Monday, 2 May 2016

Afternoon rehearsal. Croatia, Netherlands, Armenia


Before the rehearsal

The song is quite a difficult to sing live even for the most talented singer. So that will be a challenge. Good backing vocals will also be very crucial. Another challenge will clearly be how to stage the parts where she doesn't sing. But I'm very interested to see how they've chosen to do this.


 Now. This staging REALLY impressed me. She's all alone on stage. But she has actual holograms of herself appearing in the instrumental bit. It didn't work perfectly, but compared to all previous attempts at doing holograms on stage in Eurovision this one really did it well.
She's wearing net-stockhings, a swimsuit-shaped outfit and a long flowy coat on top. Basically being sexy and tall without being too pornographic about it. And the stage is mainly dark and blue and very glittery. The floor looks like someone dropped a big bucket of glitter snow on it and couldn't find a broom.

The backing singers are clearly somewhere where they aren't seen. But unlike most performances that hide their backing singers, I think it worked quite well in this one. She CAN really fill up the stage all by herself. And with her holograms.
The vocals were also very good. Overall I would say that it was a very good rehearsal for Iveta.

Second run-through now. Will try to describe the performance a bit more in detail.
It starts off by a blurry shot of Iveta and then a close up of her chin (!), The first verse has a lot of various shows alterning between showing all of her or just various body parts. In the big swoopy part before the first chorus the lights around her go red while she does some stretching exercises , and then ... well, then in the first chorus she managed to tangle up the earpiece in her hair and had to ask for them to stop the music.

Here we go again... So, the first chorus and the first verse keeps the dark blue/grey colour theme. She leaves the mic stand halfway through and walks around a little bit. And at the end of the song she does a pose that looks a bit as if she's just been crucified.

Overall, I think this works really well visually. The staging is a little bit similar to Croatia in terms of colours, but Armenia does it a lot better.

The Netherlands

Before the rehearsal
The song is pretty straight-forward and I have no doubts that Douwe can handle the singing. I think that they will have to find a way to make the staging stand out and highlight the song well without making it too gimmicky. The Dutch have a history of not staging things too well... Except that one time when they got it really right, in 2014. If they can manage to do an equally good staging without copying it, this song can really grab the attention of the viewers. But if they go 3JS with it, it could quite easily be overlooked as well.


First run-through.

The Mrs Einstein-ripoff intro has an accompanying clock on the floor that ticks along with the song. Douwe is in a blue suit and his band are in similar suits. The only tattoo that he shows off is his neck tattoo. There's a pianist, a guitarist, a bass player and a guy playing the drums. Pretty straight-forward band line up.

The stage keeps the clock on the floor for the rest of the song, and the rest of it is dark and gold.
During the guitar solo Douwe walks down the catwalk and sings the rest of the song from the end of it. 

Between the guitar solo and the last chorus there was a long piece of silence, which I first assumed was some mistake. But people are saying that it was actually planned, and that rumours have it that the silent part is an intentional addition where the idea is that Douwe will make the audience sing and clap along to the chorus, without any music. If this is true, it could probably either work great or fail terribly. Let's see if they give us any more clues in the next run-through.

Second time around... there's a lot of yellow Sanna-lights as well. And the drums are very glittery. Douwe manages to be charming in a very somber way. And his legs look extremely long in the slim suit, especially as there's a lot of camera shots from below.

They did the silent break before the last chorus again. This time it definitely did look intentional. It goes on for what's probably a full round of the chorus, so would make sense if they're indeed supposed to have the audience sing along there. But right now during the rehearsal Douwe is doing nothing at all, just standing waiting for the music to start again. So it's really hard to tell if this gimmick will work.


Before the rehearsal

People have been worrying a lot about this. Will she sing it well? What will she wear? Will her hair stay in place?
What I hope is that they will not make something too ridiculous, and that she will sing it well. But to stand out they clearly also have to do something memorable, so it's a thin line.


Nina just walked on stage and began her first rehearsals. She starts off wearing a HUGE sort of kimono dress. It's silvery and glittery and stiff and BIG. Like a hybrid between a Times Square Christmas tree ornament and an inflatable geisha pool toy. But in true Linda Wagenmarkers fashion it's ripped off a bit into the song and reveals normal clothes underneath. As in, clothes that probably aren't what she will be wearing.

Now a long break before the next run-through. This rehearsal created quite a buzz in the press centre, and people aren't really quite sure what to make of this. I guess the huge over-dress might possibly make more sense once she's wearing something proper underneath after the reveal. But that's probably just wishful thinking, because the clothes underneath will probably be just as ridiculous.

 Second run-trough. Can hear her voice a bit better now when there's less of a OMG ROFLMAO-noise from the press centre. She's not perfect but kind of "good enough for Eurovision" and definitely decent enough for a rehearsal.

The four backing singers are moving around the stage and doing some choreography, very much part of the act but still mostly in the dark.

Nina is mostly standing still in the centre front of the stage, doing some arm movements but with her silvery heels nailed to the floor.The stage itself is dark with tones of blue. The backdrop is quite discrete. Basically, this is probably visually supposed to be all about the clothes.

Some more about the dress... it's mainly made up of a glittery see-through meshy kind of fabric, with ornaments in the shapes of tree branches on it. It looks a bit like sea-weed and as if she's caught in a glameor fishnet. And the dress comes off as two parts, so there's probably a lot of velcro involved.

And not a single Ingeborg hair! I'm very disappointed.

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