Keith Mills

Spain as seen by Keith

SPAIN
What’s the Spanish for complete and utter fiasco? I suppose when you have as song that is so dull and monotonous you have to throw the kitchen sink at the staging but this is just completely over the top and has sent the Press Centre into complete hysterics of laughter. Edurne starts by sitting centre stage with what looks like a sequined beach towel over her head and once the camera pans out you see that she’s actually sitting on her backing dancer. There is then a ridiculous amount of playing with the long red shawl before the backing dancer pulls it off to reveal the terrific golden dress and fabulous boots which are Edurne’s main performance costume. There’s a nice rustic theme to the backdrop and there’s a lot of gymnastics- come- dancing and it just looks awfully awkward and totally contrived. Some really messy camera angles which will obviously be gone by next Saturday night. But at the end of the three minutes the OTT nature of the performance means you have no recollection of the song. This could end up in the bottom five with an early draw.

Sunday morning and Italy as seen by Keith Mills

While I arrived (in the middle of a thunderstorm) on Thursday, I’ve only been in and out to the Eurovision bubble on a couple of occasions in the past couple of days. The good news is that the weather has improved, although it is very overcast this morning and it was almost like walking through a post-apocalypse landscape through Vienna city centre as for once, the Viennese weren’t all up and about before nine.
Given the lateness of Saturday night for many of the Eurovision journalists/fans, it’s amazing to see the press centre so full for a 9:40 rehearsal. It had to be something special to get people up and working before ten a.m. on a Sunday and the clever Eurovision schedulers have put one of the big favourites first, in today’s rehearsal running order.

ITALY
The boys from Il Volo are in matching navy and pleated shirts and standing side by side in a performance area ringed in blue. Behind them some ancient sculptures provide the perfect setting for this classically inspired song. The backdrop explodes in light for the chorus and mid-way through the song, the whole staging goes to a warm yellow (a popular colour this year). Il Volo are in fine voice for all the run-throughs, although the song lacks the natural progression, having dropped the second verse to make the three minute limit. There’s a bit too much shoe-gazing for my liking and the long shots don’t do anything bar show off the stage rather than concentrate on the performers, but I haven’ seen a more complete rehearsal so far. This is certainly a serious contender for Italy’s third Eurovision victory.

From Press-r