Hello everyone and welcome to another Eurovision article on The Blogging DJ. Today marks the start of the rehearsals for the 2019 edition of the contest, held in Tel Aviv after Netta’s win with “Toy”. Nine countries will test out their song on the Eurovision stage, meaning we will get the first indication of the entries’ staging and live potential. This page will be updated live as each country performs so stay tuned!
1) Cyprus – Tamta – “Replay”
Tamta has brought with her several men in trilby hats and a few vertical poles that separate the performers from the backdrop, which is staying quite neutral with purple, blues and white lines. It is very much like a music awards performance. Reports were that Tamta was injured or ill prior to performing this so expect more energy as time goes on. Other than that, she is wearing a black vinyl jacket, matched by some massive thigh-high boots. The former gets whipped off halfway through to reveal a sparkly silver bodysuit.
2) Czech Republic – Lake Malawi – “Friend of a Friend”
Lake Malawi are actually performing sixth in the running order but have swapped with Montenegro for this rehearsal. The lead singer is wearing a cool yellow turtleneck, very much keeping in tune with the retro vibe the band is giving off with this song. Staging wise, there is a very interesting effect involving cubes surrounding the three band member that mimics the music video, if you have seen it. The backdrop is also quite colourful, with blocks of primary colours going across its length in a jagged effect; far more upbeat than the staging of Cyprus.
3) Finland – Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman – “Look Away”
The elements of this staging is quite similar to what they did in the national final, with Sebastian separate from Darude. A single female dancer is on stage as well in a green dress, standing on top of what looks to be a small iceberg. The music video really brought global warming into the equation as a topic to focus on and we can see these influences in the LED screens, the effects and the movement from the dancer.
4) Poland – Tulia – “Fire of Love (Pali Się)”
The ladies are combining traditional Polish culture with a modern Eurovision performance. Starting on a rotating platform and wearing stunning costumes, they are showcasing their “Fire of Love”. The colours in the background compliment this, with reds, yellows and whites, a pyramid shape on screen that features the ladies’ faces. There were some problems with camera angles and choreography in earlier runs of the rehearsals but the transitions improved as time went on.
5) Slovenia – Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl – “Sebi”
Another entry that has stayed true to their performance in the national final. The camera angles stay intimate and the backdrop is of a starry sky, creating a mood that could captivate the audience and reflects the message in the chorus. It is clear that the focus here is on the duo and their connection, which creates a relaxing mood after the power of Finland and Poland.
6) Montenegro – D mol – “Heaven”
Completely changing their national final staging in favour of a concept that was shown in their music video, “Heaven” starts with the six performers in separate parts of the stage, before they come together as the song progresses. There is also a heavy traditional Balkan influence, with the six coming together in a circle at the end to perform a local dance. The singers are all dressed in white and sound solid. There were some problems with getting the right camera angles but each performance seemed to improve in that aspect.
7) Hungary – Joci Pápai – “Az én apám”
In terms of a concept, this performance has not changed much since A Dal 2019, with Joci sitting on a block before standing up and singing powerfully. The emotional song subject regarding his father also translates onto the LED backdrop, which can actually twist around, featuring a face with blacked out eyes to represent his parent. The backdrop eventually fills with gold sparks and a shower of sparks falls down at the climax, creating a dynamic colour palette. This entry feels like it has utilised a lot of the unique stage features for this year’s contest, more than the others.
8) Belarus – ZENA – “Like It”
The Belarussian delegation have brought a slick stage show that transforms the space into a rave. There are boxes on the stage that look like a cross between containers and band suitcases and ZENA herself is dressed in an outfit that reminds me of urban art. There are a lot of different images on the backdrop, including a twisting neon pyramid with yellow lasers going through it. At the climax of the song, the backing singers come onto the stage and smoke starts covering the floor. It all creates a modern show that compliments the contemporary sounding track.
9) Serbia – Nevena Božović – “Kruna”
Another delegation who have chose to bring their national final staging into the main contest. Nevena is once again in a lovely dress, the same one she wore in Beovizija 2019. The backdrop is quite dark, with deep blues and black, before it takes on the appearance of cracked glass. Later, brown swirls appear and mix with the dark colours. As the song progresses, more of the swirls spin around the performer on the LED floor and smoke effects towards the end bring the atmosphere right up. This is a very deep and meaningful song and this will stand out following Belarus.
So those are the nine countries who rehearsed their entries for the first time today. I will give my complete thoughts when I get to see the second run-throughs and the full performances become available. Who do you think had the best first rehearsal from the clips on the Eurovision YouTube and Instagram pages? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and don’t forget to vote in the poll. I’ll see you guys tomorrow for the first rehearsals of the remaining eight countries in this semi-final.