Alcohol was free last night, multiple times (thanks Ireland), so many of us missed the first two rehearsals, thanks Martin for filling in!
Well, this confirms many's suspicion that the sound in the Armenian final was horrible, and they're sounding just fine in this setting. I couldn't see any planet in the background, mostly black/red with white/yellow spotlights, which look quite nice. The non-Gor members get a lot of camera focus (there was a chuckle when the cameras caught the keyboard player looking all awkward), I guess the concept behind this is to look very much a band doing their thing. A few more tweaks and this should work in a Compact Disco kind of way.
What they still need is an audience, as many shots rely on it being there - especially one from above and behind them at the climax part towards the end. But this should be fixed. They also need to look more interested and engaged. But this will hopefully be fixed too. I used to think that they also need scissors, but somehow after seeing this, the whole hair thing kind of makes sense.
Third runthrough with my attention to sound - Gor carries almost all of the singing by himself (and quite well, too), the band joins him by reflecting his words before the last chorus and then with him in the last one. I can barely hear them, their voices are mixed in just right. Press area doesn't seem convinced by this, but I'm quite enjoying it all.
Last go and there's smoke on the ground, and, arrrrrgh, not again - pyro towards the end (fireworks from the floor followed by flames). I don't think it adds anything to the song and it looks quite cheap to me. A shame, but still an overall positive impression.
I'll refrain from commenting on how it came across on the first runthrough, as it was all very experimental still, with lots of visible camera equipment and changing sound mix during the song. Basically the setting is quite similar to the national final, Alex, a guitarist on a tall stool and the woman backing singer with the animated background and lots of green everywhere.
Second go and they got the sound right now, as Alex and the backing singer's voices blend perfectly and it all sounds great. Camera work is still all over the place though, and it's difficult to tell what's meant for us to see (the confused looks from the guitarist? Alex checking his watch during the instrumental? Hmm)... We'll see in the next runs.
Well, they're really playing with our feelings now. Sudden keychanges, exchanges of words between Alex and guitar player, too many things we haven't seen or heard and we have no idea if we'll see or hear them on the semi night. Probably the most unpredictable performer so far. At least the cameras are starting to get it right.
Much to everyone's relief, no pyro was added in the last go. And for a change, the performers were actually taking it seriously now - all looking a lot like the NF performance now, so if you loved it (as I do), you'll probably love it again. I have a feeling that this isn't the last we've seen of Alex's unpredictable sense of humour though.