Eurovision 2016 – Rehearsals: Days Four and Five

I’m a bit behind with my blogging, so I’m combining too day’s rehearsals in one day. I hope that’s OK with you. I can’t really see why it wouldn’t be.

Slovenia‘s song still remains a favourite of mine, and now I see it on a big stage, and see her contribution to camera backstage, the Taylor Swift influences seem like less of an issue for me. I expect it to qualify and I want her to do well, largely because she seems so very very nice. That is of course completely the wrong reason for wanting something to do well. I know that.

Poli Genova has a fantastic presence on stage and oozes an infectious charm about her, transforming Bulgaria’s song from something I’d dismissed to a number I’m more interested in keeping an eye on. I’m wondering whether it might just make it to the final after all.

Not only does Denmark’s ‘Soldiers of Love‘ remain irrevocably bland on the Globen stage , but Lighthouse X’s backstage ‘interview’ backstage in their first rehearsal video takes their complete package to a whole new level. I don’t like to use the word ‘hate’ – it’s such a strong word – but I think it might be apt here.

Jamala for Ukraine still can’t do any wrong as far as I’m concerned. I cannot wait to see it on the TV monitors over the next few days.

Conversely, I still haven’t warmed to Norway’s weirdly disjointed ‘Icebreaker‘. I see lots of people getting animated about it for reasons I cannot relate to. So much so that I’m wondering whether I’ve overlooked something really obvious about it.

Georgia‘s static performance of their grungy number ‘Midnight Gold’ isn’t doing anything that makes me change my mind particularly. It sounds like quality grown-up stuff, but I’ll be honest and transparent about this: it doesn’t flick my switch and I don’t think it ever will.

Fairytale‘ for Albania on the other hand might be one I end up changing my mind about. What sounded underwhelming (and what I assumed wouldn’t translate especially well on stage) actually looks solid on stage now. Sure, there are no pyrotechnics, but singer Eneda holds her own well and has a presence about her which is as striking and convincing as Poli Genova for Bulgaria.

I basically adore Belgium’s ‘What’s the Pressure‘. The choreography is tight on stage. Another one I can’t wait to see on the monitors.

Of the second run of rehearsals from Semi-Final rehearsals (Day Five), Russia‘s inevitably catches my eye. The visuals have such impact first off that seeing it a second time around something of the thrill (such as there was one) is lost. And I think that is another way of looking at ‘You Are The Only One’ – that without the visuals this could easily sink. And so if its the visuals which is keeping this number afloat, is it really the best song to win the contest?

San Marino’s ‘I Didn’t Know‘ has its fate sealed now. It does look creepy. It does look weird. None of it especially makes sense to me. Juri Pootsman singing for Estonia on the other hand can do wrong – that’s a surefire qualification.

Of the Big Five countries who automatically have a place in the final, France‘s stage presentation seems like a lost opportunity. Good as the song is, I wonder whether some of the impact of it will be lost if just having Amir on stage singing into a microphone is all they’re planning on doing. Spain’s ‘Say Yay‘ is good though – all looking good.




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