Eesti Laul

#ESTONIA: Eesti Laul Final Rehearsals #LiveBlog – #JoinUs from 09:45 CET

Today is the day when the finalists take to the stage to complete several run-throughs of their entries, ahead of tomorrow night’s final of Eesti Laul. Twenty four acts have taken to the stage in Tartu, vying for the twelve spots this Saturday night.

One of these twelve acts will gain Estonia’s spot at the Eurovision Song Contest this year in Tel-Aviv – you know the drill, join me, Richard from 09:45CET by regularly refreshing the page!

You never know, John may be sharing his opinion of some of the afternoon shenanigans too, as may well Phil from OnEurope too – keep an eye out to see if they appear in the Blog today!

Refresh from 09:45 CET

Rehearsals have started a few minutes late, but this isn’t an issue as things will soon catch up.

09:45 Sissi – “Strong”

Sissi and her backing dancers are rehearsing out of their stage outfits that they’ll be wearing tomorrow night. We’ve only had sound for the second half of the first run-through, so I can’t comment on that yet.

Sissi starts on one of the two catwalks with a great head shot. She walks onto the main stage to join her three backing singers, before finally been joined by two backing dancers.

The stage design is lit in blue LED strips. The performance ends in a overhead shot of Sissi and her backing singers/dancers, with their backs to the stage.

Sissi is doing another run-through with a blue jacket over her normal clothes. While Sissi is rehearsing, we have had a press briefing to confirm today’s rehearsal won’t be in full costume or make up.

10:10 Lumevärv ft. INGA – “Milline päev”

INGA is on stage is a white feathery jacket, having the time of her life. The lighting consists of pinks and blues – not necessarily suitable for those that suffer from epilepsy.

We may be getting the run-throughs on slight delay, so please ignore the timings slightly.

As an audience member tomorrow night for the live show, INGA will make me want to dance along with all her enthusiasm. While this is a memorable entry, it isn’t one that stands out to win yet.

The one thing to note about this performance is, a lot of the camerawork has INGA with her back to the audience – as if the audience is part of the act. This is one of the very few times I’ve seen this at a National Final or Eurovision Song Contest.

INGA has revealed in the press conference she isn’t feeling her best. So to remedy this, she will be going straight home for a few hours sleep, before tonight’s dress rehearsal.

10:35 Victor Crone – “Storm”

Vocally Victor Crone sounds as amazing as he did in his semi final. The picture is currently frozen here in the press room, but it looks like he is dressed in the same leathers he wore in his semi.

Victor begins with a guitar, before losing it after the first few lines. One would assume at this point that is backing dancer rushes it off the stage. She has since disappeared too.

The stage is lit with white LED’s and a selection of blues. We have some amazing CGI graphics on screen that the aren audience won’t see. Victor is surrounded by a hurricane, with lighting bolts and flying leaves – an amazing effect.

11:00 Kerli Kivilaan – “Cold Love”

Kerli is joined on stage with her band. Kerli is a white dress, which I’d be very surprised if this wasn’t her stage outfit for the live final.

While sounding great, it’s an interesting key to sing in, one which not many male or female could do. Throughout the performance, Kerli is perched on a stall.

With the band also sat down, this gives the performance a very static feel, however I can’t see how this ballad can be anything but static.

The LED heart is revealed on stage at the end – just like the one that featured in the semi final that she took part in.

The staging is very dark. While not entirely, the lighting is coming from lightbulbs hanging down – an effect we’ve seen on back projections previously at the Eurovision Song Contest.

11:25 xtra basic & Emily J – “Hold Me Close”

Emily J starts on the catwalk before making her way on to the main stage. This is the second run-through, the first was a camera run-through.

Emily J moves around the stage throughout her performance, however looks quite lonely been the only person on stage.

Again, we have some strong blue LED lighting, with added oranges and purples. If “Hold Me Close” made Tel Aviv, some backing dancers would make a welcome addition to the performance.

We have had another couple of run-throughs, however nothing much has changed to be honest.

11:50 Kadiah – “Believe”

The first run-through is the cameras doing there bit. Kadiah will enter the stage for the second run-through.

Kadiah is stood in the centre of the stage, in a peachy pink dress, which I believe she wore in her semi final. She is joined on both catwalks by a pair of cellists.

The stage is quiet dark with twinkling stars in the back projections. Images from the official video are used during the performance, as well as silhouettes of Kadiah herself (in various forms).

Watching the playback, the cellists are kept mainly in the dark, with the light purely focussing on Kadiah. This is clever as the viewers won’t lose focus on what they should be watching.

Three backing singers are stood at the end of the right hand side catwalk, like the cellists, mainly in the dark.


13:15 Synne Valtri – “I’ll Do It My Way”

Synne is back on the stage living the time of her life. I may have said this during the semi final, but this would sit perfectly in the Melodifestivalen proceedings.

While stood at the microphone stand to begin with, Synne soon starts to move around the stage, making good use of it.

In terms of lighting, this is one of the very few entries thats use warm colours. Yellows and oranges are in play here, while many of the above have used blues.

13:40 Stefan – “Without You”

Stefan is sat at the piano from the start for “Without You”. Again the lighting is quiet dark in places and then flashy (not suitable for epilepsy) in others. The second half sees Stefan more on his feet and moving around the stage.

Stefan looks like he is having a great time on stage, but at this moment in time, it is not wowing me enough to say that’s Estonia’s entry to Tel Aviv.

14:05 The Swingers, Tanja & Birgit – “High Heels In The Neighbourhood”

Phil’s take of this rehearsal from OnEurope will appear here soon. Why yes, yes it will. I’ve taken a bit of a shine to this song. Some might say it’s a bit shite but others, me included, like the uptempo busyness of the song. All three parts of this group bop about a bit and i’m shocked that Tanja and Birgit are not out of breath! – Looks great on the television but hasn’t a hope in hell of getting through the final three.

14:30 Uku Suviste – “Pretty Little Liar”

Uku is joined on stage once more with the contemporary backing dancer – who he interacts with during the performance.

While interacting with the backing dancer may lose some focus on Uku, it works for this performance. In 2010, Uku was voted Estonian’s Sexiest Man – and 9 years later, some may vote him the same again.

Just like many other performances in the second half of proceedings today, lighting is full of bright and warm colours.

Remember Justs from Latvia in 2016 – we may have found his twin brother!

14:55 Inger – “Coming Home”

Due to interviews over running, we failed to catch Inge’s rehearsal – but please watch back our interview with him, where he discusses it.

15:20 Sandra Nurmsalu – “Soovide puu”

We can currently hear Sandra, but we can’t see her yet – due to playbacks of Uku currently been shown in the press room.

Sandra is now on screen for us. I’ve forgotten how traditional this entry sounds in Estonian. We have our second CGI graphic of the day – this time a tree.

Sandra, while on stage on her own, doesn’t look lonely. It helps with the camerawork focussing mainly on her rather than the stage surroundings.

It’s a nice end to the proceedings of today’s rehearsals.

Author: Richard Taylor

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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