We are now taking a closer look at the rehearsals of the last five countries in the second semi-final. This starts with the popular Norwegian entry, which will be followed by Albania, Georgia, Switzerland and Romania.
This article is being updated after each rehearsal so remember to refresh every now and then for the latest information.
13. Norway: Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love
Chilled Nordic ice queen Margaret Berger is on now after lunch, with her ultra modern, dark, brooding number I Feed You My Love. Wearing the same white cocoon dress as in the final but with some slight alterations (more sequins attached to the bodice and shoulder pads) and with slicked back platinum blonde hair topped with a long pony tail, she was a sight for sore eyes. She’s joined onstage by three backing vocalists and a drummer. The stage is bathed in sapphire blue, complementing her dress perfectly. White rays against the backdrop form diamond figures. Beams of light in blues and white also heighten the atmospehere of the number.
Vocally, this isn’t the best we’ve heard her; she had some slight vocal problems with the big note in the first run through and a few flat notes here and there. Fortunately in the other run throughs they were comparatively better, although still in need of some work, especially towards the end. The staging was very much as in the national final, with her standing statically centre stage, striking various dramatic poses. She looked into the wrong camera at one point, which amidst dramatic strings when she should have had a serious facial expression almost made her burst out laughing!
On subsequent run throughs, the camerawork was significantly improved too, with some cool panning shots of Margaret. She really made contact with the camera, with some very engaging looks. Margaret’s rehearsal received by far the biggest applause so far in the press centre today.
14. Albania: Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
In the best rock style the band is wearing black for their first rehearsal. The backdrop is in the colours of Albania- red and black. Flickers through the whole song.
Spotlights are covering the stage. The stage show is rather simpel with a big drumsection in the center of the stage. Keyboards- and bassplayer are on a podest, one on each side of the drumsection.
Identitet starts with fountains of smoke coming up making the front stage covered in smoke. Firepyro in the background
The song is performed in Albanian. For his big guitar solo Bledar Sejko takes the catwalk to the smaller stage in front of the main stage, where fireworks is coming out from the head of the guitar during solo.
The Albanian song ends with a big pyroexplosion.
15. Georgia: Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani – Waterfall
Next up is Georgia with Waterfall by Sopho and Nodiko. The contrast to Albania’s rock number couldn’t be bigger, with this big ballad. The act opens with a stage in complete darkness, before eventually tranforming into a piercing blue background is interspersed with ripple like patterns and white upward beams of light. Sopho is sporting a powder blue dress with silver studded detail, Nodiko complementing her choice of outfit with a smart black tuxedo. The duo are flanked by three backing singers dressed in black.
Both singers delivered a polished vocal performance, oozing confidence and their voices were perfectly suited. Although they hit the high notes and gave a stellar delivery, they seem to be singing at each other, trying to compete for the affections of the camera, which, by the way, they have down to a tee. But although they interact, there’s no real chemistry to speak of. They try to come across as emotive, but it just doesn’t seem credible.
There were some lengthy pauses in between the run throughs; perhaps due to some technical issues that need resolving, or perhaps due to the setting up of ptro effects which will come into play. Dry ice is used in the third run through, complete with spouts of smoke coming around the edge of the stage. As the song reached its climax, a shower of sparks began to fall from the sky, which neighbouring Azerbaijan used to great effect in 2011. A strong contender and surely a definite qualifier.
16. Switzerland: Takasa – You And Me
From a new country in the eurovision family to one of the oldest. Switzerland. In front of Takasa we see two lead singers – a man and a woman. During the song they interact with each other very well and there is not doubt that they are in love. On stage we also have a woman playing bass drum, a guy with a trombone, an old man with a bass and to the right a David Beckham lookalike playing the guitar.
In the national final they wore the traditional Salvation Army uniforms, but since that is not allowed in Malmö they switched to dark blue jeans, white shirts with the words "together we’re one" and black ties. The female lead singer had a big red belt and red shoes.
The backdrop is yellow sometimes orange and has a golden glow.
Although the song was performed well, it seemed a bit plane and was missing something, and it might not qualify to the final.
17. Romania: Cezar – It’s My Life
The task of rounding off this day’s rehearsals falls upon the shoulders of Romanian countertenor Cezar, who apparently has Malena Ernman among his fans! Camp is the key word here for this uptempo number. The staging starts off looking decidely odd, with red and black as the signature colours, with Cezar standing on top of some weird red deflated object, which later transpires is a huge red sheet with dancers hidden underneath. Behind him are tall blue lanterns that gradually become blue, which are raised to the roof.
Cezar is sporting a black suit with the biggest cleavage reveal of the day! The suit/dress is encrusted with diamonds, with a platform concealed under it. From under the sheet emerge three dancers, whose silhouettes are set off against the red sheet which is held aloft while Cezar is raised up on said platform. Towards the end of the number, one of the dancers is also raised up towards him. Dry ice comes into play during the third and last run through, topped off with pyro effects – spouts of flames and bursts of fireworks. As if excess seemed impossible, confetti begains to rain down towards the end. The producers should definitely have heeded the addage less is more.
Vocally, this is quite difficult to judge- it is essentially opera, and Cezar does hit all of his notes, but such is the excessive campness that the whole spectacle becomes unintentionally humorous. There is a complete lack of engaging with the camera, which does the number no favours whatsoever. A bizarre first round of rehearsals from Romania.