Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The not-press opinion - MNT, ISL, BIH, MLT


Two screens showing a still Ira, but her hair is waving. Then another screen of her singing (is she here?). She finally appears in a long dress that smells outfit change. A blue spiral on the floor during the chorus. Then yellow light projections on her dress, while she's moving literally around. Then the long dress is off (she is left with a black outfit, but I doubt that's the real one) and the floor is filled with yellow beams/flames. The blue spiral is back and it ends. Not much connection from her to the camera, it could be because it's the first rehearsal and they focused on positioning. Vocally perfect (will try to spot Molly in the next run).

The beginning is very much Eurovision-gimmicky and it takes some time for it to become normal and more contemporary. The dress projection colours make little sense and the dress colour itself (light brown) does not look particularly good on screen. A dancer is near her for half of the song. It looks like he is chasing her, while she is moving to all possible directions. Better close-up shots this time, still not many though.

Eye-contact with the camera better achieved this time round and the performance is pretty solid after the third run.

Summary: It looks very promising for Malta, as long as the weird, too eurovisiony beginning doesn't hurt the rest of the song. As expected, she is an excellent performer. Won some points today in the qualification race. Based on the staging, it also makes sense to have this perform last now, me thinks.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

First shot on Ana Rucner who is wearing an aluminium foil coat. Deen appears and sings through a -presumably not electric- wired fence to Dalal, out of tune at first, in tune after a while. They meet later and then the rapper appears and gets done with what's left of the audience patience. It's all a bit generic and the only thing that is memorable is the wires. They have tried *something* at least. I am really not a fan of this song so I can't judge it properly, but they have tried to do something with it here visually (after having tried to do everything with it musically).

Dalal also has a foil coat and gets rid of it before she sings. The staging manages to create some emotional intensity, but just as it reaches the top, the rapper breaks in and it's gone. The last part is boring (and Jala also is standing there looking weird).

Third run now and the song becomes more and more tiresome for me. However, I see that it will have an appeal. This time I've noticed that Ana and Jala have a little bit of connection during their part.

Summary: A really complex song needs a complex (but meaningful) performance. It generates some emotion and will find its audience (probably in the southeastern part of the continent). I've personally predicted them to qualify, despite it not doing anything for me. Their staging is at least memorable and the rap part is short and tied as well as possible to Ana, so I stick with this prediction. Huge difference to Iceland also, and I expect the Maltese staging will be far more western-oriented as well.


Shaky vocal start, but recovers by the chorus. I really like the visuals. Similar moves to the NF, but a slightly more blue-natural background. The wings and the birds are there; they didn't remind me of Russia at all, though. It gets a bit uninteresting after the second chorus. At the same time, that's when her voice fully recovers. The backings are neither helpful nor hurtful.

Identical on the second run. There's also a point just before the second chorus where it's only the projection wall showing and she moves into the shot (and the hands). She has delivered what was expected.

More of the same. She should connect with the camera more during the bridge, which is practically the only close-up and well-lit shots she gets.

Summary: She has moved everything from Reykjavik to Stockholm and has done the same things. In my opinion, it isn't that reminding of Russia's projections. It also fails to come across as genuine though, it's a bit of a cold performance (then again, maybe that's what people expect from Iceland?). Not much has changed regarding its chances, it remains being on of the contenders for the "low" top10 places in the semi.


Ok, this couldn't be any luckier coming after the weakest performance of the semi. It manages to be at least along the competition level and the vocals sound professional (the Samra effect). Of course, the song tires you out after the 1st chorus. The shots are quite fast and confusing, but maybe it works with the song's atmosphere? They are all very static but the camerawork corrects this. Rehearsal-wise, the first run seems to have been a success.

Second run now. He is walking towards the centre of the stage, wearing his hood (which I suppose will happen in the actual performance). The girl is at the front, "dancing", during his parts. The lights during the chorus are really fast, almost annoying. Vocally no problems, they are in tune. The problem is the tune itself. It will reach its potential on stage, but I assume this will not be enough.

Well, now they probably are satisfied with the sound and try to improve on the visuals. The shots are still fast now, but by the third time it's possible to understand where everyone stands and what's going on. The shots on the girl are one of the best parts, however apart from the first one she didn't connect much.

Summary: There was only room for improvement anyway and they have achieved that. Benefits from the Azeri disappointment before it. If Iceland also disappoints, then they might have a chance.

Arrived just in time to listen to my favourite song being murdered on stage. But oh well.

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