The choreography is a combination of teamwork and brainstorming. ManuElla tries to be natural for the camera and show the emotions to the camera. Jannik, the Danish acrobat is symbolizing the guy running out of his life. A journalist compared ManuElla to Nathalie Imbruglia, which made ManuElla very happy, because she admires her much.
Slovenia has a Danish acrobat on stage. It was supposed to be two Slovnians, but for some reason, they couldn't make it. So Jannik from Denmark had basicly less than 3 weeks to rehearse. In Copenhagen everything was perfected, but as the pole in Globen Arena is attached much higher in the roof, he had big troubles with his act.
ManuElla from Slovenia gets to open the first rehearsal of day 4.
Her outfit has changed from the national final. She is now wearing a long white dress with black touches and long split. The biggest change is of course the revamped song, which opens now with a slightly different opening than its original. That's a pretty high note to sing first thing in the morning. Vocals are good and keep getting better as the song progresses.
As many songs, the backdrop is mainly blue and red during the verses, which is the only fitting colours for this song really. I really think SVT have to rethink the backdrop used for a lot of countries, but this blue and red scheme is getting very annoying now. Not a criticism to Slovenian delegation team however. Bonus point is however that in the chorus, the backdrop has several stills of ManuElla's eyes featured.
In terms of the act, ManuElla is on the stage alone for most of the time, but she's joined halfway through by the Danish acrobat Jannik Baltzer Hattel, who's basically twisting his body around a pole. Not entirely sure what it exactly adds to the message of the song though.
In the third run, pyros have been added to the performance, which kick in during the key change. Those are all around the stage by the way.
Pretty good first rehearsal.
I decided not to hang around for the qualifier press conference tonight as I have a pretty hectic day tomorrow, but I have now caught up with the halves of the draw that the ten countries will perform in. It really has ended up as a show of two halves with most of the uptempo songs in the first half and the ballads and slower moody songs in the second.
Overall I think tonight's show was far better than Tuesday's. The songs were better, the pacing was sharper and there was less of last year's winner, though still far too much. The camerawork was also improved, but the issue with flags blocking the screen is still a major problem and has to be sorted on Saturday.
As for the seven songs that went out, only Switzerland and Ireland can feel hard done by and Poland qualifying was a bit of a shock. Some are suggesting it was a sympathy vote, but it was also helped by the draw so perhaps not totally unpredictable.
My thoughts on the seven that went home;
IRELAND: I think Molly performed well and for once I liked the Irish staging. However I thought we were probably doomed on the day we were given the awful #2 draw and so it came to be. I may sound like a broken record here but once again can I suggest RTÉ looks at its selection process. The current formula is giving is the worst set of results we've ever had in the contest.
SAN MARINO: Dreadful patchwork of a song and no amount of youthful enthusiasm can replace a lack of stage craft. It was always a no-hoper. It deserved to finish last and being honest, if this is the best that they can come up with, San Marino has no place in the contest.
MALTA: A much better performance by Amber tonight but there was far too much going on to distract you in the presentation.It was as if no lessons were learnt from Olivia Lewis in 2007. The song was always too weak for this semi, but might have had a chance in the first semi. No surprise this lost out.
PORTUGAL: The Portuguese chose the wrong song in the Eurovision selection, it's as simple as that. No matter how good Leonor was tonight (and she was very good), the song was just poor. Like Ireland, Portugal needs to re-think its selection process. There's enough talent there to do very well in the contest but RTP are not tapping into it.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Whoever decided to add the ridiculous shoe throwing to the act should never be allowed near the contest again. Until that point the performance was solid, even if the song was always a little dull. I fear that we may never see the Czechs back in the contest.
ICELAND: Not only the worst vocal performance of the night, one of the worst of this century. It was always a big heap of nothing of a song, with basically a repeated chorus and no verses but everything about this was absolutely dreadful from he staging to the costume, but especially the off-key performance.
SWITZERLAND: I really feel sorry for Melanie, because this was a terrific performance and hugely improved on the national final. Switzerland just doesn't have friendly neighbours or a diaspora, but if Austria can win, so can they. Really disappointed not to see this in the final.
The following countries are in the first half;
That's a lot of up-tempo and mid-tempo songs. Personally I'd probably open with United Kingdom, then go with Armenia and Sweden, for contrast. I would have Israel at #13
At #14 it's Austria
In the second half you have the following countries;
There's no up-tempo song in there at all, but Georgia, Germany and Montenegro are at least mid-tempo. Hungary, Greece, Russia and Spain need to be kept apart. The director will certainly earn his money tonight.
Tomorrow I will review the running order, as I fly back to Dublin.
The package is almost the same we had seen at the national final with addition of three backing vocalists (off stage). One can think that's the wasted chance for the improvement, the others would say this is sticking to the winning formula. I think there was some need to test alternative ways of changing, but it's too difficult to compare when this hasn't been done.
The only thing I'm not a fan of is yellow-orange lights through the song. The rest is there, the song is very strong on it's own and Marjetka is very strong vocally.
The penultimate candidate to rehearse for the very first time is another fan favourite Maraaya from Slovenia.
A favourite indeed and its not difficult to see why. Not only is 'here For you' a great pop song, but it's also been treated nicely to make it come across well on screen.
Yes, there could be a bit more interaction with the camera between front woman Marjetka but the actual staging works wonders. It's an absolute light spectacle we're getting, so no backdrops and it's absolutely refreshing for that reason alone.
Again the overpowering colours are metal brown/gold and yellow, which I believe were also the overpowering colours during the national final. Also the presence of the air violin player, make this stand out from the competition.
Adequately performed and still very much a contender for the end victory.
Slovenia, Douze Points!
Samira and I just returned from the Eurovision jam night – tired and satisfied. The party took place in Albertina Passage in the city centre just next to the Opera. We met a lot of people without accreditation badges, and it’s not a surprise – fans are allowed to these parties the first week.
It’s a very nice place, beautifully decorated with lots of dining tables. On a usual night I would have liked this restaurant but at party with 300 guests….I doubt it. Many tables were empty but in other areas it was fully packed and not enough air-conditioned.
Well, it all started with Maimuna (Belarus) “inviting” Uzari with her violin to come on the stage. They performed their remix very good and today you could see there was a great improvement with their eye contact. Now they look like atrue duo.
Second came Nina (Georgia) singing two songs. Her performance was impressive, full of emotions and pain.
Elhaida Dani was given a turn to perform – it was a big change comparing with the previous singer. She was very open to public, singing her favorite Eurovision song – 2012 Spain’s entry and later, her Eurovision song.
Then we got to hear from Czech Republic – two very cheerful singers who managed to make all people dance. They have a special energy coming out and spreading it to everyone.
The last performers were the two backing vocalists from Slovenia. They sang a couple of songs for us and the dj continued to play the music. When we were leaving, at about 12.30, there were still a lot of people in the club, including boys from Anti Social Media, dancing and enjoying themselves.