France, United Kingdom and Spain - Eurovision 2021 Second Rehearsals
Photos: EBU / Thomas Hannes / Andres Putting

Another day of Eurovision 2021 rehearsals draws to a close. Finally, the last three automatic qualifiers take to the stage for their second rehearsals. The acts from France, United Kingdom and Spain all have another shot at getting things right before full dress rehearsals begin next week. Will we see any major updates? Let’s take a look…

Eurovision 2021 second rehearsals: France, United Kingdom and Spain

France’s Barbara Pravi “Voilà” — Eurovision 2021 second rehearsal

Oliver: Just as powerful as always from Barbara Pravi. The smoky lighting effects are somewhat cleaner, and as Barbara sings her high notes the lighting grows stronger. A very subtle touch, but effective nonetheless. Every time the “Voilà” chanteuse performs, she changes things up. There’s a slight rubato free-time element to the melody, yet she never goes off-tempo. It does wonders to add to the emotional depth, especially in the coda. Stunning, once again.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs)

Padraig: They say you can’t improve on perfection. Well, somehow, France has done just that. The lighting was better and the star effect on the LED floor was much clearer. The camerawork was also less jerky during the song’s climax. Barbara’s performance was spellbinding as always.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs)

United Kingdom’s James Newman “Embers” — Eurovision 2021 second rehearsal

Oliver: Most acts tend to improve on their second rehearsals. Unfortunately, the United Kingdom has done the reverse. James Newman’s vocal delivery and breath control was much weaker today than what we’ve heard before. As well, the comical gigantic trumpets remain and they’re more distracting than anything. Perhaps that’s a purposeful decision. But Eurovision staging should emphasise a song’s highlights, not disguise its pitfalls. It seems the British entry has lost all its momentum.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs)

Padraig: Once you get past the giant pair of trumpets, the UK entry is quite pedestrian. Yes, they’ve modernised their sound, but only up to about 2016. The staging doesn’t help. A song called “Embers” needs fuego! But we don’t get so much as a trickle of pyro. Not a single spark. Instead we get lots and lots of lights and lasers. It might have been a better idea to call this “Light Up The Room” — especially since that’s the main hook. It feels harsh to be critical of the UK after all the effort they’ve put in, but compared to almost all the other entries, this simply doesn’t cut it. It’s safe and competent. But that’s not what wins Eurovision or even what makes it up the scoreboard.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs)

Spain’s Blas Cantó “Voy a quedarme” — Eurovision 2021 second rehearsal

Oliver: A rocky start for Spain. The performance suffered through a few technical issues on the first run — Blas’ microphone had slightly too much reverb and twice we saw a camera moving across stage. All will surely be fixed before full dress rehearsals. One change comes in the form of a new falsetto improv passage in the final chorus. It comes across somewhat screechy and jarring, and could potentially turn people off voting for this otherwise calming and moving ballad. Still, a good vocal performance elsewhere.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs)

Padraig: Blas gave us a bit of a mixed bag vocally today. He started off a bit ropey, before breaking into a magnificent vocal run later in the performance. The staging remains a tad too dark initially, but it’s emotional. The moon (did you know that it’s a giant balloon?) remains an eye-catching prop.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs)

Read more Eurovision 2021 rehearsal news here

Photos: EBU / ANDRES PUTTING / THOMAS HANSES

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
31 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Shan
Shan
4 months ago

Spain just keeps getting better, I really like it!

pms
pms
4 months ago

UK: is it just me or he looks like a Lenin statue, sporting that overcoat on top of that plynth? Poor vocals, terrible costumes and the four trumpetists don’t improve the package… Heading straight to 21-26

Spain: it was one of my guilty pleasures but this falsetto singing totally ruins it in my humble opinion…

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago

France – A bit sad that it seems the frame rate change is gone. But it’s still beautiful and has an immersion quality that it’s hard to achieve. Barbara is mesmerizing.

UK: I must say that I was more confident about them avoiding the bottom 6 before the rehearsals. I think the audience will be distracted by the huge trumpets.

Spain: It looks good, but if we ignore the (gorgeous) moon, it’s not very different from the national final performance.

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I’ve seen bits of the Spanish show but I assume that everything will be elevated in Rotterdam. Thus there is potential for something really nice for Blas.

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago
Reply to  Una

The big stage helps for sure. I think they should get 16th to 20th, but knowing how Spain has been doing lately, I fear they’ll be in the bottom 6 again.

Bella
Bella
4 months ago

On another note, I’m positively surprised about Spain! When they released the song I thought it was cheesy and kind of bland, but somehow on stage it works. This could end up somewhere between 10-15th place.

Bella
Bella
4 months ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if the UK ends up last again. That just looks like the kind of performances you’d see in the afternoon on day 3 of the Iowa State Fair.

It’s the definition of middle-of-the-road, and I don’t think it would compel people to pick up their phone and vote. Nothing is *that* terrible but it’s also far from good: it’s upbeat but still feels cheap and unfinished, the live vocals are ok but not great, these 2 trumpets look weird, the stage looks empty, even the clothes look off, …

WhiteSox
WhiteSox
4 months ago

Barbara’s voice is really incredible… And again, Spain doesn’t deserve to be so low in the odds.

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
4 months ago

The UK is still on track for avoiding bottom 5 I don’t care what any of you think, the UK hate needs to stop, this is f-g ridiculous. It’s the best song and staging we have sent in years, I know that isn’t saying much but given the strength of the quality of songs this year which isn’t that high mind you, this does stand out, the UK won’t be opening the GF, more than likely it will be either Spain or one of the dregs that makes it through the Semis, like Austria or Portugal for for example.

Bella
Bella
4 months ago
Reply to  Liam Lindsay

As a former UK resident and a lifelong fan of British pop/rock music I would love for the UK to finally do well. But I have no idea how this would avoid the bottom 5 or even last place.

Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
4 months ago
Reply to  Bella

Same here. I still want to remain optimistic because it is a really good song. After watching the 2nd press conference, I noticed that the delegation were smirking after some of the press pointed out the lack of pyros in the staging. Perhaps there are saving it for the semi night premiere?

WestMids
4 months ago
Reply to  Liam Lindsay

I always thought the song was meh . The staging moves it to desperate novelty act territory with those silly looking giant trumpets. Bottom 5 without a doubt and probably last. And no I am not a hater I would love the UK to win – surely it can’t be that hard to find a decent entry .

Una
Una
4 months ago

UK: I can’t be bothered to talk about what I’ve seen. I do hope however a better result than it the past years for the sake of their fans.

Una
Una
4 months ago

SPAIN: I get a bit of a Germany 2018 vibe. With the song being in Spanish, it would finish lower then 4th but not lower than 19th. I think this is a good year for Spain. They should at least improve their past years’ results.

Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
4 months ago

France: beautiful, the NF staging is finally adapted to the big stage.

UK: looks promising but its lacking an element of surprise.

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago

UK is out of my top 10. Those trumpets are disturbing and distracting. There are countries that have much better staging.

Sot
Sot
4 months ago
  1. France (Obviously)
  2. UK (The staging needs work, as well as James’ vocals)
  3. Spain (Wow, he really improved his voice in the chorus and the revamp sounds great)
Trocatroc
Trocatroc
4 months ago

I actually thought James looked and sounded way better than yesterday from the short clip. Well done James

Maybush
Maybush
4 months ago

UK. A lacklustre second rehearsal followed by the only big 5 country to draw first half. Might as well give up hope of getting any points

Ted
Ted
4 months ago

Just seen the UK snippet. Cringing. The staging and the long camera angles do nothing for me. He looks half asleep. Open your eyes, James otherwise there’s no connection.
If he sings as bad as that in the 2nd rehearsal then we’re back at the bottom of the table. Is it too late to bring in a singer with actual stage presence?

WestMids
4 months ago
Reply to  Ted

Only the UK would identify a number 1 charismatic artist….and think “let’s send his less talented and less stylish brother instead.”

Sot
Sot
4 months ago

Pleaaaaaaaaaaaase Barbara stop giving me goosebumps

Mark Dowd
Mark Dowd
4 months ago

Key factor in the France v Italy run-off will be the jury v televote strengths. I think France wins on jury appeal comfortably, but I think Italy will smash the televote and leapfrog France on the night….at the final hurdle.

CRAIG
CRAIG
4 months ago

Are we all ready for Graham Norton to mock over-the-top staging from any other country, but ‘conveniently’ ignore the UK has two giant trumpets on stage?

Jean-Paul
Jean-Paul
4 months ago
Reply to  CRAIG

Just abandon the UK from everything if it’s true you are saying here above. But I think Spain will come last.

Ian
Ian
4 months ago

France could be the jury winner on the night but the whole package is too avant garde to attract a top 3 in the televote, which may cost her the win.

Tadhg
Tadhg
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian

I think Italy could be in a similar situation but in reverse, the juries will probably be less enthusiastic that televoters but I remain to be convinced that Italy will sweep the boards, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

CyxCy
CyxCy
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian

It’s a performance where the camera angles and the lighting give cohesion to the whole. It’s to be compared to Loreen in 2012: filmed up close, white lights, black background (even if Loreen had in addition her superb choreography). But “Euphoria” seen from the back of the room, it must not the same like what was seen up close on TV. It will be the challenge for Barbara. It’s a gamble, and I hope with all my heart that it will wander, and that Barbara will bring us the victory home.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian

If portugal 2017 could get 1st with the televote then this too.

WannaEatMySpaghetti
WannaEatMySpaghetti
4 months ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

Once again Salvador Sobral’s song had something Barabara’s one doesn’t have. Both are brilliant artist but Salvador’s song was pure magic and this is why public voted for it. Barabara’s song is just not what public is searching for imo.

WestMids
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian

I think singing in French will cost her in the televote.