🇦🇲 #JESC22 #LiveBlog: Second Rehearsals, Day Two – #JoinUs From 07:00 CET

We’re back with more! In what seems an eternity since the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest took place in Turin, we are back at the 2022 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, in Yerevan, Armenia.

John, Richard and James are here for you over the next few days to describe everything that is going on here in the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex, in Yerevan. Today sees Day Two of the Second Rehearsals – the first set of rehearsals we have access to.

You know the drill by now, refresh the page on a regular basis from 07:00 CET to see what we both have to say.

Refresh from 07:00 CET

And we are off!!!

The Netherlands – 05:30 GMT/06:30 CET/09:30 AMT

Richard – Luna opens today’s rehearsals with “La Festa”. Another fun and colourful festival number. Luna is in mainly a fuchsia pink suit with a hint of green, while her four backing dancers are also in various shades of green. Luna’s vocals are strong and the routine with her backing dancers is choreographed well.

John – This is a jolly start to a Friday morning. Luna’s song is full of bounce and vivacity. She’s in shiny pink, with her stage pals in shades of green. The backdrop is full of bright colours and there’s a long trestle table and a string of lights behind where Luna is doing her thing. It’s a prop that sets off the staging nicely. At one point we did see the stage hands run on stage to remove the table. Cue the creative camera angles whilst this happens. And there are pyros. The whole three minutes shows off polished choreography. I don’t think we can write this off and maybe, just maybe, the only thing going against this is its place in the running order.

James – The Netherlands have a very colourful performance with shades of yellow, magenta and green (which looks much better than it sounds, I promise!). Luna comes across as very sweet and likeable as she smiles down the camera and interacts with her dancers, which coupled with her connectivity to the camera should serve her very well for the televote. I think this is a fantastic opening number for this year’s contest and will set the mood for the evening perfectly. Some of us here in the Press Centre are mumbling it feels a touch over-produced, and I can see their point. For me though, it’s on the right side of that line between slick and “sing out Louise!!” – I can see this doing very well for the Netherlands!

Ireland – 06:05 GMT/07:05 CET/10:05 AMT

We are running behind due to technical issues.

Richard – Sophie Lennon has performed a beautiful rendition of “Solas” this morning. Sophie is alone on stage and is wearing a ivory dress with Celtic elements. The backdrop pans round to a lighthouse, which gives us the sense of the Solas/light. Sophie has a beautiful voice and holds some great harmonies. At the end, Sophie’s dress has a cape rise up, similar to Wales in 2019.

John – After a stutter, we saw Sophie from Ireland rehearse. On the backdrop, there’s the proper west-of-Ireland motif going on, with lighthouses, ruggedly beautiful views and lots of green. And there’s dry ice. Sophie herself is wearing a lot of fabric that will surprise you towards the end of the song. It’s gold and silver, and heavily embellished with Celtic art, making it probably the most striking outfit we’ve seen so far. Now I’m a sucker for a good Celtic melody so this ticks a lot of boxes for me. Sophie also has a brilliant voice, making this whole package utterly delightful. It’s a thumbs up from me.

James – There are a lot of elements in the Irish rehearsal that could work really well, but I’m not sure they’re adding up in the way they should be just yet. What I will say though, is that Sophie is a phenomenal performer and her voice is like liquid gold. There’s something very powerful and ethereal about the way she performs, which is mesmerising to watch. The staging around her needs a bit of work to be more cohesive, but Sophie herself is incredible – one to watch for adult Eurovision, me thinks.

Kazakhstan – 06:40 GMT/07:40 CET/10:40 AMT

Richard – David Charlin is next with “Jer-Ana”. I’m glad this is only a rehearsal because the vocals weren’t his best – but at the same time he maybe saving his voice for the Jury show and the Live show. The backdrop starts off like a city landscape, before it transforms to a mother earth type setting. Grass and flowers are even projected onto the stage floor. With a little work, this will be great.

John – David in white and is giving us drama. Lots of it too. His song is about mother earth, emphasised by the various landscapey backdrops that we see during his song. There are a few challenging notes in this song, so David will need to be on top of his game to hit them over the next few days. We know he can, so I suspect he was holding back a little during his rehearsal.

James – Kazakhstan have form at Junior Eurovision and I know I’m not the only one on the team waiting with baited breath for them to be allowed to participate at the adult’s contest too. Their Junior rehearsal today with David went well, the graphics were exquisite and not overpowering (a fine line that often gets blurred at the contest!) and David is a natural showman. I don’t think this will bring Kazakhstan their first win, but I do feel its enough to get them a respectable finishing position – lower Top 10 is what springs to mind as I write this!

Spain – 07:15 GMT/08:15 CET/11:15 AMT

Richard – Carlos Higes comes to the stage with “Señorita”. It was very neon in colours and the neon effect allowed the illusion of extra backing dancers too. Carlos was in white and so was his backing dancers. I can’t help but feel there was a sense of nervousness on stage today. But again, this is only a rehearsal.

James – Well now! Spain obviously noted that Europe likes slick choreography after Chanel’s 3rd place finish in Turin and decided to do the same at JESC this year too! Carlos looks a little timid across the eyes at moments, but still manages to give a very confident performance both vocally and with his backing dancers. The augmented reality dancers are a nice touch, making that huge stage look full and bringing the party to the stage in Yerevan and the coloured neon lights have instant impact visually. It’s fun, danceable and got that driving Latin beat that will have people across the continent on their feet. two Top 3 finishes in one year for Spain? I think so… the Spanish reporters here in the Press Centre went wild after each run through, but for us seasoned Press Centre go-ers, that’s nothing new!!

John – Another song full of enthusiasm. Dancing is most definitely the motif here. Carlos has four pals on stage, dressed in white like he is. There are also dancing silhouettes on the backdrop. He has the choreography down to a tee. But the vocal could be a tad challenging.

France – 08:15 GMT/09:15 CET/12:15 AMT

Richard – Lissandro started the second half of the day oozing confidence. Lissandro sings “Oh Maman!” With such passion. Lissandro is wearing a black sequinned jacket over a white top, with black trousers. The four backing dancers surrounding him are in a mixture of black and white. Lissandro is performing on a platform throughout and the backdrop suggests a hint of Las Vegas – big lights. This is going to be hard to beat.

John – After a lunch break, Lissandro wowed us with his cracking voice. It’s not your typical JESC song and is very good. He knows what he’s doing and there’s some very slick choreography going on. Lissandro is joined on stage by four dancing pals with him on a circular raised platform. Between rehearsal run throughs, he was showing off his range by performing some scales and the like. Lissandro does have star quality of sorts, but the song may just get a tad too repetitive at the end. That’s not reflection on Lissandro, as he sells the song so so well, especially with funky pyro. It could surprise a lot of people and take the contest back to Paris in late 2023.

James – Oh mon dieu! C’est super! Lissandro is a dynamo of a performer and this is a really engaging performance that combines all its elements seamlessly. I think it always says volumes when a staging concept has pyro, lights, dancers – and yet, it’s the artist who steals the show! Which is as it should be!! I’m blown away, pure and simple!

Georgia – 08:50 GMT/09:50 CET/12:50 AMT

Richard – Mariam Bigvava is on stage with “I Believe”. Georgia does Junior Eurovision well and this performance has a hint of a military style about it. Very powerful and emotive. The costumes of Miriam and her backing dancers, as well as the back drop is mainly whites and reds. Perform well on the night and who knows whether another victory is in the Georgians sights?

John – Mariam and her four pals have plumped for red and white, in front of a backdrop that is also mainly red and white. They’re all in outfits with hats that resemble pillboxes, adding about 10cms to their height. These hats will definitely make the acts memorable, even if people have trouble remembering the song. There is also some beautiful Mkhedruli script written on the girls’ tunics. The song is very serious singing about peace and effortlessly switching between Georgian and English This sort of message could resonate well with the way Europe is at the moment, and thus get a whole load of votes.

James – I am really enjoying this!! Yes, it’s very avant garde for Junior Eurovision (and would be for the adult contest to be fair!) but I’m thrilled to see Georgia still pushing boundaries, not just resting on their laurels as Kings of JESC. There’s a real intensity to the performance, propelled forward all the more by that driving beat, the expressions of Mariam, the staccato dancing… it’s brilliant. I think it’s going to go waaaaaaay over the heads of the vast majority of the viewing public, but it’s still brilliant!!

Armenia – 09:25 GMT/10:25 CET/13:25 AMT

Richard – Nare gets the party started with “DANCE!”. This could be played at the EuroClub at the senior Contest and I do n’t think anyone would notice any difference. Strong vibe of purples and silvers in both the outfits and the lighting. Are is joined by four backing dancers and all together have a slick routine. You know you’re at a Home Contest when half the Press Centre know the full dance routine! Probably France’s biggest competition at this stage.

John – Now then. Now then. This could be the winner hiding in plain sight. Armenia has a track record in this competition, and this is instant. Very instant and cut it at a Big ESC. Admittedly, there are a number of Armenian press types bopping around to this in the press centre. Turning Hayastan into Happyastan perchance? Anyway, let’s not discount the chances of this country doing the double. This has excellent choreography, excellent camerawork, will go down a storm here on Sunday afternoon, and is on 15th of the 16 songs.

United Kingdom – 10:00 GMT/11:00 CET/14:00 AMT

Unfortunately, due to illness, Freya Skye will not be rehearsing today. The BBC issued the followed the following statement:

“Freya Skye has been feeling a little under the weather so on doctor’s advice has been resting her voice and she’s looking forward to the live show on Sunday.”

Let us know what you think about the 2022 Junior Eurovision Song Contest – either in the comments below or on our FACEBOOK and TWITTER pages.

Author: John Stanton & Richard Taylor

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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