Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Day 2 Rehearsals - Czech Republic, Cyprus, Austria, Estonia


Before the rehearsal
Last year Estonia was one of the countries we were wetting ourselves over. This year a bit less.

Starting with a long shot, the camera moves closer to Jüri who is centre-stage. He is dressed in a blue suit over a white shirt, no tie and - at least for the rehearsal - glasses. There is a card theme. The backdrop is black and has red hues. In the central line you see a red diamond, heart and spade. In his act, Jüri will skillfully pull cards out of his sleeve. I did not notice if it was multiple or the same one - will pay more attention later. Unlike Eestilaul and the promotional tours, there is no hints of the preview video in the staging. This new setup works well for the song. Vocally did not give goosebumps but still received an applause from europress.

Second run - The card suits are white. I'm sure they were red before. The ace of hearts is brought out from the chest pocket of the suit which gets thrown to the audience. However, soon later a card also appears from the sleeve. We did not see if it was another ace of heats or not. Twice there were audio issues, albeit very short, during this rehearsal. Less of an applause than the first run but this could be due to the Czech meet and greet happening now.


Before the rehearsal
Oh Zoë, sweet sweet Zoë. This song appears to have mixed opinions from betting and fans. Fans seem to think it will win while the best you can currently find this is at 50:1. I personally don't expect this to set much alight but I have been proven wrong on many an occasion and this could just be another one to add to the list. It is one we've been waiting for though.

Starting on a plain blue-lit stage, Zoë clad in a peach frock with silver-embroided and studded top section. As choreography, there isn't much to talk about. She just stands on stage in one spot while the camera does all the work. Backdrop is exactly as per the preview video, flowers, butterflies and all. The floor does light up to continue the effect and in essence Zoë is on a pathway in this colourful land.

Second run - Much the same as the first - only this time the wind machine blows parts of her dress a bit too much which needs to be calmed down. A good rendition.

Third run - Nothing much new to comment about. Zoë interacts with the background, at some point 'creating' a rainbow. She's enjoying herself however which is nice to see.

Merci et bonne chance Autriche!


Before the rehearsal
Well, Cyprus this year brings us a song which is a crowd splitter. I personally am on team like but that could be because I appear to like everything nowadays. Apart from Leto Svet which someone who shall remain nameless keeps on singing the chorus of.

The guys, apart from lead singer Francois, are behind personal cages. Not all have four walls however which kind of defeats the point of having a cage in the first place. The song starts with a close up of Francois which some might enjoy more than others (again, I'm in the like category). Staging is what you could have expected - pink, flowery, loads of hearts everywhere. Not. Dark, moody and very 'rockish' (well, for a Eurovision entry).

WOLVES - there are WOLVES! And no, they are not Belarussian, and the group is not naked, but they do have wolves. It is filmed and I'm not 100% sure if all of them are real or some are digital but the end shot is of a close up of a wolf's head which then bleeds into a close up of Francois' to keep the connection between the lead singer and the wolf.

Second run - Definitely some digital wolves. The howling is getting slightly better. Thankfully we know they are just playing around with what works - there was a shot which really, really, and I cannot stress how much really did not work. A face-on outline of a wolf head with Francois filmed inside it. This then turns into a profile - but, at least in this shot, it just looked amateurish. I am quite sure the delegation will not be using it.

Final run - Dry ice arrives. First 'error' - Francois couldn't complete the second chorus, he seems to have been pointing to the floor (dry ice) but there didn't seem to have been that much to have made an effect on vocal chords. No pyro and hardly any wolf shots.

Before the rehearsal
The Czech Republic (or Czechia as it will be known) is one of the countries whose fortune has not been great at Eurovision. Last year we were all routing for them but alas it was once again not their year. This years' presentation however does seem to be sparking more positive attention and it will be time for the nation to taste the atmosphere of the Saturday night stage. 

The music starts and we see Gabriela walking to the front of the stage. She soon stops the run-through though to ask about markings on the ground (which we hear will not be there) in case she needs to try and remember where to position herself. She will.

Dressed in white, the stage has elements from her preview video - namely the colourful triangles. Vocally capable, Gabriela does the run through professionally and does seem to have done her homework. Run over, the gathered press (which admittedly aren't huge in numbers) cheer.

Second run - Gabriela has a HUGE crystal necklace on. There are definitely backing singers but we cannot see them. There is a reason why Gabriela needs to be in the right position on stage - again, a case of singer and stage interacting. The backdrop for the last chorus is of falling flowers - the same that she laid on in the preview video. Another applause once over.

Third and final run - Due to camera angles we cannot confirm the effect but it appears that the pink blob composed of multiple triangles which is seen slowly falling towards the ground at the back of Gabriela in the intro slowly moves accross the floor towards her. We believe the effect is that on the first chorus this blob should have just reached directly underneath her and then bursts outwards from the central point, filling the rest of the floor with trianglular lights. Coming after the huge extravagance of Russia, this is an excellent choice.

The night before
Well, if I could type super fast I would give a recap of what happened last night at the Euroclub. But I cannot type that fast and watch rehearsals so the long and short is : Much space, few people, small dance, Serhat.

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