Rock on, sex it up and dance them off — those are some of the themes covered by the next set of artists who rehearsed today in Lisbon. But who of Hungary’s AWS, Latvia’s Laura Rizzotto and Sweden’s Benjamin Ingrosso impressed you the most?
Reaction: Hungary, Latvia and Sweden
Hungary: AWS with “Viszlát nyár”
They turn the stage into a sea of orange with shooting flames — vertical here, diagonal there — and an outer ring of geysers emitting sparks. Yet despite all the fire, the palpable smell of smoke and the residue that clouds the air at the end, this feels classy and like so much more than a rock show. Lead singer Örs screams for everyone who has dealt with loss, turning his metal song into a meditation on life, death and the passage between the two.
Metal is loud, but it AWS prove that it can also be musical. It’s a long shot, but this would be a worthy winner.
AWS, “Viszlát nyár”: Performance Preview
Latvia: Laura Rizzotto with “Funny Girl”
The “Funny Girl” was as sultry and sexy as ever, delivering another jazzy, bluesy performance with plenty of sass. But this time Laura seemed to project vulnerability. She’s singing of a man who treats her badly, so the change of emotion works well. The sultriness now gives way to pain, anger, jealous and maybe a little bit of rage — all of which Laura wears on her face, albeit in a subtle way.
There are now more fast-paced camera changes that match the rhythm of the song in key points. This seems to give the song more of a racing pulse — matching the intense feelings Laura experiences. Unfortunately this is still a borderline qualifier at best. It just seems to get lost in the mix of other more high-impact songs.
Laura Rizzotto, “Funny Girl”: Performance Preview
Sweden: Benjamin Ingrosso with “Dance You Off”
Benjamin Ingrosso doesn’t just take us to another world. He takes us to another world filled with stunning light displays, a panoply of colours and non-stop swag. This is sexy, but never sleazy. Benjamin strikes the perfect balance as he portrays the boy next door who has been hurt but is ready to move on. In the hands of a lesser performer it would come off as schmaltzy. But not with this seasoned performer who glides across the stage with plenty of fancy footwork.