Eurovision 2014 day 1 – Russia’s first rehearsal

Twin sisters Anastasiya and Maria Tolmachevy have already represented Russia eight years ago at Junior Eurovision. How would they fare when leaving the playground behind and venturing into the adult world of Eurovision – would the qualities of their entry shine through? 

Fresh faced teens Maria and Anastasiya were on after Albania with their entry Shine, which is remarkably understated considering that it’s composed by Philipp Kirkorov. Theirs is a a dark, brooding number that has a distinct sound of the sixties about it.
The two blonde lovelies begin by standing back to back, dressed in denim jackets and jeans atop a raised platform.They are both holding onto transparent cylinders which then seperate and they each walk off holding what looks like a light sabre – they’re going to need the force with them to lift this rather underwhelming number. The platform later turns out to be an elipse, which the sisters quickly move to each end of, effectively making it into a see-saw. 
The background is dark blue with various blue light effects behind the two; pale white rays shine up from the floor before the backdrop changes entirely to pillarbox red with bursts of yellow and stars and planets whizzing by. The two then dismount from the platform onto a stage that is filled with dry ice with a stage hand behind them unfolding what resembles a huge fan behdind the platform so that it looks like a white peacock tail. The entire show is meticulously staged, but there is just no spark there during the first rehearsal and any sign of sisterly love is completely lacking. The pyro effects were saved for the third and final run through with a spark curtain showering down over the two towards the end of their stage show.
Vocally, both Maria and Anastasiya are extremely mature, providing some pleasant harmonies on stage. Their vocal dexterity and range is impressive and it’s obvious that they both have considerable experience in this department, despite their young age. A solid first set of rehearsals from Russia, but hardly a challenger for this year’s crown.
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