Today is a busy one in the press centre. The ‘Big 6’ have just finished their second rehearsals. Later today there are two dress rehearsals for the second semi: as on Monday, I will summarise the first one here; and send tweets during the second one, the crucial jury rehearsal. In the meantime, here are my impressions of those ‘Big 6’ rehearsals.
We only got to see about half of the last run-through for Spain, but what we did see was quite encouraging. ESDM are selling their song as best they can. Raquel is working the camera effectively and there’s also plenty of focus on the band around her, playing their instruments. As regular readers will know, my theory is that this gains extra kudos with juries. A first half draw makes their task extra tough with televoters, though.
I should tell you that France’s Amandine Bourgeois rocking out and prowling around the stage to ‘L’Enfer et Moi’ is one of my favourite things in this contest. It was a much better rehearsal here too: the stage is less bright; the camera angles were tighter; and she looked great in a black fringe dress. I’m still not sure how many televoters are taking to it, especially as this is another in the first half of the final, but juries will and it gets my vote.
I’m afraid Germany’s Cascada didn’t bring their A-game to today’s rehearsal. Natalie Horler was flat and missed notes in a notable deterioration from her first rehearsal. Whatever the reason, if she performs like this on Saturday night, ‘Glorious’ isn’t making an impact on the scoreboard the way that Sunday’s practice suggested it would.
Sweden’s ‘You’ is still coming across as a damp squib compared to what we saw at Melodifestivalen. For those readers who follow our X-Factor analysis, some of the worst staging crimes are committed here: distracting contemporary dancers, a red hillock-like plinth and a red backdrop for the finale. There’s a curtain of fire at this point too but it’s not saving what is otherwise looking like a token effort from the hosts.
Bonnie Tyler was wearing an outfit consisting of black trousers and a black off-the-shoulder top with sash and short train. Vocally she was going through the motions today which is hardly surprising given her experience. The staging is as effective before, but I think the UK can be thankful of a second half draw in terms of making any impact with televoters.
For the sake of Sofabet readers, I timed the occasions that Marco Mengoni looked into the camera for his second rehearsal. I can state quite categorically that he did so for 0.0% during all his run-throughs. Like Bonnie, Marco is another one going through the motions at this stage. For the last practice he was in a turquoise jacket that I assume is part of his final outfit. He’s in perfectly good voice too as it happens, whilst taking the less is more approach to performance.
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