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Rehearsals Day 4 LIVE: Norway, The Netherlands, North Macedonia and Azerbaijan

by | May 7, 2019

Rehearsals Day 4 LIVE: Norway, The Netherlands, North Macedonia and Azerbaijan

by | May 7, 2019 | 2019 Rehearsal Liveblogs, escgo at Eurovision, Eurovision

We’re back for part two of the Tuesday rehearsals before tomorrow’s day off for Memorial Day.

Norway has a collection of nice moments – they use the catwalks, make some interesting usage of spotlights and shots from above, and have some wonderful backdrops as well as being the first to actually turn the LED columns in the back to the side to reveal the back lights. But they never really manage to connect it to a coherent and complete arc so the entire thing feels very undeveloped and very empty. I was hoping that the last run with the dry ice and pyros will improve things, but it looked like adding it for the sake of having it without much purpose. The vocals were actually ok (although in some runs more than others) and they are still adorable, but it all feels really disconnected.

The last part of the song has some of the best stage visuals so far, but it actually upstages the song and Keiino instead of helping. There are a lot of things they can work with from what they’ve done, but they’re far off the mark now and have a lot of work to do.

In a day when both Malta and North Macedonia (which I am watching while typing this) got their staging right, there are only so many miracles that can happen. Therefore, trust the Dutch to make life as difficult for themselves as possible.

A few ideas for the Dutchies:

It’s ok to do something other than just having dark blue backdrop throughout. Also, when you use effects, can you use them at points that make sense? More importantly: seeing your singer is crucial, especially for such an emotional song. 41 seconds of dark stage before you see Duncan’s face for the first time? That’s not good. Having only a few close-ups of him throughout and a ton of long shots? Also not great, because it’s pretty much impossible to get into the song or form any emotional connection with it or Duncan.

One more thing: you have a great peak moment in the song. USE IT. It needs to be an explosion and it’s more like the sound of a coin drop.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with the concept, but it needs to be massively deconstructed for it to get anywhere near what it could and should be. In this current form it’s not a winner, not even by a long shot.

North Macedonia
The bad news first: They’re using the same gimmick as Sergey, with the mirrors and many Tamaras with her back turned to us. Also, that green dress is not the best choice of fashion.

The good news: everything else. The gimmick is not even that necessary and shows up for a short while – they might as well just drop it. Tamara sounded amazing in every run through, commanded the stage and emoted like no other. They also used long shots in a way that makes sense – when you have to see something you can only see properly from away, like, say, big faces in black and white that show up in the right moment to create an emotional impact. Well done, North Macedonia, you managed to not screw this one up.

Why would you do this to me, Azerbaijan? I don’t have the vocabulary for this. But whatever names your props and effects have, they were very cool and also very Avengers, with Chingiz going full Iron Man on us. The entire thing retained the weird but effective atmosphere from the video, even if the actual effects were pretty different. Chingiz is excellent vocally and there are some really smart tricks throughout that keep working in the next run throughs as well – I just ended up wanting to watch it again.

The ethnic bridge is the highlight of the song, with the combination of one extra cool gimmick and Chingiz pulling a stunning long note with ethnic decorations every time. Giving us goosebumps in this kind of song isn’t easy but he manages it. Overall: strong and unique in the line-up.

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