Edurne Reigns For Spain

May 17, 2015 by

Edurne Reigns For Spain

A first chance to see this year’s automatic finalists rehearse today as the big 5, hosts Austria and special invitee Australia take to the stage. It’s a shortened day in the press centre which is a blessed relief ahead of the crucial 6 days to follow.

It is just the 3 guys of Il Volo on stage. You have to remind yourself we are back to 1st rehearsal here whereas in the last 2 days we have been watching much more polished 2nd rehearsals for the semi-final nations.

Roman amphitheatre backdrop is compelling for this but you wonder if the atmosphere of the song wouldn’t have been heightened further by the presence of violinists on stage.

The lad who has a passing resemblance to Brains from Thunderbirds looks everywhere apart from the camera a lot of the time. Impressive vocals and 3 nice individual close ups as each, in turn, has a moment in the spotlight around the 2 minute mark. It might be because it is early Sunday morning but this doesn’t ignite on stage as much as it maybe could have done.

The 3 Makemakes guys have a cool set for their accessible and credible indie effort which could certainly receive some love from UK televoters. The guitarist is dressed like someone out of ‘Yes’ – very 70s prog rock with requisite long hair. Dominic ‘Dodo’ Muhrer is beautifully lit sat at the piano at the start of the song. Drummer on a podium.

Dodo stands up in the last minute and walks to the centre singing with mic in hand. If facial topiary is the zeitgeist in 2015 this is going to receive plenty of love. It’s certainly a worthy tune that could surprise. Yippee, we have a gimmick in a relatively gimmick-free ESC 2015 so far – they set fire to Dodo’s piano towards the end, matching up with some other fiery imagery.

Edurne will definitely be ‘one for the dads’ next Saturday night. She starts out looking like Little Red Riding Hood. Her train is held by a hooded guy behind her who then drags the robe off her to reveal a beautiful pale green dress beneath.

He then joins Edurne lifting her up on his shoulders, spinning her round and doing the sort of moves more associated with Strictly Come Dancing. The most noticeable struggle vocally is after she has been hoisted onto his shoulder.

There is a degree of jeopardy attached to this and hopefully this guy is as safe a pair of hands on the big occasions to come as Edurne’s boyfriend David De Goa. This needs work but the staging concept does help bring home the power of the song along with a stunning backdrop.

Ann Sophie attempts a sultry wiggle at one point with her back to camera but her performance and the song is hard to get into, at least for this viewer. Smoke imagery behind, not surprisingly, but this feels like a failed attempt to channel the spirit of Amy Winehouse and bring it to ESC.

It lacks her charisma, vocal and frankly, the same quality of song. Black jump suit for Ann isn’t the most flattering either. Four backing vocalists behind her but Ann is actually a very good vocalist on her own. Juries may show this some love.

They have re-worked the start of ‘Still In Love With You’. They all sing, ‘d-d-d-dance’, ‘d-d-d-dance’ before they make sure they don’t get on the wrong train.

Two stairwells, two couples dancing away throughout doing their Charleston-esque moves. Plenty of smiles, especially from Bianca who acts her part pretty well. Alex is more animated too.

It is a bright canvas but when Alex goes into the scat singing it does feel like a low point and the song running out of legs. Some pyros at the end. ‘State-of-the-art LED costumes’ for the dancers and Bianca is the official description but these outfits don’t exactly illuminate the stage and they are certainly not on the levels of ‘Automan’ for anyone who recalls that classic US series back in the 80s.

This song has been well-received by quite a few people who heard it for the first time in the UK which does make you wonder if it could be backed in by patriotic Brits when it is performed during the grand final.

Lisa Angell has a superb vocal. Four drummers arrive on stage behind her in the last minute and slowly walk forward. It is a striking image with drummers in the backdrop too. The song means ‘Don’t Forget’ and this is a reminder of those who have lost their lives in war. Images of rubble and destroyed buildings at song start before doves rise up. It is certainly poignant.

Like the Spanish song the fanboys in the press centre break into rapturous applause after this but it is very slow to build up. If Edurne had Lisa’s vocal prowess and was singing this, the markets might be giving it more respect.

So, Guy Sebastian awaits and is this year’s winner the last song to be seen among the 40 nations competing this year…?

It is like an urban street setting with lampposts super-imposed behind. Three guys, one woman join in in creating an ‘Uptown Funk’ vibe dancing and offering vocal assistance. No doubt Guy will really bring it on the Saturday and it is a song that needs a live audience so it has the chance to ‘go big in the hall’, and ideally a 2nd half draw.

They try lots of different camera angles, a lot of pyros at the end. Can envisage this coming together well eventually. At the end Guy does some vocal acrobatics which could be appreciated by juries. Still not sure if this can finish higher than Sweden.

Betfair also has an Australian side to its betting exchange so you also have to wonder if patriotic punters there could force the price in next Saturday.

Time for some rest before tomorrow’s semi 1 1st and 2nd rehearsals, the 2nd being the all-important jury performance. So, who is going to win ESC 2015? Still very much undecided here but please feel free to add your predictions below.

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Montell

    Rob, thank you for your reports. They are very valuable. Can you explain why Georgia’s top 10 odds shortened to 2.10? Sure, the performance is nice and suits the song but will this Gothic, fierce woman (Xena) image attract many televoters in the final of 27 songs? I find it hard to believe. Besides 5 places of top 10 are already occupied by Sweden, Russia, Autralia, Italy and Estonia. What’s your opinion about Georgia because at this moment I cannot see it going higher than 12th place. All Balkan countries have pretty good songs. There’s no reason for neighbors to favor Georgia.

    • Rob

      Hi Montell. I would agree that Georgia has gone silly short for a top 10 finish. It seems the top 10 market is highly prone to over-reaction.
      Most people here have been highly impressed with the Georgian staging. Whereas other solo females do not fully engage, there is a sense that Nina does. The song has a certain USP.
      The staging possibly helps conceal the song’s repetitive nature. If it doesn’t pull out a 2nd half draw you have to imagine its top 10 price will drift, but I would respect its top 10 chance, especially if it gets a 2nd half draw.

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