Il Volo raised the tone for Italy this morning. Early reports emanating from the press centre criticised the static staging, but by the final run through, the drama and interplay from Sanremo was been captured by the director.
The hosts, Austria were up next with their Kings of Leon tribute: “You-ooh-ohh, your piano’s on fire.”
Lead singer, Dominic “Dodo” Muhrer recreated his piano on fire national final gimmick with an accompanying curtain of embers cascading from the arena roof.
The MakesMakes offer a touch of class and authenticity, which could see them break the top-10.
Oh Spain. Like last year, they’ve brought back the rain. After the opening lines, the backdrop develops into a sea of bubbles as Ruth Lorenzo’s dancer pulls and rips off Edurne’s red gown.
The staging then switches to gold and looks very X-Factor winner orientated. The problem is, Amanecer looks anything but a winner, and in Spanish, it not as accessible and other dramatic ballads in the Contest. Edurne also looks prone to a few pitching issues.
At the moment, Spain look destined for the 17th-26th finishing position, so laying a top-10 finish is like printing money!
Ann Sophie persisted with her over-confident gestures and poses for Germany, which left me utterly cold when watching the TV feed. Returning to X-Factor analysis, Ann Sophie would be voted off with such a vain, pretentious performance. She has all the charm of Myra Hindley and will struggle to woo the televote.
The UK recreated their video performance with two sweeping staircases and art-deco iconography on the backdrop. It was confusing to see a Bianca with a distractingly big battery pack on her back, it’s only when the arena lights dimmed that the Danny Saucedo-inspired concept became apparent. Given how awkward the pack looks, I’m not sure it’s worth the tradeoff. It’s a this point in the song that the staging switches to vibrant neon colours and graphics.
The UK have worked wonders with the staging, but there are still too many holes in the basic concept for me. However, the UK TV viewers could trigger a Betfair frenzy next Saturday, so there might be back-to-lay opportunities in the outright.
Lisa Angell wears an unflattering indigo dress for France, but delivers a rousing performance against a stunning backdrop of war-torn streets that progressively rebuild. Lisa is also joined by four drummers for the last minute. The backdrop mirrors this by recreating a battalion of marching drummers. The finale delivers a peaceful blue sky.
I don’t get last place vibes for France and think it could earn light support during the final.
Last up today, and potentially performing last on Saturday night, Guy Sebastian performed Australia’s debut song, Tonight Again against a backdrop of skyscrapers, streetlights and car headlamps whizzing past. The staging is busy, but very effective and is helped by the Uptown Funk inspired choreography.
Guy was taking it easy today and it looks like #TeamAustralia were trialling a few staging concepts. However, during the final run-through, they returned to concept one as reported above. The only edition was a Darling Harbour-inspired firework display during the climax.
The market seems to have dismissed Australia on the back of a rather plain sample video from the Eurovision.tv website. The shorting of Sweden looks somewhat premature given today’s promising rehearsals from Italy and Australia.
That ends our detailed daily reports. We’ll now be focussing on the dress/jury rehearsals going forward.
We’re off to party with the stars tonight, so have a great day whatever you’re getting up to.