Eurovision 2016 – Rehearsals: Day Two

Heartfelt though Bosnia and Herzegovina’s piece to camera in their rehearsal video published earlier today, their stage act does leave me wanting. The electric cello (not plugged in, I should add) and the barbed wire prop casts a bit cheap air over proceedings. I really can’t see it qualifying. I’m sorry. I just can’t.

Frans hasn’t done much to endear himself, not even the East London gangster twang he seems to have perfected. I should be more forgiving, of course. But the more he plays at being an adult, the more I’m left feeling short-changed. As he strides around the stage preoccupied with this and that, I assume I’m meant to connect with him as an artist, or as a human being – isn’t that the point? Instead, I end up thinking just how distant he is from me as a member of the audience because he’s playing a character I don’t believe he can be. Maybe he appeals to a younger generation in a different way and I’m doing them (and him) a massive disservice. I hope so. Because I’d rather think that, than feel as cynical as I do now.

Iceland clearly have a fraction of the budget the Russian delegation do, hence why the same backdrop is being used but with considerably fewer bells and whistles. In presentation terms, Iceland’s number has a lot more integrity. Musically however, it remains dull.

Estonia’s Jüri remains classy, so too Malta (far superior to Russia). Cyprus is looking a little cheap. Montenegro is an epileptic fit waiting to happen.

The real surprise is Austria’s Zoë. I’d dismissed it as twee a few weeks ago, but now I wonder whether it might me a sight for sore eyes next Tuesday – a much-needed tonic. The scaled back version captured by Eurovision HQ is ravishing.

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