I’m still in London, one day left at work to go. Over in Malmö it’s been quite a day in the rehearsal stakes. You can see today’s official snippets over at eurovision.tv and them’s what I’ve based these early views on.
Montenegro – are the new Latvia 2003 in that they’re saying hello from Mars, the two rappers bedecked in space suits whilst your woman pops up from under the floor. It’s an old stage trick, but you usually expect it whilst somebody’s sat on an enormous organ. Rigi has coined the term Montenauts, but as I’m given to this song I think I’ll change it to Montynauts. It’s bonkers and adds exactly no further insight as to how well they’ll fare next Tuesday.
Belgium – I’ll do them here in today’s rehearsal order although on the night he’ll be later, having swapped with Lithuania. Roberto sings of his unsteady girlfriend (Love Keels Over, & Over) with two flighty pieces who look like they might quite easily trip up themselves flouncing around him. I think this might be distracting if they keep it up, and the song doesn’t need it. I’ve had this in my head all day after just this small clip, and I really think this could do some unexpected business.
Belarus – Alyona should be calling her song So-Gay-Oh as she emerges from a glitterball and jigs around vigorously on stage doing some moves I imagine might be illegal in Belarus. I’m a bit bored by this I’m afraid though I do see it having some appeal, but even within her all-too-obvious target market I feel we’ve moved on.
Moldova – there must be something in the water that’s making people uncannily tall in Malmö. First we had Zlata’s enormous ego, sorry, Igor carrying her on to her plinth, and now we have a Sarah Dawn Finer moment as Aliona (no relation to Belarusian Alyona) shoots up into the air on a winch whilst Mount Vesuvius erupts all over her frock. I think this is one to watch.
Ireland – we have a backdrop of Celtic crosses and a foredrop of Celtic faux-tattoos on topless boys in this. It’s all breasts and bodhrains as Ireland crank up the temperature. I still rate this as in with a chance of extending that Irish lead on the medals table and it looks like we’re getting a good lively performance of this. I’m looking forward to seeing in on screen though as it could seem a tad overcooked, but for the moment I’m happy to assume it’s not.
Cyprus – there’s not a lot you can do with this other than stage it simply and elegantly and let the song speak for itself, and that’s precisely what Cyprus has gone for. I do like the song, but it’s got its work cut out for it with everything else that’s going on around it. That may of course be its making. I’m not overly struck on the frock; it looks like it’s revealing more than it does but this is distracting as it draws unnecessary attention away from the song.
Lithuania – stage presence was always going to be Andrius’ challenge and without seeing this on camera it’s impossible to tell how he’s going to come across. The shades were probably in response to his lively eyebrows but they’ll be a disaster on the night for what engagement he can muster. It’s a shame as he’s really quite likeable.
Serbia – you’ll recall that in my Countdown I suggested the girls were dressed by the Serbian Ann Summers. Well, it turns out that Ann Summers is the Serbian for jumble sale. Dear oh dear, these outfits are, at the most generous, ill-advised. The angel/devil concept was the one thing that conveyed the song’s message, if you’re the kind of person for whom Serbian doesn’t come readily (and I’m yet to meet a Serb who doesn’t) so ditching it hampers the conveyance of that message. I hope they have some different ones in reserve.
I’ll be back tomorrow with my views on day 3 before Rosé and I are off to Malmö on Thursday. Ooh it’s exciting!