Azerbaijan’s Efendi has taken to the stage inside the Rotterdam Ahoy for her first rehearsal of Eurovision 2021. She has a serpent, flames and a mysterious orb. But does everything fall into place? Let’s see
Azerbaijan’s Efendi “Mata Hari” — Eurovision 2021 first rehearsal
Oliver: Efendi’s outfit is fantastic. It’s another leotard dance costume, but this one’s bejewelled with black crystals. Her dancers are dressed similarly. It looks expensive. The rest of the stage show however is difficult to wrap your head around, with lots of artsy cultural references from all corners of the globe. The backdrop features a large pulsing golden ball with a viper inside. As the song reaches its climax, the ball rises and sets ablaze like a star reaching supernova. Then, for reasons unknown, it transforms into an eye. And there’s no actual pyro, despite the “I start a fire” line — an odd choice! Also, Efendi is heavily relying on backing vocals to carry her through the chorus. It’s not at the same level of elevation that we’ve seen from Azerbaijan in the past. Qualification is probable, but not guaranteed.
Padraig: There’s a lot to take in here. The LED is used to the max. We have golden LED gates, an abundance of pink, and a giant mysterious golden orb. As the show progresses, more ingredients are added to the pot. The orb goes up in flames — an obligatory element for the land of fire. Once the ball is warmed up, it starts to ascend, before exploding into some sort of supernova (or perhaps a black hole, I’m not an expert in astronomy). Once the dust settles, we see a giant eye that looks like one you might find in the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt. Efendi has a lot to do. “Mata Hari” is a fast song as it is, and there are also a fair number of moves for her to master. One potential meme-able moment occurs when Efendi says “let’s go”. It jars compared to the rest of the song.
Reaction to Azerbijan’s first rehearsal at Eurovision 2021
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What do you think? Did Efendi live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments below.
Photos: EBU / THOMAS HANSES