has inspired the back projection and floor projections. Starting off on the island stage, Ela and her backing dancers soon move on to the main stage and make full use of the space they have.
Ela is oozing confidence with these first rehearsals. She know’s where she needs to be throughout the performance and is very camera friendly.
12:00 – 12:40 Poland
Roksana Wegiel has taken to the stage with “Anyone I Want To Be”. Both Roksana and her five backing dancers are in white with yellow strips on their outfits.
There is a point during the performance when the backing dancers pull ribbons from the back of Roksana – ala Sertab Erener (Turkey 2003) in the Eurovision Song Contest.
The cinematic filter of monochrome for the first minute or so doesn’t look completely right yet, however the camera work is slightly all over too. The camera work is still all over the place when full colour is used.
Roksana starts off with space goggles, and while this is supposedly part of the narrative, I don’t quite follow it yet.
13:40 – 14:20 Portugal
Rita Laranjeira is the first act on after the lunch break with “Gosto de Tudo”. Rita is dressed in a black dress with pink spots, along with black leggings.
The staging is amazing. Bright colours galore within the staging with elements of Facebook Live split screens and swiping shots ala Instagram. For the social media savvy generation, they are more likely to get this performance when it comes to voting unlike other generations.
Ireland have competition in terms of fun and brightness. Portugal could have taken one step above them with the social media aspects – something they have enhanced on from the emoji stage projections last year.
14:20 – 15:00 Russia
Anna Filipchuk has taken to the stage with “Unbelievable”. Anna is joined by three band members and two backing singers. Anna is dressed in a denim number, while the five remaining supporting artists are in red tops and jeans.
The performance is basic – a very concert like concept. Nothing wrong with it, yet nothing exciting about it neither. The latter third of the song has a back projection of children in coloured blocks singing along.
Something is shouting ‘Glee’ (US TV show) to me in this performance – not that that is a bad thing neither.
15:00 – 15:40 Serbia
Bojana Radovanovic is up next with “Svet”. We see another artist in yet another white dress – obviously the colour of choice this year. This is complemented with a white head piece.
The back protection shows a far distant mythical land behind a foreground of clouds. Visually, lights are mainly blues, pinks and purples.
The first run through sees some poor camera work and Bojana possibly forgetting her choreography. The second run through has flowed a lot better. There is connectivity with the audience at an angle away from the camera.
15:40 – 16:20 The Netherlands
Max and Anne have finally taken to the stage with “Samen”. Max and Anne are in very similar outfits to the National Final. Anne is in a white shirt with sparkly elements, while Max is in a black sparkly jacket with a white top and trousers.
The back projection is of holographic images of the duo. This reminds us of similar imagery we saw at the Alekseev concert on Sunday. LED screens feature the word ‘Together’ in multiple languages near the end of the song.
While Italy worked, the Netherlands still have a little bit of work to do to gain the same level of visual emotion.
16:20 – 17:00 Ukraine
Darina Krasnovetska delivers a strong and edgy performance with “Say Love”. Darina is again wearing white, with a shredded effect on the sleeves. Red is used in the clothing to add that dramatic effect.
The backdrop is used to say various statements – white wording on a red background. The edgy drama is visualised on screen even more when the image goes monochrome with the red coming through of the megaphone.
Darina is on her own on the stage. Because of the edgy production of her performance, Darina doesn’t look lost on the stage. I suppose the edgy camera work adds to the Ukrainian performance, like the lighting adds to the Israeli performance.
17:00 – 17:40 Wales
Manw is on stage for the second of the two debuting nations, with her entry “Perta”. Manw is currently in an outfit, not too much dissimilar to Michael Jacksons ‘Thriller’ – this can easily be changed. The four backing dancers are all in black with added sparkle on the lower halves.
The backdrop depicts the welsh valleys, but doesn’t match the added flowers that appear on the top, side and floor LED screens. The camera work was OK, again something else that can be fixed quickly.
Saying all of the above, Manw has come to Minsk very competent and you can tell that the stage show has been rehearsed well. We have a similar dance move to have already featured within the Azeri and Irish performances, however all three are portrayed differently with the varying paces of the songs.
There are very few things that need tweaking, but once done, Wales will have a very polished performance.
Another run-through and they’ve killed the screen protections – it does help a bit in terms of the whole element connectivity. Only time will tell what S4C will go with for their second rehearsals on Friday.
That is it from me today in Minsk. #JoinMe again from 07:00GMT/08:00CET tomorrow for the first day of second rehearsals, when the first half of participating countries return to the stage – this time appearing in reverse order from Tuesday.
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland
Video Sources: YouTube/EBU