On Thursday May 20th, the second semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 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 Rotterdam and working on remote, too! 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!
01. San Marino – Senhit & Flo Rida – Adrenalina
Senhit wears a black pantsuit in combination with an enormous cleavage. This time she dyed her hair blond. She starts on stage with a big gold orthodox procession piece in front of her, with pictures of Holy Mary on them. Four backing dancers dressed in white with their heads fully covered by their suits. Only the eyeholes are cut out the fabric covering their faces in a star shape.
The dancers remove the cross from Senhit. She sings the first verse, spinning around lying on a colored four angled diamond shaped prop. The backing dancers lift her up and put her back down in a dance routine. After the first chorus, she shouts into the audience. After the second chorus, a rapper enters the stage and the group of six runs onto the catwalk. The rapper might be Flo Rida – but during the first rehearsals it was not him (yet). The catwalk is used for a hiphop choreograpy. In the backdrop all colors appear and the words “Adrenalina”, and the names of Senhit and Flo Rida.
02. Estonia – Uku Suviste – The Lucky One
Uku starts singing kneeled down on the floor in front of a full moon projection in the background. He is wearing a basic white shirt, with a loose black bow tie, and black trousers. In the backdrops we get to see splashing water, dark clouds and loads of thunderlights, mainly dark blue, white and black colors.
Dark close-up shots and a few circling shots around Uku in the first verse. Right before the first chorus, pieces from the video clip are displayed in which we see Uku under water. Halfway the song Uku kneels again in front of the full moon, the floor turns into rose petals and background switches back and forth between red and blue skies plus lightning. End pose is again Uku in front of the full moon, now standing.
03. Czech Republic – Benny Cristo – Omaga
Benny is depending a lot on the backdrops with what now looks like a quite random pattern of purple, blue, and green colors. Aside from some basic choreography, there is not much happening on the stage. Benny wears a golden jacket and multicolored bling bling sneakers. He has glitter stripes on his black pants as well.
Opening shot from behind the stage where Benny is standing between a few lighted pillars. He then starts walking through the ‘Open Up’ doors to the main stage and is joined by a group of 4 dancers (two men, two women) in casual clothing. The dancing group together perform a choreography during the first chorus. In the second verse, Benny interacts with one female dancer before heading via the catwalk to continue his dance routine on the midstage. In the end the group strikes a pose sitting on the edge of the stage
04. Greece – Stefania – Last Dance
Stage director Fokas Evagelinos has created a performance in which a backdrop green screen plays an important part. Purple is the main color of the backdrop. She starts alone on stage, however there are 2 (and later 4) backing dancers projected onto the screen. They wear white suits and it appears as though they do the same dance routine as Stefania.
Right before the first chorus, there is a flipped camera shot with Stefania singing and the green room/arena behind her. In the second verse, Stefania plays with the projections in a Mans Zelmerlow/Sergey Lazarev kind of way. She even climbs the stairs en sings upside down. Later in the performance, the projected dancers even “lift her up”. Stefania is a professional, her vocals are good and she looks comfortable playing with the projections. This could help with jurors, while televoters might wonder why Stefania is climbing a skyline.
05. Austria – Vincent Bueno – Amen
Vincent is dressed in a black suit with sequins. He is alone on stage. He slowly walks on a big prop that looks like a bridge; white light beams suggest the cables of a bridge. The prop is somewhat similar to the one Cesar Sampson used in 2018. Dried ice at the start of the performance. Dark lighting with one big bright spot on Vincent Bueno. Vocals solid in the choruses, but Bueno is struggling with the verses at times. Camera work is a solid combination of close ups and stage pans.
06. Poland – RAFAŁ – The Ride
Rafal has his sunglasses on, but not the whole time. He has a black suit and gloves, while his four male dancers wear white suits, with black shirts underneath wearing white light bulbs. Synchronic dancing on the catwalk, while main color is blue, on the background dancing people plus purple, light blue and green laser beams are projected. So is the name of the Polish capital. Rafal will have a couple of very close-up camera shots, in which he looks in the camera and/or even appears to be holding the camera in his hands. Vocals are rather weak.
07. Moldova – Natalia Gordienko – Sugar
The Moldovan team has decided to keep its performance rather modest – or at least not as cheesy/slutty as some have feared. Natalia is wearing a silver dress. She is standing on a moving centerpiece, accompanied by backing dancers. The choreography is very slick and fitting to the song. Vocally, Moldova cleverly uses the rule to have backing vocals on tape. The act breaths ‘Shady lady’ vibes. The backdrop displays silver and pink lines around black squares, and the squares are moving quickly, creating an effect as if the stage is moving around Natalia and her dancers.
Opening pose: the backing dancers form a kind of human chair, that Natalia sits on. She stands up after the verse, performs choreography during the first instrumental part. The high use of front-of-stage camera shots is working really well, but the Moldovans also mix in a few stage pans and wide shots for variety and energy. Natalia sings the chorus standing still, she only dances at the instrumental parts. Camera shots a combination of full stage pans and full body shots. At the bridge, Natalia walks across the centerpiece prop as if it were a treadmill. The dancers leave the prop for the final high note, leaving Natalia alone, and then the dancers drop dead next to her for the final camera shot.
08. Iceland – Daði og Gagnamagnið – 10 Years
The backdrop is purple/yellow colored boxes but then in a computer game style. Dadi and his five companions wear the infamous turquoise sweaters and perform their silly dance routine. Three bandmembers have a banana shaped keyboard around the neck.
The first camerashot is semi-close, we see Dadi and one other band member. After that, high stage pans show the rest of the group. Iceland also uses a handheld shot of a cameraman walking the stage past all the band members during the second verse. During the second chorus three of the band members (including Dadi) move on to the catwalk. The other three stay behind to piece together their banana instruments to make one circle. The pieces are connected to each other through magnets. This is a reference to Ovi & Paula from Romania. Many computer game characters in turqoise outfits appear on the screen like an audience. Then, the instrumental break has a wind machine, a fully dark stage and a nice close-up shot of Dadi. The act ends with a 15 seconds silent pose like a ‘game over’ still.
09. Serbia – Hurricane – Hurricane
Red light night club vibes from Serbia. The outfits of the girls are black with glitters. Red lights dominate the act, but some subtle blue from the Serbian flag is visible as well. The association with the Russian trio Serebro (2007) comes to mind.
Hurricane takes the main stage by storm doing their sexy (hair) choreography. The three singers appear in front of white squares each in there own frame, the words “loco loco” and “baby baby” are projected a lot, black on white. The girls are far apart at the beginning, filmed in solo body shots alternating between the three. Serbia uses this camera work in combination with wideshots for variety. Pyro during the first chorus.
The running low-stage pan shot in the second verse makes this performance visually unique compared to the others. The girls walk the catwalk for the final chorus. In this part, they dance closer together and are filmed in one shot, too. Vocals are much better than you would expect from a club song like this.
10. Georgia – Tornike Kipiani – You
Tornike is a calm and gentle oasis after the dynamic Hurricane act. Behind the singer love messages are projected in various languages and writings in the dark blue starry night sky. The singer is certainly not overdressed, wearing a basic combination of a white shirt and black jeans. The focus is on the vocals in this first of four ballads.
During the second verse/chorus, Tornike sits down on stage. Letters are now projected onto his body, giving a calming effect. Distorted camera work to set the tone.
11. Albania – Anxhela Peristeri – Karma
Anxhela stands in front of a black screen, she is wearing a silver dress singing her power ballad. Red patterns follow her arms, Mans Zelmerlow style. The main colors used are red and turquoise. A lot of smoke and flashing thunderlights and lit clouds visible. The singer stands alone but captivates the stage in a convincing manner. The camera makes close-up shots of her, as she looks into the camera in a strong and powerful way. She waves a lot of waving with her arms. In the end we get to see more white light beams and the end pose is four spots pointing down and a silhouette of Anxhela.
12. Portugal – The Black Mamba – Love Is On My Side
A film noir setting for The Black Mamba. We get to see the singer also dressed in black with his white hat on, singing his blues, one hand in his pocket. The camera grabs the lead singer multiple times, but he looks right past the camera many times, not really connecting. In the backdrop, when things have changed to color, we see an orchestra with a conductor displayed in the backdrop. Classy.
After the chorus blue colors appear. The second chorus starts with yellow lights from behind and an animated character walks a yellow lanterned bridge in the perpendicular LED screen above the catwalk as the singer walks that one too towards the mid stage. This animation can lift the song or conflict with the rest of the staging. It’s up to each persons opinion. Near the end of the song the lead singer grabs his electric guitar and plays a solo at the front the catwalk, with a camera closing up on the guitar.
13. Bulgaria – Victoria – Growing Up Is Getting Old
Sitting crossed legged on a slope, which seems to be a quay or ship, the floor is a water projection. Victoria sings her song with emotion. She starts introverted, but later on looks in the cameraoften. The camera films her from the side for over half a minute. In the front we see sand falling as in a time glass. Then Victoria looks mainly at a picture on the floor, it’s a porttraite of her father. Victoria touches the sand falling then starts climbing the slope. Yellow beams pointing up and orange lit dried ice on the floor. Her jumpsuit is soft blue, the hair is orange (lit). A capella ending close up of her face, rest of the stage and shot is dark, and she has her hands around microphone folded hands.
14. Finland – Blind Channel – Dark Side
The guys from Blind Channel rock the stage in red and blue colored scene a lot alike their national final performance, including the backdrop where someone hangs upside down. There is a good chemistry between to two lead singers/rappers. Energetic jumping and pyrotechnical flames.
15. Latvia – Samanta Tīna – The Moon Is Rising
In a Robin Hood green gala glittering dress, with a frontal split, Samantha Tina, sings her rave song in front of a yellow screensaver bulking out merely amorph shapes. She has three backings also dressed in green, but they are wearing additional green facial screens and miniskirts of plastics as well. In the backdrop a golden crown made of four hands is visible every now and then. Camera shot from above, zooming out to the max, this is the final shot.
16. Switzerland – Gjon’s Tears – Tout l’Univers
There is a white object where Gjon is standing on. Mainly a black and white scenery. Dark purple colors. The singer does a lot of modern dance hand moves and we get to see many close ups. He has an almost black/dark purple shirt with silver lines. The stroboscope lightings and strong drums . In general Gjon comes across uncomfortable doing his dance moves.
17. Denmark – Fyr & Flamme – Øve os på hinanden
Denmark copies their national final act. Colors of light blue and pink moving in several shapes over the backdrops. The lead singer in his pink glitter jacket and grey pants. His partner in this duo plays the guitar and stands on his own round pedestal. During the intermezzo The singer run back and forth the catwalk. Meanwhile he makes his silly eighties dance moves. The act looks a bit like a cartoon.