Saturday, 11 May 2013

Saturday afternoon rehearsals (part 3)

Solbjørg Lislefleis here, giving you my impressions on the five last entries of semi 2. And guess who's first...

Biased-o-rama review coming up, but this is great!

Saw the first run-through in the arena, where tiny little red lights were decorating the seating area as Margaret was wriggling her way onto the stage. A word of advice; don't touch these lights - it breaks all of them. Sam learned this the hard way.

Visually, it's just like it has been - outstanding. And unlike Hungary, which works on screen, but less so in the hall, this is stunning in the arena too, with great changes of the backdrop to match with the different parts of the song, flashing lights and a bass that digs into your spine.

Judging by the second run-through on screen Margaret herself is trying a bit less today - she doesn't look as engaging as she did in the first rehearsal, and there's also some notes that are a little off. But seeing as we know she's capable of it, and presumably she knows too, she might not be putting every effort in. Still covers me in gooseberrybumps all the way through, though - would make a great winner in a week's time, and should certainly manage to qualify easily.

Some Azerbaijanis near us in the press centre appear to be setting up a Norwegian flag - damn that oil voting exchange!

The smell of freshly made chicken is distracting me a little during the first run-through of Albania, as Jonas decided to bring a massive grilled carcass back from the supermarket after the break. It does smell very yumsy, and the potatissallad even more so. Wonder if there'll be any leftovers...

Albania doesn't smell at all, funnily. Though they do look like they might... I assume their looks won't harm them at all, though - it's not exactly Justin Bieber's fanbase they're going for. It does look very right for what it is, not much more to say really - and no noticeable changes from their first rehearsal.

Third and last set gives us the pyro, and it really improves this one. Starts off from the start, with steam columns and fire shooting up from the floor throughout. Fits perfectly with the stage and lighting, which is set in red and yellow. Bledar heads for the satellite stage for his pyrotastic guitar solo, which is a nice touch, but I'm less sure about the seemingly random explosions of falling pyro at the end.

All in all, I still don't think Albania is a qualifier, but it sure isn't because of the performance they put on.

We're treated with a bum note or two in the first verse or so, but they're nailing it (and nailing it loudly too) towards the end, when it matters. It looks neat too, and although it still feels a bit too calculated for my liking, the interaction and chemistry between them has improved a lot. There's one shot somewhere in the middle that I find a bit odd, though, where Noddy is standing behind Sopho on stage. Filmed from the front it just looks like he's standing next to her (but slightly out of focus), looking in a weird direction to the side of the camera - looks a bit lousy, until you understand the point of it.

The awaited falling pyro for the keychange is still in place, but still doesn't look as good as it wants to, and could. There's mainly three reasons for it, I find:

- The "line" it's coming from is split in two, which makes it less a big wall of, well, firefall, and more two big lumps.
- It's falling from too high up, meaning it drizzles out before it reaches the stage floor - or even reaches the camera shot when we get some close-ups of them.
- It's over long before the song ends, making the ending a bit of an anticlimax.

The columns of steam coming just before the big moment, one by one around the stage, looks very nice, though. This is no winner by any means, just by virtue of being a bit ordinary, but is obviously qualifying with ease, and should match Georgia's usual final results.

The Swiss were nice enough to spice up their immense dullness with a disrupted second run-through - we're not sure why, but something was presumably not just going just right. Maybe Gygax was nervous about the knee-slide or something. At least we're hoping he's still planning to get that back, this performance is in desperate need of some spice... I actually like the song, and have done for, what, half a year, but these three minutes feel sooo long with them just standing there in a line.

Also, lead girl has the most Swiss face I've ever seen.

We're going out with a bang today, aren't we... Or rather, with a howl and a screech. The Cezar acts like his usual, dramatic self, and there are few words to describe the whole thing, really.

"HE SHAVED HIS CHEST" is being shouted across the press centre. Indeed he did.

I find myself appreciating the verses a little, and particularly the build-up to the chorus, but honestly... This is great tv, but I doubt it's a great vote-grabber.



  1. Albania does smell. In the arena. Of gunpowder.

    1. Maybe that was just someone getting shot?