Rotterdam, 9 May 2021

Wha-wha-wha-wha What’s up fools? Azerbaijan’s espionage expert, Samira Efendieva, or Efendi if you will, has just finished her first rehearsal. More details below.

Country: Azerbaijan (#AZE)
Act: Efendi
Song: “Mata Hari”
Semifinal: First (18/05/2021)
Position in Running Order: 14/16

The video clip of “Mata Hari” posed the question whether Efendi could handle herself in an uptempo dance act. The rehearsal provided the answer of: ‘yes, possibly’. Efendi demonstrated a lot growth today, bopping along with her (female) backing dancers in a role (that of an uptempo dance diva) that she isn’t used to. Efendi’s vocals are on point throughout both rehearsals.

The presentation revolves around a giant (CGI) orb, present in the background throughout the performance. The backdrop displays geometric motivs evocative of middle-eastern caligraphy (in terms of the closest Eurovision equivalent: think ‘Same Heart’ (IL 2014)). There’s an effective throwback to Azerbaijan’s entry from last year, “Cleopatra” by flashing two hissing cobra’s into the golden orb.

At the end of the stage show, the orb is lifted into the air where it explodes in a rain of golden sparkles, leaving the image of Nazar (a traditional Turkish/Persian “Evil” Eye), a symbol of fortune in Efendi’s country of origin.

The weak point in Azerbaijan’s staging has to be the camerawork. There are several wideshots that show off the backdrop, but that leaves less room for the viewer to connect with Efendi. Generally though, Azerbaijan have their concept set up. They now need to streamline it fully for the live shows.

Join us on the livestream!

What do #YOU think of Efendi’s rehearsal? Is she a good or a bad girl? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, on our forum HERE or on social media!

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