A Look at the First Rehearsals of the Second Semi, Part Two

Slovenia
Oh no, is that what Eva Bato is going to wear during “Verjamem?” It’s a wedding cake, for crying out loud. Anyway, simple staging with simple movement from the back-up dancers and singer. As evocative of “Molitva” as the song itself. I can’t help but wonder whether or not the similarities are going to hurt Eva’s chances of proceeding to the final.

Croatia
Where have I seen the staging for Nina Badrić ‘s “Nebo” before? Oh right, yesterday, during Portugal’s rehearsal. There’s a little more movement here, since Nina and her back-up vocalists are joined by two dancers, who whip out a long white sheet as “Nebo” builds to its climax. Still, I guess there’s only so many ways you can stage a ballad.

Sweden
Loreen and the Swedish contingent did not mess with “Euphoria” one bit: this is the Melodifestivalen staging. The backdrop screens display blowing snow, but I would be surprised if some actual snow does not fall during the live performance. I’m pretty sure this is going to be one of the top vote getters this year.

Georgia
Anri Jokhadze and his crew did a straight up blocking rehearsal for “I’m a Joker.” There was not a lot of energy or hard-hitting movement. It felt like they were just trying to get a feel for the stage. But there was some tantalizing hints of big (in the sense of grandiose) things to come. And I’m not just talking about the rhinestone-encrusted megaphone. “I’m a Joker” has undergone the biggest transformation of any song in Baku, from a goofy guy singing a silly song to a theatrical, over-the-top production number of a goofy guy singing a silly song. I have high hopes this will be a blast, even if Georgia is putting its 100% qualification record on the line with it.

Turkey
Can Bonomo’s rehearsal of “Love Me Back” is another blocking rehearsal. You can sort of get a sense of the choreography even if they are not being too precise at this point. But I couldn’t get a full grasp on where Can is going yet.

Estonia
Ott Lepland just gets up and sings “Kuula” (with a backing vocalist in tow). You know, it’s one of the other ways to stage a ballad. At this point, I’m getting bored with ballads, which won’t bode well when Maya Sar comes up.

Slovakia
Going from “Kuula” into “Don’t Close Your Eyes” is a bit of a jarring transition. It’s a softLOUD moment Black Francis would appreciate. Max Jason Mai took it easy with his first rehearsal, but I don’t doubt the energy level will be quite high when he’s on the big show. I really, really hope this goes through, and I’m hoping that ballad fatigue gives it a good shot to making the final.

UPDATED: Edited this post slightly so that the performances are in the correct order.

Norway
Kieran’s absolute favorite song from Eurovision 2012 is “Stay.” He can sing along with it, that’s how much he loves it. Frankly, I’m with him on this one, and after watching Tooji’s first rehearsal, I’m beginning to wonder if Eurovision going back to Oslo next year.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Maya Sar sits at her piano and sings “Korake Ti Znam,” then gets up during the flute solo to sing the end, and I’m bored.

Lithuania
Oh, Donny Montell: that is your backdrop for the disco part of  “Love Is Blind?” How tacky. Anyway, Donny sounds fantastic, even if he is a little bit too slick. But I fear we’re going to need to savor his performance on the 24th because we’re probably not going to see him on the 26th.

UPDATED: I forgot to mention the rhinestone-encrusted blindfold. Kinky.