ESCXTRA.com are live for day 1 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 taking place at the Rotterdam Ahoy in The Netherlands!
The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Lithuania, Slovenia, Russia, Sweden, North Macedonia and Ireland. Plus, we’ll be given a backstage look at the recording of Australia’s live-on-tape performance.
Follow every rehearsal live
Below, you’ll see our written review of each rehearsal. If you want more, you can follow our live stream where our team will be reacting live to every single rehearsal as it happens! Furthermore, read our handy guide for a more detailed look at this contest’s rehearsal schedule.
Having never seen a proper live performance of “Maps” (at least to the same extent as some of today’s other entries), I had no idea what to expect. Despite not really being on my radar, I found myself nervous and anxious waiting to see Lesley’s first rehearsal. I think I speak for a large group of fans when I say I am rooting for her to succeed.
The establishing shot features Lesley singing direct to camera through a forest of trees. From the jump, there is a lot happening, and much of the performance is framed by stencils. At a few points, there are hands each side of her face flicking through flip book animations. As a result, the performance feels a bit cluttered at points, and makes the show feel dark and claustrophobic, where as the song itself is open and uplifting.
Sonically, the backing vocals bring a nice sense of warmth to the chorus, and with some further polishing I believe Lesley will sound solid on the night. However, I do fear her movement around the set will hinder her ability to hit the more challenging notes towards the song’s climax. Regardless, I think the bigger concern is the staging distracting viewers from the song’s excellent lyrics.
Overall, this is a real mixed bag, but ultimately charming nonetheless. The staging features some really interesting ideas, but whether they can be executed coherently will become clearer by the time we see her second set of rehearsals.
Rehearsal video clip
Stay tuned for our reviews for the rest of today’s rehearsals at the Rotterdam Ahoy. If you want to know what to expect from the rest of the day, check out our rehearsal schedule. Meanwhile, remember to tune in to our live stream for instant reactions to every rehearsal!