In this article you can find in-depth analysis of the first rehearsals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, from Finland to Russia. If you want the quickest updates, please follow our Live-Blog with all the other news as well!
Nine countries for their first round of rehearsals. The day starts with Gabriela from the Czech Republic…
In the sequence Gabriela delivers a very controlled version ballad. She’s literally standing still in her white gown. Behind her the LEDs gently switch back and forth from magenta and blue. Same triangle and cubistic patterns as in the video. The contrast with the energetic Russian popsong is gigantic. As it is early morning Gabriela’s voice is not warmed up yet, but she’s in control. At the bridge just before the high note Gabriela removes her hair clip and the windmachine is switched on. Here the flowers from the videoclip pop up. The only fair I have is that she might not ‘connect’ to the viewers as she appeared quite emotionless. Maybe today she focussed mainly on her vocals and this was pretty much OK.
Minus One has a bad live reputation and live on stage it’s still far from perfect, though slightly better than expected. The singer just scares me. Some band members are in cages. Lots of blue and red rays of lighting. Some video clips of wolves are inserted in. That was not allowed in the past and here it looks very messy. Overall the act comes over quite aggressive and the howling of the wolf looks a bit weird. Borderline qualifier.
Zoë starts in a blue setting which turns into a multicoloured Alice in Wonderland landscape filled with butterflies. Dressed in a salmon pink dress, Zoë singing is OK, but does not sound like it comes easily. Allthough Zoë has the momentum going with the die hard-fans, three minutes might be too long for the viewers. Zoë should also stop dreaming and open her eyes while singing.
Jüri looks very much like he is not into it today. He gives a crumpy perfomance of his song. There is some effort to have a gimmick with a deck of cards. Vocally it’s not very well performed. Scenery is classy dark red and projected is a spade. There is no link to the James Bond scenery of the national final which gave the preformance some mystical tension.
First runthrough of Samra is really dramatic in the vocals. It is to be hoped she had troubles with her in-ears, because the whole performance was really out of tune. The staging is not really worked out like we are used to by the Azeri delegation. Dressed in white Samra is joined on stage by four backings. There is some clichéd dance routine and hardly anything done with lighting. Some microphone standards look like nordic walking sticks. Colours are mainly black & white with yellow light beams. She sings “It’s gonna take a miracle to save us now”. The press centre agrees as for the first time it’s remains deadly silent after her performance.
Use the stage in the middle, where a woman in red awaits the four guys, singing ‘inside of you’. Vocally it’s allright. Loads of red, white and blue lights. So far most shots seem quite random and chaotic.
In contrary to Russia the Icelandic act seems better prepared with the visuals. Starting of in the dark with backlight shining though her blond hair. First lines are not in tune, but it’s been compensated with good close-ups. We’ll get to see a play of silhouettes of hands, people, dark clouds, fists and birds. And Grethe walking in front of the screen. Performance looks pretty much the same as the national final. Just now it looks better on a bigger stage. Needs only little improvement in the positioning in front of the screen, to make those graphics work.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Scenery: In Bosnian colours blue and yellow we get to see the cello player wrapped in tinfoil for no obvious reasons and both singers seperated by a barb wired fence reaching for eachother. When the rapper enters the stage all of a sudden the fence is gone and both singers start to flirt. Vocals are good. The backings sound typically Balkan, which could not land very well in non Eastern countries. The refugee theme of the lyrics should be clear and get them many points.
Allthough Malta opens strongly, but doesn’t deliver what it promisses. There’s lots of gold lighting in floors and screens. Obviously there will be a costume change as Ira is wearing a thick brown coat which will be taken off in the third minute. There is a dancer on stage, but he does not really add anything. On the floor a whirlpool is being projected as the only connection with the song theme ‘Water’. The high notes and ad libs in the end are sung by a backing vocal and not by Ira herself as she is just singing her chorus again.
Perfect directing, with lots of close-ups, and lights from the audience. This is gonna score really well because of the simple setting of black and only yellow bulblights. Sometimes words are projected that all have a negative meaning ‘mistake’, ‘devil’ and ‘lies’. That won’t harm Frans’ results. There are a few shots of the audience probably with mobile flashlights. Towards the end Frans walks to the midstage and will perform the last chorus surrounded by the audience.