Russia’s Sergey Lazarev is ready to move mountains at Eurovision — and it looks like he’s ready to climb them too! The Eurovision front-runner performs a complicated climbing series in front of his LED screen. It’s very dark and during his first run-through he missed a jump as he climbed across the screen. A true showman who understands the meaning of perseverance, he took a short break, picked himself up and got back into action.

The number starts with a close up of his face in total darkness. Then he stands before an LED screen and sprouts black wings. The darkness and interaction with the wall give us shades of Måns Zelmerlöw and Greta Salome, while the wings smack of Charlotte Perrelli’s staging for “The Girl” (minus all the pink).

But this ups the ante. It’s not simple at all — as evidenced by the fall as he somehow climbs pillars jutting out of the LED wall. At many points he invokes the music video. He lays down and seems to float in space. He stands on a pillar as the ground collapses around him. He seems to ride an iceberg floating in space. And at the end he stands on top of a massive box before an LED sun. Surely for some fans the bright ending with the sun rising reflects his rising chance of winning.

His backing dancers appear only briefly, performing the choreography we’ve grown familiar with during the Eurovision 2016 promotional season. Their absence adds lift, but there disappearance reminds us this is all about Sergey.

As for the vocals you can’t fault him — he was totally on point. One of his backing vocalists, however, seemed a tad loud. The female voice needs to be muted a tad so Sergey can fully shine.

Russia: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2016

Sergey Lazarev’s “You Are the Only One”: Reviews and Reactions

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Calum Macleod
Guest
Calum Macleod

I, for one, don’t like the way it sounds different to the studio version. That one’s much better. I think Russia has ended up leaving the winner’s place open to others.

Trondheim
Guest
Trondheim

I get lost into this iceberg thing and scattered rocks all around…it’s just too many distractions that I can’t get a clear message from this song.

Also too much movement. Lots of excitement that don’t get you nowhere.

Is this supposed to be a lovestory song or what it is? So what’s the point of all this unnecessary information that may belong to geology?

Whatever…

Marcus (day one)
Guest
Marcus (day one)

So a dated song with a busy stage and everyone is fan walking over it?

This is why I don’t follow Eurovision as much as a few years ago.

If the UK or Germany sent this song everyone would hate it but because it’s Russia.

I hope he completely messes up his semi final performance and gets licked out in the semi 🙂

But that won’t happen.

Daan van Wissen
Guest

Oh Oxyk.. Oxana, whatever fits you, you are so hilarious. :^) I know you talk hate all the time but most people actually use their face cheeks to paint stuff on.. but I guess that hardly makes a difference for you huh?

Oxana
Guest
Oxana

@Daan,
” think I will paint a Dutch and a Russian and Czech flag on my cheeks when I visit the Semi finals”
are you going to paint Russian flag on your butt, or you have extra cheek for this purpose? 🙂

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

power b :-

As I have said before, my Top 3 back on Deadline Day mid-March was:-

Russia
France
Australia

As the OGAE poll progressed, the Punters and Bookies arrived at the same Top 3………………eventually.

I’m sticking with these 3 for now, however I would like to see ALL the staging first before making any changes. I would imagine it could change, staging now makes or breaks a song.

power b.
Guest
power b.

Eugene
What’s your prediction for the final?

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Daniel :- Okay I will explain it all one more time……………….just for you!! The ESC took a whole new drastic direction in 2013, (not in 2009, 2010 or 2011, in 2013) when the EBU decided to publish for the first time new guidelines to their juries as follows :- • vocal capacity • the performance on stage • the composition and originality of the song • the overall impression by the act And it has not changed since :- http://www.eurovision.tv/page/voting You will see the emphasis for the juries is more on performance, staging and entertainment. Only ONE category relates to… Read more »

Daan van Wissen
Guest

The winner! Great job Russia. =] Damn, People comparing this to Mans. lmao. Mans could only dream of this. This is amazing and got me WOW the whole time. Great job Russia, you deserve the win. Moscow 2017!

And Sergey is such a hunk. Such a nice guy. Loved his Meet and greet… My parents keep pushing me to bring him home as their son in law lmao.. I think I will paint a Dutch and a Russian and Czech flag on my cheeks when I visit the Semi finals and Finals this year.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

@EugeneESCUK

Wow staging is not necessarily as important as you posit. Germany 2010 had an incredibly simplistic staging, and won quite comfortably, and the same can be said for Azerbaijan 2011. Even Austria 2014 had a pretty simple staging. Imo it’s only really the Swedish winners and Norway 2009 (purely for the folk dancing) that had ‘wow’ staging in the last ten years.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Czech Republic will stand out if the staging is simple after Russia being so over the top that it might cause viewers to not enjoy it.

elias
Guest
elias

I just hate how people react to all perfomances every year. You want me to believe that no one of international artists use LED because they did it other ones in the past? How stupid to think like that. LED is something very 2010s so yes is we saw it back we seen it now and we are going to see them in the future believe me!

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

cheesecake :- Russia has taken what Sweden did last year and then taken it to the next level. They have raised the bar even higher. There is plenty of moaning but this staging is quite unique.

As I have been saying for years…………………if you want to win this contest, you have to do what is required to win. That means a wow song that appeals to the masses and wow staging to satisfy the juries. Don’t do either and you are not going to win , it’s that simple.

Racal
Guest
Racal

“A LED iceberg”, oh god… This thing is going to be so tacky I wouldn’t be surprised if they had fire-breathing lions and anacondas around their necks.

WorldHope
Guest
WorldHope

I hope juries will do their job… If Sergey win, eurovision will never be like before. For sure it became a performance contest. But the performance has to be based on the song. It’s not the case of Serguey’s stage performance today.

Amazing, but emotionless.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

@Eugene: Of course there is a tendency, but we’ve never seen something like Russia does this year. If they win, it would make the use of such technology raise extremely.

power b.
Guest
power b.

All this babble is pointless until we see the whole picture on tv. Grab some beer & order pizza. It’s gonna be spectacular.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

cheesecake :- Since 2013 it certainly IS a “visual/performance contest”. Have a look at the EBU guidelines to the juries. Out of the 4 categories, only ONE relates to the actual song.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

This is no doubt spectacular and well planned, I really like it.
On the other hand though, it feels like they’re trying too hard. There’s so much going on and some parts are a clear Mans rip-off, say what you want.

I still think this can win, but I’m afraid that if it does, next year everybody will try something like this instead of concentrating on the actual song, making Eurovision 2017 a visual/performance contest…

oxyk
Guest
oxyk

a screen? 🙂 I guess they got it second hand from Ani Lorak 🙂 can you recall her final act, when at the end of song she appears on the top of screen? to bad Lazarev can’t have polaroid effect cadres with his butt like Ani Lorak did, he have to climb some rubbish instead 🙂
there’s already his full rehearsal video on youtube, and you can check it upon video of Ani Lorak. have fun 🙂

David
Guest

Nothing special.just like Hero..im not a big fan..Hope Armenia will win

Adam
Guest
Adam

It’s a sign of changing times. The stages just can’t be the only thing that has a backdrop. Technically Mans could’ve just used the LED screen the 2015 stage already had but he didn’t because it didn’t fit his own vision of how he wanted it to be. Is that bad? No. So why is it bad for Sergey or Greta to also use and addition LED screen to project their own vision of what they want their staging to look like? Is Mans the only person who is ever allowed to have high-tec staging now, and anything after that… Read more »

Adam
Guest
Adam

I don’t care if he somehow “stole” this from Mans or Greta because compared to them, their’s is nothing. This is visually amazing and as long as he doesn’t slip (and hopefully performs in a higher key), then i can’t see Russia losing

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

Hmm, the performance won’t be as cheesy as some expected (no dance group?), Russia decided to follow Mans’ footsteps, and went high-tech. I don’t know if it’s a good idea. But it looks like Eurovision is going in this direction: they will look like music videos performed live, rather than pure live music on the tage. Entries with less advanced technology might have little chance to win Eurovision in the future?…

Mistress
Guest
Mistress

You know you have a BS emotionless song when you have to do all these gimmicks.

I knew many of them would fall in the Sweden’s 2015 trap, but I wasn’t expecting Russia to be one of them. Keep the mappings coming.

The winner will offer something different, that’s for sure.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Well having seen the full version of the rehearsal this is pretty special indeed and includes some very original ideas and is very impressive. This will no doubt be the staging to beat without a doubt and will be one of the stand outs this year. It keeps your attention all the way through.

We could be seeing the winner here!!

The punters seem to be responding to the OGAE scores all the way through this year and with France now declared the OGAE winner, France is getting a lot of attention in the betting again.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

For those who say that his stage is a copy of heroes this is 100 times better than heroes….?

momentum
Guest
momentum

Amazing! TOP-1!

2016
Guest
2016

His voice disaster … his idea of the screen like Mans last year. Try to impress

power b.
Guest
power b.

Viewers at home are gonna LOVE it

Adri
Guest
Adri

well I like it.

Michaela
Guest
Michaela

Sorry, but it was lots of things for me..

SauleRiet
Guest
SauleRiet

Deserved a Top.5 place but in a bottom side. I’m a hardcore Eurovision fan and i’ve never seen such an overrated song like this one!

(sorry for my English) xD

Huh
Guest
Huh

I have to say that he and his team is trying too hard on this. Make basic improvisations and you’d do well with the staging. *facepalm*

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

well it’s awful, the wings are so cliche, and overused last year with Amber and the year before by Conchita lol

sorry a non qualifier for me

Kreuzbergfan
Guest
Kreuzbergfan

I have just seen the whole performance… where to start, it is Mans + Perrelli + Greta Salome + Dmitry Koldun + Ani lorak + Sakis Rouvas + 1000 of more eurovision cliches… did they forget anything? I dont’ think so….
it is so dated, unoriginal and baroque, that doesn’t deserve even a top 10… they should just play the videoclip and let sergey sing in the background, it would be the same
very disapointed by russia this year, they could have prepared something new, original, but they were just lazy

MTD
Guest
MTD

His staging is nothing ground-breaking, really.

MTD
Guest
MTD

His staging is nothing gound-breaking, really.

MTD
Guest
MTD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrB5QbDIuPQ

Enjoy the rehearsal from the front row.

Hello hi
Guest
Hello hi

Song is so dated .. Deserves a top 5 for the effort and production value but not much else ..

Rock Me
Guest
Rock Me

So his song belongs to 2007 but his performance is futuristic? Interesting….Can achieve top 3 but not without a struggle.

momentum
Guest
momentum

FULL-Version – SUPER!!!!!!!!!!!!

esc2016
Guest
esc2016

So apart from song will be and the staging boring??

karminowe.usta
Guest
karminowe.usta

I`m waiting for video of Sergey`s performance but your description is very exciting:) Sergey is a perfect vocalist so he sings so beautiful 🙂 Sergey is my favourite. Good luck from Poland;)

saschee
Guest
saschee

not impressed…

Mans already did something similar last year, but way more original
this looks like an over-the-top mess

Babychops
Guest
Babychops

I agree with Hi , its a song contest not make a fool of yourself contest , if it was 12 points to Russia ha ha

Huh
Guest
Huh

Slow Down, brother…

eurosong fan
Guest
eurosong fan

For me best rehearsals today
Armenia, The Netherlands, Greece
Good Russia, Hungary, Moldova
Not good Croatia, San Marino , Finland