Rehearsal one then, and it’s Rambo Amadeus with ‘Euro Neuro’ for Montenegro. He’s having issues making his walk forward before the backing track kicks in. Rambo comes out from behind a donkey, and is joined by three backing dancers/singers and a musicians. It’s all a bit messy, and they’ve only managed to rehearse this a couple of times in their entire slot.
So Iceland have just been on, a very good performance vocally but the staging is very Eurovision by numbers. The back screen is very mysterious with dark blue and clouds creating a rather dramatic effect which fits the song perfectly. Camera angles looked fine on screen albeit nothing new. Nevertheless, a very good first run through and Greta & Jonsi should be sailing into the Grand Final with this one.
Eleftheria of Greece is third up today and the staging is very reminiscent of “My Number One” to me. We have four backing dancers, we have line dancing and we have Eleftheria being thrust up into the air. Vocally it good, not brilliant but the hidden away backing singer will sort that out. It will easily stand out as the only uptempo in the first five songs though and should make it through.
Latvia is the fourth to perform this afternoon and it saddens me to say that they seem to have turned Beautiful Song into a serious performance, all of the fun from the national final seems to have disappeared. Anmary has four backing singers with her and vocally there seems to be no problems. The backing screen on stage is a nice mix of bright colours and on screen it seemed very good, reminiscent of Portugal 2009.
Rona takes to the stage alone for Albania and gives an incredible vocal performance. It may come across as quite shouty for some people but she certainly holds every note very well. The stage itself is just black and red adding to the simplicity of her show. I think this is one of the most under rated of this year’s entry and wouldn’t be surprised if it did very well indeed.
Mandinga from Romania have just performed. A few people had doubts about Elena’s vocals because she didn’t sing live in Amsterdam but in the hall they sounded quite good today although slightly wobbly. The stage is lit in white with black drumkits on it and then goes pink with black love hearts for the verses and chorus. The performance is quite polished, more or less the same as the national final and this should have no problems getting through and contending for a good result.
Sinplus have just taken to the stage with the Swiss entry for this year Unbreakable. The staging is black and green with white strobe lights, similar to Georgia 2011 in a way. Quite good vocals in the hall and the pronunciation has improved, we now hear ‘swim against the stream’ as it is meant to be said!!! But anyway, a good performance and possibly a qualifier…
Belgium onstage now – Iris is joined by three backing singers onstage and is demonstrating some acceptable vocals with a bit of sharp notes here and there, but overall it is fine. There needs to be some work done on the camera angles as they are a bit disjointed.
Pernilla is onstage with a cellist, and features simple lighting setup with a wind machine going- some adjustments to the vocal levels have cut her out a bit, but the bits we can hear are solid. It seems she is testing out her stage outfit as well, though she has covered up the top so we are only seeing the bottom bit.