A week maybe a long time in politics but it’s an even longer time in Eurovision rehearsals. In seven days we’ve seen a grand total of 70 rehearsals on stage with camera angles tweaked, performers finding their marks and “once more with pyro” not actually being used as much as you’d assume. So before we hurtle on into the heady days of Contest week, let’s take a moment to reflect on what we’ve seen so far.
Covid has seemingly seen off the prop. This is the Contest that had the potential for ice-cream dancers in an oversized candyland, a Greek teenager flying through the air and whatever the hell Azerbaijan actually had planned for Cleopatra before being vaguely repurposed into Mata Hara. It would seem in an effort to limit the touchable surfaces the fun prop is just something we ain’t getting this year. Makes one long for the 2018 Contest when Sugar would’ve looked like this.
San Marino are playing an absolute blinder. Gone are the days of the Bulgarians being the ultimate hype builders, instead that (literal) crown is now worn by our Sammariense friends. They’ve gone from viral medium sized robots to viral full sized Flo Rida. It remains to be seen whether the man himself will be turning up, but whether he does or not, it was all worth it for this head piece.
Showmances are the f***ing worst. Get in the bin. Put the bin in the sea. Set fire to the sea.
No matter how virtual a press centre may be, some things never change. The post-rehearsal press conferences are a strange affair. Sometimes fun, often a grind and on occasion they can almost veer into the realm of quite interesting. However, the one question that’s never interesting is “Can you sing is a bit of your song?” WHY? Why are you asking that? They’ve just done it three times and will have to do it again many more times over the subsequent days. Let them preserve their voices and their sanity and ask them a proper question. Or, and here’s a novel idea, if you don’t have a proper question you don’t have to ask one for the sake of it. Whatever you do, just don’t ask them to sing.
Stage designers across Europe seem to all have the same Dulux colour chart. There are a few 80s inspired songs in amongst the mix this year, but certainly not enough to justify the full neon pink and purple mess the stage designer’s have made all over the LED walls.
Montaigne is the best of all of us and must be protected at all costs. So many of us in the fandom are desperate to be in Rotterdam right now. That yearning, however, doesn’t even come close to what Montaigne must be going through. Her emotional press conference and subsequent TikTok from earlier in the week was heart-breaking. She won a national final, she fought for her place and the fact that two years in a row her opportunity to take part as normal has been denied just feels so very wrong. One can only hope she knows just how much love there is for her on the other side of the world.
We still haven’t got a clue who’s winning this thing. We said going into rehearsals that this year’s Contest was going to be one of the most open in recent times. And has the staging changed that? Absolutely not! All the pre-Contest favourites are all still in with a fighting chance and a certain lanky green jumpered lad and his similarly attired pals have elevated themselves into that group too. Maltese vocals? Swiss emotion? Icelandic fun? French Franceness? Italian filth? Floridian microstate madness?
WHAT DOES THIS CONTINENT WANT?
Not long to wait to find out.