Düsseldorf 2011: Day 1 Rehearsals

Welcome to Dusseldorf for day one of rehearsals for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. Today, we’re seeing countries Poland through to Finland take to the stage for their first rehearsal, each of which will last 40 minutes. Remember you can see us live in the press centre on our stream!

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Poland

 

A twenty minute delay before the first rehearsal takes place, but we’re now underway. Magdalena Tul is on stage with her first run-through. She and her backing dancers are doing a similar performance to those we have seen before; mostly dressed in black. The vocals were mostly tuned well, but not impressive. However, things in general showed that there are plenty tweeks of levels to be done balancing the backing vocalists. The staging is mostly blue. In the second run-through there are a few more dodgy notes. On the last rehearsal there are flashes of smoke around the back of the stage, however these look a little wasted and don’t really light up the act in any way. The camera work could do with some changes, too.

Video:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR2kZlOpP78

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Norway

The norwegian’s sound is not significantly changed from Melodi Grand Prix. Stella wears gold, with some earrings that must be on the limits allowed by EU Health and Safety regulations. The general theme is red, as the backing singers/dancers are all in red. The production of the backing track is almost unchanged, and still sounds rather like a demo track, but the song has energy that will capture people. There are no tuning problems at all evident through the TV feed.

Video:
httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSyO4-1mfcQ


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Albania

Aurela Gace holds up her dress from the official video of “Feel the passion” for the cameras, so this looks to be the outfit for the show. The backing singers have black clothing. On stage with Aurela are two female and one male backing vocalist, a guitarrist (amazing moustache) and a drummer. The Albanians are going for more of a rock look and sound than the original albanian version of the song. The instrumentalists and Aurela are full of energy, whilst the backing singers seem a tad lacklustre in comparison so far. Aurela’s hair is the pinky red we have become used to. Vocally, she is very strong, and not as ‘shouty’ as at Festivali i Kenges. Nonetheless, Aurela could be on track to supercede Luminita Anghel as the ESC artist least in need of a microphone. The backing singers were a little out of tune on the 2nd run through. There was a lot of discussion after this run-through to do with finishing positions. Now on stage again, we’ve got dry ice engulfing the stage, and fire coming up in the choruses.

Video:
httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hOcxnZDvHg

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Armenia
Emmy has a large chair shaped as a boxing glove. It turns to reveal her. By the look of the white dress with silver sequins which is held up for the cameras, her heels are longer than her outfit. Emmy’s male backing dancers are dressed in black trousers and white tshirts. White ribbons form a boxing ring around Emmy during the middle eight. The performance is certainly very energetic! On the last run-through we have some pyro flashes as they chuck yet another gimmick at this.

Video:
httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I75kMT_5ss

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Turkey

Turkey’s rehearsal is slow in starting in part due to the two metre tall black globe with golden latitude/longitude lines on it. Inside it is a gymnastic dancer. Her performance is rather incongruous with the song, which doesn’t have as much energy in the arena as you’d hope. Vocally it is good. The dancer hides herself inside the globe before the final chorus, as if there is some ‘big reveal’ to happen, but we see nothing further! We’ll see if there’s something awaiting in the next rehearsal for Turkey later in the week.

Video: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-UMwC3fRvc

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Serbia

Nina’s vocals are assured in the first full run through. There are no signs today of stage costumes, but the actions of the three female backing singers suggest were are in for something similar to that from the national final. Nina appeared nervous as she stepped on the stage at the start of the afternoon, but her performance is confident. The backing singers dance for much of the song. The staging of this performance is much more song-led that many we have seen today. This could work in Serbia’s favour.

Video: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9hdcc4eNAQ

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Russia

There is a 1950s vibe going on here, with black leather jackets and white tshirts, plus slicked back hair from Mr Sparrow, who has reverted back to his native Vorobjov. He starts between mobile LED screens and is joined by three male dancers. Two backing vocalists are kept out shot behind the screens. The dancing is a bit more 1990s pop than the 1950s look of the outfits. Alexej and the dancers have bright while LEDs around their shoes.

Video: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4gLUGbGK40

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Switzerland

In the starkest of contrasts to everything that has gone before, Anna performs her easy listening song with a simple staging, simple dress, a few bubbles and the best legs of the day. She is wearing a glittery red number, whilst the two musicians are in smarter jackets. On the latter run-through they’ve got bubbles on stage, coming in from the sides.

Video: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSz-QUVZnDM

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Georgia

OK, here we have band members in what are essentially hi-vis jackets; and the ‘new’ lead singer in what looks like a human-sized wrapper of a chocolate mint. Clothing aside, the performance is gimmickless and well executed. Vocals are reliable, but the rap still doesn’t work for me. I want to like this more than I do. As the final runthrough approaches, we are expecting pyros!

Video: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebqAFa4_-xw

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Finland

Paradise Oskar takes to the stage completely alone; only his guitar accompanies him. His shirt is something special! The presentation of the song is necessarily simple, and in great contrast to Georgia. Not much has changed since the national final; though there is a slowly turning globe in the background graphics.

Video: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsGIPmmhQDg

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