SONG REVIEW | REHEARSAL NOTES | PERFORMANCE NOTES
Full screen stretched across 42″ in our living room, Sakis didn’t look entirely convincing in the retro-Ken outfit (from Ken and Barbie dolls range) as perhaps he or his costume designer thought he might. There was something ever so slightly uncomfortable about his appearance almost as though the thick set of hair he has on his head combined with the white outfit made him look ever so slightly seedy.
True, he will be the first eye candy of the final evening which could potentially please the minority of ladies watching this and all of the gay men, but still the combination of the wide stance he adopts and that boyish leap he does from time to time doesn’t sit well with the more mature look he has on his face. It’s an OK song and I know Greece really want to win, but come the final I do rather think we’ll have heard 7 other better songs before we get to Sakis. I could be wrong however.
If you’re looking for yet more proof of how Greece is desperate to clinch victory – is it victory or now the idea of clinching victory over Alexander Rybak – be sure to follow the various different permutations of this particular song. The music has longed since passed into that area of my brain marked “It’s time to go and grab another coffee and have a cigarette”. However, it’s the staging which is (I’m afraid) making me smile.
First we had Sakis strutting his stuff in a pair of skinny jeans and a crotch sure to make gay men across Europe weap and the likes of Eurovision producer Svante Stockelius remind himself on when exactly the watershed was.
Then we had a rehearsal performance with Sakis jumping all over the place and now we have the complete package with a conveyor belt affair and gravity type boots. It’s not so tacky as the graphics on the big monitors at the front of the stage (that font definitely needs to change or they need to lose the graphics altogether), but there’s so much leaping around on stage to move the set around that I can’t help thinking that if Sakis doesn’t walk off with the grand prize he and his delegation will be absolutely gutted.
You’re just throwing a bit too much paint at the wall Mr Rouvas. In the production world expression goes “this is style over content”. Still, at least you’ve toned down that crotch and you’re selling yourself a little better with more accurate pitching.
(Naturally, if you’re reading this Mr Rouvas, you do obviously look good for 40 and I wouldn’t want my opinions to dent your enthusiasm for the UK act.)
Choreographed within an inch of its life, Sakis’ performance in the first rehearsal for the second semi-final looks impressive. It’s tight (even if that eye-popping move he did with his crotch has been seriously toned down) and engaging even without the 16 x 3 cropped TV view. If it can look that good from a camera stationed far off from the stage then it will almost certainly look even better come the night.
One thing I’m noticing already is how he pumps so much into the leaping around and what effect that has on his singing. There are moments when he literally shouting the note and that Mr Rouvas will do you no good whatsoever. Nobody likes a shouter, screamers even less. Hit the notes reliably first then do the moves. You’ll only regret it later.
It’s worth noting that out of all fo the rehearsals today posted on the Eurovision YouTube channel, it was this I went to first proving beyond any reasonable doubt that the buzz around Sakis and his team is reaping its rewards. That is, if the vote was entirely dependent on a telephone vote. Will the expert jury skew the result come his inevitable appearance in the final show? Will it actually turn out to be a battle between Norway and Greece?
Sakis Rouvas is Greece’s representative this year at Eurovision – the second time he’s had the honour – and pours as much energy into his performance and specifically his dance routine as he obviously has down at the gym.
There’s no doubting that this late thirty-something chappy has weathered well and will most probably continue to do so into his forties whilst the rest of us observe our middle-age spread develop in front of our very eyes. On that basis Sakis Rouvas might be someone I’d like to throw oily rags at through sheer jealousy. I won’t however. It wouldn’t be becoming, I’m sure.
This is a formulaic song spruced up no doubt by a tight presentation. Yes Sakis you do look good in hipsters and we can only marvel at your slender midriff – which if his last appearance at Eurovision was anything to go by, we will almost certainly get a fleeting glimpse of it again this year.
It’s the pelvic action I have a slight problem with in this early performance of “This is our night”. There are moments when it seems as though his crotch has moved a beat before everyone else. All eyes seem to be drawn to what’s going on below his belt. Perhaps this is what the great man intended – and there’s no doubting he demonstrates his skill at this convincingly – but at what cost? It’s an infectious dance routine but one which is probably more geared at the adult (gay) market than the traditional family audience.
If Sakis gets through to the final and finds himself performing early in the running order I’m almost certain we’ll only be seeing head and shoulders shots of him, assuming the authorities haven’t got to him before and demanded he tone it down a bit.
Keep an ear out to do for the truck driver’s gear change Sakis has to go through to ramp up the song to the next key. Mr Rouvas has a history of having to execute these things and in a live performance they have been quite a challenge. That’s all I’ll say.