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Ester Peony is back. The rehearsal stays the same. Her dancers start off on the catwalks and work themselves to center stage. The vocals are good, she's a pro, but the harsh facial expressions still need to soften a bit, in order to appeal to televoters. The graphics are dark and mysterious. There are also fire pyrotechnics, that contradicts the waters appearing in the background, drowning the scenery in the video art. The flames in the video art at the end of the song with the pyrotechnics are a bit much in my opinion
Ester Peony sits on a red chair, wearing a black dress with white collar. There are two semi-dressed male dancers, two backing vocalists, and a guitar player. The video art features a big blue gate in the middle of the forest. Some pyro fire is being used as well. She sounds good and looks very dramatic. Something in her mimics is very tough and I think she might need to soften it a bit. She interacts with the dancers and the general feeling is of a story being told. The colors in this performance are mainly blue, pink and purple
At the age of 25, Ester Alexandra Cretu, known as Ester Peony, is a Romanian singer and songwriter who has discovered her passion for music since childhood when she lived with her family in Montreal, Canada. She started to study Jazz singing at the age of 8, and four years later, when she returned in Romania, Ester started Dinu Lipatti School in Pitesti, piano section. At the age of 13 she transferred to classic guitar section until the ninth grade, when she continued her studies at the classic singing section.
In 2013 she enrolled at the Music Interpretation Faculty in Bucharest where she studied Jazz. A year later, Ester begins composing music for artists such as DJ Rynno, Sylvia, Tamy and Pepe, both in the mainstream and underground. In the winter of the same year, Ester released alongside Ana Baniciu, Puya, Doddy, Vescan and Mahia "Cuminte de Craciun".
She released covers such as "Derniere Danse" (Indila), "My Heart Is Refusing Me" (Loreen), and in 2015, her first single, "Sub aripa ta" (Vescan), that conquered the music charts and gathered over 16 million views on YouTube. Also, in 2015 the artist continued to collaborate with Vescan and launched with him, Alan and Kepa the track “Oameni". In 2016, she collaborated with Phelipe and released "1000 de motive", track and video that generated nearly 3 million views on YouTube.
In the summer of 2016, Ester went in her first tour, "Noi sa fim sanatosi!”, alongside Puya, Vescan, Doddy and Anastasia, organized in the big cities of Romania. In 2017, Ester had dedicated her time to music and she has written pieces for different artists, but also for her. At the beginning of 2018, she released "Dig it," an EP containing four tracks: “On My Way”, “So Fine”, “Leaving Tomorrow” and “Dig It”, and a few months later, Ester alongside Alexandru Serbu and Ioana Victoria Badea have written "On a Sunday", the submitted song in the grand competition of the Eurovision National Selection 2019. The single combines the guitar sound with the fresh lyrics that complement the dark mood with a message: Love becomes dangerous when it’s given to the wrong person.
Further, Ester has won the big race and she is set to represent Romania at Tel Aviv in May 2019. Currently Ester continues her singing classes and she’s working on her first album that will be released in 2019.
The guitar is Alex „Bolero” Serbu’s great passion. He has studied the quitar at Dinu Lipatti Music Highschool from Bucharest and continued at the Music University from Bucharest . In paralell, Alex is also involved in the musical production, having his debut in 2013 with the song "Two Fools", interpreted by Simona Nae. Meanwhile, he is a producer and collaborated with big names from the Romanian musical industry, such as: Ester, Dj Rynno, Sylvia, Claudia Pavel, Phelipe, Tamy, Pepe, Cristina Vasiu, Gipsy Casual, Starchild, Annely Cole, Alexandra Stan, JerryCo, Roberta, Francisca, Ionica Morosanu. Alex is the musical producer of the song "On a Sunday", which will represent Romania at the Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv. Alex will play a double role on the Eurovision stage: musical producer and guitarist.
No time to keep thinking of what happened yesterday as the first dress rehearsal for tomorrow's semi-final is already in full swing! Later on we will fill you in on what happens on the postcards as well..
This is becoming a solid favourite for the win, the performance is slick and it's a cheerful opener. But the question remains how much juries will take this song seriously. Alexander seemed to be saving his voice.
Vocally this is very strong again, but the performance is too theatrical, too kitsch for this song. I will not be surprised if this will be the end of Romania's perfect streak.
Good performance in this rehearsal, it keeps getting better and better. After Romania I think this has a chance.
04 San Marino
The robots and Jessika and Jenifer as well are back! Size doesn't matter was one of the messages on the cards held by the robot. It may distract from the sometimes weak vocals at the end.
Another good and solid performance from Rasmussen, really not much to say about this, it looks and sounds very well, no issues at all here.
The vocal arrangements in the chorus seems to have been altered a bit, it sounds a lot more shouty now especially during the long notes. Really hard to predict what will happen here.
Time for a little break now in the greenroom, with a little game with Alexander Rybak among other things..
Not sounding that great today in the hall, could be that they are saving themselves for tonight. It's still a fun performance though.
08 The Netherlands
Putting Waylon's stage together apparently takes a bit more than the time of the postcards, as just after the postcard we got switched to one of the hosts in the audience for a very awkward conversation that went completely wrong. Let's say "It's just a rehearsal" as San Marino reminded us a few days ago.
Now, to the actual performance. Vocally it sounds really good and it is not completely my genre but I feel we're back to real music after a few weaker songs. There are far less shots of the crumping dance right now, so it looks better. I think there's still a chance for the Netherlands.
Back to the greenroom again! That's how they fill three extra minutes it seems being this the semi with one song less.
Very strong vocal performance from Jessica. It's one of the few straightforward pop songs and still think this could really have an instant appeal. I do think however that the shots during the bridge where Jessica is dancing are not that great.
There seemed to be some issues with the sound at the beginning as it started a bit weak. Iriao soon got back on full strength though. With a few of the ethnical entries out from the first semi-final gone it could really stand out in the final if it qualifies, which I hope, as the last part was absolutely beautiful.
Vocally not the best performance. The many pyro fountains and the catchy song might distract from it.
Lots of flames at the beginning of this performance, very strange, likely to be a technical mistake. There seems to have been done a lot of work on the lighting of this song as there are now many laser effects. The light show could get the audience to go for this more than we expect now.
After these 6 songs it's time for another break in the greenroom.
Those were three very intense minutes - very energetic performance as always and it does stand out.
Still a very theatrical performance as well even though Laura seems to have toned the hair swinging down a bit and that's only for the better. In the bridge she struggles vocally.
15 Sweden.. or maybe not as we switch to the greenroom and then go to: