Good morning and welcome to a new day of rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, this year held in the sunny city of Tel Aviv. On today’s schedule we are seeing the first set of countries from the second semi-final perform for the first time. The countries that are performing today are: Armenia, Ireland, Moldova, Switzerland, Latvia, Romania, Denmark, Sweden and Austria. Throughout the day this site will be updated with my summaries and also clips of the performances, courtesy of the official Eurovision YouTube page. Let’s hope for a great day of rehearsals!
If you have any comments at all about the rehearsals today, then please write them in the box below, it is always interesting to hear what you guys have to say. Also don’t forget to like this page and subscribe, so you can get notified on when new articles come out on this site. With the Eurovision final less than a couple of weeks away, there is still lots to write about!
1) Armenia – Srbuk – “Walking Out”
Srbuk is alone on stage, with the backing singers tucked away. Behind her the LED backdrop is flashing images of twisting hands and female faces, in a show of empowerment. The colour scheme of red and silver, done in a way to resemble static or electricity, helps to convey the passionate meaning of the song. Towards the end of the performance, the Armenian delegation added a lot of smoke at Srbuk’s feet and pyro was included as well to create a dynamic and moody performance; good energy for the first act out in semi-final two.
2) Ireland – Sarah McTernan – “22”
The Irish delegation have gone all out on this 50s American diner fantasy. Sarah walks in from behind the rotatable LED screen in a knee length red dress and up to a bar positioned on stage. There are two backing dancers with her at the bar, where they act up the schoolgirl at a diner vibe. At the top of the song, Sarah lies down on top of the bar and the floor dissolves into stars. The backdrop itself is very bright and colourful, with cutesy image blocks appearing behind her. It’s definitely a good contrast from the moody entry of Armenia.
3) Latvia – Carousel – “That Night”
In a change from the schedule, Latvia are rehearsing in the third slot instead of the fifth, replacing Moldova. They will still perform in the latter position in the live semi-final. The black and white effect seen in the national final has been replaced with a colour pallette of green and gold, giving a natural and mystical feel to the performance. The band members are all positioned on stage, with the lead singer in a white dress and a green hat. Throughout the rehearsal, they experimented with camera angles, with no real additions in terms of effects, save black tape across the top and bottom of the shot to give a cinematic impression.
4) Switzerland – Luca Hänni – “She Got Me”
Switzerland have employed the talents of the legendary choreographer Sacha Jean Baptiste, who most recently set up “Fuego” (Cyprus 2018, second place). You can really see her influence here, with many quick cuts in the camera shots and a good transition between the dance sequences and when they want to solely focus on Luca. There is quite a lot of red in the backdrop and lighting, giving a slick and passionate modern pop performance. He is wearing a sleeveless top with a white stripe down one side of his top and trousers. He is joined on stage by five dancers, who are also employed as backing singers, except when they go off stage for Luca’s solo dance. This is surrounded by Moldova’s power ballad and Latvia’s softer entry so this modern pop hit will stand out as well.
5) Moldova – Anna Odobescu – “Stay”
The big news staging wise is that the Moldovan delegation are going with a sand art concept, with images of the art being created on the LED backdrop. It is very Ukraine 2011, which utilised the talents of sand artist Kseniya Simonova. Except here, the delegation are trying to give off the idea that Anna is at least partially creating these images with a few cuts focusing on that. Most of the sand art were probably created before the contest. As a result, there were a few technical problems to iron out in terms of camera work and getting the timing of the cuts right. Anna looked lovely in a white gown with a puffy sleeve on one of her arms and sounded as good as she did on the studio cut. If the cuts are done right, then Moldova will be close to qualifying.
6) Romania – Ester Peony – “On a Sunday”
This performance has taken the concept from the national final and mixed it with the music video. The red sofa has now become a red chair and Ester rises up from it in the second half of the song. She is joined on stage by two male interpretative dancers, who mimic movements as though they are on strings. There is also a guitar player standing on one of the bridges at the side of the stage. Ester, inspired by Wednesday Addams, is dressed in a black dress with tulle below the waist and a white shirt with the collar sticking up, creating a great contrast with the dress. In later runs, the delegation added lots of pyro and some sparks at the climax of the song, adding to the passion and power in the performance.
7) Denmark – Leonora – “Love is Forever”
Many countries have directed translated their national final staging onto their Eurovision performance; Denmark have almost mimicked it, but have staged it on a bigger scale. Leonora climbs and then sits on what appears to be a giant chair, swaying from side to side, with a ladder on either side of the chair to get the other dancers up. Two female backing singers sit on either side of Leonora, before two male performers put the ladders up and sit on the ends of the chair. The backdrop is sweet, with images of sunshine to back up the positive message.
8) Austria – PAENDA – “Limits”
The staging for this entry appears deceptively simple; the performance in the first half of the song has a black and white filter. She is joined on stage by some vertical poles that have rings of white light around it, like reverse icicles that glitter and shimmer. As the song progresses, the filter comes away and gold starts to enter on the backdrop and lighting. PAENDA’s vocals are so tender yet so on point in these performances, giving the song an inner emotion that will contrast well with the performances of Sweden and Croatia.
9) Sweden – John Lundvik – “Too Late for Love”
In terms of the performance, this is very similar to Melodifestivalen. John is joined on stage by his backing singers, who blend effortlessly with his vocals. The staging centres around the gospel performance, with gold lights on the backdrop and above the performer. He is dressed simply but sounded excellent, keeping up the energy for all of his runs. In terms of contenders, this entry received the biggest reaction from the press room; could it be Sweden’s year once again?
So those are the nine entries who rehearsed today? Who was your favourite? Comment your thoughts below and I’ll see all of you very soon for more Eurovision articles in the days leading up to the contest!