Piše: Teddi Cular
#OPENUP, the day has finally come – rehearsals for Eurovision 2021 are kicking off, and seven countries will step on Eurovision stage for their first rehearsal!
Let us at HEK (Croatian Eurovision Club) be your eyes and ears this Eurovision month. We’re bringing you full coverage on all our networks: Emily & Teddi will be live updating you here on our Website, Lana & Ante will take over Twitter, and you can catch up with Dominik & Josip on our Instagram!
After each day all of us will sum our first impressions and give our final opinion, so remember to follow us and always be in sync!
MAY 8: SATURDAY – Who is rehearsing today?
10:00 – 10:30 – Lithuania
10:40 – 11:10 – Slovenia
11:20 – 11:50 – Russia
12:00 – 12:30 – Sweden
13:40 – 14:10 – Australia
14:20 – 14:50 – North Macedonia
15:00 – 15:30 – Ireland
SATURDAY MAY 8TH – FIRST REHEARSALS – LIVE UPDATES
[LIVE UPDATE] 10:12 – Good morning everyone! First to try out Eurovision stage today is Lithuania! We’re still waiting for them to get on the stage, but as we’re waiting, did you know The Roop first attempted to represent Lithuania in 2018 with song “Yes, I Do”? That year Ieva Zasimauskaite won, and The Roop came third.
[LIVE UPDATE] 10:20 – What a great start! Lithuania is owning the stage! They kept same concept from National Final selection but adjusted it for Eurovision stage. Pink color is dominating and they kept their yellow suits. Stage looks phenomenal though, they are using it very wisely, and the camera work really elevates the whole performance! Vocally there is room for improvement, considering it’s 10:20 – they might just not be in the mood?
[LIVE UPDATE] 10:35 – Ana from Slovenia is about to get on the stage! Did you know she sang in Monte Carlo at an event organised by Prince Albert II of Monaco? Yes, our Queen sang for Royalty!
[LIVE UPDATE] 11:04 – Wow! Ana was absolutely phenomenal! She’s opening at the main stage with close shot, with all eyes on her, under what it seems to be a fire golden sky that soon turns into the Earth. She kept same shoulder white dress, and the whole performance is pretty simple and focused on her. She finishes by walking to the front smaller stage. She almost tripped so she took her shoes off. I don’t even have to say but Ana KILLED vocally.
[LIVE UPDATE] 11:19 – Up next, Russia! Did you know that Manizha is first Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency from Russia? She’s refugee herself, she fled from a civil war in her country of birth – Tajikistan.
[LIVE UPDATE] 11:45 – Russia is celebrating their culture! Manizha starts by being “trapped” in oversized ethno costume that she eventually breaks out of. She kept same red jumpsuit that she wore at Russian Nation Final, but it works for me. There’s pyro! At the end, we see multipe people on backdrop wall singing along Manizha as gets down on her knees facing backdrop screen, almost like she’s praising them. There’s also four back vocalists that stand around her the entire time. We also saw that famous ‘middle’ wall screen in action, projecting inspirational and encouraging messages. Generally, performance is quite simple but effective.
[LIVE UPDATE] 11:57 – Sweden is up next! Tusse is only 19 years old. Just like Manizha, he came to Sweden as refugee from Congo. In 2019 he won Swedish Idol!
[LIVE UPDATE] 12:20 – Copy paste performance from Melodifestivalen. Besides some additional jewelry pieces Tusse added to his red suit outfit, nothing else was changed or added. Tusse was vocally strong, and I felt like this bigger stage added more depth and power to his performance. Generally good.
[LIVE UPDATE] 13:00 – Lunch break! I woke up at 4 AM this morning, so I’m about to take a little nap before rehearsals resume!
COMING UP NEXT: Australia will have their first rehearsal right after lunch break, at 13:45 CET, followed by North Macedonia and Ireland! Stay tuned!
[LIVE UPDATE] 13:40 – Australia is next, but they will use their live on-tape performance. Because of safety measures due current COVID-19 pandemic they decided they will not travel to Rotterdam. Did you know that her name was actually inspired by the 16th-century philosopher and essayist Michel de Montaigne?
[LIVE UPDATE] 13:45 – We had a teeny tiny sneak peak of Australia’s behind the scenes Live on tape performance. Montaigne changed her outfit to black lather jumpsuit and she will be accompanied by four female dancers. Staging seems to be dark, judging by sneak peak that was played for us, with some flashing lights. Her hair is colored in bright (rainbow) colors.
[LIVE UPDATE] 14:08 – Vasil from North Macedonia is next to have his first rehearsal! He worked with some big stars! He collaborated with Chance the Rapper on his album “Coloring Book”, and he was also a back vocalist for Nick Carter, Enrique Iglesias and Céline Dion!
[LIVE UPDATE] 14:40 – As expected, very dramatic staging! Vasil is alone on the stage, playing with lights, shadows, and visuals effects. He starts in the dark but then we see his gold heart “growing” as he sings. Later on, he takes off his blazer and his reflecting vest reflects the light all around him, something like Dotter’s performance at Melodifestivalen 2020. I think vest reveal needs to be more polished, it looked very clumsy. Generally smart and effective staging but the problem here is the song itself – it’s just very uninteresting. Very flat. He didn’t sound as powerful as he did in the music video, so that didn’t help impression either. Also, unfortunately his voice broke trying to hit that high note.
[LIVE UPDATE] 15:00 – Last one for today is Ireland! Fun fact about Lesley is that she got her first record deal while still in school! She also collaborated with Katy Perry!
[LIVE UPDATE] 15:32 – We just watched last rehearsal for today and oh boy, oh boy, it was a mess! I must say even though I respect their creativity and the concept of this performance, unfortunately it doesn’t work for me. Everything seems very messy and very disorganized. Lesley is alone on the stage trying to tell us a story with these black and white “pop ups” (forrest, book, ocean…). The whole thing is just very off and reminds me on child play in elementary school. Reactions in Press Center were mostly negative and disapproving. I was rooting for Ireland so hard, but all my hopes are blown to pieces. Lesley was also vocally very weak and out of tune. Maybe because she was moving too much, but that’s something they have to work on.
Stay tuned because every day at 20:00 CET we’re bringing you our top picks from rehearsals!
Thank you all for joining me today, and catch me again tomorrow at 10:00 CET!
Good night Europe!