Expectations have been rising ever since they won OT 2017 with their tender love song “Tu canción”. And today Alfred & Amaia — the lovebirds dubbed Almaia by the Spanish fandom — finally had their first rehearsal at Eurovision 2018.
The lovebirds kept it pure and simple. This started with the costumes — Amaia in a demure white dress, Alfred in a crimson blazer with golden embellishments near the shoulders. They stare into each others eyes and stay close throughout the performance, with the camera spinning around the couple. Amaia was as vocally competent as ever. Alfred seemed more nervous than her, and in his first run through had a few hiccups. His nerves, however, hint at the vulnerability and fragility inherent to love. It somehow fit the song well.
The staging is another matter. The camera angles and cutaways frequently obscured the singers’ faces. Because they are staring at each other for so much of this, we only see them in profile, which reduces our connection to their eyes and ultimately their feelings for one another. As the song builds to that ohhh, ohhhh, ohhh in the bridge you want an explosion. But instead we get not even a whimper. There was no smoke, no pyro and definitely no fire.
As fans let out a collective “OH NO!”, RTVE released a statement explaining that more will come in their next rehearsal. Alfred & Amaia confirmed as much in our interview shortly afterwards.
Despite the underwhelming staging, hope remains. There is plenty of time for the Spanish delegation to change the camera cuts and angles to put their greatest asset — the two stars — firmly at the centre of this. Throw in some literal sparks and they’ll win over plenty of new fans and snatch their votes.
Alfred and Amaia — “Tu canción”: Reviews and Reactions
Spain: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2018
Spain: First press conference 2018
Photo: Eurovision.tv (Andres Putting)