ESC United is in Malmo to cover the Rehearsals and we will keep you updated on how it went as the press is not allowed to record any of the first rehearsals during the first four days of the contest. The 8 countries to set foot on the stage today are Montenegro, Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova, Ireland, Cyprus, Belgium, and Serbia.
Check back and refresh as we will update this article as the artists perform one after another.
Montenegro -Who See – Igranka
A lot of smoke from the initial get go. The guys from Who See come out in astronaut costumes. For guys who are new to the whole Eurovision scene, they are knowing how to play it up. Nina comes popping up from underneath the stage. She is so in it to win it.
ZACK: When I first heard this song, I hated it extremely. But one day while running stadium stairs at UNC, this came on and I got it in, and it has been a favorite. I still think it’s hard for rap to find a place in Eurovision. But this may be a pleasant surprise if it can attract the younger viewers enough to vote. Nina sounds amazing!
ROY: I think the outfits are epically unique and cute. But the song I still don’t like.
Belgium – Roberto Bellarosa – Love Kills
Roberto is in a black suit sans the tie. He’s flanked by two female dancers in short black dresses. Three background singers are behind him to his left. We all remember the infamous Belgian national selection. He sounds better. He leaves most of the choreography to the backup dancers and singers.
ROY: The backup dancers were quite seductive. And when he said “Love Kills” I swore he would fall to the floor. It’s a lot better than the first time I heard it (in December).
MATT: I do think the backup singers added a lot of depth and richness to the song. The staging is appropriate. However, I just don’t think Roberto has any stage presence, which will not work to his advantage.
Belarus – Alyona Lanskaya – Solayoh
Alyona is coming out of a big disco ball placed in the center of the Stage wearing purple with two dancers in white dancing around her. To her right the three backup singers join her throughout the song. There is a lot of movement on stage including some drums during the instrumental. The Stage itself is quite colorful.
MATT: It is very camp but fun, Alyona sounded great but I don’t know if it will translate well on screen, the reaction among the press was lukewarm.
ZACK: Shout out to Willem from South Africa. Typical Eurovision, now I wonder if “Rhythm of love” was a better choice.
(pic from Alyona Lanskaya’s facebook)
Moldova – Aliona Moon – O Mie
As expected Aliona is wearing her special dress used in the National Final and has three backup dancers. Pasha Parfeny (Moldova 2012) is playing the piano. The look of the performance is reminiscent of Sabina (Azerbaijan 2012) but Moldova took it up a notch by lifting Aliona up several meters. It may be worthy pointing out that she started to sing in English but switched to Romanian quickly so we are not sure if they were just testing things or if it was done by accident.
ROY: I loved the dress effects but the backup dancers seemed unnecessary. The song I really liked.
MATT: This was visually stunning, I loved how the dress and backdrop were in sync. Aliona can definitely sing, my favorite part was when Pasha was playing the piano and then disappeared during the performance so we had a piano that “magically played itself”.
Ireland – Ryan Dolan – Only Love Survives
A dark stage with lots of percussion. Ryan has two female backup singers to his right, a nice looking shirtless drummer, and two even nicer looking backup dancers. There were many audible gasps in the press viewing room when they zoomed into the backup dancers. The backdrop is a very nice reddish-orange with Celtic designs.
ZACK: Well looks like I’m going back on my diet. The song sounds quite different from the studio version. It seems to be in a higher key. An energetic performance, and an example of what a good performance can do for a decent song.
MATT: Given all the criticisms he had for his vocal ability, Ryan sounded great.
Cyprus – Despina Olympiou – An me thimasi
Despina is alone on the stage throughout the entire song wearing a black negligee looking dress giving it a see-through vibe. The Stage is mostly blue and at the end a wind machine is making Despina’s hair fly high.
MATT: The dress is rather distracting but other than that it was a solid performance. I’m glad they stayed away from any gimmicks.
KRISTIAN: It is a really nice ballad but I don’t think her voice was quite there yet.
Lithuania – Andrius Pojaivia – Something
Andrisu is in a white t-shirt and black leather jacket and jeans. The same outfit we’ve seen him perform in the past couple of live performances. He now has 4 backup singers. There is no choreography. Mostly him pointing and winking.
ZACK: The song has grown on me. This song and “Love Kills” reminds me of 80s music, in both a good and bad way. There’s a sense of nostalgia, but it’s also quite monotone. The backing singers are a nice new addition, but pretty much, it’s the same performance from the Lithuanian final but without the dancers and his silly outfit.
MATT: I like the song yet was totally bored with the performance, the spark is missing and I have a really bad feeling about this.
Serbia – Moje 3 – Ljubav je svuda
The three girls and three female backup singers. Their outfits are quite…interesting… They are having a lot of fun on stage.
KRISTIAN: It’s a catchy song but the presentation was very awkward, as were the outfits.
MATT: Ladies and gentlemen, we have our Barbara Dex award winners.
ZACK: My eyes! My eyes!