Tamta took the stage this morning for her first rehearsal. She was followed by Lake Malawi, Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman and finally Polish Tulia. After a dinner break, another five acts from the first semi-final will appear on stage.
A bit unusual to start on a Saturday, but that’s the case this year due to Holocaust Memorial Day on the 8th of May where there will be nothing going on in the arena. But today, the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest kicked off with the first rehearsals and press conferences from the nine countries located in the first half of the first semi-final.
30 minutes. That’s the duration of the first rehearsal on stage. After an In-Ear rehearsal backstage, the artists take the stage and their half hour starts. Usually, they will manage four run-through’ each. As rehearsal ends, the delegation meet in Viewing Room. They will here watch the recording of the rehearsal and comment on camera angles etc. They will request changes and the producers will aim to meet those requests in time for the second rehearsal.
From Expo Tel Aviv, let’s take a look at the first four rehearsals today:
Cyprus: Tamta – Replay
There are six white pillars on the stage when Tamta arrives and she starts her anthemic entry. She wears a small dress and a black jacket (looks like a leather, but probably will be something like latex) and after a few moments she’s joined by her 4 male backing dancers. They wear hats and suits and their choreography is very well prepared. Everything works perfect together with the pillars and background LED graphics.
In one moment, the jacket is torn from Tamta by the dancers and everytime we hear the triple “Replay-Replay-Replay” there is some kind of flash and the same second-or-two is shown three times. The whole package is simply perfect and we couldn’t wished for better opener.
Czech Republic: Lake Malawi – Friend Of A Friend
(For today, they had changed rehearsal slot with Montenegro)
Czech Republic and Lake Malawi brought three Instagram frames on stage as was already seen on some photos from stand-in rehearsals. The three guys are in each their frame and nobody expected HOW exactly they will work with them. The surprise comes with the refrain, the “friend of a friend of a friend” part. In that part, the frames are multiplied and moved over the screen as multiple phones screens and the effect is very good.
They also use various pastel colours over the whole frames, mostly blue, yellow and pink. The whole time the logo of Lake Malawi – a wave – is seen in the background. At the end, it is changed to a FRIEND in a multiple world languages but still forming the logo of a wave.
Finland: Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman – Look Away
If you hoped for some improvement from the Finnish national UMK final, you may be disappointed as the vocals aren’t strong. In the third run-through, they improved though so maybe he just needed to get use to the stage. A very positive thing about the staging is the female dancer in the green dress who is standing and dancing in the middle of the stage. We may see also her reflection on the LED background in a part of the song and in the end, the background shows the sunrise.
Darude is on the side with his DJ set, while Sebastian is using the front catwalk.
Poland: Tulia – Fire Of Love (Pali Sie)
Tulia went with red-blue-yellow costumes with golden crowns, probably to look a little bit more like a fire (who knows). Also the colours of the staging are more in the red tone. In the beginning they got a carousel similar to the one from German Sisters national final performance. The four singers are shown in the LED background one after each other. Those who loved the small vocalises between refrain and verses will be disappointed as those were probably cut off, at least they were not included in the first rehearsals.
Poland will need to work more on the stage presence as the work with the camera is not perfect and also the effort to make the crowd clap looks weird and amateurish. In general, I think the song misses most of the things that were attractive to me. But who knows how the audience will react.
After a lunch break, we’ll continue with the rehearsals from Slovenia, Montengro, Hungary, Belarus and Serbia.