On Thursday May 16th, the second semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will take place. Read the article below for a sneak preview of how all the performances in that show are going to look!
ESCDaily is live in Tel Aviv. With a team of journalists we follow all the rehearsals to analyze how every country will stage their song. When even the slightest detail changes, we will update this article for you, so keep refreshing this throughout the upcoming weeks to get the latest information!
Eurovision 2019 Semi Final 2
01. Armenia – Srbuk – Walking Out
The song opens with a shot of Srbuk from behind, raising her hand. We switch to distorted camera shots of her face. Black backdrop with red lines in it. A big white ‘door’ is opening and we get to see her better. She is alone on stage, dressed in black clothes and high heels. Showing some bar skin at the top of her legs.
A lot of wide shots towards the end, when Srbuk kneels down we see the glass on the LED floor break. While Srbuk sings her high note kneeling on the floor, the camera catches the audience behind her. We see shattering glass full screen in the climax of the song and a big pyro show is added. Vocally this is an impressive performance.
02. Ireland – Sarah McTernan – 22
Sarah comes walking in from backstage, and stands in front of a pop-art backdrop with numbers 22 and hearts, She sings at a Miami beach ’60’s bar set, two milkshakes on table, as she is joined by two other female pink dressed dancers. Sarah herself is dressed in a red dress and she sits at the bar, lays down and walks around a bit.
The act is very colourful, with red, light blue, yellow and pink everywhere. Vocals are often off key. Sarah turns her back on the cameras for almost half of the performance, which makes it hard to connect with her.
03. Moldova – Anna Odobescu – Stay
It opens with a close-up of the backdrop, where we see a big fish. It is revealed it has been made by a snow artist, who makes alterations throughout the three minutes. Anna is standing in front of the table of the snow artist in a big white dress. Shots from the floor down, and close of her face.
Anna and the snow artist touch each others hands, as we go the final part of the song and a key change. A rose is being placed on the table, just above the word ‘Stay’ in red, which we see in the backdrop for the closing shot.
04. Switzerland – Luca Hänni – She Got Me
The Swiss song is broadcast in a black boxed 16:9 screen, giving it a cinema feeling. There is a plain red background and Luca is wearing a sleeveless black top and black shoes with white laces. The dance routine with two male and two female dancers is slick and professional.
Opening shot is fine: Luca walking slowly towards the camera and we see the four dancers as silhouettes. In the choreography during the intermezzo, Luca shakes dust off of his shoulder. Then there is a stage jump the five make. Vocals are ok, not perfect, but acceptable. The backing singer who also does the ‘rowdy’ and ‘Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-wo’ is out of sight.
End position is a classical end pose with Luca in the middle of the bunch while the smoke machines have done their work and all five slowly lower their arms they just lifted.
05. Latvia – Carousel – That Night
Carousel opens their act in the same cinematic 16:9 way, but they pan to full screen after a while, except for some close-ups of the lead singer later on in the song.
Sabine is wearing a green hat and a white dress. The rest of the bandmembers are dressed simple and a bit Americana country style. Slowly the backdrop changes from a starlit sky, to a full sun with yellow radiants. It’s has a bit of a campfire song vibe. Cosy but lulling. Black and white effects used during this performance.
06. Romania – Ester Peony – On A Sunday
There is an ancient building in the backdrop for Romania. The act starts with a lot of distorting shots and then a guitar player in the shadow. Ester is sitting in her pink chair, wearing a black jacket and a white blouse with sharp collars. The building is turning into a Dracula’s castle at night (blue backdrop). Around Ester we see dancers in leather strip tops. Bats flying around in the backdrop, towards the ending of the song the backdrops turns into flaming. There is also a pyro waterfall.
07. Denmark – Leonora – Love Is Forever
Leonora opens the song in close-up. Red lipstick, a smile now and then, wearing a white blouse with suspenders. She starts in front of two doors behind her opening, so you see the audience with waving flags behind her. On stage there is a huge chair which she climbs by a ladder. Two backings join her. On the backdrops are a blue sky with childrens drawing clouds. In the last minute, two other backings join and with the five wobble together high on the big chair.
08. Sweden – John Lundvik – Too Late for Love
Catchy and a little more light than during Melodifestivalen. But most of the shots, dance routine and colours are the same. The backing singers now are dressed in glitter instead of dark blue gospel gowns. Backdrops form soft yellow pillars. The chemistry is prefect, so are the gospelly vocals. They still use the stadium light prop, but in a different shape compared to Melodifestivalen. Towards the end of the song, the stage is much more lit. Because the stage is a tiny bit smaller than in Sweden, the group stands a bit closer to each other for the finale of the song.
09. Austria – PÆNDA – Limits
Song starts with Paenda sitting on something all alone. Then close-up of face and shoulders. Stage is all dark, except for a beam of light on Paenda. For the chorus we get a bit more lights. It seems as though there are strings of lights dropping down from the ceiling, surrounding Paenda. It slightly resembles Sanna Nielsen’s staging for Undo, but more black instead of blue.
We see a shot of her from the back as she stands up and we get nice white flashes in the backdrop. Very intimate staging and camera work. Vocals in style of Kate Bush, all on spot.
10. Croatia – Roko – The Dream
Roko starts lying on the floor, while the floor LEDs showing big wings. He is wearing his white leather jacket. He sits and stands up, as two angels fall from the sky in the backdrop and actually on stage. The dancers have golden angel wings and they put on the same wings on the back of Roko. He then switches to Croatian, vocals are fine throughout the whole song. A lot of wide shots in this segment. Some distorting camera shots to close off the cheesy song.
11. Malta – Michela – Chameleon
‘Chameleon’ opens with Michele looking out of a window of home, while she plays with her hair. We see the door of her girl’s room opening, and water floads in (LED-projections on floor and backdrop).
The scene changes to a desert, where a chameleon is crawling. Big yellow, green ,red, blue changing backdrop as the word ‘Chameleon’ also appears. We switch to a jungle. Both Michela and her four dancers are all dressed in full white. Vocals remain the biggest issue for a good Maltese result.
12. Lithuania – Jurij Veklenko – Run With The Lions
Plain and simple staging for Lithuania this year. Jurijus is all alone on stage in the dark, and yellow lights singing his song. The backdrop shows yellow dots forming quite unclear pictures. Some red en purple light beams appear in support.
Jurijs with his blue eyes aims for the camera, constantly, which is a good thing. The song opens with some distorting camera shots. You’ll get to see many close-ups, not as much wide shots, and the camera spins around him often.
13. Russia – Sergey Lazarev – Scream
Sergey grabs the attention from the viewer from the first second of the close-up of his face. First wide shot shows many mirrors on stage, with many Lazarev’s in it. Intergalactic backdrop. At the end of the first verse, it becomes clear that the mirrors are also holograms; we see two different Sergey’s make different movements from the real one – they look desparate. Sergey Lazarev then steps behind one of the mirrors, which changes to a rainy window. Also rain in the backdrop. Many screaming Lazarev’s in all the other mirrors for the second chorus. On the beats the stage turns black, when only two mirrored Lazarev’s walk away. Very nice and spotless vocal harmonies and breaking glass for the closing shot.
14. Albania – Jonida Maliqi – Ktheju tokës
Jonida looks like Cleopatra in her black and golden dress. The stage triangle parts have changed position and now look like the 1980 stage with large ‘metal’ elements with orange ribs in the (dark blue) air. A lot of black and red in this act, as expected. The three backings are standing on stage, in sight of Jonida. Halfway the song they are standing in a circle of fire. Good vocals!
15. Norway – KEiiNO – Spirit In The Sky
The three members of KeiiNO are all on their own spot for the start of ‘Spirit in the sky’. Black leather outfits with loads of chrome buttons for Tom, Alexandra and joiker Fred. Tom Hugo takes the catwalk, Alexandra is standing still on the middle on the stage and the joiker (Fred) is apart from them as well. They join each other after a while until the joiker gets his solo. We see a deer and drawings behind him on the backdrop.
In the dark some green spots lit during the first two minutes and we see the Northern light theme. There is smoke on the floor and fire flares, which enlightens the scene. In the end the KEiiNO stand together but never we get to see real chemistry.
16. The Netherlands – Duncan Laurence – Arcade
A black and blue stage for the Dutch, who have Duncan Laurence sitting behind a piano. A long wide shot brings us towards him, which takes about 20 seconds. An empty glass box with a light above it is standing next to the piano, later on the blub of the very bright light switches on.
Every now and then we get a close-up of Duncan, who doesn’t look in the camera that much. A LOT of wide shots of the blue backdrop, especially at the high pitched notes. A beautiful spin around Duncan near the end of the song. Closing shot is a close profile shot of Duncan. Vocals and emotional deliverance are of very high quality.
17. North Macedonia – Tamara Todevska – Proud
Tamara has a turquois dress, with black see through sleeves, red lipstick and blond hair. Song opens close-up of her face on a very dark stage. She stands in front of the stage, with in the background six mirrors, mirroring Tamara’s backsite. No extra features. Projections of black and white portraits of children and women in the big backdrop near the end of the song. The closing shot is the black and white portrait of Tamara and her daughter. Vocals are strong and her emotion comes across in every runthrough.
18. Azerbaijan – Chingiz – Truth
Show opens with a robotic arm, projecting a heart on the chest of Chingiz. He stands in front of a upside down triangle prop. A LED background you see a computer model of a woman’s head turning to left and right.
Many messy camera shots (on purpose) before a beam of light seem to lift his hologram spirit in the sky in the intermezzo. Visually very strong. As it’s Azerbaijan, the land of fire, expect some pyrotechnics. None of the backing singers are visible on stage.