The serious business is on. The first acts are having their 30 minutes technical rehearsals to check out the stage, the lights, the camera angles - all this has been already worked out with substitute artists and on going negotitions between RTP and EBU people on spot and the delegations at home the past few weeks. Now it's time to put the theory into practise and make the necessary changes, adjustments and final touches and see how everything looks and feels like in the real world. I will be following the rehearsals at home, spicing up the comments with those picked up from social medias and websites. Enjoy!
Azerbaijan - Aisel - X my heart
Aisel and her four backing singers/dancers, including Portuguese Rui Andrade, are working those mountains in a choreography that feels a bit too busy at times and dry ice. All dressed in white with mainly white and blue/purple backdrop it seems rather simple and traditional staging with the added props and wind machines. I suspect we will see a lot of props this year in absence of the LED wall. (Finland has a big one especially built in Portugal as there was no way to get it down to Lisbon in time across Europe...)
"Nice", "Unimpressive", "Mountains will be theme of 2018?", "White", "Reasonable ok", "On-screen glitter effects", "Solid"
Iceland - Ari Òlafsson - Our choice
Ari is also wearing white, with some red embroidery, while his five backing singers are in red and black, and the backdrop seems to be mostly blue turning red/yellow towards the end. Some dry ice seems to be in picture, too, and a lot of close ups of Ari's innocent little face and pretty innocent eyes. The backing singeers won't enter the picture until the last half a minute or so and then there's some talk of fire?! Where? Here? In this staging? Hmm... This is as old school Eurovision as it gets and with a song like this what else do you need. For the nostalgics.
"Simple", "Back to basics", "Focus on Ari's voice", "Nostalgic", "Too tight trousers"
Albania - Eugent Bushpepa - Mall
Three tattooed rock musicians and two short skirted backing singers for Eugent, all in credible black and staples. A standard rock performance and apparently no pyros, smoke or else? Hmm, I guess some might be added later as now it seemed rather bare. He hits those high notes and according sources "fills the stage and comes across the screen"....
"Rock simplicity", "Organic", "Clever camera angles", "Brilliant vocals", "Credible"
Belgium - Sennek - A Matter of time
Belgium is known for some questionable fashion choices (Barbara Dex anyone?) and Sennek continues the tradition with a black see-through dress that isn't a dress nor pants but both. She seems to be performing on a satellite stage à la Salvador Sobral and Anouk and it's all kept very simple and blue and some clever lighting tricks and close ups. And she's having a very pale make up, maybe even too pale, so they have something to adjust before next rehearsals as it seems it's just a matter of time before she is mistaken as a dead corpse....
"Cineatic", "Simple", "Elegant", "Vocally better", "Emoish", "Leet down", "Mysterious", "Dark", "Avantgarde", "Uncomfortable", "Dramatic", "Off-putting make-up"