Eurovision 2017: May 1 rehearsals

Like Sweden yesterday, today’s first rehearsal from Greece had some early-morning vocals. The rainy dark-blue backdrop was nicely dramatic, and Demy looked amazing in beige as she walked onto a platform which lifted her for the first chorus. She was then joined by two topless male swan dancers. For the middle eight a screen projected a waterfall between her and the audience, before she walked in front of it for the climax. The camera angles needed a similar amount of polish as the vocals, but that’s what rehearsals are for.

Poland was more like the finished product, but then there’s considerably less going on. Kasia is in a long white dress showing an elegant left leg, with a male violinist in grey. A dark blue constellation backdrop is reminiscent of Belgium’s, though the stars align to feature animals and then the word ‘Freedom’ towards the end. It was all very tasteful, and Kasia was vocally strong.

Moldova also looked ready to go, with a show not unlike its national final performance. Monochrome staging occasionally featured repeat images of Epic Sax Guy, which is always a bonus. The trio do their toe-tapping choreography before being joined by the three backing singer brides. There’s a brief mannequin challenge moment near the end. This was a confident first rehearsal.

Svala was on decent form too. She’s softened her styling with bunny-ears hair, white top plus cape, and multicoloured leggings. She softened the way she sung ‘Paper’ too, most notably easing off the rap in the second verse. The main problem with the presentation at the moment is a blue stage that looks very empty; there’s not any real visual development either. Still, Svala’s put herself in contention of getting a top ten jury result in the semi.

The Czech Republic need to create something of more interest than Marta’s unflattering gold lame jumpsuit. She starts off sitting on the stairs before a yellow stripe on the LED floor guides her onto the stage. Purple is the other predominant colour in the backdrop which eventually features footage from the official videoclip. This already feels like it’s struggling.

Cyprus have a concept to go with ‘Gravity’. Hovig and his two male dancers were all in black, and performing various balancing acts. They balanced on white lines created in the LED floor and used each other to balance on one leg. Towards the end, Hovig lay on the LED floor which gave the impression he was falling down a black hole, Lazarev-style, before a shot on the backdrop also had Hovig falling through air. This is choreography that requires polish and the right camera angles, which the delegation will be working towards with each rehearsal.

Armenia already looks very polished. Artsvik, presumably not in her show outfit, was joined by two female dancers at the first significant instrumental of ‘Fly With Me’, and together they created lots of Vogue-style armography. The backdrop was purple with eastern elements. Dry ice, pyros, and a purple eagle hologram flying away at the climax featured in the final run-through. She was in good voice.

Slovenia’s Omar Naber is usually very reliable in that sense, but he hit the occasional bum note during the “hey-hey-hey” moments of ‘On My Way’. The dark blue staging – with shots primed for the audience to sway their lights – is every bit as predictable as the song. Still, the LED panels that surround him created a sense of intimacy. I can’t rule this out of qualification given its straight bat near an eclectic end to the semi.

Latvia’s Triana Park are the ones to draw the ‘Line’. There was pink hair and large gold boots for the lead singer, and otherwise an attempt to recreate the national final staging. Agnese popped some party streamers and her vocals could have done with being tighter, but you can check for yourself by watching the rehearsal footage of this and all today’s other acts on eurovision.tv. As always, your thoughts are very welcome below.

5 comments to Eurovision 2017: May 1 rehearsals

  • eurovicious

    Azeri press release: “The staging builds slowly in an empty room covered in chalk writing with the lyrics from the song. The room represents complex self-destructive relationships, inner barriers and hidden truths — the skeletons. A man wearing a mask serves as a “bad boy” with a symbolic ladder showing the emotional distance between the two lovers. Our heroine, being a strong woman, eventually overcomes her self-destructive feelings. The walls come down, as well as the bad boy’s mask. He’s prepared to reconnect with her, but it’s far too late. She’s made him take off the mask he was wearing in their relationship, but she is leaving him alone in the room that she has bravely escaped. At the end of the performance, four backing vocalists join Dihaj on stage.”

  • John

    Well… at least we get backing singers this time. They ditched their singers two years ago and I think it hurt the song (as well as every other staging decision they made that year).

    If you ask me, you know staging has gone horribly wrong when the words ‘represents’ and ‘symbolises’ start appearing. The picture doing the rounds of horsey man on the ladder against the dark sky is a stark image, if they can pull it off it’ll be great – and a bloody miracle!

    I’m kinda disappointed Armenia aren’t going with the vibrant crane shots and hoody ninjas for their staging. It was a neat little music video.

    I can’t wait to see how Croatia let us all down on Wednesday! 😀

    • eurovicious

      I guess the bottom line is you shouldn’t have to explain it. I think the staging is invigoratingly ambitious and left-field but I definitely wouldn’t have got everything out of it that the press release says I should be getting out of it… David Lynch never explains his works and this Lynchian staging shouldn’t be overexplained by its own makers either, it should speak for itself…

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