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
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)