Ilinca ft. Alex Florea, OG3NE, Joci Pápai, Anja and Brendan Murray first rehearsals

The Eurovision 2017 rehearsals continued this afternoon with the next five, semi final two contestants. The second semi final will be held on May 11.

The next batch of countries are Romania, The Netherlands, Hungary, Denmark and Ireland.

Romania

This is by far the most colourful stage so far. It starts with a number of large toy soldiers drumming in the background. There are lots of colourful butterflies, blue clouds, white roses, blue musical notes and images flying all over the place, with the letters of YODEL IT all in different colours too.

The duo are the only dark thing about the presentation as they are dressed in black, although Ilinca does have some red and green flowers on her jacket. There is one backing singer.

The duo sing in a yellow circle on the stage and there are lots of coloured trees flying around. Just when  you think there can be no more splashes of colour, Alex appears on a cannon and shoots our even more colourful objects. A second cannon miraculously appears on stage and video images of many more cannons shoot out colours.

On the third rehearsal Alex fell of his cannon.

It seems to be qualifying based on this performance.

The Netherlands

The girls with the harmonies are next, and boy were they on point with them today. Shelley and Lisa wore shiny black dresses, while Amy plumped for a more pant suit type affair, made with the same material.

Standing in the centre of the stage, the group works very well together.The background has a large fire, and circles of fire appear on the stage. Some of the lyrics of the song are displayed on screen. Six spotlights shine from the back. There are orange rays glowing over a blue screen.

A tree grows, back to the dark blue background, and it is covered in white leaves. As the song reaches its final climax, the words CRY NO MORE appear on the screen, with a strong drum beat taking place. There’s a bright sun set. Hard to see how this can be improved any more. It’s ready to see what it’s fate is.

Hungary

A sun sets in the background contrasting a very dak start for Origo from Joci Pápai. On the satellite stage in front stands a female violinist, looking a little spurned being left on her own. On the stage with Joci, is a traditional female dancer, dressed in white, with a colourful shawl or scarf.

The stage lights up in bright yellow and orange as Joci continues his ethnic Eurovision song. He is all dressed in black. He stands singing into the microphone, which is attached to the floor. Gold images appear on the video wall. As the song progresses to the rap, Joci removes the microphone from its stand and interacts with the dancer. You can see how tiny she is compared to him. Towards the end she wraps her arms around him. Vocally faultless.

Denmark

Starting with a close up, you can see that Anja is wearing a pink and orange dress, but as the camera pulls back, the bottom of the dress is light blue and green. Anja is dressed like an ice-cream cone, with all flavours.

Yellow and orange flashing lights explode on the stage, and Anja walks all round the stage,making full use of every available space.  She knows how to sing into the camera. Unlike some of the other acts, the stage does not overwhelm her, she owns it.

Her vocals are top notch and subtle backing vocalists are heard in the background. At the end Anja is on her knees, laying down her armour, as the gold and yellow lights continue to explode White puffs of smoke blow out at the end. The stage turns dark blue at the end. A faultless rehearsal.

Anja treated us to a fourth rehearsal, where at the end chorus, the golden shower pyrotechnic effect made its first appearance.

Ireland

After four really good rehearsals, the pressure is on for Brendan and Dying To Try. Brendan starts at the front of the stage, very quiet, as is the nature of his voice. He is wearing a white shirt and jeans.

Mountains are forming behind him, and even further back, there are red volcanoes, so the back stage is full. Brendan is a little screechy as the chorus builds. One big disappointment is the backing choir don’t appear on stage, where this song just asks for it.

To compensate, the wind machine blows, giving everyone an unexpected view of his belly button. The tour de force is the appearance of a red and yellow hot air balloon. This gives the appearance of Brendan being elevated on the stage. Brendan may not quite have pulled it off.

On the second rehearsal it becomes clear the balloon didn’t magically appear. It was always there – so camera angles are a must here.

Join us tomorrow for the rest of the second semi finalists.

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