Bonnie Voyage

May 12, 2013 by

Bonnie Voyage

Exciting times. The first appearance of the Big 5 plus hosts Sweden. Apparently, Italy’s Marco has been poorly so it will be interesting to see how much this impacts his performance. Unlike Cyprus’s Despina, he has more time to recover ahead of the jury performance next Friday.

Spain are rehearsing first. Raquel struggles on first run through. She strolls out to the satellite stage in the last minute leaving her band mates behind on the main stage. She is prone to missing the odd note in every run through.

It’s a pleasant enough ditty, sort of folksy rock, and let’s not forget how big Mumford & Sons are… actually, yes, please everyone, do forget about Mumford & Sons. They really are an insipid band and their enormous popularity defies all logic. But you have to fear Spain could become like wallpaper in the final. There is an effect with floaty, illuminated lanterns – Raquel, in a floaty yellow dress, points to one before it rises above her.

Amandine certainly has the pipes, getting down and dirty in the last minute of L’Enfer Et Moi like she did in Amsterdam. She can sell this alright but she is sporting a leather jacket which doesn’t suit the song. She needs to revert to the dress she wore at the Melkweg.

She has 3 backing vocalists. The stage glows fiery reds at one point. Not sure this is the right colour for this deep, dark tune. The song’s title translated is ‘Hell And Me’ so you can see why they’ve done it but it’s like Hades up there. It needs to be a more intimate cabaret setting for this with the focus more on Amandine as she is such a compelling performer.

Natalie is on her podium, like the Germany final, sounding good enough. Had been concerned about her live vocal but this is ok. She walks down the steps and comes out to greet the audience in the last minute on the satellite stage. We know she can sell this well.

She’s a seasoned pro and this is only going to come to life with all the stage effects and a packed Malmo Arena for her to connect with. 2 backing singers aid her throughout and she has the confidence to properly own the stage performing this. Pyro curtain in last run through – nice visual with Natalie on the sat stage, & the sparks showering down behind her.

Strange outfit for Robin. Looks like what was left after getting some new curtains fitted. Same for his backing dancers/singers. They wear light grey and white numbers that are visually deflating when combined with a pretty forgettable blue backdrop, which only sparks to life towards the end. Given SVT’s track record with MF staging, this is very underwhelming.

Robin has an effeminate, slightly podgy face which doesn’t scream ‘vote for me’ among the younger female viewers. Since the MF final, someone should have found the keys to his fridge… and locked it. Reds come in later in the song, so a red and blue inky effect takes place behind Robin.

Being a little mischievous in this comment, but if this was a Syco production I’d be thinking some subtle espionage was going on here. He gets the pyro curtain but it’s more of a sparkling splutter, if there can be such a thing, and not the overall staging effects telling the viewer ‘winner’.

Full of anticipation here for the first rehearsal of Royaume-Uni… 3 guitarists, a keyboard player and a drummer join Bonnie on stage, the 3 guitarists and the keyboard player doubling as backing singers. Bonnie sounds absolutely fine here. You have to give her some slack for her trademark gravelly delivery. Orangey background. Set reminiscent of Roman Lob’s for Germany last year.

Bonnie walks out to the sat stage and a hydraulic lift rises the stage up. She gets the wind machine treatment. This looks like it could be a nice effect as she climaxes the song, Bonnie is captured by the camera in front of the band on the stage behind. Compared to Humpy’s poor first rehearsal last year this is actually a triumph – both the vocal and the staging.

She is heard saying, ‘Do I have to do it again?’ She’s a pro, our Bonnie, and is clearly confident after only 2 run throughs. Probably wants to save her voice. Understandably.

Marco’s L’Essenziale has me drifting off after only a minute or so. Is there enough here to grab viewers, or jury members? The guy is telegenic and he has a competent vocal but all alone on stage up there the song doesn’t really come to life and it meanders along somewhat aimlessly.

He has been ill so he is maybe not at his best. Those unique facial expressions he is famous for are mostly absent. He’ll be in a sharp suit come the final. He improves over the 4 goes. He wanders to the sat stage towards the end with a forlorn look on his face. I’ve got a forlorn look on my face too, tasked with having to describe such an uninspiring effort. That’ll do.

So, we’ve seen them all now. Reckon I might have spotted the winner. Have you? As always, please do express your thoughts below.


  1. Kieran

    Hi Rob! I can’t help feeling that Germany is best! What about you?

    • Rob

      Hi Kieran. You could certainly imagine ‘Glorious’ really coming to life on the night of the final. Natalie should get the audience in the palm of her hand. 1st in running order or last? If it’s the latter, it has to come into the reckoning.

  2. Henry VIII

    Interesting review, thanks. Glad to hear about Italy’s illness because I made a large lay yesterday at 25. I hope it’s nothing trivial. Seriously though, I hope he gets better and I am slowly buying my lay back as he could still surprise.

    I’m also slowly and reluctantly reducing red on Sweden now they’re 50 but I’m not really that bothered about a Sweden red. Their poor effort from slot 16 has no chance.

    Germany will give a pro performance but I don’t think they’ve got what it takes to get people voting.

    I love France but I suppose its price of 150 on Betfair is right alas. I wonder if it could sneak a top 10 though. I guess as with everything we’ve got to wait for the running order.

    In the last week or so I have turned an astronomical UK red into a large green. In anticipation of backers returning. I do hope they come back. I don’t want to end the competition with a UK green. That would be embarrassing.

    • Rob

      Hi Henry. Rest assured, you’re not the only one hoping a back to lay strategy with the UK pays off.

      Marco was very subdued today but we should maybe give him the benefit of the doubt until we see him perform a 2nd rehearsal on Wednesday.

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