We are at the end of the first week of rehearsals, and all acts have now had their chance to perform on the stage at least once. Social media during this time is going crazy. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube, everyone seems to have something to say. Our twitter and Facebook feeds are completely bombarded with news, opinions and bookmakers odds, but here are some things we all need to remember about the two weeks leading up to Eurovision.
Rehearsals are not always what the final performance will be
While scrolling through my saturated Facebook feed, I came across an article from a fansite, which described Amir from France not totally happy with his performance, but also offered some subtle criticism to say that a rehearsal is just that, it’s time to work out what works on stage and what doesn’t. Odds for France began to drop after the rehearsal, which is crazy to think, because ultimately, we’ve only heard, and seen small snippets of what’s to come.
The rehearsals are tools for the artists and production team to see if their plans on paper can become reality. It’s a tool to test the technologies, and it’s a tool to make sure that each performer will be able to give their best possible performance. Serhat mentioned in his press conference that some choreography needed to be changed, and as such, the lighting needed to be tweaked in his performance. That’s ok, that’s what a rehearsal is for – it’s to avoid making these mistakes on the big night.
We only see a certain perspective, not what it will look like on television
This was even more relevant during first rehearsals, where only Eurovision.tv were allowed to post clips of rehearsals (although this didn’t stop certain delegations). Ultimately, we were watching a 30-45 second clip of the artists’ first rehearsal, their first time on stage. They’re still working things out, and we only see a small snippet of what the plans are for the performance. We only get a small view into their screen backdrops, their props, and their dancers.
What we don’t see is a full, 3 minute performance through the eyes of a television viewer. We don’t see the range of camera angles and we don’t see how the choices of the artists and their choreographers will play out with the chosen camera angles and techniques planned. And this is a good thing, really, because if we saw it all during rehearsals, there’s less surprise on the night.
Sound quality from amateur online uploads isn’t what we will hear on the night
Reading YouTube comments always manages to make me laugh, because there always seems to be a comment about certain artists not being able to sing. This happened for the Eurovision pre-parties and now for rehearsals. We need to remember that these recordings aren’t what we will hear on the night.
Phone recordings from the audiences, or recordings from the empty arena isn’t going to provide us with the sound that we will hear on the night through the television broadcast. At the pre-parties, we heard audiences chatting through the video, and the loud backing music which can sometimes skew what we hear.
We also need to assume that the vocal performances in rehearsals aren’t 100%. The artists need to save their best efforts for the night, to give their everything to the most important performance – the one that counts.
We only have a couple of days left before the first semi-final, so let’s dial back the criticism and make our final judgements on the 3 big nights. We have to remember that a failure in rehearsal is better than a failure in the semi, or final, and rehearsals are there to give the artists a chance to ensure that they are putting their best foot forward.