Roll on rehearsals! Today the remaining acts in Semi-Final 1 rehearse, along with five from Semi-Final 2 and the Big 5 plus Portugal. It’s going to be a long day. So let’s not waste any time and jump straight into the next three rehearsals from Norway’s Alexander Rybak, Romania’s The Humans and Serbia’s Sanja Ilic & Balkanika.
Reaction: Norway, Romania and Serbia
Norway: Alexander Rybak with “That’s How You Write a Song”
Two days ago Alexander tweeted that he’s come down with the flu. Singing on a massive stage — even at full health — can be a draining experience. So to feel ill on the Eurovision stage is another level of unfortunate. But as ever Alex pushed through, delivering another sound performance. While it was obvious he wasn’t feeling his best, he still oozed charisma. With a bit of rest — please, get some sleep and drink lots of fluids — he will be returning to health at just the right time.
This performance was already polished and ready for primetime. There wasn’t a pressing need to switch things up. But still there were a few tweaks, the most notable of which is the presentation of Alex’s on-stage strumming with the violin. The dancers sashay away and the camera quickly gets to him, creating a high impact change of pace that really works.
Alexander Rybak, “That’s How You Write a Song”: Performance Preview
Romania: The Humans with “Goodbye”
Romania’s mannequins continue to give us life! The Humans’ message — about how humanity is losing its sense of feeling and compassion — comes through loud and clear as Cristina sashays through her now iconic black mannequins. The white mannequins that were placed at the front of the stage previously have been moved to the back, providing less of a distraction.
Cristina has been battling a cold in recent days, but it didn’t show. She sounded great and seemed to rock harder this time around. In fact, she re-introduced her signature hair whip from the national selection, reminding us that she’s got sass in spades. A good act remains very strong indeed.
The Humans, “Goodbye”: Performance Preview
Serbia: Sanja Ilic and Balkanika with “Nova deca”
For their second rehearsal, the female vocalists added black jackets to their dresses, looking less Greek goddess and more Greek goddess with a rocker edge. It’s more interesting visually and fits with Balkanika’s history of taking traditional sounds and making them pop. This is how you update, guys!
They sound great and look sharp. But unfortunately the stage feels somehow empty. The atmosphere isn’t intimate, but instead diffuse. As a result the energy seems to lag and about two minutes in I’m rather bored.