I got to see one of the three rehearsals this morning – and heard plenty of reports of the shambolic first run-through – which to be fair was most likely a chance for both guys to get used to the stage – Blanco was too busy charging around in his tighty-whities to attend the first set of rehearsals.
Mahmood starts out alone, dressed in black, picked out by lights. Blanco flounces on all in white. A space-age piano features upstage. There’s a fair bit of packing around the stage on his part and it isn’t helping form a connection with the camera. This may have worked for Sanremo, but I’m not convinced.
I will say that on the version I heard – their third run-through (and supposedly the best take) – Blanco wasn’t so much flat as tired, his voice lacked any clarity or brightness. The guy needs to rest awhile if this song is to cut it next week. I was left wondering just how often these guys have been in the same place at the same time since winning Sanremo as the chemistry seemed off too. One quick peck at the end that looked distinctly sarcastic.
A backing vocalist in the mix might help make sure of a smoother sound, as would additional reverb on both guys’ microphones.
I realise this was a rehearsal, but in these strange times, all it takes is for one of them to report a positive covid test, and the rehearsal becomes the final take.