Second rehearsal of Eurovision 2021: France, United Kingdom and Spain
France’s Barbara Pravi “Voilà” – Eurovision 2021 second rehearsal
Oliver: Just as powerful as always from Barbara Pravi. The smoky light effects are a bit cleaner, and as Barbara sings her high notes, the lighting gets brighter. A very subtle touch, but nevertheless effective. Every time the “Voila” singer performs, she changes things. There is a slight element of rubato free time in the melody, but it never goes out of beat. It does wonders to add emotional depth, especially in the coda. Superb, once again.
Padraig: They say you can’t improve on perfection. Well, one way or another, France did just that. The lighting was better and the star effect on the LED floor was much brighter. Camera work was also less jerky during the song’s climax. Barbara’s performance was haunting, as always.
United Kingdom James Newman “Embers” – Second rehearsal of Eurovision 2021
Oliver: Most artists tend to improve on their second rehearsals. Unfortunately, the UK has done the opposite. James Newman’s vocal delivery and breath control was much weaker today than what we’ve heard before. In addition, the gigantic comedic trumpets remain and they are more entertaining than anything else. It may be a deliberate decision. But the staging of Eurovision must emphasize the highlights of a song, not hide its pitfalls. It seems that the British entry has lost all of its momentum.
Padraig: Once you get past the pair of giant trumpets, the entrance to the UK is quite pedestrianized. Yes, they upgraded their sound, but only until about 2016. The staging does not help. A song called “Embers” needs some fuego! But we don’t get as much as a fillet of pyro. Not a single spark. Instead, we get a lot of lights and lasers. It might have been a better idea to call this “Light Up The Room” – especially since it’s the main hook. It’s hard to fault the UK after all its efforts, but compared to almost every other entry it’s not enough. It is safe and competent. But that’s not what wins Eurovision or even what makes it the scoreboard.
Spaniard Blas sang “I’m going to stay” – Second rehearsal of Eurovision 2021
Oliver: A difficult start for Spain. The performance suffered from a few technical issues on the first run – Blas’ microphone had a bit too much reverb and twice we saw a camera move around the stage. Everything will surely be settled before the dress rehearsals. A change comes in the form of a new falsetto improvisation passage in the final chorus. It sounds somewhat garish and shocking, and could potentially prevent people from voting for this otherwise soothing and moving ballad. Still, a good vocal performance elsewhere.
Padraig: Blas gave us a bit of a vocally mixed bag today. He started off a bit ropey, before going into a wonderful vocal sequence later in the performance. The staging remains a little too dark at the start, but it is moving. The moon (did you know it’s a giant balloon?) Remains an eye-catching accessory.
Click here to learn more about the Eurovision 2021 rehearsals
Photos: EBU / ANDRES PUTTING / THOMAS HANSES