JESC First Impressions: The Highs and Lows of First Rehearsals

With Junior Eurovision only days away, every country has now taken to the stage for their first rehearsals. In these rehearsals, it’s really only a first impression. We hear the vocals live, we see the staging and we sometimes see the final costumes. Although this certainly isn’t the final product (to read our feature of what we need to remember about judging rehearsals, click here), we can take these first impressions to judge the potential these songs have come competition day.

Here are our highs, lows, and in-betweens!

Highs:

  • Australia

We didn’t give the greatest review on Australia’s song, however first impressions of the live performance offered something more than what the studio version does. Although the song still doesn’t make a huge impact on me personally, I can definitely hear an improvement in the performance when sung live.

  • Bulgaria

I hadn’t heard this song sung live before this first rehearsal, so I was a bit skeptical, I suppose you could say, just because I didn’t really know what to expect. Lidia reaches my expectations, and then surpasses them. Her voice is enchanting, and I enjoy the impression we got for the stage show although hopefully the final camera angles don’t make her look too lonely on stage.

  • Belarus

I have a feeling about Belarus. This song has grown on me incredibly, and with such an energetic stage show and a strong voice behind the song, I think this is really in with a winning shot. The choreography is absolutely on point, and out of both the hover board using acts of this year, I think Belarus wins that battle!

  • Malta

The voice is undeniable. Christina is vocally insane, and I think juries will rate this song highly simply because of the crazy good vocals. The stage show is similar to what I expected and I think overall this reached my expectations. I can’t wait to see what they will be dressed in for the show, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

  • FYR Macedonia

This is FYR Macedonia’s best chance of success in years, with Martija’s confident vocals and stage presence. This has a fresh and modern feel with the choreography, and judging by the comments, I think this is really a hit with the fans. I really hope this does well, because it deserves it.

Could Improve:

  • Serbia

I think Dunja’s vocals were on point, but I’m a bit disappointed with the actual stage show. Of course, I can’t comment too much considering I haven’t yet seen it from the perspective of a television viewer, but I do think it’s a shame she is on the stage alone. I still think this has a good chance of a respectable result, but I do think this had more potential.

  • Albania

I think this has a good base, and what it needed more was a better stage show. The key for this to creating the mood was the backing screen, and I think something more creative could have been used. Because she’s on stage alone, some sort of movement during the silent moments probably could have created more interest. From the first impressions, it does look like she engages with the camera when she sings, so we’ll just have to wait and see how this comes across on TV.

  • Ukraine

I wish I could explain the umbrella but I just can’t. I’m just a bit confused about the staging. Again, I think vocals have definitely improved since the national final, but the staging! Otherwise, I think Sofia radiates on stage, and this could definitely be a dark horse.

  • Israel

At the moment, I find this performance a bit stale. I think Tim engages with the camera really well, but potentially Shira is a bit more nervous – which I’m sure all acts feel, with such a big performance coming up. Otherwise, I think they harmonise well which is definitely a plus, but overall there’s nothing to excite me here.

  • Cyprus

The stage show for Cyprus is really amazing. The energy is incredible, and I think every movement, every prop has its place in the performance. I think the result of that is sacrificing a solid vocal performance, although George still somehow manages to sing well considering how physical his performance is. I this this is looking really good on stage, it’s just up to his vocals now.

Lows:

  • Russia

This really didn’t impress from first impressions. There is absolutely no energy, and something just doesn’t seem right. Even from the opening ceremony, Sofia, the lead of the group just didn’t look happy, and I think that vibe has continued into the rehearsal. I’m unsure as to why this is, but going from a winning song to such a lacklustre performance is incredibly disappointing. The choreography is really just lacking in substance and energy, and if those are the final costumes, I think Russia could have done a lot better. As for their vocals, they’re great, but they just don’t have the stage show to back it up, which really disappoints me considering it was my favourite.

  • Netherlands

This is somewhere between the ‘could improve’ and ‘low’ groups for me, as I think vocally it wasn’t as strong as I would have hoped. The girls have the energy, and it’s great that they have such strong choreography but with lots of movement, it can sometimes take away from the actual singing. I think this was an ok rehearsal, but it just didn’t reach my expectations. I also hope those aren’t the final costumes…

Still Unsure:

  • Georgia

I mean, this is fine, but I don’t enjoy the song to start, and the staging is very plain. I don’t really feel here nor there about it so I don’t have much to say.

  • Armenia

The main reason this is in the still unsure pile is simply because we didn’t get to hear it live. As far as I could tell, it was done with playback because apparently Anahit is battling with sickness. I really hope come performance time she is back to full strength! I love the staging of this so far, but with some challenging notes in the song, not having heard it sung live still makes me wonder if they will be able to pull it off.

  • Poland

This is in the same boat as Georgia for me. I don’t feel here nor there about this song. I think juries will like this song, and she sings well, which is a definitely plus. I just don’t know if it’s too simple.

  • Ireland

Again, this is song I’m just not entirely convinced about yet. I do like the backing screen and her vocals are great. I’m just not sure yet. Watch this space.

  • Italy

This is in the unsure pile because I’m not sure about the backing screen for this. I think her vocals are fairly good, but I don’t know what to think without seeing this from the eyes of the television viewer. As one of my favourites, I hope this as a whole comes across on stage really well.

What were your first impressions from the First Rehearsals?

Comment down below, and if you haven’t yet voted in our JESC 2016 poll, click here and VOTE!

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