Monday, 30 April 2018

First rehearsal: Macedonia to Greece


Pre-opinion: This stands out for me in this semi line-up, in a good way. But it will need to be staged with an 'atmosphere', and it won't be simple with this kind of stage.

Set up: Yianna is in a clean white dress with flappy sleeves that reach the floor.

First run: Oh. :-/
She's all alone on stage (more hidden singers..), which I think wasn't a great idea as she doesn't carry it visually by herself. She just flaps her sleeves about and looks robotic. Vocally fine until the last few lines, which made us squirm a bit.

Second run: Some improvements here, vocally and visually. The blue background and white dress make it look very Greek, at least. There's some light effect projecting on her dress during the drummy bit. She still looks lonely there, but they're on the right track with the vocals, at least.

Third run: We only got a few seconds of it, then the feed switched to the Macedonian press conference. Overall, they still need to work on the sound mix during the last chorus, but should probably sound good on the night. This is roughly how the whole thing looks:


Pre-opinion: I really like this one, but it depends on a strong backing choir for this to do well. And it better be visible too, because Cesár hasn't looked too comfortable on his own so far. ORF have a good record for doing their homework lately, so I guess I don't need to tell them that.

First run: Fabulous. He's on a futuristic platform that reveals itself dramatically, backing choir sounds great (they're behind the platform, we can only see their heads). Silver shirt that flatters his body really well. Giant hologram of his bust and face appears. He jumps off the platform and walks about during the bridge. Some wows and an enthusiastic applause from the press centre.

Second run: I should add he's wearing a neck mic and shakes his arms during the "I'm shaking til I fall down" part. The platform is quite a thing, it's a two-level device that lifts, both parts have lights. The top part looking like an alien spaceship. I both love it and fear green men will emerge from it and invade me.

Third and run and still looking and sounding great. If I were to say something negative about this, it would be that Cesár needs tighter trousers.


Pre-opinion: There's not a lot of opinion, really. Most of us struggle to remember it's there. Can they do anything to change that?

First run-though: Dark stage. Backing singers are off-stage. Franka sings well, but not a lot happens, apart from a wind machine. I guess they're planning the focus will be on her facial expressions, trying to look 'crazy', but in this run-through it's all very mechanic.

Second run: First shot is on her stretched hand, slowly revealing her face. She uses the mic stand until the 'talky' bit, then she pulls it out, walks about for a bit, then goes back the stand. Some yellow lights in the back. The camera shows her from every possible angle, when it runs out of angles it does it again. Sound mix is absolutely fine, it sounds a lot like the studio.

Third and last run: They're trying a sound effect during the talky bit that makes her sound like she's on a walkie-talkie. There's also smoke that shoots from behind the camera when she goes 'skyyyyyyyy'.

To sum it all, this is... fine


Pre-opinion: One of my favourites this year, finding the change of styles fascinating. But well aware that this is a difficult song to sell, and adding Macedonia's staging track record and the live performances of this I've heard so far, chances are against them.

(still not started, on our screens at least, we're getting views of Portuguese forest bike trails)
(screens are on, looks like we get to see the last runthrough only)

So, it's not the carcrash many feared (hoped?). A standard Pop performance, with Marija walking about and interacting with Bojan and the drummer, and sometimes joining the three female backing singers/dancer in the chorus dance from the music video. Vocals are ok most of the time. Best part for me: the backings snap their fingers! It's very loud in the sound mix, so possibly an added sound effect (guess that's allowed...?)

The routine and outfits very much remind me of Karma's final performance from Dora 2003 .

Bom dia

Lisbon is so lovely! The historic trams aren't just a sight, they also take you to nice neighbourhoods your foot probably won't. If you're a smoker, however, you're never allowed on the metro.

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