Deban: This rehearsal raises the bar for all other entries. Loreen brings Scandinavian minimalism to life on stage in shadow and strobe effect. Her costume exudes the austere tailoring of Japanese design. The choreography is an art-form in itself, incorporating butoh, urban and contemporary elements. This is contemporary dance at its finest, against a backdrop of shimmer and shadow, and the flicker of light. “Euphoria” is simple, yet sophisticated. Powerful, yet understated.
The act largely retains the staging from Melodifestivalen. But the difference here is that she has two back-up singers. Not needed in my view. They sounded slightly off-key at times. However, it’s only the first rehearsal, and things are still being tweaked. What I love the most about this production is that all components are at a premium. Take the song, for example. The lyrics are well structured, the sound is fresh, the arrangement has several peaks within a melody that’s undeniably catchy. This premium delivery extends to the lighting, wardrobe, staging and choreography. Individually, they work. Collectively, they’re euphoric!
Loreen needn’t worry. She’s a serious contender to win this, and if she doesn’t, she’ll be in the Top 3.
Wiwi: I gave this song a perfect 10 when evaluating it for the Wiwi Jury, so I had high expectations when Loreen took the stage this morning. Unfortunately, she kind of let me down. In the opening bars Loreen’s mumble is almost unintelligible. It’s as if she isn’t opening her mouth or has chicken lodged in her throat. Also, during the first “up, up, up, up, up” sequence she and her back-up vocalists do not blend well at all. Rather than singing they bark in unison. There were also pitch problems throughout. I realize this was only the first rehearsal, and I have no doubt that Loreen will improve as the week progresses. But is it possible the front-runner is collapsing under the weight of expectation?
The staging, however, is on a level of its own. I love how her team has replaced the faux snow from Melodifestivalen with digital LED snow. It’s much more dramatic, and far easier to clean up. I also think that the somersault Loreen’s male love interest does in the song is fantastic. We see all sides of him now, and not merely his front torso. My one major concern with the staging involves the back-up vocalists, whom Loreen was forced to include. At Melodifestivalen she was able to pre-record her backing. But that’s not allowed at Eurovision. The head of the Swedish delegation has previously said he wants to “hide” them so that Loreen is in “her own little world.” Let’s hope that performing on an elevated box (which she is) will help the cameramen obscure the extra bodies.