Just the second rehearsals of the automatic qualifiers today, so a much shorter article than usual. Indeed, one main point of interest – the draw to see if the Big 5 will get a first or second half draw – now takes place at the welcome ceremony this evening.
We know what we’re going to get from Sweden’s Frans – something very close to the Melodifestivalen final performance, with a catwalk finale. The teenager was reportedly unimpressive in rehearsals throughout the Swedish competition, and came into his own with a live audience. But it felt like there was nothing wrong with his run-throughs today.
France’s Amir improved on his first rehearsal, but still has some way to go. His team have addressed concerns that he looked static by letting him occasionally move around the stage, and also use the catwalk at the end. When he gets a break in the song, he’s smiling more; but he remains tensely focused otherwise, which is not allowing his charm to shine. Vocally, the backing singers are wisely doing extra, but once more Amir failed to finish the same early sentences, and missed the first line of freestyling on each occasion.
Spain is not getting any better. The backing singers have dropped half a key, which means they are less likely to miss the notes, but diminishes the impact of their crucial part in the song. Barei’s pratfall is quickly followed by total darkness, so there’s not even a brief sense of “what’s happened?” – it’s clearly meant at the moment it occurs. The dark staging with neon triangles doesn’t really fit ‘Say Yay’. On this evidence, it’s heading for a bad result next Saturday.
There’s not so much to add about Germany, the U.K. and Italy. Jamie-Lee is hitting the cameras more effectively but her outfit is incongruous in the darkness; whilst Joe and Jake continue to show a natural likability and camaraderie on stage. Meanwhile, Francesca changed her outfit but little else, and is still coming across as charming.
Do keep your comments coming below, and stay posted for the 7pm welcome ceremony that includes that first half / second half draw for the Big 5.