She’s been compared to Taylor Swift for her gorgeous blonde locks and her country-pop sound.
And on Thursday morning Slovenia’s ManuElla proved there’s even more in common as she owned the stage like an established international pop star.
The “Blue and Red” singer exceeded our expectations with strong vocals, great staging and a token Eurovision gimmick. And then there is that dress. The form-fitting number features a lovely cross-strap pattern across the chest that proves ManuElla is definitely breast in show.
The performance begins with a smokey spotlight focused completely on ManuElla. As the camera pans out, the LED floor is illuminated beautifully with spots of red. Leading into the first verse, producers project her face onto the LED wall miming along to the lyrics. The stage is flooded with, unsurprisingly, blue and red lighting. As we venture into the chorus, the angled LED screens along the back pop with dozens of pairs of eyes, which we presume are ManuElla’s. It offers a window into her soul and into the pain of her song.
In something of a WTF moment, a muscular and well-oiled man spins around on a pole. He’s giving us Olympic gymnast realness, owning his tight leggings and toned physique. This gimmick seems a little unnecessary, especially when his tricks are disrupted by a huge amount of fireworks shooting towards the roof. He might catch on fire!
Slovenia may struggle to qualify for the final being sandwiched between Australia and Bulgaria in the running order, but the performance truly does stand on its own and this could end up as a borderline qualifier.
Slovenia: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2016
Slovenia: First press conference 2016
Slovenia: Interview with ManuElla
ManuElla’s “Blue and Red”: Reviews and Reactions
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)