Albania’s Anxhela Peristeri has taken to the Rotterdam Ahoy stage for her first rehearsal of “Karma” at Eurovision 2021. Was she able to capture the drama of “Karma”? Let’s see…
Albania’s Anxhela Peristeri “Karma” — Eurovision 2021 first rehearsal
Robyn: Anxhela is looking glamorous in a leotard dripping with crystals. She’s alone on stage — no dancers or backing singers. When she’s singing, this is fine as she’s an expressive singer and is able to convey the drama of the song. However, during the numerous instrumental breaks in the song, the staging starts to feel a bit empty. Anxhela doesn’t dance and there are only so many times a performer can dramatically swish about her hand before it starts to feel repetitive. It really would have been enhanced even if she’d been joined by just one dancer to go wild during the breaks. The stage lighting is dramatic and the LEDs show bursts of coloured smoke. It feels like deliberately pared-back pandemic-era staging — so it’s totally understandable. Yeah, it could be better, but for what it is, Anxhela works it.
Padraig: We’ve had a lot of “Fuego” sound-alikes since 2018. This, however, is a “Fuego” look-alike — although, to be fair, both stage shows were designed by the same team. The opening scene is very similar to that of Eleni Foureira’s iconic performance. It starts with Anxhela’s silhouette against a red smokey backdrop. Later we see her replicate a couple of poses, most notably when she puts her hand on her hip and turns her top half to face the audience. However, Anxhela does put her own stamp on things. For one, she’s not singing a banger and the stage show reflects that. She’s on her own and remains in the same spot for most of it. Although she manages to do a lot while standing still — there is arm and hair-ography a plenty. The vocal itself was flawless and Anxhela delivers both takes as if it was actually the semi-final performance.
Reaction to Albania’s first rehearsal at Eurovision 2021
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What do you think? Did Anxhela Peristeri live up to your expectations? Sound off in the comments section below.