ESC United is live at the Eurovision 2014 Press Centre, where we will give you updates throughout the day’s rehearsals. Come back regularly and refresh for updates. We’ll be documenting today’s events right as they happen, as well as our personal impression.

As a reminder, we are not allowed to tape the actual rehearsals during the first round.

Today the Big 5 & host are having their first rehearsals. We will provide you with the details and share our  observation and opinions. Please make sure to refresh on a regular basis or follow the conversation HERE.


1. Germany


No changes to the Staging from the National Final. The three ladies are standing in a row in the center of the Stage. The Stage looks rather simple with little effects. It’s purple, blue, and some green looking colors. It appears that Elaiza is going for simplicity using their charm to impress that was one of the reasons it won the German preselection. The camera is heavily focusing on the lead singer.

During the last chorus the word ELAIZA appears in the background. The lead singer missed her cue (or was the microphone off?) the first time and looked slightly dazzled but manage to finish the song without any obvious screw ups.

Olivia: Average, there was nothing particularly wrong with it. She sang fine. It’s just a little flat. There is nothing to criticize but just being “fine” may just not be enough.

Madeleine: It’s cute and I like the background but it’s not a winning song. There is now WOW factor!

2. United Kingdom

The second song taking to the stage is ‘Children of the Universe’ by Molly Smitten-Downes for the UK. Molly is wearing no make up, her hair is up in a bun. She is in casual costumes. There is a set of drums in the background. Molly stands in the middle of the stage with two pairs of backup singers either side . During the opening of the song the stage is drenched in blue lighting with white lights shooting up in the background, whilst smoke fills the floor. Upon the chorus the floor design changes to white oriental patterns. During the bridge small red lanterns appear on the screen and rise up to the ceiling. The stage is then drenched in fiery reds.

Matt: I miss the oomph from the backup singers. I feel they were a little muted.
Madeleine: Boring. The last bit with the red is really nice when the baloons go up, but the start and the rest of it is boring. It is not ‘power to the people’ it’s just people… The staging with the drums is just really random, ‘oh let’s just put something here because it looks empty.’ Expected alot more.

3. France

The third is France. There are three lead singers with two back up singers. The lead singer is dressed in a white checkered shirt with yellow trousers. The guitarist is topless but has white painted patterns on his chest, torso and face. The bassist wears short shorts and a hat.The stage is lit an array of bright and bold colours, with lots of greens, yellows, blues, pinks. On each chorus a large picture of a moustache is projected on the screen.

Madeleine: I like everything but I feel a bit confused as to where to look. But, I really liked the dancers. But they should have a dance together to get everyone up and dancing.

Ahmet: It was not good and stage design is so colourful you cannot see them. It is difficult to follow the lead singer’s actions, but I really like the dancers.


4. Denmark

Basically they took most of the elements from the National pre-selection, same backup singers, same dancing and very similar look. The Stage is usually golden for the most part with some color changes during the chorus. If you haven’t seen the NF, basically there are three backup singers and two dancers who move along with Basim across the Stage giving an energetic and active vibe.

Basim was vocally holding back a little and even skipping some lines, he was scanning around the arena a bit at times but new what to do and where to be.

Matt: Why change a successful recipe? It looked good to me, Basim is clearly holding back. I’m slightly disappointed with the Look of the Stage but I suppose it’ll do the trick. A few foul notes but for the most part I am quite satisfied with it.

Madeleine: It’s a great song but it should be performed by Bruno Mars as it is a cheap copy. Denmark tends to use existing and successful recipes and use it rather than coming up with something original.


5. Italy

The Stage starts out quite white, the screen displaying golden Xs, guitars, eyes, mouths etc. Emma is joined onstage by a band (drummer, guitar etc). During the second chorus she walks down the catwalk and then crawls back to finish up her song. She is wearing a purple/yellow outfit which most likely won’t be the actual costume for Saturday. During the second run through she took off her jacket.

Vocally she was consistent and the backup singer suit her voice well.

Matt: I loved the look of it. White stands really out so visually it’ll be memorable. Though I don’t like the crawling back to the stage part, a bit unnecessary.

Madeleine: I really like it but they need to work on the camera angels, you could see random heads popping. She was not giving 100% vocally which is understandable considering it’s the first rehearsal. I also liked the white backdrop as it puts the focus on the singer a lot.


6. Spain

It starts with a backdrop of beautiful  rain with Ruth Lorenzo’s silhouette. She’s wearing a a white dress. The stage is mostly blue with raindrops all over the Stage.  There are 4 backup singers adding depth to the song. Water drops are being displayed on the ground as well making it visually a very appealing performance. When it’s time for Ruth to hit the high note, the Stage turns white to give it a WOW effect.

For a second it appeared that Ruth had an issue with her earpiece and had a bad note but immediately recovered from it.

Chris: I think it’s really impressive, vocally she is amazing and it’s a good song. Watching the whole thing live makes it even better, she was holding back but I think we’re in for a real treat. Even though I tend to rave about Ukrainian voices, this girl can sing!!!

Matt: Clearly holding back but still impressive. A fest for the eyes and ears but it’s a dangerous song, one bad note could mess the whole thing up. So it’s smart on her end to hold back right now.


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