Before the rehearsal
Greta is back as we all know and this time does not have her violin, or Jonsi (sad face). It is likely that the presentation will be an up scaled version of what they had in the Icelandic selection. We do hope however that the artist is better lit this time, it's always nice to see who is actually singing the song rather than what is happening to them - whether it be being pushed around by gigantic hands, random shadows running into you, or something that looks like an exorcised demon escaping from your chest cavity.
After a 15 minute delay, we see the first rendition. Unfortunately our fears seem to have been well founded. The backdrop is definitely more clean than it was back in Reykjavik but apart from that it is much of the same. Greta's dress is the same, the visuals are (mostly) the same, and there is a screen which she is performing in front of which, unlike in Russia's performance, stands out quite badly in some shots. Not good. Vocally however she delivered an acceptable level - and we need to remember that it is a rehearsal so you won't want to stretch yourself too much in the beginning.
Second run - It seems that the music is too loud in the first verses. Greta is completely the wrong place throughout most of the shots which need her to be dead right. Hopefully this is just because it's a new stage and she needs to get used to where she should be standing however how long did she have to rehearse back home and we are seeing more of the same here. Will a few more days be enough to get her back on track?
Third (and final) run - Visually it is coming along. She managed to get better placed and it seems that there was some talk happening between the last run through and this. The camera angles are helping it better than before. Wouldn't rule it out but don't expect it to set Europe alight come the 10th / 14th. But more importantly - FOOD BREAK!
Before the rehearsal
Let's just be honest here - we're not really expecting anything from this. After qualifying for two years in a row, after never having previously qualified, you'd think they would have thought to stick to what they know best. Especially when they were (internally) selected so long ago. Oh well, let us sit through it anyway.
Camera doesn't know where it is or what/who it is looking for. But surprisingly enough that was the thing that put me off from the start. Lead singer is quite good - relatively speaking. And let's face it, coming after what we had before it's quite refreshing! Then again, by not having any expectation of something there is nothing for it to live up to. A couple of audio hiccups again during the first run. There is a backing singer who is in fact front of stage and seems to have much camera time. Not really sure why but I guess there is a plan going on. Song is over and... well... good enough. I am assuming that they are not revealing their outfits for this rehearsal.
Second run - Again, capable and delivers the song. There are lots of lights flashing about everywhere which you could have predicted. Will this entice televoters though is another question.
Third run - Nothing else to comment on but can see that visually it is getting more together. Possibly quite enjoyable even - but yes, as others have mentioned, needs to come with an epilepsy warning.
Before the rehearsal
As mentioned, Azerbaijan is always one to watch for visuals. Due to the internal selection however, we have only seen her on promo tour in Moscow, Tel Aviv and Malta. It will be good to see how it all comes together on a much larger and professional stage. Looking good from what we can see for the preparation.
Well, there's many visuals, but that might be to distract us. Samra starts by standing centre-stage, or rather, she should be, but she appears to be a bit too much to the left meaning the effect of the spotlights illuminating her is not working very well. She has four backing singer/dancers which try their best to help but vocally this is quite weak. The visuals also flitter off and calm down towards the end of the song. One lonely person clapped the end of this song. Could we possibly be about to witness Azerbaijan's first non-qualification?
**Taking a while to start again, could someone have disappeared since the first run? Bets on it being Samra?**
Second run - Samra is back. She managed the first verse. And now, "Can we start again please". Not part of the original lyrics. Samra is not looking best pleased at all.
Second run - Take two - Managed to continue for the full run. Well, the best thing about this is the Swedish backing singer/dancers. Samra holds her throat while delivering the chorus. It is not sounding as bad as it was during the first but something tells me, as the lyrics say "gonna take a miracle". Then again, wasn't this the Land of Miracles?
Third run - "We crash and we burn", you said it sister! The odds are currently placing this 16th overall. I doubt this will be the case after today leaks to them. Shame really, still, we can console ourselves with the fact that it is destined to be on euroclub playlists for years to come.
Before we start again!
So, the morning is over and we had a nice break but back to reality now.
Up next is a concoction of the good, the bad and the messy. Azerbaijan
is always one to watch for visuals, Montenegro is... well... Montenegro,
and Iceland we need to see if there is still the miss-timed interaction
between singer and visuals. Soon all will be revealed.