Eurovision 2021 Day 6: Thoughts on rehearsals from Malta, San Marino, Estonia, Czech Republic and Greece

What a start! We start with second rehearsal from one of the favourites to win the Eurovision Song Contest, Malta. Then we move over to the first acts from the second semi-final. Who has what it takes to bring them into the final?

Yesterday, we saw the second rehearsal from the first 15 acts from the first semi-final. There’s just 16 participants in that semi-final, so only Malta was left out yesterday. They then kicked off today, as a kind of warm up to the acts from second semi-final.

Day 6 has a total of three rehearsal blocks. This first one includes performances from Malta, San Marino, Estonia, Czech Republic and Greece.

Who has what it takes to reach the final? Let’s look at reactions from Eurovision journalists. We asked them to judge from the rehearsal if they were ready, and what might still not work for them. The article will be updated after each rehearsal so remember to come back or refresh the article.

Malta: Destiny – Je Me Casse

Charlotte J. – They changed her outfit! As much as the delegations have been out defending the pink one, this short glittery one does suit her a lot better. The konfetti falling down over her and her dancers will need to be adjusted a little bit, but that’s a small thing. It’s too late to make any major changes, but I personally think the dancers distracts too much. This is about her, it’s her song, and I would have liked to see her carry this one alone.

Michael O. – Despite all the comments Destiny has been getting this week, she looked fresh and unbothered at this morning’s rehearsals. She is now in a silver dress and it looks fine, along with her pink boots. The pink dressed dancers wer OK and Destiny’s singing is on point as usual. The staging is a glorified mess and if Destiny likes it, so be it. She musn’t quite care about winning as much as the Maltese delegation does, so it won’t matter what the rehearsals are like nothing’s going to change.

Gunec G. – Destiny and the 4 pink ladies are on stage. Destiny changed her costume to a mini silver dress with pink leggings and garter which I find much better than her previous pink costume. I think she surely has a star glamour on stage and no one can discuss her vocal abilities. The team and Destiny use the stage very well. I think the stage decoration is not original with pastel neon lights and dripping light beams, nothing special.

Theo V. – Change of outfit for Destiny this morning and it is yet another sparkly silvery mini dress we are talking about. I think it makes her stand out more against the (predominantly pink) backdrop so that would be a good thing. Parts of the presentation look a little disjointed and one is left expecting a bit more perhaps – the pyrotechnics right at the end is a good addition. Despite a slightly shaky start for the first run, Destiny really belts out the notes as and when necessary. This will be a fun end to the performing part of the night.

Below you can watch a clip of Destiny’s performance

San Marino: Senhit – Adrenalina

Charlotte J. – Not really my taste. There’s too much going on at the same time, and I never really know where to look. I like the energy in the performance, but there are so many things distracting me. When the rapper enters the stage, can we please drop the dancers and just make it Senhit and him?

Michael O. – Senhit had Flo Rida’s face on that weird thing she wears at the beginning of the song. Boy they’re beating that to death. So it seems as we get to these second rehearsals most of the acts seem confident, rather than nervous that they’ve reached as good as they’re going to get. Senhit was ready for the semis, nothing really needs to change, so it seems San Marino should be heading to the finale with this. One thing I will say I hate when acts shout out to the audience, it reeks of desperation, I automatically won’t vote for anyone who does this. Senhit may be suffering from maybe too much overconfidence, if I was to fault it.

Gunec G. – Thank you Senhit for not another silver mini dress. I love the team and Senhit’s energy on stage. I sensed a kaleidoscope effect on stage and I liked it, although it was a bit tiring to my eyes. She nails both dance and vocal routine. Good one overall.

Theo V. – A lot is going on here. I really like the overhead shots with Senhit and her dancers on the revolving diamond-shaped platform. This is against a colourful stage display and creates a very joyful effect. It is the wrestler hoods of the dancers that I fear might be alienating but let us not get into too much detail about that. Senhit looks as if she’s having a lot of fun onstage and that’s infectious. Were there photos of Senhit and Flo Rida on the headdress?

Estonia: Uku Suviste – The Lucky One

Charlotte J. – I like the opening just seeing Uku’s face in the while globe sourounded by dark blue. The backdrop with thunder and lightning is good too and supports the song quite well. In genereal, the camerawork on this one is quite good, I only spotted one place where it needs fixing as it change from a close up to another close up almost the same, but that’s an easy thing to fix. Overall, it manages quite well, and I love the bird perspektive shot looking down on him on the floor. The ending with getting back to him in the white globe is really good. It makes sure we ends where we started.
Thank you Estonia for not puting dancers on this one. The song doesn’t need more than Uku. He can carry it alone, and I am entertained all the way through. And of course, it’s no harm that he is quite pleasant to look at

Michael O. – The last time Estonia was at Eurovision, so much time was spent on special effects, so it seems they’ve curbed these this year for an easier life. Therefore there is nothing much to change here. Uku sings his song in front of smoke and colours, which by now, the Eurovision camera men can do blind folded. The biggest change this needs, but its too late now, is bigger vocals on the backing chorus. The performace is a little flat. compared to the big sound that the record has.

Gunec G. – Uku under the moonlight, this might be the dream of many girls. He looks stunning in his pants, white shirt and open bow-tie. He is really good with his vocals. I love the water, underwater, storm concept of the stage. One of the most innovative stage this year. Really good.

Theo V. – It all looks very neat. Two main elements remain consistent here: a) the dramatic lightning bolts impression in the background and b) what to me looks like discreet Bondesque references such as the white (gun-barrel) disc in the backdrop and Uku’s untied bowtie. The overarching concept appears to be a James Bond opening titles sequence, I would say. There are some people who look good on camera no matter what they do and Uku is one of them. The vocals sound good, too, with quite a lot of (pre-recorded) fillers. Ready for Thursday, I think.’

Czech Republic: Benny Cristo – omaga

Charlotte J. – Benny clearly loves being on the stage, but where I have been wanting others to get rid of dancers, it’s good that he has them with him. They support him well, and I have the feeling that he needs them to provide him energy. And energy, that he does show in this performance. So much that he is all exhausted at the end. What I love the most here is the use of the platform – and the end clip with him sitting on the floor with the dancers around him. A good rehearsal. Czech Republic can be pleased.

Michael O. – I love how Benny, right or wrong, gives the impression that he couldn’t care less about the rehearsals, but let’s just get on with it anyway. So refreshing to see a bouncy, happy-go-lucky performance, instead of some of these intense over the top stagings. This was a fun rehearsal which probably will not have any more changes. Benny was a delight to watch. Pity he isn’t one of the favourites to win, but an easy staging allows for less pressure. A delight to watch.

Gunec G. – Benny has a great stage charisma and energy. I love his yellow jacket and hair colour. And he is a good dancer. He wasn’t off-key while dancing as far as I heard. He had a good energy together with his dancers, and they seemed to have fun all the way. The stage was nothing special, it was all about the performance.

Theo V. – Benny Cristo is not just pretending to be too cool for school, one gets the sense that he genuinely is and that is very refreshing. I personally like his relaxed vocal delivery, too. I have an issue with the backdrop and lighting here however. Too busy and (yet) relatively sub-lit, too, in a way that I do not find complimentary to the musical character of the song. Not sure that a lot of thinking was put into this other than the choice of blue nicely offsetting Benny’s yellow sequin jacket. And indeed, for better or worse, it is predominantly the jazzy jacket that sticks to mind visually.

Greece: Stefania – Last Dance

Charlotte J. – A beautiful girl with great vocals, an interesting performance where there’s also something new to look at. It’s not just a copy of Sergey Lazarev’s performance for Russia 2016 although songwriter Dimitris Kontopoulos, who wrote both songs, did re-use some of the elements from back then. I absolutely adore that they haven’t tried to make Stefania too sexy. She is a young, sweet girl and perfect as she stands on that stage. As with one third of the songs this year, the stage concept is mainly pink and neonblue, but it’s actually suitable on this 80’s inspired song.

Michael O. – I thought that due to the types of effects they are using, we are not seeing all of the dancers on the screen and something amazing will happen on TV. Now I’m told that IS what you’ll see. In that case I’m not that impressed. I wanted something amazing after all the months of hype. Stefania is a great singer, especially with the low notes, but having to climb the stairs affects her singing a bit. No doubt plenty of time will be spent getting all the effects right, rather than the vocals. I like this song but the performance seems so metallic. A disappointment after the Czech Republic, but if this is what the final product looks like, then the rehearsals went well. See you in the final.

Gunec G. – Another innovative stage act from the Greek team. I like the purple & grey big city concept. They used some hiding graphics as in Lazarev’s 2016 act. Stefania looks gorgeous in purple and its fantastic to see her smile a bit. She caught a nice harmony with her dancers. Well done komşu.

Theo V. – I could not wait for this. First things first – Stefania looks stunning and confident in her glamorous sequin jumpsuit. Vocally, she is strong, too. Now, I am a little cautious as to the green screen effects (dancing jackets, Stefania seemingly hovering in the air, etc.) As intended, sections of the presentation look like an 80s music video. I am slightly apprehensive as to whether some viewers will get the references though (I will be keeping my fingers crossed that they do). A technically demanding presentation, but I am left confident since it all looked fine-tuned to me today.

You can watch a clip of Greece’s rehearsl below.

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