JESC 2014: First Run of Rehearsals CompleteWritten by Emil Calleja Bayliss
escflashmalta.com has always been present to bring you the latest updates from the local music industry and with the Junior Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malta, it should not come as a surprise that this event will be wholly covered as well. Members of the editorial team have been viewing the first rehearsals, and have recapitulated their thoughts. LIVE blogging will kick-off as from tomorrow through Facebook and Twitter.
The Netherlands kicked off proceedings yesterday and things surely started on a positive note as Julia gave a strong vocal rendition of her up-tempo number. The visuals on stage are spectacular and the predominant colours are orange and red. This will be closing the show on Saturday and it is surely one to watch out for.
Sweden have stayed true to their craft with the choice of song, noting that there is a mixture of dance, and pop, something which Thomas G:son is very much known for. Julia is joined on stage by four female dancers, whose choreography is very well adapted to the tune. The vocals are good, and the overall outcome is positive but the song is not too memorable to place highly.
The song from Bulgaria has been considering as one of the favourites heading into the event. Sadly, we did not get to hear the singer sing live as she is currently unwell and we wish her a speedy recovery. The visuals of this one are once again strong and the predominant colours are purple and blue. The main attraction is definitely the huge castle projected on the screens.
Russia sends Alisa, the young girl in the white dress with a big ballad! Last year’s winning formula for Malta. It is a very strong song and its orchestration is fantastic. The visuals are simple and let the singer be the focus of this song. The vocals are good but nothing extraordinary. Russia still remains as one of the favourites for this Junior Eurovision but they need to up their game to stand a chance.
Vincenzo Cantiello took the stage all alone for Italy and it is quite remarkable that he is the only guy in the competition. He sings his big emotional ballad right from the heart and impresses everyone present with his big voice. He went all out in the first rehearsal but held back on all the other takes. It seems that blues and red will be used for this number. He is surely one to watch out for as he has got the total package.
Ukraine’s Sympho-Nick singers are the first ones to make full use of the stage as they also use the catwalks. The intro and the end of the song remind me of ‘Gravity’ yet the three girls do a very good job vocally. The visually are impressive and suit the song perfectly. Not sure on how this will do but few if any think it stands a chance of doing well.
The smiling girl from Armenia is surely having fun on stage. She truly feels at home and it shows in every run. The backdrop is extremely busy and might distract a bit but it still manages to transmit the positive energy of the song. She is accompanied on stage by five dancers and towards the latter part of the song she joins in the routine despite this she does a good job on the vocals. This might surprise on the night!
Sophia from Cyprus seemed to have been eagerly waiting to get on this stage for a long time as she nails every take she does. The visuals are surely one of the very best and although she is all alone on stage she makes full use of it. She is surely having fun and making the most of this experience – the only drawback this song has is that she is early in the draw and people expect to see dancers other than that she has everything going for her.
And the second day of rehearsals kicks off. It’s a happy day for Georgia as Lizi had a good rehearsal this morning. The graphics scream Junior Eurovision but blend well with the thought behind the song. Lizi is accompanied on stage by four dancers. She gives a good vocal performance yet the song seems to lack something and it is a tad too repetitive.
Montenegro are embracing the fact that from this year the Junior Eurovision is aiming more towards adolescents as their two female teenagers take the stage. Their vocals are on but the girls look uncomfortable on stage – they seem to be over rehearsed and the simple routine they have makes them look awkward. Hopefully things get better for them.
Josie from Croatia took the stage with Game Over and she is accompanied on stage by two dancers. The song is repetitive and some might find it boring. The visuals are quite particular and naturally feature graphics from games with different codes. This is another number which few people see it doing well. Sadly, it is very difficult at this stage to make significant changes.
Up next was San Marino and their girl band ‘The Peppermints’. This is surely another number which one would consider weak. The girls did a good job on the vocals yet nothing impressive. Their staging looked a bit all over the place and they definitely need to work on that area. The visuals are good and the graphics look good but that is where it stops.
Serbia’s Emilija starts on stage sitting on the piano and then moves on to centre stage. She delivers her song to perfection and surely makes it one of the best entries rehearsing today. Her vocals were spot on and the graphics although plain they really blend in well with the entry. Nothing much to criticize here, one can say simplicity at its best.
Ula, the sweetheart from Slovenia is up next and this is another strong rehearsal. Some of the media in the press centre expressed a liking to this song. There is nothing outstanding about it but it is a song performed well and everything is coming together on stage. The visuals are dark and one expects the girl to wear something light in order to let her be the focal point.
Federica for Malta was on next and she proved why she is one of the hot favourites to do the double for Malta. She tried her song four times in total and she delivered vocally every single time – it was truly impressive. The journalists in the hall were as impressed and it seems like they all gathered here for Malta’s rehearsal which is definitely a good omen.
Belarus is up next and this is a surprise today. Visually it looks really strong and the same thing can be said for the choreography. The song is catchy and surely has a lot of potential to do extremely well. The singer is confident and looks great on screen. The visuals are impressive and this is another song that has the whole package. A very pleasant ending for the first round of rehearsals!
#Together is a slogan which greatly encompasses the feeling felt throughout the venue, whether among the technical staff, members of the press or the delegations. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.