And we are back LIVE for the first time since Tel Aviv! Yes, while first rehearsals have been taking place behind closed doors, we’ve provided some limited coverage and interviews, however our LiveBlogs start here!
Join me (John), along with Richard and the odd squeak from Staggy along the way today, from 10:00 CET/09:00 CET, where we will be within the Press Centre for the first time.
Refresh from 10:00 CET/09:00 GMT
10:00 – 10:30: North Macedonia
RICHARD: Wow, Mila kick’s off proceedings today with a strong performance – both vocally and presentation. Mila is dressed in black with orange cape type accessory – I’m no fashion expert.
Mila gives strong musicality, which helps to her to tell her story through song. Many graphics on the back projection/stage are impressive, however the fire and Phoenix near the end are the strongest element.
Watch out for smoke plumes and a wind machine too!
10:30 – 11:00: Poland
RICHARD: Viki is providing us with a sleek rehearsal. She is surrounded by five backing dancers – who slightly remind me of The Peppermints – wearing their own individual colours. Two backing dancers are with Viki to begin with, until they move off on to the cat walks, where they perform sign language throughout.
Viki then joins the remaining three dancers for the remainder of the performance, where a countdown clock features as cgi, interpreting the time they have left to save the world.
JOHN: Viki is resplendent in a yellow suit. Yellow from the back that is. The front is shards of mirror. She means business. She has three dancers with her, and a further two people demonstrating sign language. The song is very good, and we can’t rule out Poland doing the double.
11:00 – 11:30: Portugal
RICHARD: Joana Almeida’s entry is really a mash up of other entries in terms of visuals. For example, she has Mila’s boots from North Macedonia and the words on the back projection of Malta and the words.
Vocally, Joana is good and she delivers the message of the song, however the performance is missing something that could set it out from the rest.
11:30 – 12:00: Russia
RICHARD: A very simple performance – it’s boy meet’s girl, girl meet’s boy scenario. Tatyana and Denberel perform a simple, but yet effective number. It is one of the few participants that don’t use bold and vibrant colours on the back projection.
12:00 – 13:00 LUNCH
13:00 – 13:30: Wales
RICHARD: Wow! What a great overall performance. Great combinations in the back projection with different hearts and bright objects/welsh words.
The backing dancers wear different neon colours, while Erin herself is wearing a black top and red skirt – the skirt itself reveals coloured hearts when Erin opens it up. Erin is stood on a see through plinth, while her dancers can move around her.
JOHN: Some refreshing clog dancing is one of the highlights of the Welsh song. Erin Mai is all smiles on stage and is stood on a Perspex box for the while of the song. It’s a very pleasant song and there’s a lot of violin in the backing track which gives it a very authentic feel. Erin’s backing dancers come on stage midway through the song but they don’t take the spotlight away from our singer. I like it.
13:30 – 14:00: Serbia
RICHARD: Darija has come with a strong performance this afternoon. While the back projection tells the story of song, Darija also manages to portray this in her voice and armography.
At the end of the song, a cgi earth lowers into her hand, with the message “We Don’t Have A Planet B” appearing on the background. A strong message is been conveyed here.
JOHN: Serbia Ooh, what do we have here? Something that could be really special, that’s what. Darija has the camera in the palm of her hand almost as soon as she starts singing. She’s in a peach dress with lots of frills, and there’s a wind machine somewhere around too. As with some other songs this year, it’s about saving the planet, so the backdrop is trees, lakes, that sort of thing. If vooters can get over the number of save the planet songs this year, this one will stand out. And, she’s on last. Could we be seeing a Serbian win?
14:00 – 14:30: Spain
RICHARD: Another song about saving the planet – however based around plastics and the sea. Melani can at points be questioned over her high notes and isn’t backed up at those points by her backing singers.
Both Melani and her backing singers are dressed in off-white. Melani starts off sat on a plinth, before rising up to join the backing singers. Added fish netting is used, rather than the LED ribbons during Spain’s performance from a production side of things.
Melani is meant to be underwater, as her backdrop is fish, water and dolphins. There’s a net behind her too. She’s surrounded by crushed plastic bottles, an unusual prop but one which fits in with the song. There are four backing singers, dressed similarly to Melani in simple off-white dresses. The potential vote clinchers could be a series of very high soaring notes that come during the last half of the song. If she gets them right, the voters will love her.
14:30 – 15:00: Netherlands
RICHARD: A strong and fresh production has been brought to Gliwice by Matheu and AVROTROS. An enhanced playground prop set can be seen on stage, compared to last year’s French attempt.
Matheu and his backing dancers are in a mixture of red and black – with a mixes of tartan and leather jackets as part of the visual costume design. This one will get the crowd going – but is it enough for The Netherlands to do the double?
JOHN: Matheu and his mates bounce onto stage and make us all sit up and take notice. He’s been around the official hotel acting cool all week, and that continues on the stage. There’s a large dome-shaped climbing frame where they all start, and they eventually move to a picnic table with his name written on it. The whole thing is slick and polished and could just be an accidental winner. JESC 2020 in Maastricht anyone?
15:00 – 15:30: Ukraine
RICHARD: Sophia looks very much like Lisa Ajax or Sanna Nielsen from Melodifestivalen in her pink outfit. The backdrop has mystical smoky images throughout with other objects.
How this defines climate change, I’m not entirely quite sure to be honest. It’s not the strongest of the climate change songs we have got.
JOHN: Sophia is dressed in a simple trouser-suited style costume in pale pink. She’s alone on stage – always daunting – but she doesn’t seem bothered. It’s a very pleasant song and she is by no means static. It’s a nice way to end the day, even though she performs after our Anna on Sunday afternoon. She should be happy with that rehearsal.
Author: Richard Taylor, John Stanton & Staggy
Source: Eurovision Ireland