Before the rehearsal
The song has certain similarities with "Undo" and is the kind of powerballad that is normally quite easy to stage. The challenge is probably to stage it in a way that doesn't come across as something that's too similar to what has already been done before. Dami is a strong singer and I don't expect her to have any problems. I'm curious to see what they've chosen to do regarding backing singers.
Just had some secret information that Dami's backing singers are no other than Anna Sahlene and Dea Norberg. Dea being a very frequent backing singer in Eurovision, and Anna Sahlene simply being Sahlene :D Let's hope we get to see them.
Dami is on the floor in a VERY sparkly silvery/white dress.
No, actually, it turns out she's not on the floor, but sitting on a large blocky pedestal. Which is also extremely glittery.
And. She has holograms projections (surprise surprise!) They're sort of random shapes that she moves around with her hands. For the last chorus she's helped down from the podium and walks around the stage a bit. Her dress is very princessy but pretty as it catches the wind machine. It has a very large shoulder piece on one side, and it makes her look a bit hunched sometimes. She may need to work on elongating her neck.
Vocally it's mostly fine. Towards the end there were some strained notes, but possibly just the result of Dami holding back for the rehearsal. The backing singers are pretty loud in the mix, but nowhere to be seen.
Second time around. The podium is is lit up and shiny front the start this time. And there's more lights on Dami too. It also shows off the dress better. But instead the hologram stuff are less visible. She hits all the notes even better this time. Unlike the studio version, there's a LOT of wailing going on in the last chorus. Dami is wailing, and the backing singers sing the lead melody. Which works really well.
My conclusion is that they've definitely managed to come up with a staging that's a lot more exciting than what power ballads of this genre have had in Eurovision before. The holograms are a bit unnecessary, but otherwise it's all looking really good. And sounding really good.
Donny starts off alone on a dark stage with a spotlight focusing on him. He sings the first verse rather shakily, while doing some spins and things. As the chorus kicks in the stage lights change a little bit. And he does a little bit of dancing. There's some starry-sky-looking backdrop effects. He remains completely alone on stage. The backing vocals can be heard very prominently, but not seen.
There's also a small trampoline that he briefly uses.
Vocally the first run-through was quite bad. There were a lot of off-key notes. Maybe he'll improve. But vocally it was probably the worst rehearsal so far today.
The performance itself came across as rather minimalistic. This is a prime example of when hiding the backing singers makes no sense at all. He could really have needed more people on stage to make this performance come to life. Right now it's just Donny running across an empty stage all by himself, and mostly it just looks as if they didn't make much of an effort with this.
Second time, and his vocals are a bit better. The stage graphics do look quite good, but there's just nothing very exciting about it. Except maybe for that one tiny jump on the trampoline.
One more run-through, and he changes his clothes. He's wearing a white oversized neoprene jacket that looks like something one goes jogging in. Not sure if he just got cold, or if it's part of what he's planning on wearing next week.
Missed the first one, because we were out getting sushi and etceteras. But got back in time for the second run-through.
The stage is looking pretty nice but simple. There's some circular podium-looking graphics on the floor underneath Kaliopi that looks a bit like a digital donut (did someone misunderstand the title?). Or maybe it's supposed to be a Q?
Unlike many other singers, Kaliopi has decided to acknowledge that she has backing singer and has been polite enough to have them on stage with her. Four female backings are on the left side of the stage, and a drummer is on the right side. Kaliopi is in the middle and stays in position for most of the performance. She's wearing a black baggy top and black trousers. It's all rather shapeless and not doing any favours for her figure. So it better not be the real outfit.
The stage is first grey-ish, and then switches to gold, yellow and orange tones with flames on the screens at the back. For the second verse it then switches back to blue and grey. During the instrumental section the cameras pan over the audience and switches to different parts of what's now just empty chairs. But will probably look a lot more exciting once there's a crowd in Globen.
Vocally Kaliopi is mostly fine. In the second run she had problems with her earpiece and had to do the Zaleilah-point to get it fixed. It meant that she was very off-sync in the first chorus, but quickly managed to get back on track. She's a pro, after all. At the end she tries to do a high-pitched falsetto scream (similar to what she did in Crno i belo) but it seems as if she can't quite pull it off this time. But it might just be the rehearsal-effect. The backing singers sing well and also lift the song quite a lot.
Overall, the performance itself is visually nothing special. Not much happens, and just like the song, the staging and choreography could just as well have been in Eurovision 1992. But that's also what suits the song, and it's not trying to be something that it isn't. The focus is on the song and on Kaliopi, and that's probably what's best for this kind of entry. But just like with Ireland, it may still struggle with being memorable enough to make people pick up the phone and vote for it.