Mirrors. An Eagle. The Northern Lights.

Second rehearsals at Eurovision 2019 continue with Russia, Albania and Norway.

Reactions to second rehearsals at Eurovision 2019: Russia, Albania and Norway

Russia: Sergey Lazarev with “Scream”

At Russia’s second rehearsal at Eurovision 2019, it became clear this performance has several Eurovision moments.

There’s the star tunnel effect during the first chorus, the point where Sergey’s mirror versions synchronise to perform the bridge, and the interactions between Sergey and his various mirror selves dotted throughout the show.

Perhaps it was camera angles, or changes in choreography, but the segment where Sergey is in the “shower box” felt too long. The camera zooms out at the wrong moment and because the stage is so dark we lose the impact of the rain effect.

“Scream” still has the wow-factor at times, and is a sure-qualifier, but like others it needs tightening up before dress rehearsal.

Albania: Jonida Maliqi with “Ktheju tokës”

Albania’s second rehearsal showed signs of improvement.

Jonida has changed her hair, they’ve changed the screens and on the whole they are starting to move in the right direction.

Camera cuts feel closer, the staging feels sharper and the whole piece is more put together.

They have raised brightness on the lights, which makes it less dark, and the red has been toned down which adds dimensionality.

It still feels as though Albania has not realised their vision on the stage. Jonida sounds fantastic and they’ve added more kinetic energy by letting her move out from behind the microphone stand. But unfortunately for Albania the performance still feels a little empty.

Norway: KEiiNO with “Spirit In The Sky”

Norway showed significant improvement from their first rehearsal.

The camera angles were a lot sharper, they were on point vocally and the product looked a lot more polished.

Tom and Fred start on the outer parts of the stage with Alexandra in the centre.

They join her throughout the song, leading to the trio standing in a row to belt out the final chorus of the song.

The Norwegian entry is building up to a magical performance on Thursday. It’s definitely a much tigher, more cohesive package ready to slay.

Check out all of our rehearsal news here

Photo Credit: EBU

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Vogzal Odessa
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Vogzal Odessa

I don’t particularily love the Albanian song, but Jonida is every bit as charismatic (if not even more so) than Rona Nishliu ( myfave Albanian act so far). jonida is simply amazing!

alex
Guest
alex

Albania was the first to pick their song. They had the longest time to come up with ideas for staging and everything. YET AGAIN THEY always come up short!! shame shame shame

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Russia: Sergey sounds great and the staging is attention-grabbing. Camerawork is tricky though. Everytime they need to show all the mirrors, they’re stuck with an angle.
Albania: Good use of the led floor, but not of the rest of the stage. I hope the juries and the audience reward how good the song is and Jonida’s fantastic delivery.
Norway: there are improvements. I love the dynamic background, it’s one of the few that actually looks better with the wide shots. They also found a perfect way to stage the joik.

Martin
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Martin

I hope Albania will qualify …

Leah
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Leah

What is wrong with the camera work this year? Reagardless of whether one likes a song, all participants work hard to put on a good show and deserve better.

L’oiseau
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L’oiseau

Again, gonna be downvoted:
Albania: This seems a lot like a NQ. The song had so much potential but the act seems outdated and unoriginal.
Norway: Actually, What I said about Albania I could say about Norway, except that I find the Albanian song better. The NF hadva better much more focused staging. For me this is borderline and only because they sing in English.
Russia: I firmly believe Sergey is a real strong contender to win, in spite of the underwhelming song. But I do think that staging is helping a lot here

Ksenija
Guest
Ksenija

my heart breaks because albania is in my top 5, but i see it as not qualifying too. her vocals are flawless but the staging does nothing to elevate the song. i don’t like the dress one bit, and wearing a black dress on a back staging is a bad idea. i hope she qualifies but i’m not expecting it. i don’t like norway this year but they are the only one who nailed wide shots. at least someone got it right. i think they are certain qualifiers. russia. it’s a good song but not for eurovision. if this wasn’t… Read more »

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

About Albania, yeah… I like the song too and maybe I was a bit too harsh. I guess if it would be in SF1 it would qualify. Unfortuntaly they are giving us on stage something that is not working right. I take your point on the wide shots on Norway, but that for me is not enough. I would so much that Albania would pass and not Norway. I disagree, though, on Russia. The song is a very strong one at all accounts and any nation. I just think that it is not an ESC Bubble song, because it is… Read more »

Improvements
Guest
Improvements

I think for Albania, they need a few changes: 1) Make the ceiling triangles moving, they do nothing by staying put in one place, makes it look like a boring stage from the 90s. 2) Make the LED fire effect span up in the columns, it’s not enough if it stays low in the bottom, also consider switching it to stormy rain halfway through, and back to fire again. Adds more variety. 3) Add in smoke effect and wind 4) Change the dress to add a large stand-up collar with that same black and yellow thread design the dress has,… Read more »

Berco
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Berco

Still this staging and song of Sergey aren’t better than those in previous entry of his. Scream song with this staging would have won easily if we were in 2010’s. I actually like the song of Albania and how she delivers it, but I have concerns about her order in this SF. Norway’s song has a good quality of European pop and group energy. Only thing I can say as a dislike is the background visual choice. These three songs have both strong chances to qualify.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Albania was the best of these three. To my surprise and delight. That voice alone will put her through.
Norway was better in national final and Sergey I dont think wants to win it.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Sergej Lazarevs staging is not as over the top as I feared, but coordinating the box, himself and the eight other Sergejs doesn’t seem to go very smoothly in the clip we are shown. He sounds good, but I’ll have to hear the beginning of the song, because that’s where he’s struggling in the studio cut. I won’t talk about camera shots anymore, but they seem particularly messy here and will hopefully look very different on the night. Camerawork could help a lot to tidy this up. Jonida Maliqi looks great, I personally like the royal attire and I absolutely… Read more »

Whisker
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Whisker

I also like Jonida’s outfit, to me probably the best this year. And that ring of fire is awesome, I would love it if they could make it love clock-wise, then counter-clock wise.

Tibor
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Tibor

It’s at least up there with Greece and – unpopular opinion – Portugal. 🙂 And I reckon they will add some pyro for the shows. This will look gorgeous together with the golden accents of the dress. I don’t know why everyone’s claiming the staging isn’t helping her. To me it looks very good.

Davve
Guest
Davve

Russia and Netherlands are really failing in the bettings now

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Quick review #10: Russia – it didn’t really grab me, frankly speaking. To me the staging looks kinda weird and all its elements are not really coming together. I think it’s a bit of an overkill for the “jury song”. Albania – I like the fire effect, it almost makes it look like a sun eclipse, but I still think that the rest of the stage look far too static. Still, it’s a big improvement. Norway – pretty damn good, apart from the blinker light on the stage, which is a bit distracting, it’s a very well done staging, complemented… Read more »

Ana
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Ana

Albania the best ???

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

She is VERY good.

Kosey
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Kosey

Well done to all these 3, I think they all did a good job. I am feeling the drama in all 3 of them!

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

NORWAY IS PERFECT! It was worth the wait! I LOVE IT! #HELOELOILA #NORWAYFORTHEWIN

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

The wide shots work perfectly for this entry!! Just perfectly! I love the outfits – and can Alexandra get more gorgeous? Black is an excellent choice. Very thoughtful to have Fred move in a such a way that he doesn’t step on Alexandra’s outfit. Well done to the whole production team!

Ksenija
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Ksenija

i think this is the only song where wide shots work well, at least someone got it right.
not a fan of the song but see you in the final!

Whisker
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Whisker

I watched the official vid over and over again, it’s superb. KEiiNO is better than brun ost. See you in the final 🙂

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

And they look so confident! The way they are supposed to be. #keiinoforthewin,

Nikoreindeer
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Nikoreindeer

Heja Norge!

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

<3

Nikola
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Nikola

Pure emotion and focus from North Macedonia’s Tamara ??????

Julius Caesar
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Julius Caesar

Albana was AMAZING !! Excellent, simple by classy staging, and flawless vocals

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Finally the Albania official vid. Why do countries insist on showing the backing vocalists? My wake up call was Slovenia 2014, then ITALY 2016 was a DISASTER.
I like Jonida a lot, she deserves more than THIS.

Davve
Guest
Davve

Russia and Netherlandsare losing ground

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

I don’t know, the Russia staging looks mental. My expectations were set on epic-ness.

Davve
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Davve

Dream on buddy

Ezal
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Ezal

That epic-ness makes me think that Scream would better sound in power metal version

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Absolutely!

Trh
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Trh

Sweden is not going to win it. Don’t even dream about it.,

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

the only problem this year are the camera angles. They are far from being great

Ezal
Guest
Ezal

Albania- very nice, Jonida, it should be Q
Norway- I can’t get behind this kitsch
Russia- I don’t get it tbh. Sergey said that this is personal song for him, so why I can’t see it?! Vocally sounds very good tho. Sure Q ofc, which place? I will leave this open until we saw whole performance.

P!nk Forever
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P!nk Forever

What are the chances that Sergey flops harder than I think?

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

he has a weak song, no one likes it tbh so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he nq’s

Melody
Guest
Melody

I am so fed up with the staging comments. Apparently if the staging isn’t wow, you drag down great songs and great vocalists. What I hate about Eurovision is that it is most of the time a circus and not a music festival. Good luck to my country. Let’s hope we go into the grand final.

Helene
Guest
Helene

Sorry you are not commenting the right competition. EuroVISION has never been only a song contest. It is for the television and a live performance. A good song is only one third of the package. The rest is the ability and charisma of the performing artist LIVE and a good staging. A good song sung by a artist out of tune with horrible staging that makes no sense will not win. That is also what makes the competion so fun. Imagine Eurovision without staging. No fun!

Helene
Guest
Helene

How could this be downvoted.? I am surpriced. My comment is in general – not refering to any artist in particular. I love Eurovision – but to deny the importance of the visuality and charisma of the performing artist is beyond me.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Downvotes don’t mean that your opinion is not valid. It is valid.

Carl
Guest
Carl

Before 2001, Eurovision was a song contest. So your comment is invalid. Especially from 2004 it began to transform into what it is today.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Because the world should get stuck in the past. NOT.

Carl
Guest
Carl

Did I say that somewhere in my comment? Duh. I was just correcting Helena saying that “The Eurovision was never a song contest”. Well, it was once.

Claes Dahl
Guest
Claes Dahl

Before the songwriter got the price…now its the artist!

Melody
Guest
Melody

Past doesn’t mean bad and new doesn’t mean good.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

I agree but it doesn’t mean that innovation is bad. It’s supposed to enhance the performances!

Melody
Guest
Melody

Innovation is good till it doesn’t become the main element of a song contest. Song should be the main element.

Helene
Guest
Helene

Not at all remember all the tricks from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Well the 70s is a little bit before my time. But ABBA knew about visuals.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Earlier decades were the epitome of kitsch.

Carl
Guest
Carl

Because now it’s not. lol C’mon guys kitsch is why we love Eurovision haha

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Yes kitsch is one of the reasons why we love Eurovision. I still feel it is not as kitsch as it was before.

Melody
Guest
Melody

I think you have watched Eurovision since Lordi from finland won. Have you watched the past editions when there was no circus and the stage was small and simple?

Helene
Guest
Helene

Did you see Djingis Kan or all these stupid songs from earlier years. It was kitsch alteady then and still is! And I love it. Moreover ABBA was seen in Sweden as the epitome of kitsch in the 70s. They would hardly play them om the radio in Sweden that was state controlled. It was not until later the became legends and got acknowledgment for their music talent.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

ktheju tokes is one of those songs that are so good they don’t need a distracting staging. i confide they’ll be finalists based on song quality alone

Polina Varude
Guest
Polina Varude

Polegend you know that you can’t vote for your country?

Melody
Guest
Melody

Unless they live abroad.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

LOL

Colin
Guest
Colin

He is Italian, not Albanian. You are barking up a wrong tree.

Salem
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Salem

Good, Albania, at least you’re taking small steps in the right direction! I still feel let down that this song apparently does not get the staging it deserves, but this beautiful, native piece of music still gets my vote. I mean votes, in plural 😀

Hrvatska
Guest
Hrvatska

I am counting on Albania advancing to the finale of the improved performance, but the asset is the vocals of jonidy and the ethnic atmosphere of the song and the excellent Albanian language

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

Albania is ruined by wide camera shots, i mean nearly every country is ruined by disastrously wide camera shots LMAO

flop eurovision contest this year

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

It they don’t fix the shots it could well flop.

Melody
Guest
Melody

Good thing they are doing this to every song and not being biased xD

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Well reading the comments here, the Netherlands don’t seem to have that issue!

Claes Dahl
Guest
Claes Dahl

Send Swedish Camera crew and pros …they know how to do it 🙂

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

There is a lot of Swedish technical contribution already?