The KEiiNO three are on stage all dressed in black. Tom and Fred are standing on different sides of the catwalks. Alexandra is on the main stage. The video art takes us on a journey through what seems to be a Scandinavian scenery of mountains at night, with northern light glowing. The color of the video art and stage changes from white, black and blue to different shades of gold towards the end of the song. It's also the point when the two men meet Alexandra at the central stage. They sound good and the whole atmosphere is very heartwarming and exciting. Many people were afraid of what the stage is gonna be like, I think they can set their mind at ease now.
Jonida Maliqi is now. She's wearing a black and golden dress, a modern dress with some ethnic elements. She stands at center stage throughout the entire performance. The main colors in the performance are gold and silver, with glimpses of red and black. At the end of the performance, there's a big black eagle flying. His facial expression made people giggle... In addition, her dress had some lights in it, which lit towards the end of the song. She sounds well, and so did the backing singers, but I doubt this has any chance of qualifying.
Sergey Lazarev got on stage and gave a rehearsal that you would easily think is his live performance in the final. He was perfect vocally and everything was produced to the mill second. On stage, it appears that Sergey stands when behind him are 7-8 mirrors. We soon find out that it's actually recorded versions of him being screened. It's the first twist of the performance. There are a few of them. Behind Sergey and the "mirrors", the LED screen shows falling stars, giving a sense of movement. Sergey moves in and out of the light, sing in front of a window with raindrops on it, etc. The final shot makes a very effective zoom out from Sergey to the big stage, it makes it look huge. It looks expensive, but lack a bit of soul...
Jurij Veklenko stands with his mic stand the whole performance. There's no movement, much like in the national final. The video art is mostly in yellow lights and some red ones, which goes on and off, creating a dynamic atmosphere to go with the song. There's a lot of camera work to add to that dynamic. I got flashbacks of Sweden 2016 in a way. Is this enough to make the song qualify? I'm not so sure. He's charismatic and has a great voice, but the live seems to lack something.
It's Malta now! Michela and her "Chameleon", one of this year's bangers, took the stage. The video art is quite amazing. The Maltese got their own LED screens, that closes Michela in half a square. She starts off in her room, she opens the virtual door, and the house is flooded. The water is, of course, part of the video art. It changes to underwaters, to a jungle and eventually to an urban jungle. With Michela are 4 dancers in sweatsuits that dance around, looking very urban and chic. It reminded me a bit of Ace Wilder last performance at the Melodifestivalen with "Wild Child". This will definitely rise up in the betting odds.
Roko is giving his first rehearsal on the stage of Expo Tel Aviv. Vocally he sounds amazing, very accurate and powerful. The performance is over the top; He's wearing a white outfit and starts the song laying on the stage as the LED floor gives him red fiery wings. He slowly gets up and then two shirtless male dancers with golden wings show up, only to rise and fly at the end (to heaven?). One of the wings almost hits Roko in the face. The video art shows heavenly skies. It is then that Roko receives golden wings himself, that I guess helped him hitting that high note at the end.
John Lundvik brings his soulful tune to Tel-Aviv and brings the house down. The performance is quite similar to the one in Melodifestivalen. There's a LED structure that shines in gold above him and looks like a small version of the screen that was used at the Melodifestivalen. The stage starts off dark and is filled with lights towards the end of the song, with the 4 backing female singers stepping in, wearing shiny silver outfits. There's an additional male backing vocalist, which is hidden. Jon wears a black shirt and black leather pants.