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

67 Comments
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Vogzal Odessa
Vogzal Odessa
1 year ago

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
alex
1 year ago

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
Sabrina
1 year ago

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
Martin
1 year ago

I hope Albania will qualify …

Leah
Leah
1 year ago

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
L’oiseau
1 year ago

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
Ksenija
1 year ago
Reply to  L’oiseau

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
L'oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  Ksenija

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
Improvements
1 year ago

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
Berco
1 year ago

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
Denis
1 year ago

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
Tibor
1 year ago

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
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Tibor

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
Tibor
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

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
Davve
1 year ago

Russia and Netherlands are really failing in the bettings now

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
1 year ago

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
Ana
1 year ago

Albania the best ???

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Ana

She is VERY good.

Kosey
Kosey
1 year ago

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
Whisker
1 year ago

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

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  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
Ksenija
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

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
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Ksenija

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

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

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

Nikoreindeer
Nikoreindeer
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

Heja Norge!

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Nikoreindeer

<3

Nikola
Nikola
1 year ago

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

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago

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
Davve
1 year ago

Russia and Netherlandsare losing ground

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Davve

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

Davve
Davve
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

Dream on buddy

Ezal
Ezal
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

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

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Ezal

Absolutely!

Trh
Trh
1 year ago
Reply to  Davve

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

esc1234
esc1234
1 year ago

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

Ezal
Ezal
1 year ago

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.

Nicky91
Nicky91
1 year ago

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
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicky91

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

Melody
Melody
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicky91

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

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Melody

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

Claes Dahl
Claes Dahl
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

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

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Claes Dahl

There is a lot of Swedish technical contribution already?

P!nk Forever
P!nk Forever
1 year ago

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

Nicky91
Nicky91
1 year ago
Reply to  P!nk Forever

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

Melody
Melody
1 year ago

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
Helene
1 year ago
Reply to  Melody

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
Helene
1 year ago
Reply to  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
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Helene

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

Carl
Carl
1 year ago
Reply to  Helene

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
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl

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

Carl
Carl
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

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
Claes Dahl
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl

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

Melody
Melody
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

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

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Melody

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

Melody
Melody
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

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

Helene
Helene
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl

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
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Helene

Earlier decades were the epitome of kitsch.

Carl
Carl
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

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

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl

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

Melody
Melody
1 year ago
Reply to  Helene

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
Helene
1 year ago
Reply to  Melody

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
1 year ago

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
Polina Varude
1 year ago

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

Melody
Melody
1 year ago
Reply to  Polina Varude

Unless they live abroad.

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Polina Varude

LOL

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Polina Varude

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

Salem
Salem
1 year ago

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 😀