Practice makes perfect, so Eurovision 2018 rehearsals roll on for another day. On Saturday Russia’s Julia Samoylova, Moldova’s DoReDos and The Netherlands’ Waylon kicked off proceedings inside Altice Arena. They nipped, they tucked and we need to talk about it. Are you ready? Let’s do this!
Reaction: Russia, Moldova and The Netherlands
Russia: Julia Samoylova with “I Won’t Break”
Once again Julia sits atop her mountain and becomes queen of Altice Arena for three minutes. Today she swapped her dress and make-up, which made her look like a glorious and mystical nymph, for a more simple lilac button-up with pearl embellishments. It has a lovely “princess” feel which works with Julia’s regal voice.
There were several improvements this morning. The camera focuses on Julia more, zooming in on her face, which creates a tighter bond with the viewer. There is still plenty of time when Julia isn’t visible, or is seen only as a speck in the distance, but it’s less severe this time around. The backing vocalists are also more visible this time, owing to a bit more light illuminating their white outfits.
Unfortunately there are still mixing issues during the chorus. While it’s far less shreaky now, the mixing and harmonies still need work.
Julia Samoylova, “I Won’t Break”: Performance Preview
Moldova: DoReDos with “My Lucky Day”
During their first rehearsal Moldova’s DoRedos elicited applause after each of their run-throughs. And they did it again today with their infectious folk-pop sound and adorable staging. The choreography, which was already on point, felt sharper and tighter. They haven’t made significant changes, it’s just that they are more comfortable with this stage set up. With that comfort comes even stronger vocals, particularly the female lead Marina. Any nerves she had in the first rehearsal have vanished. Loving this!
DoReDos, “My Lucky Day”: Performance Preview
The Netherlands: Waylon with “Outlaw in ‘Em”
Following the controversy surrounding the aggressive krumping of the first rehearsal, Waylon has toned down his stage performance slightly. The four dancers that surround him still perform in that dance genre — originally developed as a means for gang members in LA to express their anger and leave gang culture. But it’s less frenetic and more accessible to a mass audience. At the start of the performance, as the dancers stand on platforms and play instruments, they feel like Waylon’s band. Later, when they form a line, they come off more like a dance troupe we’d see on X Factor or, indeed, at Eurovision.
The changes make the performance far less chaotic, and it feels smoother. Overall, though, the performance feels quite flat. For a song about outlaws, this comes off incredibly tame.
Waylon, “Outlaw in ‘Em”: Performance Preview
Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)