French Connection

May 15, 2013 by

French Connection

Big 5 + Sweden up first today with their 2nd rehearsals. Raquel, barefooted, sounding better today fronting ESDM. Selling it better in a floaty white dress. Shots of the band playing their instruments. We only saw the last run through and only about half of the song in the press centre.

Amandine took my fashion advice and is in a sultry black dress. The set is powerfully red and black which might be a worry if this was X Factor UK. In its styling it is very Burlesque. She is less aggressive when she fires up her passion in the last minute. But throughout this she oozes slightly unhinged French sex appeal which is certainly connecting powerfully with this viewer.

She carries the mic stand at one point, stalking around the stage like a woman possessed before grabbing the mic free. She is captivating and undoubtedly one of THE performers at this year’s ESC.

Cascada’s Natalie is very ropey sounding on first run through today. Willing to put that one down to the first run through effect, which often sees vocalists struggling. Maybe she was partying at the EuroClub late last night.

Nice spotlight effect behind her while she is standing on her podium. She misses some notes on 2nd run through too. Does Germany now merit the ESC ‘squiggle’ to signify, in Timeform style, ‘unreliable’? After 3rd run through… yes, I think it does. Better but Natalie is sounding exposed here.

My prediction for how the big 5 draw will pan out today by the way: Spain 1st half, France 2nd half, Germany 1st half, UK 2nd half, Italy 1st half. I have witnesses. This isn’t written afterwards. This is proper Mystic Meg stuff.

And Spain draws 1st half. One from one. But Amandine draws 1st half. ok, that’s only one out of 2. Has the conspiracy theory been shot out of the water? France and Italy were the 2 which were less clear cut I need to clarify here. UK 2nd half draw is a banker…

And Germany gets the 1st half draw. So that means 2nd half draws for the UK and Italy, Well, 4 out of 5 ain’t bad. The conspiracy theory lives on.

Sweden is much as 1st rehearsal. Grey rags for clothing like the leftover from a curtain fitting. Blue backdrop predominantly. Robin vocally fine but not succeeding in the staging stakes here.

Bonnie sounding fine. Nice close ups of her singing in front of her 5-piece band. And a 2nd half draw for UK now and you must assume she will be given something like the 24 slot, giving SVT the chance to build the energy up again during the last 2 songs.

Marco’s shtick is coming through more here but it is questionable whether it is going to connect with viewers. He doesn’t give good camera and his eyes look shifty. Watching him perform reminds me a little bit of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.

That is a harsh comparison and the way he looks vacantly away is maybe supposed to be trying to achieve a certain sullen wistfulness. Another way of looking at it is, he’s not really giving his best here and saving it all for the big performances ahead on Friday and Saturday night.

There will be a further post later today covering 1st and 2nd rehearsals of semi 2, the 2nd one obviously being the key jury performance.

So, where do things stand now? Is Denmark starting to look a good thing for the win? And does last night’s semi 1 result make you more cautious in your analysis of semi 2? Please do add your opinions below.

1 Comment

  1. Ben Gray

    Natalie Horler said on Facebook this morning prior to her rehearsal that her voice was not in great shape, which should explain any shortcomings today. Frustrating it may be (as well as the first half draw, god please not #1!) she should be back on form for Friday.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=545292812175760&set=a.119003224804723.7895.105535396151506&type=1

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