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Hype has been building for months and today things reached fever pitch for Malta’s Ira Losco. The Eurovision 2002 runner-up has come to Stockholm with major ambition, delivering the most technologically advanced performance from Malta ever.

Her number starts in darkness with a stunning image of Ira’s face showing on the LED. That magical opening leads to an even more impressive scene in which Ira appears to walk a miles-long runway, which snakes from the LED floor up the LED wall behind it. The 34-year-old stunner wears a somewhat boxy digital projection gown that almost looks militaristic. It isn’t exactly flattering, but it definitely conveys strength. And in any event you forget how unsightly it is once it becomes the canvas for some rather impressive light displays. Throughout the performance a rather frantic backing dancer pops and locks, adding a bit of dynamism to the performance. Some may find him distracting, but others will appreciate the vigour.

There is a dress reveal in the second half of the act, but it’s slightly underwhelming. Ira’s dancer removes her boxy cape, revealing a simple black number. We suspect this is NOT the final dress she will wear. It seems more like a placeholder.

Vocally Ira sounded fantastic, more than filling the Globen Arena. She has clearly spent a lot of time with her backing vocalists, and this feels cohesive and balanced. The backing vocalists — including an audibly distinguishable Molly Pettersson-Hammar — blend beautifully and support Ira without overshadowing her. It appears that Molly helps Ira hit that high note — and we love it!

Update: We spoke with Ira’s manager and apparently the LED projection was not working. Unlike traditional LED projection, Ira does not stand still. She moves constantly and this dynamic projection is untested. Ira is innovating and we love it!

Malta: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2016

Malta: First press conference 2016

Malta: Interview with Ira Losco in London

Ira Losco’s “Walk on Water”: Reviews and Reactions

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Marcella
Guest
Marcella

How rude that high note is a clear Pamela her vocal couch!!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I am confused by the lack of water or water-themes in the staging. I think they are not using the stage to its maximum effect.
It is a shame. Vocally, it is not as bad as I was expected (although the high note still sounds pretty disjointed). Hopefully, there is more to come in terms of the staging during the full three minutes.

Camilla
Guest
Camilla

The backing vocalist is Not Molly its Pamela Bezzina a Maltese singer

Joseph
Guest
Joseph

Ira Losco – Walk on Water (Eurovision 2016 – Malta) A 60 Second snippet of the First Rehearsal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPXA0ujPTuc

esc2016
Guest
esc2016

Malta need real water on stage to have a professional performance, which this can be done if one build a tank. Or there will be a glass tank but with water graphics on it and the dancer will dance in it. If this can be done, for sure that the stage needs more blue background, not that all colours on the stage. To make the song powerful, one can change the blue for a brighter one throughout the performance … But I think there is more surprises … I hopefully, and the song is very good but the performance not… Read more »

Previ
Guest
Previ

I believe the high note is being hit by a maltese backing vocal Pamela and not Molly Pettersson-Hammar

Daniel E.
Guest
Daniel E.

I know I’m in a minority here, but I simply cannot understand the song! I’m not saying I hate it, but I can’t make anything out of it. It’s like a wall of disjointed musical notes thrown my way, which I’m supposed to put together, but I can’t… Having said that, all the hype surrounding Ira is hurting her now, because people had really high expectations. We’ll see what happens in the end…

redhot
Guest

walk on water is one of the best entrys this year we only saw a few seconds we cant judge on those few seconds iam shure she will be great on the day after all thats why rehelsals are there so if something its not good enghuf it will be arranged . go ira we know ur one of the best this year .

Alex
Guest
Alex

Great song very modern but i am afraifd that the result will be disappointing. I can see it qualifying but it will crash in the final.

Freud
Guest
Freud

Way too much.

This song has some kind of similarities with Russia.

-Both songs have great sound production
-Both songs doesn’t move me inside one bit (tacky lyrics)
-Both acts will probably be visually overloaded and distracting from what matters the most (singer and song)

Layla
Guest
Layla

I really like this song, but this live was… strange. Ira and Samra really failed me their performances ;c Of course, I’ll wait to May, because there are very short viedeos and hard to objectively evaluate.

Bastian
Guest
Bastian

wtf is she wearing? looks terrible on her and even if the projections would be working, it just does not suit the song imho, its looking quite desperate actually….. i cant see it winning esc and as i said before: it wont win.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@MMs: I must concur. And for the record, after my 3rd and final evaluation (which is not yet finished), it appears she will rank somewhere between 12th and 20th on my scorecard.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

As a rule, I don’t watch rehearsals before the actual contest (and I have not watched the videoclip here). I want to grade them for what they actually do in the contest itself, without an opinion of their rehearsals swaying me one way or another.

That being said, when I saw “projection dress” at the top of this topic, I immediately thought, shades of “Chameleon”, and what she probably would have presented on stage, had she stuck with that song.

MMs
Guest
MMs

Also, I notice some writers who were clearly hating before this and now they act as if they loved the song and they are complaining now haha. That does show the hate …

MMs
Guest
MMs

I think there is huge room for improvement but this is just a few secs piece from one camera.

Also it is plain stupid to say that the juries will help this lol it is the televoting which never gets behind Malta because of people voting for their neighbor country.

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

According to the odds, Malta is the “fictional winner” of the 2nd day of rehearsals. Personally I’m not impressed, but the song was never amongst my favourites. The stage/background looks complex, but I yet to see anything extraordinary about this entry. Good on average, but nothing special.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

First of all, I am sick of these projection dresses in general. Unfortunately Ira’s isn’t even a nice one, which makes it even worse. And I also hope that she will change the second black dress.
Apparently this is yet again one of these entries that just tries too hard and puts as much as possible into 3 minutes.
Not a fan.

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

@RG
“And additionally, please, don’t forget that this is Malta. The song and performance are fabulous for a country so small, which almost never did good in Eurovision”

All respect to the country of Malta, but unfortunatelly this is like 70% swedish production…
And Malta is definitely not bad in the Eurovision. 2nd place twice, 3rd place twice, several Top 10 places from the past. They got everything except the Win. Might be the best country without a win? Malta’s recent results since 2006 aren’t good tho.

Rock Me
Guest
Rock Me

I liked it but I’m kinda tired of so many LED/projection stuff. Not Ira’s fault but it’s boring seeing so many technological performances in one semi.

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

Ira Losco served LED mess disaster realness, and she slayed y’all, first of all herself, y’all!

error
Guest
error

I cannot believe that people are calling this boring after only seeing a one camera snippet of the first rehersal. give it time!

Denis
Guest
Denis

This performance has Meldfestivalen written all over it!

OR
Guest
OR

@Darren
We love u too dear 🙂

Darren
Guest
Darren

Also…slightly off topic, it’s becoming increasingly awkward to hear that a female singlet is going to “slay” or “slaying” it’s a stupid Americanism that makes absolutely no sense, unless she was literally massacring everyone in the Globen. Seriously hate that phrase and it’s not cool.
Sorry people! I love yous all though.

David
Guest

Im going to believe that Croatia will fail again if it will make it to final only by jury voting.Ivoting.I

Darren
Guest
Darren

It’s annoying that now almost everyone has a projection of some sort after last year…BUT I’m expecting good things from Malta this year, a good performance will throw this into the final for sure.

OR
Guest
OR

Same heart (Israel 2014) was perfect, i still wonder why she didnt make it to the final? HA I know – bad photo stage!! the photographer barely show the singer during her performance , most of the time he photo something else …… i wonder why he did that? i hope this year hovi star will demand that nothing like that will hopped to him during his performance!

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

P.S
Aliona Moon is still the best projection dress ever seen on the Eurovision stage ……. That was EPIC !!!!!!!!!

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

@Osterrike

Anyway, we disagree but I respect your opinion.

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

Maybe the competition is tougher based on diaspora and previous success of the countries competing in this semi final but I didn’t see a winner here …… It’s all to forced and totally overdone ……. Russia is an example of everything but the kitchen sink (Hello Svetlana Bom) Malta seems kinda flat in this clip, Armenia is good but the song is NOT. Azerbaijan is horrid live, tho she does have a good stage presence ….. Bosnia plays on the whole refugee crisis thing is just sickening since they were not particularity touched by this subject as things stand (Hello… Read more »

This is my opinion (TIMO)
Guest
This is my opinion (TIMO)

I said it before i am saying it again, Malta is relying on Ira because she finished 2n 14 years ago, they think they found a song she can bring Malta a victory. rehearsals for Malta will not change my opinion nor will her performance on stage during the show, sorry, the song is disjointed with different parts different melodies attached in one song worst than Safura drip drop (Azerbaijan 2000).

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

@georgekiras: Who cares, it was a hot mess and big flop and Malta and other entries this year look even messier.

MTD
Guest
MTD

This was the “big thing”?

Oh my, NO.

Sorry Malta.

RG
Guest
RG

For the people who are saying whether she has to stay still for the dress projections: No. It is a 3D digital construction which permits her to move anywhere without the need of staying in one place. There are also rumours that it is not Molly who’s hitting the high note. There are individuals who are saying that it s Pamela (a maltese singer). And additionally, please, don’t forget that this is Malta. The song and performance are fabulous for a country so small, which almost never did good in Eurovision. Ira slays and she’s a great vocally and she’s… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

I think William’s explanation above may need some translation :- “Magical opening”…………..it’s a face, but we shall see if it is magical. “Somewhat boxy digital projection gown”…………I think he means coat. “Molly helps Ira hit that high note”………………It’s just Molly from the snippet; she clearly is not going to sing that high note. (Well done William.) The official snippet does not tell us much again, will have to wait for the full 2nd rehearsal video I guess which is a shame as it looks like it has got a very good reception and could be on the move upwards in… Read more »

Gerd
Guest
Gerd

I always knew this song would not leave to the expectations on stage. Very well produced and quite radio friendly, but it’s not great to shine over the Eurovision stage. So tough to make a great scenography out of these lyrics.

Final is still in doubt for this.

esc 2016
Guest
esc 2016

so my top (rehearsals):
1.Armenia-yes
2.Cyprus-yes
3.Estonia-yes
4.The Netherlands-yes
5.Greece-yes
6.Chezc-yes
7.BH-on the edge
8.Azerbaijan-on the edge
9.Malta-yes
10.Hungary-yes

11.Iceland-50% yes_50%no
12.Croatia-on the edge..
13.Montenegro-no
14.Russia-yes(unfortunently…dont deserve this)
15.Austria-no
16.Finland-no
17.Moldova-no
18.San Marino-no

Robyn Gallagher
Guest
Robyn Gallagher

Question does the projection require Ira to stand perfectly still when she’s performing, or does it use that fancy new technology that tracks the performer and matches the projection to where they are?

Still
Guest
Still

I love everything MPH touches. Her, even partial, contribution always guarantees a succesful result

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

@Osterrike

Sorry, but in my opinion “Same Heart” is a masterpiece!

esc 2016
Guest
esc 2016

The staging disapoint me…sorry, I dont know maybe with the whole rehearsal I change but for now no…this is not good

Also where is Molly????

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

A lot of overrated mess à la Israel 2014 in this semi already.

Lola
Guest
Lola

That’s great getting molly to hit the high note! Was this song written for ira after all? she could do without the high note why include it when you have to have someone help you as you can’t deliver?

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

Such a tough semifinal 🙁

Kane
Guest
Kane

@PP – Walk on Water is not a rock song at all, are you stupid?

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

well now that i see the dress, i kinda like it

and Molly is part of her team, because i said it was going to be a team performance 🙂

and it was Molly all along who was singing that high note, and one thing i must say, it’s all about timing with Ira and Molly, because the high note must come exactly after Ira’s chorus towards the end, and the gospel singers are also lovely singers

so a nice team, and i am proud of this first rehearsal 🙂

T
Guest
T

Biggest disappointment of the year. Can’t belive we waited 14 (!!) years for her comeback and then she gives us Walk On Water.

Fabian
Guest
Fabian

oh, I was expecting more than this 🙁 I had my high hopes on Ira but they have just deflated. Yes, I did hear molly singing those notes too! 🙂

PP
Guest
PP

Good song for me best rock song this year better then Cyprus and Georgia.
My prediction after I rehearsals for TOP 10
1.Armenia
2.Russia thanks to televote
3.Malta thanks to juries
4.Cyprus thanks to televote
5.The Netherlands thanks to juries
6.Estonia thanks to juries
7.Greece thanks to televote
8.Hungary
9.Azerbaijan thanks to juries and televote in some countries
10.Czech Republic thanks to televote

11.Bosnia Herzegovina
12.Croatia thanks to televote they will be out
13.Moldova
14.Iceland thanks to juries they will be out
15.Montenegro thanks to televote they wili be on 15 place with juries in bottom 2
16.Finland
17.Austria thanks to juries
18.San Marino thanks to juries

Other countries will get in my prediction similar points from juries and televote