Expectations are high and the pressure is immense. But Eurovision 2017 favourite Francesco Gabbani was no worse for the wear during his first rehearsal inside the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv.
Wearing a suit similar to the one that secured him victory at Sanremo, he stood centre-stage while his backing vocalists stood to the side wearing bright jumpers in orange, yellow and green — helping set the tone for this truly colourful performance. The LED features a series of Buddhist symbols, including the outline of Buddha. Other images — including a lotus flower and hands with henna — all have an Eastern edge to them. Even a series of umbrellas — which fly across the screen in bright colours when he says “singing in the rain” — seem to have Indian design elements.
Francesco sells this as well as he always has — he smiles at the camera and at times he laughed at him self as he got used to the vast stage. But there are some things producers can still work on. Owing to the floor’s frequently dark colouring, and the dark background of the LED across which brighter objects fly, he and his gorilla sometimes disappear into the background. Brightening up the background and floor — or somehow lightening the gorilla or Francesco’s suit — might make them stand out a bit more.
During the first run-through we worried there were far too many images on the screen — it was almost an assault on the eyes. But as the run-throughs progressed the producers cut the camera slightly differently so it seemed less frenetic. There’s also a black and white ying-yang symbol, which seems somehow out-of-place compared to all the other bold accents on the LED.
Initially I was underwhelmed and worried victory was slipping from his grasp. But this remains incredibly strong and very feel-good, and all criticisms are minor at best. Surely with some simple tweaks this will once again feel like the hands-down favourite.
Francesco Gabbani — “Occidentali’s Karma”: Reviews and Reactions
Italy: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2017
Italy: First press conference 2017
In "Occidentali's Karma", Italy's song contest star Francesco Gabbani sings "la scimmia nuda balla" — the naked ape is dancing. Celebrate the gorilla with this cute design, which will bring a smile to people's face at the club and on the street. LINK IN BIO. #celebratediversity #francescogabbani #occidentaliskarma #italy
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Italy’s Francesco Gabbani will be joined on stage by a naked gorilla. But the ape knows that sometimes you have to cover up for your Eurovision selfie. This funky, psychedelic design captures him doing just that.
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