Wiwi: When Roberto Bellarosa presented his song at the Belgian national final we cringed. But after re-working the number with his songwriters in Finland he’s turned our shrieks into rounds of applause and steadily grown in our estimation. He’s also growing in confidence. When we first spoke with him at Eurovision in Concert he seemed nervous and awkward. By the time we interviewed him on Eurovision.tv he was a bit looser and more comfortable.
At today’s first rehearsal in Malmö the transformation seemed complete, as he was cool as a cucumber and looking totally suave in his black suit with matching tie. But don’t let all the black make you think of mourning because Roberto has plenty to celebrate. He had next to no pitch problems during his soundcheck and his LED screen looks fantastic. It includes a lot of blue and white lightning, hinting at the idea of a storm and the crushing nature of love gone awry, and the lyrics of his song pop up during the chorus. He’s letting his two back-up dancers do all the work of making this visually interesting so he can concentrate on his vocals. The bookies have been harsh to him, and at times so have we. But I’m wishing on a star that Roberto makes the final. He’s still something of an outside shot, but I might place a bet on him advancing anyway.
Vebooboo: Roberto may not speak English, but his ability to sing it has significantly improved following his bootcamp attendance with the Finnish composers. Everyone, this is a lesson for all of us not to judge too prematurely. We threw so much shade on this song when it first came out that icebergs formed in Bruxelles, and now we have our work cut out for us to melt that shit away. But Roberto’s dapper suited looks and swanky back-up dancers will help with that process. This ain’t gonna win ESC, but Roberto gets my Most Improved Player of the Year Award hands-down!
Photo Credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU)