Wiwi: Romania remains one of the favorites with the Wiwi Jury, and Elena is still the front-runner in the race to become Eurovision’s Next Top Model. So naturally we’ve been holding our breath in anticipation of Mandinga’s first rehearsal. As expected they bring a lot of energy to the stage with their song “Zaleilah,” and make the most of their quirky instruments. The bag pipe player is given a starring role in the opening seconds, marching in from stage left. The brass tuba and electric accordion look fantastic with the stage lights, and Elena remains as hot as ever. She wore a coral-colored number today, but I suspect she will either revert back to her leather pantsuit from the national final for the semi-final, or unveil something even more spectacular and over the top.
It’s only the first rehearsal so I don’t want to pass judgment on Elena’s vocals just yet. She was still feeling the space and getting used to the arena today. My only worry is that with all the movement Elena might end up out of breath. Thank goodness she jumps around in space shoes and does butt lifts regularly as in this video from Romanian news. That might explain why she sits down at the 2:30 mark during her rehearsal. That brief pause lets her catch her breath and bring it home in the final bars of the song.