Epic Sax Guy is back. Moldova have a slick dance choreography and a modern backdrop. They have three girls as backing singers, they toned down the bridesmaid outfits from National Final Performance and I think that's the right choice. For the latter part of the performance the girls join the guys in a line. It's an uplifting entry.
Space man alert! Space man alert! Yes Moldova's will wake you up this year, and bring some of that good old Eurovision craziness to you.
Lidia starts off her song Falling Stars by her own. The camera work is pretty much focussed on her and varies close up shots with long shots. And then boom!!! He's behind you!!!! The cosmonaut that is...
Funny to think that recently Lidia invited Romanian hopeful Ovidiu Anton to join her on stage, and that would have most likely been his role. Whether he would have managed to do the same dance routine as cosmonaut, is a question we'll never have answered I think. Cosmonaut, has worked with that other Eurovision alum Aliona Moon.
Unfortunately we don't have any sound either, but we've been promised they are working hard on getting it fixed.
Hurrah! Sound... I'm not panicking yet, but I hope Lidia is saving her voice. She's sounding a little bit off at the moment. Could however be the sound as well.... Neither Lidia nor her backings are actually sounding like they are mastering the backing track at the moment. Let's hope that gets sorted out before the next rehearsal.
Ok, so we have our first spaceman this year....
Moldova appears on stage with a fluffy spaceman
Now we have sound this sounds greta actually, Lidia is in good vocal form, the gimmick is not so bad when the sound is in place.....
But it could be that we just have sound now :-)
The catering area for the press is well stocked with lots of tasty lunch options and isn’t overly expensive. There’s also free water and coffee so well done Denmark. It compensates for dragging us out to the middle of a post-industrial wilderness.
AZERBAIJAN was first up after the break and Dilara is in a beautiful deep red dress that becomes quite revealing with the lighting. The backdrop goes from gothic to Gotham and avoids the obvious fire cliché. Vocally this is better than I’ve heard it before and Dilara looks beautiful on the close-ups. The only issue I have with this is the trapeze, which I think is too distracting at the start of the song. I would have used her for the last minute only, after the initial crescendo, to add variety. Sailing into the final and a good bet for the Top 5.
UKRAINE is by far the worst vocal of the day so far and no amount of gimmicks using a man running in a hamster wheel or wind machines or mechanical backdrops can cover over the screechiness. The basic song was never up to much and it comes to hiding the basic frailty, Russia has done a much better job than Ukraine. If this was almost any other country I would say it was a non-qualifier, but almost all Ukraine’s neighbours are voting in this semi so it will undeservedly make the final.
BELGIUM Performance as in the national final but there’s less focus on the dancer. It’s not vocally perfect, but it’s good enough. The main issue I have here is the placement of Axel’s mic, which hides his mouth when viewed from the centre of the screen. The staging is also too dark for my liking. I think this presses buttons that the other ballads don’t and as long as he can deliver it, it should make the final.
MOLDOVA Christina was a little wayward on the first run through but really got her act together after that. She’s mixing a blue and gold in her half and half dress. The gladiators are a bit unnecessary at the start but when the song gets going they add some nice camera shots, especially from the overhead shots. The key change with added wind-machine really adds something. This is dividing opinion on whether it qualifies but I think it’s in the mix.
SAN MARINO isn’t helped by coming after Moldova as it’s a little pale in comparison. Valentina looks fantastic and is note perfect. She really has matured brilliantly in two short years. The white dress and background look nice and the overhead swirl of yellow look great on screen. The problem is not with the singer or the staging, but with the song, which sounds far too like a song that would have finished 7th in Sanremo in 1988. Not qualifying, I think.
PORTUGAL comes after a long lunch and after an ad break on the night. Suzy looks comfortable and the “suzyshake” is back. The green, red and yellow backdrop looks fantastic. On the night Suzy will be wearing be wearing a red dress with tassels. I love this, although there are elements of the presentation and lighting that I would change.. It’s got great energy and it’s fun, which is very welcome after the songs that come before it. I have a sneaky hunch that this will do better than many people think.
NETHERLANDS is another complete contrast to what goes before it. The overhead road traffic effects and long camera shot which introduces the singers at the start is great. Having them face one another is an inspired move as it makes the connection between the singers that wasn’t there in Amsterdam. Simple, effect staging, no gimmicks but is it instant enough? This is more likely to be a jury winner than a televote favourite but it’s back in the qualification mix for sure.
Christina's first rehearsal went brilliantly on tuesday. How did she do in her rehearsal today?
Good morning everyone,
Time for another fun day of rehearsals of 11 acts. We continue to work our way through Semi final one with Moldova and their artist Cristina Scarlat being the first artist to grace the stage this morning.
Well as I am meant to be singing this later today with the delegation I better watch this.....
However it would help if I had sound and vision in the press center;-)
That said just seen about 1 minute of it and not bad at all.....
But that was a 1 minute judgement of it...
Well watching the full run through now.....great choreography on this one, staging is very dark but this totally suits the song....backing track seems to have changed a bit on this one too....less bass and a bit stronger on the vocal....but that could be the sound in the press centre
Aliona unexpectedly starts first run in English. Seemingly a mistake, she switches to Romanian in couple of sentences. It is not repeated in futher runs. Hi Pasha! He is joined in the beginning on piano by two dancers. Aliona uses again her illuminated dress. White top, and bottom starts red. Dancers are pretty useless to the left of screen. Stage lights blue. THe backdrop has thunderstorm at song climax. Aliona raises then with her dress above the stage and illumination starts on it. It is looking very cool. But fans won't like there is too few of Pasha shots.
I don't really have an idea what is happening with Moldova on stage, in this kind of costumes it doesn't really look like a marine theme. So it must be something different. It looks a bit weird now though. Still it gives great impression, I think Moldova has chance to get their best result this year.
Upd: We've been told, this is futuristic space ship! Oh, well. It really can't be read from the performance, so delegation of Moldova are trying to change light and camera work to make it more obvious.
Femke from The Netherlands has already arrived a bit shortly before on a bus from her home town, we will talk with her shortly.
Delegation from Moldova is the last one to arrive. Part of them with lead singer, his father and producer came right now, while the rest of the team are having long bus trip to Amsterdam and will arrive at about 1am this night. Denis is very happy to come to Amsterdam, he wants to see the city and make new friends. He wants to win, but thinks one need to work very hard to achieve this. After the interview Denis mentioned he is looking forward meeting Ralf... and moments later Ralf with his mother entered the hotel and greeted Denis!