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LIVE DAY 7 REVIEW: Sheldon Riley delivers a visually and sonically impressive performance for Australia

ESCXTRA.com are live for day 5 of rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 taking place at the Pala Olimpico in Turin, Italy!

We continue with the final eleven countries rehearsing from the second semi final. The countries rehearsing today, in chronological order, are Australia, Cyprus, Ireland, North Macedonia, Estonia, Romania, Poland, Montenegro, Belgium, Sweden and Czech Republic.

The latest artist to rehearse is Sheldon Riley from Australia with the song “Not The Same”

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.

Rehearsal review

Stage presentation

Sheldon stands at the foot of two staircases, in front of a mic stand. Whilst the performance is static, the camerawork is incredibly dynamic. Ahead of the middle eight, an additional two staircases join and Sheldon walks up the two flights of stairs to reach the top of this ‘diamond’ of stairs.

The lighting is bright to contrast to the dark staging, with dry ice flooding the stage. In the huge instrumental moment on track, where the mask is removed as in the national final, we are treated to an incredible white strobe lighting moment. There’s an extensive final shot of Sheldon holding his mask up during the huge final note.

Costumes and styling

In contrast to the national final, Sheldon Riley wears an elaborate white dress – akin to a wedding dress – but his jewelled mask has returned. The mask remains on until the ‘big moment’ on the track. He told us on the live stream yesterday during our interview that the outfit approximately weighs 50kg and required an extraordinary amount of seamstresses to create the look, emblazoned with Swarovski crystals, and there was quite the journey to get it to Turin as it weighs so much!

Vocal quality

His vocal is incredibly controlled, and the live performance has varied ever so slightly from the national final to elaborate on some of the big notes slightly further. Even walking up two flights of stairs, we are treated to a very strong vocal performance.

Overall impression

This is a visually and sonically impressive rehearsal, and jurors will eat this up next week. Sheldon Riley brings vulnerability and confidence in equal measures and Sasha Jean Baptiste has done an exceptional job (once again) on staging a big Eurovision power ballad moment. Echos of both Gjon’s Tears and Kristian Kostov appear in the way this is staged – and what better references could SJB use to her own work? This is certainly one to keep your eyes on for the full three minutes.

Watch the rehearsal

Stay tuned for our reviews for the rest of today’s rehearsals at the Pala Olimpico. 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!

Nathan Waddell

I am the Editor in Chief of ESCXTRA, a huge Melodifestivalen fan and love sports. You can find me singing along to Scandinavian Eurovision entries, listening to the latest chart music on Spotify or watching the football and tennis on two different screens at once.

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