Good afternoon from the German Countryside Press Centre! It’s me, Felix, taking over from Martin again, and now dealing with what will be served next, rehearsal-wise. And that is Cyprus, Norway, Croatia and – after a short break – Belgium.
Remember to refresh this page for new updates over the course of the afternoon.
Shi will be here again later today, but now it’s me having an appointment with Elena, TIX, Albina and Hooverphonic – all entries that I’ve not yet seen in full. Their first rehearsals got liveblogged by Shi back on Sunday.
Now I’m connected to the Online Press Centre and wait for the stream to begin – and curious myself about what my impressions of the upcoming entries will be!
Elena wears a very glittery and “efficient” dress, because right, it can get very hot in hell, can’t it. So she wants to make sure not to overdress for that date with El Diablo.
She’s framed by four dancers, all dressed in red. The diabolic theme is pretty much “implied”, without being over the top. The viewers can enjoy a very clever staging here. The four dancers are doubled in the screen behind them, so it appears as if it’s eight dancers in total.
I’m having the impression that this is all really slick, camerawork included. It’s modern enough, they can’t present the song MUCH better I think, but I also have the impression, that there could be a bit more variation in the staging, for example parts with a darker, more gloomy feel to it.
Not sure yet what to think of the pyros in the end, because the watermark we’re seeing is just on top of the “El Diablo” lettering, so I don’t know whether it’s striking enough. But it might be an appropriate ending to an iconic overall performance.
There’s too much red for my taste, but as it is, it’s very self-consistent and will – no matter what – get into the final with ease.
From El Diablo to this – from red lights to blue lights:
Large parts here are just like in the Norwegian final. TIX is on his own pedestal, surrounded by four demons. His white wings shimmer in beautiful colours. There’s a “glow” on TIX and his wings, which I actually like very much. His vocals weren’t the best in the first verse, but got better in the first run we’re seeing. The second run was just fine, but of course, he’s not an outstanding singer, and he never said otherwise, as far as I can tell. But hey, in the third run, I think his singing was pretty much very decent.
In the moment of the keychange, the previously blue stage turns into bright and warm yellow colours, with the impression of a sunrise (or sunset? same question as in Romania!) on the backdrop. That’s a very nice moment there.
Overall impression: Norway delivers that fantasy and kitsch that recently became rare in the contest that was once known for it, and I approve a lot. The deeper meaning, however, will probably remain buried for the wider audience, and I assume this will be a classic borderline… non-qualifier. I hope for a ticket to the final, because personally, I find this a very beautiful song with an appropriately beautiful staging. Sorry, Shi.
Albina’s vocals aren’t the best in the first seconds that I’m seeing from her stage show, but that gets better soon. She and her dancers wear silvery outfits, making this look very retro-futuristic and glossy. I like the song, but I have a problem with the staging here, to my own surprise. Only having seen the public snippet so far, I thought I’d appreciate of what they do there, but I don’t, and that’s because it’s samey for the whole three minutes. There’s no build at all.
The way it’s staged, it also isn’t very immersive for the viewer. The dark lighting throughout the whole song also prevents any connection between the viewer and the artist. It feels like we’re watching a boring puppet theater with dancing tinfoil characters, and there’s not much variety in the whole thing. At one point, Albina is multiplied by five, and that’s not improving it at all, it’s just unnecessary.
So yep, I’m unfortunately underwhelmed, because I still think it’s a good track to listen to – and eventually, as soon as the pandemic allows it, to party to.
But Croatia 2021 on stage? That’s very monotonous and feels disconnected from me.
Congratulations, my Eurovision 2021 mug has arrived! Didn’t want to leave this important event uncovered. Now it really feels like the press centre. And so, I Open Up to coffee and cookies, and will see what Belgium has to offer in a few minutes.
The first notes are fully dedicated to the piano, then we see Geike. She stands in the middle of the band. She is always faced towards the camera, when it pans around the scene. She wears a black “piece” (sorry for not being much into fashion terminology) with lots of glittering stones, which is decent, stylish and elegant, and looks very beautiful with the lights reflecting in all kinds of colours.
I find some of the camera angles too low, making Geike appear in a very unflattering way. I suppose they should be looking at this and reconsider.
The whole staging is very subtle and dark. The best part is towards the end, after we see the stage from afar, there’s a fast zoom on Geike just at the end of the song. I think that works really well.
But seeing this song in a Eurovision context doesn’t make it easier to write about it. The composition is too bulky for the wider audience. The jury might be more into it. It’s difficult to predict. But if I have to put my finger on it, I dare to say, it’s lost – and won’t qualify.
And that’s all from me for today – and here’s our new blog post about Israel, Romania, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, which will be covered by Shi!