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From Iceland to Latvia: 2nd rehearsals, as seen by an absent fan

by | May 5, 2017

From Iceland to Latvia: 2nd rehearsals, as seen by an absent fan

by | May 5, 2017 | 2017 Rehearsals, Eurovision

It’s a late start to the day here at home. It’s basically October and we don’t know any song for Lisbon yet, only Cyprus and the Netherlands announced their entrants already. I’m sipping my coffee and then I suddenly realise it’s actually May, and rehearsals in Kyiv are in full swing.

Time to look at the last part of semi-final 1, and see what Iceland, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Armenia, Slovenia and Latvia are doing with their songs on stage!

13. Iceland
Svala – Paper

“Paper” is a very competent, catchy complete package, slightly more uninteresting than in the preview video, but still solid. I hope she doesn’t use her minnie-mouse-hairdo when it counts, as she can’t just throw it away Cristina-Scarlat-style, but now she’s back to normal hair, and doesn’t further affect the overall impression. They just could have staged it a lot better, but maybe there are still surprises for those who don’t get to see the full rehearsals.

image: Andres Putting (EBU)

The song is good, but has the problem that it doesn’t work on first listen, and this is why I tend to mark this a non-qualifier, but I am still far away from doing my actual prediction.

14. Czech Republic
Martina Bárta – My Turn

Oh dear, oh dear. I love this song, it’s probably in my top 5 of the whole year. But Czech Republic, or Czechia, or whatever you want to be called, we need to talk. Now you have a really nice, sweet and special song, and what are you doing with it? Let’s look at the parts, because the whole is too sad to look at. First of all, and I make use of this line at least once every year, so here we go again: “What is she wearing?!”, and since there is no reasonable explanation, maybe lemme ask this: Does this support the song? Nope. It doesn’t. Next: The stage. Czech Republic must have thought “purple gets us into the final”, so they added that ingredient again. I wouldn’t be surprised if they would even have added it if they had sent a rap-techno-punk crossover. Does this colour help the song? Nope. It doesn’t. Last part: Her… let’s cut this short: Nope. It doesn’t. Again, Czech Republic, I ask you about the song, what are you doing with it? YOU’RE RUINING IT!

image: Andres Putting (EBU)

No way is this getting into the final, and as a fan of the song, I am saying that without feeling sorry for it.

15. Cyprus
Hovig – Gravity

Are we sure we haven’t seen this before? White cubes here, gravity there, and a very replacable performer. Everything in this package is replacable. There is absolutely nothing that I find positive words for, just maybe he’s doing okay. Replacable entry, will be as forgotten in 3 years as Rise Up is now. See?

image: Andres Putting (EBU)

Well I don’t like this, but his draw is rather favourable, and I guess we will see it on the Saturday. Nothing to write more about it, really.

16. Armenia
Artsvik – Fly With Me

The biggest surprise with Armenia is that on the surface, it appears rather normal and understated on stage, at least by Armenian standards. Artsvik is in good vocal shape, the raw staging is unspectacular in a good way, and the song is still just fine. It has arms, and fire, and a very good camera work. The latter is what gives this entry an interesting touch, as it subtly creates – at least with me – a constricting feeling of fear. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like Armenia 2017 is once again being coined by sophisticated camera work.

image: Andres Putting (EBU)

Convincing the juries will be a piece of cake, and the televoting should give it enough love to send it into the final.

17. Slovenia
Omar Naber – On My Way

If it wasn’t for Omar binding the two notes in “niiight” the way he does, his song would come across a lot less kitschy. I’m a fan of it (the song, not this particular point in it), but right now I’m a little bit divided. His singing is flawless, he performs it well, but what’s bothering me is the staging.

If I was the stage director, I would give it something along the lines of Israel last year, totally black with a few highlights, maybe a pyro waterfall behind him or flashing golden spotlights from behind. But as it stands right now, it feels – just like so many entries this year – quite cold. Blue = cold, remember?

image: Andres Putting (EBU)

However, I believe this will make it to the final. It’s good enough, and will surely find its fans, especially with people who were born before 1980. Like me.

18. Latvia
Triana Park – Line

Oh, they fixed the penis. It is really quite sad when an entry manages to be talk of the town not for its musical qualities, but for (un?)intended things that happen during a first rehearsal. Now that the Freedom Monument looks family friendly enough, I should be able to focus on the song, right? Meh. Well, it is an interesting piece of music, but just not very pleasant. I preferred the imagery they used in the preview videos, this opened the song up a bit for me, but with this staging, it works a lot less. And even now, I keep thinking about how someone drew that heart on that particular body part.

image: Andres Putting (EBU)

Latvia 2017 is a colourful mess, not necessarily a beautiful one, if this didn’t have this dream of a draw, it would clearly miss the final. But right now, they are borderline for me.

In my next post, I’ll comment on the rehearsals of Serbia, Austria, Fyrom, Malta, Romania and the Netherlands, so stay tuned for that!

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