Righting A Wrong

May 9, 2021 by

Righting A Wrong

We get to see the Outright favourite Malta rehearse for the first time today on what will be a significant and revealing day 2. Also interested to see what Hans Pannecoucke, very much hit and miss over the years, has come up with staging Hooverphonic’s ‘The Wrong Place’.

A massive, overpowering backing track helps Elena navigate ‘El Diablo’. She’s aiming to be a diva here but she’s not a natural mover or performer and the sexy poses she attempts to pull off edge towards pole dancer territory in parts. This is a poor man’s ‘Fuego’ in all aspects though the fans in the press centre unsurprisingly loved it.

Norway is pretty much as we saw at MGP. Tix, shades, headband, wings and all, a fallen angel in chains, surrounded by demons. Only at Eurovision would you see this high cabaret performance and styling. It loses all credibility for me despite the pleasant enough melody of the track. Unconvinced this is a televote magnet either.

We have 5 Albinas on the stage at one point during Tick-Tock. She is lifted and carried and her dance troupe struggle to deliver her back to the stage floor smoothly. She brings much more natural charm to the stage and likeability compared to Cyprus’s Elena T. She is soft and feminine whereas the latter has some sharp edges.

Albina needs to be careful though delivering the pre-chorus and the screechy ‘Oh no’ which are unassisted moments she struggles with. Just remembered this semi-final is very much a case of uptempo solo female roulette – spin the wheel and hope your chips land on the winners.

Belgium has wisely put Geike firmly in the right place here, central, circled by her band mates including a backing vocalist. Minimalist, black and white visuals are the perfect palette for this.

Some nice close-ups and background visual of Geike’s eyes which succeeds in a way Sennek’s staging criminally failed in 2018. Her eyes are incredibly expressive, telling the story of the track well. The black sparkly dress and knee-length boots combo is a wise wardrobe choice for her too. This stands out as a beacon of quality.

Vocally, Eden Alene is hit and miss on every run through. Israel have done their usual bang up job utilising a dance troupe (take note Croatia) but the high pitched notes at song end and reveal of a raunchy outfit set the wrong tone.

She should be chanelling youthful, cute and fun, which she largely does prior to the inappropriate climax, with a redundant braided headpiece plonked on her head for good measure. ‘Set Me Free’ is yet another generic pop offering and this remains firmly on a very big borderline pile in this semi.

Romania has brought the official video concept to the stage and this has good movement in it with Roxen emeging from dry ice at song start and utilising the runways.

It’s a big ask vocally and she needs the backing asisstance as she understandably gets breathless towards the end of what is a demanding routine. She has an urban swagger about her, and you feel her angst throughout putting across the song’s message. This is an edgy, credible entry in this company.

A non-descript effort by Efendi follows. Pedestrian in every way from her delivery to her paint-by-numbers dance troupe who just go through their paces. It hammers home the worthless vacuity that is ‘Mata Hari’.

What was a techno folk earworm is less so now, post-revamp, for Go_A’s ‘Shum’ but the staging for this while batsh*t crazy, is memorable and befitting this quirky track that would surely go down a storm at any rave club east of the Danube. It has ethno USP, like Russia, this has the better r.o. and lead singer Kateryna, like Manizha, has all-important conviction as a frontwoman.

A drum roll for Destiny… This is bright and in your face visually. Destiny’s outfit is firmly aiming for an empowerment message. She gives it plenty of attitude strutting her stuff. Lots of hand waving set to a pink and green backdrop. Staging a little reminiscent of ‘She Got Me’.

‘Je Me Casse’ still feels a little thin as a pop track but Destiny does potentially have an assortment of agenda-driven elements in her favour. Malta was uneasy in the Outright prior to this 1st rehearsal, and France has now taken over as favourite.




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