Day 4: Rehearsals start for Croatia, Malta, Lithuania, Russia and Albania

A new day and we head into the second half of the second semi final, and by the end of the day we will have seen all the rehearsals from both semi finals.

This morning and early afternoon sees five more countries rehearse.

Croatia: Roko – The Dream

Roko starts the performance lying on the floor, with wings and fire imposed on the stage. He is dressed in his familiar white. Roko is one of many great male voices in this years competition. He may be the best. He raises up of the floor but continues sitting while he sings. There are lots of yellow lights.

For Eurovision it looks as if he has lost the wings as he is accompanied by two male dancers sporting said accessories. However in the middle of the song, they surround Roko and miracle of miracles he lands himself a pair of golden wings.

While the song continues in Croatian the dancers disappear for a while, before returning, only  to be lifted up in the air and of the stage. The press centre gasped at that moment. There are lots of clouds on the video wall and it is rumoured that Jacques Houdek is doing backing vocals.

On the last rehearsal the dancers were dropped down from the rafters on to the stage, instead of walking on, but some are saying its an LED effect.

Malta: Michela Pace – Chameleon

The song starts with Michela in her house, and you see the view through the window. She leaves the house and joins four dancers all in different coloured costumes. Sad to say there are lots of early missed notes, so much so the press centre actually grimaced, they were that bad. However this was the first run through and the vocals improved towards the end of the song.

There was a quick break and a lot of work was seen being done with visual effects. The whole thing is a little confusing.

Michela returns for a second chance and instantly the vocals have improved – in fact like chalk and cheese from the first time. So there is a bike laying against the floor and then the room floods. Michela needs to leave the house and join her dancers in a fish tank. Then you get the first sight of a chameleon in the background.

Like a chameleon the stage changes colour every five seconds, It is hard to keep up with it all. In the second verse a jungle appears and Michela is lost in the trees. The dancers are clearly enjoying the ride and end up in a purple city. The perfromance ends in an array of colours. Hard to catch it all.

Lithuania: Jurijus – Run With The Lions

It looks like Lithuania hasn’t sent Jurijus to Eurovision and instead have just sent a video of his winning performance at Eurovizijos Atranka. However let’s assume that he was live on stage rehearsing, then what can be said is once again, Lithuania has sent the best backing singers, though they are unfortunately unseen. They are singing well.

And to be fair so is Jurijus. There is little to complain about in the vocals as they are perfect in every way. Just a shame there is nothing new to report,

The second run through was an exact replica of the first. Jurijus is in black and giving Jacques Houdek a run for his money with his different keys. The sound and visual effects engineers will be happy that there is nothing to adjust here, Every note is hit perfectly, what an easy rehearsal, and the juries should love it because it doesn’t need to rely on any stage effects.

Russia: Sergey Lazarev – Scream

Oh Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia – that’s  at least one Russia for every Sergey that’s on the stage. They/he is all dressed in white. Some of the Sergey’s are holograms, others are his reflection in the mirror – so that’s the effects out of the way, what about the song and the singing? First up we didn’t have all this setting up with Jurijus – this however is taking forever to get going.

Well as expected Sergey is singing in fine form though he did miss the final note of the song and the Russian’s in the press centre winced – that probably won’t happen again.

Sergey is looking at himself in the mirror at the start of the song and as it progresses, the holograms move and you lose track of where Sergey is. There are glass boxes and the same light effects from You’re The Only One. As so much is going on onstage you forget the backing choir who help along from back stage. A show indeed, but surprisingly the simplicity from Lithuania earlier on is refreshing. It’s almost like there is a separate competition from some countries for best special effects. Sergey doesn’t need it. His stage presence and singing, sells the song by isteslf.

Albania: Jonida Maliqi – Ktheju tokës

What an immediate striking performance from Jonida in her black and gold dress – instantly appealing. She stands at the microphone doing nothing but selling the song and sell it she does. Jonida has three visible backing singers helping her along. There are no fancy effects which seems quite surprising, maybe they are to come.

Towards the end of the song , a huge black bird appears, flying right in front of Jonida. Clearly it is not supposed to get in her way, so we can assume that will need to be taken care of. Apart from that, this doesn’t need any more work, It simply oozes class.

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