Eurovisionary continues its coverage live from the rehearsals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, with the rehearsals from the first four countries of the second semi final, Latvia Poland, Switzerland and Israel.
Latvia : Justs – Heartbeat
First up was Justs from Lativia, who was singing pitch perfect. Dressed casually in his red T-shirt and leather jacket, the stage was a hue of red, similar to last year. Justs appeared to not have any backing vocalists during the first two rehearsals which added to the chorus, but then added them to the third rehearsal.
The stage start of grey but after the flash lights appear it turns blue and finally bright red. This was a very successful run through for Latvia.
Poland : Michal Szpak – Color Of Your Life
Michal is also singing in fine form. Michal is alone centre stage to begin with, six spotlights above his head. As the song progresses, the camera pulls out to reveal three female violinists to his left and a cello player to the right. The stage is blue with gentle red lighting to match the song. Michal was wearing a gold shiny jacket in the first rehearsal but removed it for the second run through to only a black vest and black trousers.
During the third rehearsal Michal’s voice cracked a little and he missed some of the lines, showing a little nervousness, but in general he still sounded fine. A few of the lyrics of the song were flashed up on the screen, ending with “Your Life” towards the end of the performance.
Switzerland – Rykka – The Last Of Our Kind
The presentation for Switzerland starts with a camera shot showing Rykka in profile, lit from behind. Blue is the word for Switzerland: the stage is lit in blue and blue (ok, blueish light purple) is the colour for Rykka’s hair (that’s right, forget the blond locks). Rykka is standing in front of what initially looks like white smoke against the backdrop in this first shot.
As the camera moves a bit further away, we can see that Rykka, wearing a see-through grey flowing skirt over what looks like a sequined black swimsuit, is in fact standing in front of the impression of a very high waterfall. This waterfal in fact proves to be the main feature of the stage graphics for Switzerland (the ‘white smoke’ mentioned earlier being the steam created as the ‘water’ hits the stage floor).
Rykka looks relaxed on stage and her vocal performance is not bad. She smiles a lot to the camera but, despite a short walk to the middle of the stage early on, she just stays standing on the same spot apart from occasionally turning to face the camera and moving expressively to the sound of her song, playing with her skirt, which is constantly waving against a wind machine.
There are some sweeping, as well as panoramic, camera shots that further animate the presentation. Purple spotlights add variety to the lighting and there is also a stage floor display of little moving lights which create a sort of a lyrical atmosphere. During the third run, we are treated to some pyrotechnics, both behind Rykka as well as in the form of sparkles falling from the top of the stage (Only Teardrops style) which brings the presentation to a close.
Israel – Hovi Star – Made Of Stars
The last rehearsal of the morning came from Israel. Hovi appeared alone centre stage at the beginning of the song totally dressed in black, black sparkly jacket, black trousers and two black rings on each hand. Hovi stood under a blue spotlight. The hair style was the same one Hovi has been sporting at previous Eurovision events, and he sported similar make up, as he has on previous stage presentations.
As the song progressed, two acrobats appeared, spinning in an illuminated blue ring. Hovi was singing well too, but appeared a little nervous during the first run through. At the beginning o the first chorus, a group of blue and green lights were displayed on the stage in the shape of a shining star, to great effect.
Flashlights above Hovi also gave the appearance of stars in a night sky. The song ended with two illuminated blue rings forming the number eight, though that effect was probably unintentional. Hovi didn’t seem to be relaxed at all at the end of the second rehearsal.
At the end of the third run through, Hovi used the same effect as Rykka with the gold pyrotechnics showering imaginary flames onto the stage.
Stay tuned for afternoon rehearsals from Belarus, Serbia and Ireland.