Düsseldorf 2011: Day 8 rehearsals

Welcome back to Dusseldorf for the final day of rehearsals. Over the course of this morning, afternoon, and evening we’ll see the ‘Big 5’ countries rehearse for a second time, and complete the participants in semifinal two. As always you can listen to what’s going on in the press centre on our live feed.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIPw2Cd36EkMaja is not wearing her stage outfit today, and nor are the backing singers. Her pre-rehearsal vocals have shades of Christina Aguilera. She can certainly belt this out, and the choreography is looking a lot better than the national final- and more polished. This is probably sitting in the ‘marginial’ category at the moment.

Hotel FM seem as bright and breezy as ever this morning! The performance from the group is strong, and all the vocals are consistently competent. The camera work is a little unexciting, with lots of ‘safe’ horizontal shots – it could all ‘look’ a lot better. The group’s lead vocalist, David Bryan, makes good use of the whole stage and interacts well with the cameras – and so the voting public at home. No doubt people will be clapping along to this in the arena come Thursday evening!

Getter’s first rehearsal this morning was certainly not her best! Things sounded a little out of tune, and the whole presentation felt a little frantic, and certainly not as slick as it has been – or as it was in the national final. The second run-through is visually better, and the vocals sound more in-tune, (perhaps Getter just isn’t a ‘morning person’?!), so no doubt things will come together on the big night. This is certainly a fun, energetic and colourful number, with an appealing ‘hook’.

Anastasiya is back on-stage, this time sounding a little ‘flat’, even though the vocals are quite powerful. There doesn’t seem to be much of a ‘spark’ to the staging, but the visuals of the performance work well, and there are some nice overhead shots which show the full extent of the stage bathed in white, blue and (mainly) red lighting. Even though there is movement in the performance, it still feels quite static – it’s as if both Anastasiya and her backing vocalists are ‘locked in’ behind their mic stands!


Next up is Latvia. Like a lot of today’s performers, Musiqq have decided to ‘dress down’ and are not wearing their stage costumes. There’s quite a lot of yawning from the boys in the ‘down time’ between rehearsals, but they do wake up and enjoy the performances! Everything sounds very strong and both members of the group seem relaxed and confident. The word ‘angel’, projected onto the stage floor, is a nice touch at the end of the performance.


After a short break for lunch, we return to the arena for the rehearsal of the Danes. This is another confident, polished performance from AFIL and the stage presentation really helps to lift the ‘anthemic’ style of the song. Although this entry is perfect for an ‘arena’ setting, the boys are very adept at interacting with the camera so there is no loss of intimacy. There is a moment when the lead vocalist runs down the catwalk section of the stage to the ‘island’ area, then has to jog back – while this makes good use of the available staging space, it all seems a little unnecessary and is reminiscent of Safura’s high-heel tottering for Azerbaijan in 2010!


Now for the phenomenon that is Jedward! This rehearsal session is far more ‘polished’ than the previous one and the boys seem more relaxed and confident with the whole thing. This entry is very definitely a visual winner. The level of the lead vocals is better balanced with those of the backing vocalists, when compared to the previous rehearsal, which had been a concern. The boys seem more relaxed and confident, which results in a more ‘slick’ presentation.

Amaury delivers another strong, confident performance of ‘Sognu’. Yet again, the use of the backdrop LED screens is impressive and France makes excellent use of them, creating a reeal atmosphere in the arena. Amaury does seem to get very sweaty during the run-throughs – but perhaps that is as a result of all the effort he is putting in to his performance?! We haven’t yet had one ‘poor’ performance from Amaury, and he seemed to be getting a lot of attention from the assembled media when he visited the press centre this afternoon.

Another passionate performance from Raphael this afternoon. There don’t seem to have been any changes made since the initial rehearsals yesterday, and once again, Raphael spends most of the time singing with his eyes closed! While this depicts how much effort he is putting in to performing, it doesn’t help his appeal with the voting public at home. This seems to be an entry that divides opinion here in the press centre; people either love it, or really aren’t too keen!

United Kingdom
Fortunately, the technical glitches suffered during yesterday’s rehearsals seem to have been largely ironed out this afternoon. Vocals today are good, though during the first run-through Lee does have some difficulty reaching the very top notes. Duncan experiences some problems with his earpiece during the first rehearsal, and actually removes it towards the beginning of the second run-through, (though this doesn’t seem to affect the quality of his performance). The boys are dressed very casually today and seem more comfortable and relaxed than they did wearing the tailoring we saw yesterday.


Lena, the current reigning champion, returns to the Eurovision stage with a dark, moody staging of her entry for 2011. The performance is very ‘cool’ and confident, and Lena is once again joined by the ‘condom dancers’, as they have somewhat affectionately become known as! Lena does look a little shadowy and it isn’t until she sweeps back her fringe that we really get to see any of her face. Reaction here in the press centre is somewhat muted – though that could be because the gathered journalists and media representatives are getting a little fatigued by now! Lena’s vocals are fine, and her somewhat quirky, unique singing style will once again appeal.


Lucia Perez brings today’s rehearsals to a close, with the uptempo, upbeat Spanish entry. This song just screams ‘summer’, and Lucia clearly enjoys not only performing it, but also interacting with the camera. Everything feels very ‘fluid’ – as though the performers on-stage have rehearsed the performance so often, that all the moves come very naturally to them. Vocally, Lucia is on fine form. This entry is very ‘Eurovision’ – and all the better for it!