Good morning from the very sunny countryside!
It’s Felix again, logged in to the Online Press Centre, and ready to liveblog about the upcoming second rehearsals of Georgia, Albania, Portugal and Bulgaria. Shi will be here later to cover Finland and the remaining rehearsals for today in a new post.
Remember to refresh this page for new updates over the course of the morning.
So, today marks the day on which I will have seen all the 2021 entries rehearsed on the Eurovision stage. Four to go!
Tornike stands in blue light, wearing a white shirt and black trousers. Orange light dots are flying around him. Behind him, there’s a cube that he’s sitting on after the first chorus. The lyrics of the song are projected all over him. The backdrop is mostly blue, too.
Not much is happening in this performance, so that it’s all about the song and his vocals. There’s no doubt here that he will nail every single note when it counts. He nearly does so in this run-through. The song is what it is – and I said it before and I’ll say it again: Coming right after Serbia, many will experience this as therapeutic
More runs, more thoughts:
Tornike is a rock in a stormy sea in this number. The stormy sea, obviously being a literal hurricane before, and dramatic wailing after Georgia. The staging got the balancing act right, so that Tornike is not too disconnected, but it’s also not super intimate. He’s mostly in half shadow, sometimes we just see his silhouette with a shimmer of light highlighting his contours. The camera is always moving or zooming very gently.
At the end of the song, the drums are beautifully synchronised with either camera or light.
Yep, I like it. Always been thankful for this song to be in this year’s line-up, and the staging doesn’t disappoint me. Very nice.
Anxhela is dressed in the silver, “frugal” glitter outfit that we already know from the first rehearsals.
Stage colours alternate between turquoise, red and black, only towards the end of the song we’re seeing warmly lit clouds in the backdrop. The staging reminds a lot of Serbia, just two songs before this, in a way that it’s just as stormy and powerful. The wind machine adds a lot to the drama, and it’s quite impressive how Anxhela is owning that huge stage all on her own.
In the second run, the wind machine blows her hair over her face, but funnily leaves a hole for her left eye to see through. She doesn’t get distracted by this at all, respect for that.
Vocals really can’t get much better.
Will it qualify? I really think this is a borderline candidate, but my actual predictions are still in the works.
Portugal’s staging is simply beautiful. It starts in black & white and a 4:3 image ratio, a nice tribute to the past, before switching to the present in colour and 16:9 after the first chorus. Interesting to see the country name on the bottom left moving along to the left.
Pedro Tatanka begins at the microphone stand, with the other band members placed around him.
In the second chorus, the blue on the stage gets replaced by very warm colours, and the silhouette of an orchestra is revealed on the backdrop. Orange, pink and violet lights are predominant, only a bit of blue remaining, as Tatanka walks to the satellite state, to a different microphone stand. The semi-transparent screen is showing street lanterns, as he walks down the catwalk. Very nice. On the satellite, he’s doing his guitar solo, only interrupted by his own vocals.
Sure, the colour of his voice is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I guess that’s nothing to worry about when talking about Portugal’s chances:
In a year which has a very cold and strict stage design, with lots of straight lines, this – avoiding straight lines with the spotlights, and focussing on curves and warm colours instead – adds a very nice, soft variety to the line-up. The whole feel of Portugal is very classy, full of charm and warmth, probably something that will be rewarded by jury and televoters alike – and enough to make it walk into the final with ease.
Victoria sits down on her massive prop, which you probably already read all about, so I don’t really have to try to describe it anymore. Fog is seen under the prop, and you hear the noise of falling sand. Everything is lit with beautiful earth tones. Soon, the falling sand is shown.
To her left, she has a framed child photo of herself with her father, which she is looking at and holds her hand on, but it’s all captured very decently in a very subtle way. You don’t really see much that’s depicted, I just learned the details from the Meet & Greet with Victoria.
In the second chorus, she walks to the (real) sand, which is constantly falling from the sky onto her prop, since the beginning of the song. Victoria holds her hand into the sand (which is a symbol for the passing time). In the first run we’re seeing that doesn’t affect the falling sand, it just stops eventually afterwards. On purpose? Not sure, but it’s showing that you can’t change or halt the course of time.
In the second run, the sand apparently didn’t work, and we saw parts of a camera crossing the screen. In the third run, the sand stopped as soon as she touched it. I don’t know which version is the one we’re supposed to see, and which is where something just didn’t work.
No matter what, this is one of the most beautiful stagings that Eurovision 2021 has to offer. Magic, warming, fascinating.
And with this, I’ve now seen all the 2021 entries being rehearsed.