Turin, 06 May 2022

Buongiorno everyone! Once again, we’re here with the full-on detailed report of this morning’s rehearsals. Let’s dive right in, and inform you what you can expect from Australia, Cyprus, Ireland, North Macedonia and Estonia!

Note: Images and videos will be added once they go online on the official channel. 

Country: Australia
Act: Sheldon Riley
Song: “Not the same”
Semifinal: Second (12/05/2022)
Position in Running Order: 08/18

Australia’s Sheldon Riley opened today’s rehearsals with the updated adaptation of his emotional ballad, “Not the same”.

The antipodean singer swapped his black dress from the national final, with a white, genderfluid garment. The top part is a broad-shouldered jacket, styled as a military uniform, while the bottom part is a puffy, velvety dress, similar to the dress Sabina Babayeva wore in 2012. (in other words, it vaguely resembles a chocobo.)

Additionally, Sheldon’s veil has been augmented into a tiara-style headpiece, and his fingers are adorned by prominent white nails and flower-shaped rings;

As with the national final, Sheldon has a staircase prop, however rather than descending the staircase, he ascends it during the finale. The close-up shot during the dramatic reveal is replaced with mid-range shot of Sheldon’s face and torso.

These changes appear strange because they themetically go against the song’s intentions. When Sheldon transposes from singing “I’m not the same” to “We’re not the same” he has physically moved himself away from the audience, which undermines the song’s empathetic finish. The camerawork is also not ideal, with many wideshots and not enough close-ups to truly nail the song’s emotional plea.

Overall, Sheldon’s performance was very strong, with the young singer delivering consistent and powerful vocals. He is however let down by a couple of minor staging changes and mediocre camerawork. If it’s Australia’s ambition to do well in Turin, they should look into further optimizing these minor gaffes into strengths.

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Country: Cyprus
Act: Andromache
Song: “Ela” [Come]
Semifinal: Second (12/05/2022)
Position in Running Order: 09/18

The second act to take the stage in Turin was Cyprus’s Andromache. She is nestled inside a giant polychrome shell, emulating Botichelli’s Birth of Venus.

At the very start, Cyprus looks rather impressive. They open with a lingering shot from the stage’s waterfall, into a faraway shot of Andromache in her shell, and it looks very cool. The shell itself is off-white, with colours being projected onto it. Two dancers emerge from the wave portion of the prop, and contort their bodies in various degrees of curvitude, like actual waves.

However, as it goes on, Cyprus’s act gets one-dimensional very quickly. Andromache isn’t exactly known as a paragon of mobility (by which we mean that she tends to be laid-back and non-chalant during live perfomances), so placing her in a shell is a smart choice in theory – she will always appear more low-energy than her dancers, and having her perform a dance choreography will only underline this further.

Unfortunately, this decision also restricts the variety of the act. Andromache emits her siren call from her shell, is accompanied by her dancers, primary colours (blue, magenta and yellow) are projected onto the shell, rinse and repeat three times, and that’s it. The act, as of now, lacks a big crowning moment that really ties it together.

On the positive side, Cyprus are using their singer and their song to the best of their ability. “Ela” maintains a certain allure that comes across well, and Andromache’s voice is resolute throughout all three runs. She looks the part and is the part.

Cyprus’s chances will rise or fall depending on whether they can figure out a clincher to really tie together their staging.

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Country: Ireland
Act: Brooke
Song: “That’s rich”
Semifinal: Second (12/05/2022)
Position in Running Order: 10/18

After Cyprus, it was time for Ireland to take the stage.

Brooke’s opener is eye-catching, an overhead camera shot zooming in on her, as she’s lying on the ground inside a pulsating heart floordrop. She then proceeds to dance her way through the song, sassy and carefree.

Brooke’s look has glowed up since the national final, embracing a gorgeous cyan outfit that stands out nicely against the magenta lights dousing the stage. She’s flanked by four dancers, executing an energetic, spunky choreography as she playfully addresses her mediocre ex, showing him the door. BYE BYE FOOL, indeed.

Although “That’s rich” is a break-up song, it never loses its frivolous, light-hearted tone, and this is its biggest strength. A good mixture of camera angles portray Brooke as a heroine prancing away from the clutches of her toxic relationship, remaining chipper and positive throughout. Her vocal delivery is much better compared to what we heard at the pre-parties, and is at the level where it needs to be for the song.

A fresh and fruity intermezzo from Ireland that stands out from the heavy duty ballads around it. If they come last again, Europe should be ashamed of themselves.

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Country: North Macedonia
Act: Andrea
Song: “Circles”
Semifinal: Second (12/05/2022)
Position in Running Order: 11/18

Andrea from North Macedonia was the fourth act to check in for rehearsals today.

It is immediately apparent that North Macedonia were planning to do something with LEDs and/or the kinetic sun, as the staging involves a lot of wideshots, which have been rendered ineffective by the stage’s malfunctioning state.

The impression that North Macedonia are still figuring out how to frame “Circles” was further enhanced by them changing camera angles between runs. Substituting close-ups and far-away shows with each other, adding a spinning angle during the second chorus, and the like.  By the time the third run came around, it looked noticeably different from the first run.

Other than the camera angles, North Macedonia don’t have much of an act. They make use of the side screens (which are used to project hand palms) and the floor leds (a broken circle eroding into a cyan pit). Both of these visuals are memorable but are over quickly. Close-ups of Andrea and wideshots plug the holes in the staging as of now.

Andrea’s vocal performance was solid, and the camerawork added a generous amount of close-ups, allowing her to interact with the audience at home. The whole package however doesn’t leave much of an impact, with North Macedonia’s original planning in shambles.

North Macedonia will need that third rehearsal to further streamline their act. Their work here is far from done.

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Country: Estonia
Act: Stefan
Song: “Hope”
Semifinal: Second (12/05/2022)
Position in Running Order: 12/18

The last act before the lunch break hails from the Baltics – it was Stefan’s turn to take the stage.

Estonia have ditched the gunslingers they had in Eesti Laul, but kept the overall spaghetti western theme. Stefan starts on the B-stage, with the filter effect we saw before. The backdrop underlines the western theme – the flythrough of the same desert Stefan shot his video clip in, partially blocked by the dark arch.

Stefan is wearing a stylish off-white leather jacket with matching trousers and boots, giving him the air of pristing cowboy troubadour. Smiling throughout the performance, then engages into a full-blown charm offensive. Homeboy clearly practised to be as charismatic as possible and it’s paying dividents for him.

Prior to rehearsals, one of the best lives versions of “Hope” had been an acoustic performance at a pro-Ukraine peace concert in Tallinn. It was a simple performance, just Stefan and a guitar, but it made an impact. We believe that Estonia are trying to recreate the general *vibe* of that performance in Turin with their staging.

This suspicion is further supported by Stefan’s excessive mobility, as he runs between the two stages, and by the many camera shots focusing on the audience. (these two things happen simultaneously). Some of the camera angles are a bit dodgy however, specifically the first time Stefan climbs upon the main stage, leaving room for improvement.

The strategy of relying on the audience to help sell your song always carries with itself a bit of a risk, however – if Stefan successfully rouses the crowd, he could shoot up the scoreboard (and he very well may – he is very charming), but should he fail to do so, he’ll be in for a disappointing finish.

It’s difficult to predict Estonia’s full chances at this moment, but what we saw looks promising. What they’re attempting appears to be is more likely to succeed than backfire.

For more coverage, join Matt & C° on the today’s livestream!

What do #YOU think of  these rehearsals? Did  Australia wow you? Did Cyprus enthrall you? Did Ireland surprise you? Did North Macedonia captivate you? Did slay Estonia grip you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, on our forum HERE or on social media!

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  1. […] rehearsals: Australia, Cyprus, Ireland, North Macedonia and Estonia!  ESCUnited Source link : https://www.escunited.com/second-rehearsals-australia-cyprus-ireland-north-macedonia-a… Author : Publish date : 2022-05-06 10:50:45 Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked […]

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