So, Phil – What did you see for the first two days of rehearsals… – Part One

Well the actual answer to that, dear reader who is interested in this farrago is, not alot! – We got declined accreditation but don’t let that fool you into thinking that we are not in Nice for the contest oh dear me no.  We are, literally, living it up in Vieux Nice with a view over the Promenade Des Anglais, thank you very much and we haz tickets to the show on Sunday which is at the end of the tram line – so it’s not all bad.

As the so-called “real press” can’t see anything either at the moment – we, the fan media community, are not at that much of a disadvantage when it comes to quality original content that the EBU requires of us. So, me, as webmaster-in-chief, and Eurovision Ireland’s very own and unique James Scanlan will try and give some … what’s the word … opinions … purely based on pictures, and what we know of the songs – if it’s good enough for other sites, it’s good enough for us.

How it’s looking

So let’s do this (ugh) in the order in which they were rehearsed yesterday, firstly with photos coming courtesy of Corinne Cumming from the EBU, who is doing the heavy lifting for all the press this week.

Ukraine

Anastasia is only nine year old and, as such, the song, as I have previously said, is the one that stands out as being a child singing in a contest. What have Suspline done here? – They have played up to that fact as you can see below :

It’s going to be the song that gets in your head mixed with a manga fever dream that you never knew existed. I mean, its very hard to style a nine-year-old in anything but “kiddies” clothes but this harks back to the old JESC/Minipops narrative. Pas pour moi.

North Macedonia

In total contrast, this is a strong song performed, seemingly, well by Tamara. We’ve heard good things about the rehearsals from a well-placed source, and everything is seemingly running like clockwork.

If the preview performance is anything to go by, it seems as though Tamara is going to attack the song and that is backed up by the bold colour pallett of Blue and pink. I know these pics are selected to make them look at their best, but this doesn’t seemingly need any help. The vocal will be the key here.

Germany

In my opinion, Germany is going to have an uphill struggle here. The song is not that great but does have a sentiment of “being German” and by that I mean it’s a let’s-all-help-everyone song.

Those visuals?

I get the idea behind this song, I really do, I just don’t think that the hook of the song, essentially being two words, is going to be helped or strengthened by FIA and her friend being on stage and doing sign language. It misses the mark,

Estonia

It is literally their first rodeo at this Junior Eurovision lark, lets see what they came up with to style this song?

From a broadcaster that knows what a kids’ song contest looks like (Laulukarussell anyone?) They have done a number on ARKHANNA. It’s a bit strange … she is standing on a box upon which she then mounts a stool but, she’s a kid – she’s short. What she loses in stature, she can surely make up with a nailed vocal. It looks perfect and just ready for a decent finish.

United Kingdom

As you can see from the pics below, the BBC don’t seem to have strayed too far from the music video concept which is good – Again, as with so many, It depends on how the world hear the girls. It looks fine though and doesn’t seem to be too challenging.

Netherlands

This is screaming winner to me from the audio and the visuals have just confirmed all of that. It seems to match the song perfectly and looks like they are having fun on stage. It’s a tale of puppy love, something that happens – so don’t shy away from it. It’s not  In your face and over facing and the two of them have great chemistry.

Malta

Death by staging seems to be alive and well in Valletta.  It is not the greatest idea in the world to shove a teenage girls face on a screen when she is in front of it, no matter how much the song is a good one. I think this is a considerable visual misstep and sends out the wrong impression. It’s supposed to be affirming to youngsters, not showing off their blemishes in wide screen for all the world to see. The song is going to be immaterial here.

Portugal

We end the first half of this charabanc we have Portugal –  Currently I can’t upload the pictures because our house Wi-Fi is being slightly worrisome, so apologies for that but, from what I can see, Its all very green and pink. She seems to have got rid of the stupid idea of wiping off her face in the preview video, and it looks to be a straight-laced performance of a song delivered, seemingly, straight down the camera. It’s Portugal being Portuguese in a quite uninteresting way. (Sorry)

James and I will do more of this later but, for now, Burrito’s await in the old town!

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