Emmelie de Forest was finding the camera more succesfully today. This helped ‘Only Teardrops’ progress towards the kind of stirring staging with which it won DMGP. The Danish delegation have ensured the backdrop’s been changed to a curtain of fire before the actual curtain of fire duly appears, so there’s a veritable thunderstorm of golden teardrops for the finale.
There wasn’t much change for Russia’s Dina Garipova, except she’s no longer cupping the balls of her male backing singers; they still throw them into the crowd rather pointlessly for the key change, however, and the way the balls changed colour as this happened suggested these were the actual props. It’s not adding anything to matters, but otherwise ‘What If’ provides a very solid performance and vocal.
Ukraine’s big ‘surprise’ of the day were new costumes for Zlata and her giant; she looking like a rainbow-coloured mermaid and he a bronzed medieval knight. Visually this was a smoother set of run-throughs today, perhaps aided by the fact that Zlata had tied her hair back. It was lacking some depth vocally thanks to the absence of backing singer Cleveland Watkiss (due to illness), but Zlata was in fine voice as always.
Anouk did her thing, which is to stand there and sing her song with no bells or whistles. This comes as a relief given what’s come before it, but the danger remains that she doesn’t engage with the camera enough for ‘Birds’. She may well be wearing the outfit seen today and in the first rehearsal, which is as understated as her performance is. Vocally it sounds lovely, with the backing singers harmonising well.
Montenegro’s Who See continue to be the jokers in the pack. In a Eurovision context, this is a very leftfield act, and that makes ‘Igranka’ a risky proposition. I stand by the fact that Nina Zizic’s vocals are coming across well on the TV feed. One danger here is that the wandering astronauts aren’t always easy to catch on camera, though this improved with each run-through.
Lithuania’s Andrius Pojavis was more animated than yesterday but no two run-throughs are the same. The blurry shot for his “yeeeaaahhhh” note isn’t worth the effort, and reiterates a low-rent feel to the staging, but I still thought this was an improvement on Tuesday’s first rehearsal.
Alyona Lanskaya was in a sparkly flapper dress with a very short hemline, showing a lot of leg in the process. This was a good enough rehearsal for Belarus in the sense that the dance routine looks increasingly slick and the vocals are not a problem. Unfortunately, I don’t think ‘Solayoh’ is a great example of the ethnopop genre, and it’s a genre that juries have become increasingly immune to – especially perhaps when accompanied by this kind of look.
It was another strong rehearsal for Moldova’s Aliona Moon, a repeat of Tuesday’s effort. This seems to be increasingly well placed. Ireland’s Ryan Dolan isn’t convincing everyone but I thought he was solid enough for ‘Only Love Survives’ today. The cheesy pointing at his cohorts gets a bit tiresome for those watching each rehearsal; it won’t be as irritating for those seeing it with fresh eyes.
Despina Olympiou hasn’t been well, and she was patting her throat in between takes. This may explain why she was still struggling with the big notes. As a result, it’s not looking that promising for Cyprus despite simple staging and lighting that works really well, but it may be worth seeing if she is back to 100% by the jury rehearsal.
I was slightly underwhelmed by Belgium’s Roberto Bellarossa too despite or perhaps because I believe ‘Love Kills’ to be one of the best straightforward pop tunes of the contest. His stagecraft still leaves a lot to be desired, and some of the choreography is a little too jarring. I don’t think the song is being done justice, but it still has plenty to offer juries in particular.
We ended a long day with Serbia’s outfits unchanged and still a talking point. Actually, once I got over the costumes, I realised that Moje 3 were delivering an entertaining performance. Let’s hope the Tuesday night TV audience realise the same thing in good time.
What did you think of today’s rehearsals? Let us know below.