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Rehearsals Day 2 LIVE: Ukraine and Malta

by | May 9, 2021 | 2021 Rehearsal Liveblogs, escgo at Eurovision, Eurovision

Rehearsals Day 2 LIVE: Ukraine and Malta

by | May 9, 2021 | 2021 Rehearsal Liveblogs, escgo at Eurovision, Eurovision

Once again hello from my “home office”! It’s me again, had a short break, and now back with a very much needed coffee, to share my views on the remaining rehearsals for today – Ukraine and Malta, which will complete the second rehearsal day in Rotterdam. Also read my review on Israel – Azerbaijan and Shi’s earlier blogging shift from Cyprus to Belgium.

8. Ukraine

Kateryna appears first, wearing a green fluffy… thing. The two guys left and right to her hold an LED halo over their heads. After a bit of buffering, I’m seeing a split screen effect being used.

They all stand on their own little white rectangular stage, surrounded by dead fake trees. The actual stage is using a lot of blue, pink and turquoise colours. In the tempo change break, two guys are running sand through their hands, before the flutist and the guy at the keyboards and controllers is shown.

In the later part, we’re seeing lots of “humanoids” running in the backdrop. In the end, Kateryna is getting a halo herself above her head, held by the guys.

Ukraine is really an eye catcher here.

Now I get to see what I missed during the buffering before: At this point in the song, the backdrop is yellow, also featuring a yellow ball, thinking of Azerbaijan there for a second. But Ukraine offers so much to discover and too look at, without getting over the top.
Vocally, this is absolutely solid, too.

The new version of Shum – now that it’s on stage – is hypnotic and captivating again. Kateryna is hardly varying her facial expression, but it never becomes boring. It’s too intriguing.

In the end, when Kateryna is singing the high note while she’s getting “her” halo, she appears like a saint in front of a golden backdrop. This is an absolutely striking shot.

Quoting myself, as I reacted on this loudly: “WOW. Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Wow.”

I do begin to think we might have seen the winner here.

Ukraine First Rehearsal

EBU / THOMAS HANSES

9. Malta

Right, disclaimer first, before Destiny’s rehearsal begins: I do not share the hype for Malta. It’s not in my Top 36. That said, I try to be as neutral as possible while describing their rehearsal. Okay? Okay, let’s go…

Destiny begins without light on her, at first we see just her dark silhouette on a red background. She wears pink, as do her dancers, who move at a kind of ballet bar behind them.

The backdrop switches from pink to neon yellow, which looks very striking together with the pink outfits. The performance looks slick, fresh and very much “pop” – a totally different vibe compared to the official video. A lot more of a “fun” staging, and less theatrical than what I’d have expected. Destiny’s vocals and performance skills are as strong as expected, but the overall impression doesn’t really scream “winner”. Top 5 is still rather likely, though.

In the chorus, we’re seeing a split screen, showing waving hands. Not sure if that’s a good effect, to be honest. Maybe they wave goodbye to their winning chances? The best moment of the whole performance is the choral part before the repeated use of “if you don’t get it”, the stage looks really great during this, even though the prerecorded backing vocals are very obvious and we’re not a fan of it.

So, now there was buffering and I can’t access Malta anymore after a refresh, but I think I’ve seen everything I had to see, in order to agree with what I read in the press chat: That it was pretty much underwhelming. Not bad at all, but also not fulfilling the expectations that the hype has surely built up around Malta. Or put in other words: I’m less scared now.

Malta First Rehearsal

EBU / THOMAS HANSES

And this was everything in terms of liveblogging today. We’ll be back again tomorrow, and we’ll have our usual daily wrap-up pieces for you later tonight. Bye for now from the Online Press Centre!

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