Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Day 5 | Second Rehearsals | First Semi-Final | 🇱🇹 🇸🇮 🇷🇺 🇸🇪 🇦🇺

This will be a rolling blog, each country in running order, so please refresh to update.

Good morning from the remote press centre! While Jordy is on a photography mission, the rest of the team will fill in with what's happening on screen. So here they are with some fresh eyes.

🇦🇺 | Australia

I guess we won't be seeing anything today, not before the first dress rehearsal (and possibly not even then?). Sild will take over for the next few rehearsals.

🇸🇪 | Sweden

If symmetry is your thing, this is the staging for you. Everyone is positioned in a straight line, and the backdrop is a very centred vertical centre line in the centre. If you took half of the screen and mirrored it onto the other, it would look just the same (except that Tusse would be holding two microphones).

This is really quite effective, especially after the overly busy first three stagings - and while Tusse is far from great vocally, he does have the personality to make up for it. I didn't like it in MF, partly due to a disturbingly horrifying velvet suit - but they took care of that, his new suit looks much better on screen (and even gets a close-up to show us the shiny bits). Thumbs up.

I had to look twice to see if the projected extra backing singers in the last chorus aren't actually there behind the real ones. And I'm still not quite sure, but leaning towards not real. That's how good the backscreen is.

🇷🇺 | Russia

This is a very very busy staging - everywhere you look, there's a highly detailed dress or something happening on the screen - a message, a sophisticated old Russian-style animation, or a modern Russian woman (I think I even spotted a transitioning woman, very cool). My favourite is the horses, think of some kind of animated version of this:

The best thing about this is Manizha herself and her facial expressions, although I can't help thinking it's sometimes a bit overdone and gives me Laka vibes. No, something is different in the last runthrough (other than the flame Pyro during the 'prayer' part) - this is super energetic and I'm loving it

🇸🇮 | Slovenia

To be honest, it was kind of hard to pay attention to Ana (despite the screaming) with all that's going on in the background - a dramatic space film (scary galaxy zooming into Earth) which turns into a National Geographic feature with various climatic landscapes. The one part that did connect with the song was in the explosive bit of the last chorus, with a supernova going right under Ana's feet.

We already know she can belt out, even so early in the day (which: well done), it's always been a question of how many juries are actually into this voice and song. Personally I cringed at the 'sing it!' to the non-present choir.

🇱🇹 | Lithuania

I can see why the producers put this on first, this is a very clever way to reveal the stage, which fully shows itself in the chorus. The routine is mostly familiar, although I think they've added a penguin-style jumping towards the end... was it there before?

Vaidotas is as charismatic as ever, at first pretending that he's confused by where he is and looking for the cameras, later "gaining" confidence. Holding back vocally in the first runthrough but singing just fine in the second, I guess they know that this could be their backup performance? 

The LED floor looks like a still image of the background, something like this:

Overall a solid entry, but (perhaps ironically) really feels like it will need an audience roar to stand out.