It’s day 7 of the rehearsals, and I’m here for another session of undead zombie blogging as we wrap up the second rehearsals of the second semi final.
As Felix and I rotate shifts so we can both watch (almost) everything, I am taking over from him before the end of this rehearsal blog, which means Finland will be followed by a lunch break.
But the blogging will resume here afterwards, so don’t forget to keep refreshing!
Finland: Is “same as the NF performance, only bigger” too short of a review, considering my usual standards?
I suppose it is, although I really have little to add if you ever watched that performance. It’s as professional as it has been before, even if a bit cold but it does its job well. It stood out by a mile in the national final, and I think I might have to watch it in the context of this semi to see how well it stands out. Either way, I’m pretty sure this is qualifying and there’s not much I can ask of them beyond what they already delivered.
The second run is like the first run, which is like the NF performance. I do feel I should point out that I like this, in case this review doesn’t come across as very friendly. But it’s exactly what it’s always been. Nothing new to report!
Pyro run solves – literally – my main problem with this staging. It definitely makes it look a lot warmer! And pun aside, it actually does: the fire adds a helpful splash of warmth into the otherwise chilly color scheme.
Lunch break! Which is more of a 3am ice cream break for me. We will return in about an hour with Latvia, Switzerland and Denmark. But if you’re looking for something else to read until then, worry not. I have words for you! About stagings! And emotions!
Latvia: We’re back! And it’s Samanta’s Turn! Except it took 15 minutes until we finally saw her.
Another problem: I don’t understand anything about it. I’m not even talking about the song, which I gave up on about 40 seconds into its reveal, but this staging. Why? What does it have to do with the song? What does this terrible shade of green dress has to do with the song? Why was it necessary to recycle last year’s styling of the backing singers, when it has no connection to anything else? And seriously, who thought this green was a good idea? And over that backdrop, creating zero contrast?
Also, why was this backdrop chosen? Why does it even exist? How is it connected to the song? Why is there not even one single blood moon in here, when so many other delegations have their own type of moons?
Elsewhere, she sang about half of it really well, and then a good part of it so badly I think her in-ear monitor wasn’t working. Either way: this makes no sense to me.
The second run really isn’t any better. I don’t think it’s the in-ear monitor that is the problem, I think it’s her not being able to sing any of the lower notes that is the problem, and it’s painful. She can belt the big ones fine, which adds another question: why would you pick a song you can’t sing?
I also feel I wasn’t specific enough about my issues with the costumes and the backdrops. It’s not just that the colors are terrible on their own, and then also terrible together. It’s also that it feels like they picked every single pattern by having a poll asking people to pick the ugliest ones.
Why, Samanta? Why try so many times only to participate with this song? And this performance?
I have a third run. A will to live? Not so much. But as I stare out of the window and think about the things I could be doing instead of this (like, you know, sleeping) I remember that a few months ago I saw the blood moon over San Francisco, which brings me again to the question of why is there no blood moon anywhere on the stage? Is that too much to ask for?
Switzerland: This is one of my absolute favorites this year, but I have to admit I don’t really understand what they were trying to do with this. It’s very avant garde and overly artsy, with a bit too much facial theater and not enough honest feelings. The prop centerpiece doesn’t make much sense until the very end, but for the most part it just feels like a giant chair that his hiding the view.
The backdrops work more other less ok – some moments are prettier than others, and the backdrop being replaced by floating lights at the end is quite beautiful, but most of this performance is spent trying to figure out what he’s doing and why.
He sings it really well, though, which of course helps, but I wish the staging would focus more on the singing and the music. It doesn’t really tell a story – not as much as the song and composition does – and feels more like it was created just for the purpose of doing something artsy.
The third run didn’t change much for me, except that it did remind me to also note that this outfit is pretty horrible.
The thing is, though, the song is wonderful, so it will do well, but maybe not as well as it could have done. And even though I’d be delighted to see it win, I just can’t see it – in its current package – managing it.
Denmark: I really should have let Felix just blog this one again. At least he likes it.
I try. I really try. I like the 80s style, I even like the backing track – somewhat, and the backdrop – more than somewhat, even. I don’t dislike them as people, but… I just don’t like their voices (nor the main melody, which they are singing), and I don’t find them likable when performing. And then the entire singing is flat, too, which really doesn’t help matters.
A second runthrough, and I suppose musically I can hear why people like it, it’s just really not my sort of thing. But song aside, the performance – which is DMGP with a nicer backdrop – doesn’t do much for it. I know the song is very very retro, but it looks either too outdated or a bit too much like a novelty act, and there’s really very little effort going on here to make it at least feel less basic. But I am glad for anyone who does love it – it’s always fun to have a guilty pleasure!
It’s 5:30am, so time for me to sign off. I will be here again tomorrow for the second runthrough of the direct finalists!