Good afternoon, everyone!
It’s Felix, taking over from Shi again (who did the rehearsals from San Marino to Greece earlier today), to cover the next block, which consists of Austria, Poland and Moldova.
Remember to refresh this page for new updates over the course of the afternoon.
So now I’m back in the Online Press Centre, which actually works rather fine so far, apart of some buffering issues. Let’s hope these will stay at a minimum over today’s rehearsal feeds. The experience is definitely different compared to the actual press centre, most notably lacking the atmosphere with actual people around you, no matter whether you agree or disagree on an entry. But there’s also a positive side effect: If you watch the rehearsal on fullscreen, you get to build your opinion quite independently from the influence of other fans. And hey – liveblogging rehearsals in your comfortable clothes, 2 metres away from your bed, that’s not too bad either!
But now is not the time to think of beds, it’s time for the next rehearsals: I’m logged in and wait for Vincent Bueno to arrive in my room. Virtually, just like we’re virtually in Rotterdam.
First we’re seeing Vincent from the side, standing in fog, which wonderfully lit from behind. The camera is slowly orbiting around him. When the first chorus sets in, there’s a cut to a frontal view, with light beams coming out left and right of Vincent, and we get to see a lot of varying shots. Vincent wears a glittery jacket, and seems to have actual tears in his eyes. The vocals are spot-on.
And – bam – It happened: Goosebumps. Actual goosebumps, for the first time in this year’s rehearsals. This was a very solid, very emotional run-through and this is pretty much Top 10 material. This was absolutely great.
In the 2nd verse, he slowly walks forwards on what seems to be his own catwalk prop on the actual stage.
The backdrop and the rest of the stage are kept very dark, to the point that it’s unclear whether the LED screen is being used at all, and you can hardly work out that easily where the stage actually is. And I mean this in a good way: They are basically eliminating the stage and placing Vincent into his own intimate environment, mainly just consisting of darkness and lights, which works just perfectly with him.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is excellent, and should be a very safe qualifier.
Rafał wears his sunglasses and has four male dancers around him. The first shots are absolutely bad and look very messy. The camerawork here is making me dizzy, and it becomes obvious very quickly that the vocals are very, very bad. At one point he’s covering the camera with his hand, then there are a lot of head movements. The best about the whole thing are the dancers, which are really tight and carry lights in their hands. And that looks quite cool.
In the second verse, Rafał actually removes his sunglasses and joins the dancers again, to half dance, half walk, down the catwalk. The main problem remains: Rafał himself, sunglasses or not. He’s not having the singing skills needed to make this a slick pop number (which it could be without him), and he certainly doesn’t have the charisma.
As decent as the rest around Rafał himself is:
Last place sorted.
In the next run that we’re seeing, the first half a minute become a bit better. The thing is, a few seconds into the song, Rafał seems to take over the camerawork to selfie-capture himself, and that part is really not a good idea.
In this run, the vocals are better, and we’re getting some pyros. As one can expect, WARSZAWA is displayed multiple times on the LED screen. Coming across a bit boring and arrogant, if you ask me, just like the whole thing.
Poland needs a whole lot of work, and they still have time. But so far, I’ve seen nothing worse.
We waited for ages to see Moldova, and what do we see now?
Nothing that would justify the waiting time.
Natalia stands on a white platform with three guys moving in sync with her. The backdrop features pink animated cubes. Natalia wears a glittery dress, but also avoids “too much fabric”, and showing some skin instead. The guys wear black jackets, but are shirtless beneath. The latter is maybe the most interesting bit about the presentation, because we expected a lot of props, but this is indeed surprisingly very simple. Too simple considering the expectations. No man’s face is being eaten. No candy, cakes or anything. That’s a bit of a let-down.
Natalia holds a very long note just before the end, and doesn’t look very happy.
We only saw one run of this, and that one left us feeling rather underwhelmed.
And that completes this part of the rehearsal day – see you again in the upcoming post, in which I’ll cover the remaining ones: Iceland and Serbia!