Piše: Teddi Cular
First day of rehearsals is behind is and Lithuania, Slovenia, Russia, Sweden, Australia, North Macedonia and Ireland gave their best! But who was the best in our eyes, who was the worst and who really surprised us? You’re about to find out!
LITHUANIA | The Roop – Discoteque
DAVID: The Roop’s energetic morning performance on the Ahoy stage astounded me. Good camera-work, excellent lighting, superb dance moves and multicoloured outfits all together equaled a great performance. Although the LED screens played no significant role in the performance other than to set the mood, the motion graphics created for them in their iconic psychedelic color palette from the National Final were very well designed.
JOSIP: They are indeed dancing alone! The Roop are sticking to their original colour scheme and iconic dance moves. Alongside an abstract LED background and perfect camera work, the purple lighting is what truly elevates this performance. No doubt they will win over the audience!
TEDDI: I think this was phenomenal! I absolutely love their outfits, choreography, and their presence. It’s elevated version of their performance from NF and it’s good! They used camera and the whole stage very wisely! I felt like I was watching final and polished product!
SLOVENIA | Ana Soklič – Amen
ANTE: Slovenia decided to have minimalistic approach! Her voice is really strong, and she absolutely has stage presence. I still think the stage and the LED’s are quite simple. I loved the choir part during the chorus, it elevates the performance!
DAVID: Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Praise Ana! This morning’s performance of “Hallelujah” was simply breathtaking. Ana’s grandiloquent rehearsal was a well communicated culmination of her resonant breathtaking voice, beautiful gospel, and steady performance intertwined with her stunning white outfit and captivating nature displayed on the grand LED screens.
TEDDI: I think it was pleasant, but will that be enough? I did like her performance and I though it was nicely executed. I just expected more effort, especially in such strong Semi Final like this one where everything matters. However, I still believe that Slovenia can surprise us and slide to the Final. I see both jury and people buying this. Nothing was necessary bad, it just there wasn’t any wow factor.
RUSSIA | Manizha – Russian Woman
ANTE: Russia literally KILLED IT! By far my favorite performance of the day. That energy, traditional dress, her vocal performance… EVERYTHING was on point!
DAVID: Fabulous! Manizha, along with her on-stage vocals, introduced us to an ever growing world of feminism in Russia. Starting in a traditional Russian dress, she pulled us into the story of who Russian women were. However, as the song progressed, she freed herself from that traditional dress, just like Russian women freed themselves from gender stereotypes and overcame hardship, and offered us a whole new perspective on contemporary gender equality in modern Russia. Her performance has a strong feminist attitude which breaks all gender stereotypes and patriarchy. Well done!
EMILY: THIS! Similar to the NF with the positioning of her backing singers, but so much more energy (if that is even possible). It seems the rap portion has extended, which I really like, but my favourite thing overall is the use of the LED. Empowering messages as well as videos of all different people joining in. I love it!! Manizha really is gonna break the wall.
SWEDEN | Tusse – Voices
EMILY: There may be a million voices, but the only one you need to hear is Tusse’s. What a star! The new outfit is so gorgeous! I loved it. I just hope that he wasn’t pushing his voice too hard because it sounded like he was going 100%, whether that was a smart idea or not- I guess we’ll find out.
JOSIP: Besides some small changes and few jewelry pieces , there’s not much difference from Melodifestivalen.
LANA: Tusse sounds okay despite his vocals situation, but throughout the rehearsal you can tell he was struggling. As a fan of this song, I may be biased but I love how the Melfest idea staging is now on a whole another level. Everything looks so polished and the lights are doing amazing work in pumping up the energy. The only thing I don’t like about this are the dancers on LED screen in a few last seconds.
AUSTRALIA | Montaigne – Technicolour
JOSIP: From the very short preview provided, it looks like Montaigne is going to be playing with the lights! I sense there is an outfit change present so keep a close eye for that moment! Vocals seem to be on point and she has included some hand choreography to give more emotion to the song.
EMILY: Given that the acts were allowed to film 3 live-on tape shots, I kind of expected that we’d see the two that weren’t chosen or BTS footage in more of a documentary or vlog style. We only saw what was put on YouTube, which wasn’t much, but it was nice to see that Montaigne was bringing her dancers along and had a super cool new outfit.
LANA: I am so sad Montaigne couldn’t make it to Rotterdam. The big stage would lift up the whole performance. But so far from what we saw, interesting outfit and a lot of blinding lights, four dancers are going to make the whole performance even better.
NORTH MACEDONIA | Vasil – Here I stand
EMILY: I LOVE North Macedonia’s entry this year. It sounds like a song from a classical musical like Les Miserables (which I love) and the message is like Proud (2019) but for the LGBTQ+ community instead of the female community. You can see how much Vasil loves it too. It’s a beautiful song, and I think that the golden CGI effects elevate the performance to a new level.
LANA: Visuals here are elevating the whole experience of a song. Though I wouldn’t call it a safe qualifier, I’m sure the viewers will enjoy this show North Macedonia prepared. A nice performance, love the contrast between Vasil’s black outfit and golden LED theme. Although, Dotter’s “Bulletproof” moment wasn’t something I expected!
TEDDI: Cringe, copy, cringe. I like suspense in his performance but that’s about it. Performance doesn’t make a lot sense to me, it looks like individual ideas put together rather than trying to tell us a story. It needs more polishing. But i feel nothing can save this song, it’s neither good or memorable.
IRELAND | Lesley Roy – Maps
EMILY: This was a first rehearsal, so I really don’t mind that it was messy. The vocals were slightly off, but I completely believe that was because of the amount of movement and technical aspects in the performance that needed to be concentrated on. The scenery just kind of reminds me of a kids’ TV show though, I’m not sure it is gonna have the effect on audiences that it was supposed to.
DAVID: Lesley’s set was a well-balanced mix of digital and cardboard elements. I liked how they depicted a long journey through a 3D cardboard perspective by putting Lesley inside that relatively small cardboard set. The most inventive aspect of this entire set was that they were moving her on a treadmill, which completely blew my mind. The main issue with the set was the lighting, which could definitely be improved to create a better, more vibrant 3D perspective. Vocally, she hasn’t performed the best. This was, however, only the first rehearsal, and there is still room for improvement. Overall, I like this inventive, fresh concept.
TEDDI: All my hopes went down the toilet. I must say that I really like this song, and I listen to it quite offten, but this performance was one big mess! She seemed confused and the stage, whole idea, looked very static and sterile for such vibrant and happy song. I wanted more colors, more smiles, more jumping. I’ll also agree with Emily, it looks like toddlers TV show.
WHO WAS THE BEST, THE WORST AND WHO SURPRISED US?
|FAVORITE||LEAST FAVORITE||BIGGEST SURPRISE|
If you ask us, we think RUSSIA had the best rehearsal today, while we find IRELAND to be most disappointing rehearsal of the day. SLOVENIA was biggest surprise today!
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