Shock or Mock? ESCBubble reviews this year’s first Semi-Final artists’ outfits!

If there is one thing singers usually care about during their performances except for their singing, it’s probably their look. Singers from all over the world join forces with High-end designers to create their outfits for their shows. Eurovision is no exception! Ever since the first edition aired back in 1956, endless outfits were seen on the stages. From classic suits to party dresses all the way to the Iconic parrot dress by Jean Paul Gaultier worn by Dana International for her victory performance back in 1998, it seems like the Eurovision Song Contest has seen it all. Yet, every year some artists manage to shock us! Some for better and some for less, not a contest goes by without some remarks on the outfits of some artists.

After the 2020’s contest being cancelled, it seems like many countries pulled out their heaviest guns for the performances and outfits. On the other hand, some pulled their guns unloaded. Let’s see who did it best and who should go back to the fitting rooms. Or as we say, which outfit is a shock and which is a mock.


With an all-yellow outfit, The Roop seem to have outfits that are trying so hard to be Iconic and memorable. The only risk probably nobody thought of is that these outfits will be memorable for all the wrong reasons. the colour yellow doesn’t give me any discoteque related connotations.  The only “discoteque” related part of the outfit are probably the white high-heeled boots. But even these don’t manage to do any good to the whole thing, let alone saving the outfit from looking simply bad.

The Roop, Lithuania, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021

Shock or Mock?
Mock. The outfits do look like something one would wear to a night out but the choice of the colour yellow gives me the vibes of the kind of outfits hardly anybody buys and the store will have a lot of it left after the last day of the final sale.


Throughout the years of the contest, we got used to seeing artists choosing a different outfit for the contest instead of keeping the one they won the national final with. This year some artists chose to keep the outfit from the national finals and wear it on the Eurovision stage as well. In the case of Slovenia, this is far from being a bad choice! Ana’s jumpsuit along with the beautiful flowing one-shoulder cape seems to have the exact outfit her song needs. She could have done well with a floor-length dress or even with the outfit she wore back in 2020 (outfit recycling anyone?). But the choice of the outfit just seems to be on point. The more sharp-eyed of you will pay attention to a thin belt in gold and white which was added to the outfit though. I can’t say this one is doing any bad to the outfit. Looking back at the outfit, it seems like this addition is even needed to give the outfit another push.

Ana Soklič, Slovenia, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021

Shock or Mock?
Shock! This outfit is as elegant and as good looking as it gets for such an outfit. Along with the white high heeled sandals, it seems like Ana has one thing less to worry about on Tuesday and it surely is her outfit!


The first rehearsal of Russia made me wonder why on earth is Manizha rolling around in this big dress which looks like a camp hommage to Russian traditional prints. She later had a minor outfit change as she went out if the dress wearing a red jumpsuit, Just like the two acts performing before her on that Semi-Final, Manizha kept her outfit from the national final and will be wearing it again on the Eurovision stage.

Manizha, Russia, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021

Manizha, Russia, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

Hmmm… I think Russia is somewhere between the two as her dress is probably the campiest dress we’ve seen in years but then her jumpsuit isn’t that bad and I even like it. The dress is a capital m mock but the jumpsuit seems to be a safe choice


Ok, this Semi-Final should be called “The eco-friendly Semi-Final”. Tusse is the fourth act to wear the same outfit as in the national final. This time Tusse’s red blazer turned into a red vest with the red sleeves the blazer had, being changed by a pair of black decorated fingerless gloves.

Tusse, Sweden, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

Although some won’t agree with me, I have to say it’s a mock. The outfit looks like an item I saw on Asos outlet. It looks cheap, pointless and simply a mess with the vest being half velvet in a different and misfit shade of red. The gloves remind me of that time Amal Clooney came to the Golden globes in 2015 wearing a pair of white gloves. It did more bad than it did any good to anyone and that’s the same case here. We are not in the 20th-century post-war era where these were a must. Let these go! And on this occasion maybe also consider a head to toe outfit change?


Although Montaigne won’t be performing from Rotterdam due to the ongoing situation is Australia, we are getting a whole new outfit for her, A head to toe black jumpsuit in Latex with a pair of boots with some shiny stones glued to it.

Backstage with Montaigne from Australia

Backstage with Montaigne from Australia

Shock or Mock?

Montaigne jumpsuit gives me some associations to Lady Gaga’s black jumpsuit from “Poker Face”. Yet, it remains a mock to me. Technicolour as a term could be expressed in such a better way that this outfit just passes very close to it but misses the point. The boots are a mock by themselves. It looks like a kid grabbed her Dr Martens boots and decided to stick all of her fake precious stones she got in the “Be a princess for a day” kit on them. Just to save some shady comments, I’d recommend Montaigne to go barefoot on stage.

North Macedonia

At first, Vasil’s outfit seems to be a safe choice and nothing we haven’t seen in the past. A classic black suit with a single-button blazer. Till here no surprises at all. BUT, Vasil wearing a scarf underneath the blazer wasn’t a coincidence as it covers the more “interesting” part of the outfit. A mirror covered tank top Vasil reveals during the performance.

Vasil, First Rehearsal, North Macedonia, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

Those who know me personally also know I am a fan of suits although I hardly ever wear them. Along with the Dotter inspired tank top, I will say this one is a shock. It follows the ongoing trend which says yes to pairing suits with tops other than a classic white cotton shirt which was ironed forever. It keeps it classy but with a little (shiny) twist, I love it!


Is it just me or too many singers are choosing jumpsuits as their outfits? The third jumpsuit for this Semi-Final and we are not even halfway through it! Made with a wavy texture fabric and paired with a large belt this jumpsuit doesn’t stand in the same line as Ana and Manziha’s.

Lesley Roy, First Rehearsal, Ireland, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

Lesley’s jumpsuit is different than the other two we’ve seen already. It isn’t the classy and elegant one Ana had and it isn’t the bit baggy yet good looking Manziha had. This one seems to be simply a mess. Why on earth did they have to use this endlessly wavy fabric? And the belt just looks like these rubber stripes one would use in an aerobics class to stretch but will always end up with a pain in the back because of bad stretching. Yet another mock in this Semi-Final…


When I first heard “El Diablo” it gave me some MTV vibes. Ones I would get from Lady Gaga or Beyonce. I hoped for a great outfit as well and I wasn’t wrong. In order to create Elena’s mini dress, she teamed up with Greek fashion designer Celia Kriharioti who dresses celebrities in Greece and Cyprus on almost every single ceremony and tv show in these countries. The dress consists of what seems to be a backless bodysuit to which were sewn many stones and decorative elements creating a unique outfit that moves endlessly along with Elena’s body.

Elena Tsagrinou, Cyprus, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 12 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

This one is a shock as big as it can get! One of the main do’s and dont’s when wearing an outfit is to have an outfit that fits you and suits you the best. Many times an outfit looks good on others but then on us it looks simply bad. Elena’s outfit fits her and suits her in the best way possible. It had an amazing synchronization with her body and it takes her performance to a whole new level!


TIX isn’t only singing about a fallen angel but also tries to look like one. TIX is among the artists who once again kept his outfit from the national final. Pairing these huge angel-like pair of wings with a golden chain, a pair of shades and a headband, the overall result seems quite a mix of a lot of stuff. Not necessarily in a good meaning

TIX, Norway, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 12 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

TIX’s outfit sends me back to the early 2000s. I was a child and if there is one thing I remember from these times (Except for cheap pop and Mcdonald’s costing half of its price nowadays) is bad outfits. Almost no one looked well during the beginning of the millennium and TIX’s outfit made one big mashup of all the fashion mistakes we all did: Sparkling jumpsuit (YES! Another one I know…), shades some of us wore just to look “cool” and this headband we all rushed to buy for the gym sessions we never went to with an additional fur jacket we all once owned but never wore, sum up to one cocktail I would call “Mock Royal”. Because if you’re gonna look all over the place at least try and make it look as shiny as possible!


Albina will be going on stage wearing a bodysuit created for her by Croatian designer Juraj Zigman. This isn’t the first time we see Zigman’s designs on the Eurovision stage. Back in 2016, he dressed both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s female artists. That year Croatia also won the Barbara Dex award for the worst dressed act.

Albina, Croatia, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 12 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

As someone who has been following Zigman on social media, I can’t blame him much for Albina’s look as it looks like almost any other Zigman design. That’s his style! FACE IT! But then I do believe this outfit could have been taken a few steps further with additional refining and defining which would have resulted in a better-looking outfit. It’s a mock this time for me. Not a mock for Zigman but certainly for the outfit!


When you cant decide which color to go with, simply choose black. It’s classy, it’s versatile and it simply works! Hooverphonic did a great choice by going with black as color of choice. It also pairs well with the atmosphere on stage and of the song itself so it’s a win win for everyone.

Hooverphonic, Belgium, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 12 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

Shock for sure. The outfits aren’t anywhere near masterpieces one would expect to see in some high fashion events but they simply work and they fit so good into the performance it’s magical. I am not sure if Hooverphonic will remember that night for better or for worse. But at least they will remember being well dressed.


So Cyprus has Celia Kriharioti, Croatia has Juraj Zigman and Israel has Alon Livne! An almost obvious choice for Israel seeing how narrow the list of mainstream Israeli designers is. Alon’s hand is VERY present in both of the dresses. His dresses are never similar to anything anyone else makes and that’s what makes his designs what they are. Eden has a quick outfit change during the performance which reveal a quite revealing dress that was hiding under a long-sleeved bit oversized mini dress. Along with her hair Eden looks like something that came from the year 3021 rather than 2021.

Eden Alene, Israel, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 12 May 2021Eden Alene, Israel, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 12 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

The white dress Eden starts the performance with looks very nice and futuristic to me. A shock for this one. But after the shock dress we get another shock, this one caused by a complete MOCK! Watching the rehearsals I was just hoping none of these ropes falls out of place because if yes it might reveal even more than what we have which is a lot by itself. This dress doesn’t really do well. It’s not “Set Me Free” kinda vibes this dress gives me but “Set the heating on max! I am that close to hypothermia!” The only good thing about this dress is that it follows the same concept as her hairstyle.


After Paula Seling’s black jumpsuit back in 2010, Cesar’s outstanding endless black outfit in 2013 and Emanuella’s yellow dress in 2017, Romania decided to calm down and put aside the “Dress to impress” and changed it to “Dress… Just dress!” Roxen will be wearing a pair of what seems to be tracksuit trousers as well as an oversized sweatshirt paired with black shoes.

ROXEN, Romania, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 12 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

Mock. When told to dress comfy one would rather go for a pyjama or a tracksuit or anything that makes it all feel a bit cosier. This defines Roxen’s outfit by the letter. No exceptional effort was made to choose an outstanding outfit for this performance and it looks like Roxen grabbed the first thing she saw in her wardrobe or the closest H&M store and went with it. One can’t expect her to go all crazy with the outfit but then there is a lot to do to improve this outfit!


As I said before, one can’t go wrong when choosing a black outfit. Efendi knows this rule and she is applying it in a very fabulous way with her black long-sleeved mini dress.

Efendi, Azerbaijan, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 12 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

The dress speaks for itself. A shock! Not a classy black mini dress but a 2021 version of it that reveals the right amount of the body and hides the right amount of it. This dress fits very well to this performance and I can’t wait for the full performance!


Ukraine’s Go_A will be having two sets of outfits. All males will be dressed in a white top and shoes and black trousers while the lead singer wears a head to toe black outfit with green fur details on the top part of the outfit.

Go_A, Ukraine, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

Although very futuristic looking these outfits remain a mock to me. The lead singer and the male performers don’t seem to have their outfits synced and that’s a major issue! The outfits by themselves don’t seem to stand out either.


Destiny will be wearing a mini dress in silver for her performance. A stylish choice that was criticized by some seeing Destiny’s body. Yet, it doesn’t prevent Destiny from being as fabulous as she can be!

Destiny, Malta, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 13 May 2021

Shock or Mock?

Shock. The dress just works for me. “Je me casse” is the type of song which makes you move rather you want it or not and this dress moves all the way! It shines all the way and it pushes it extra few steps further. I simply love it!


Best to worst dressed
  1. Slovenia
  2. Cyprus
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Belgium
  5. Malta
  6. North Macedonia
  7. Russia
  8. Lithuania
  9. Ireland
  10. Norway
  11. Israel
  12. Romania
  13. Sweden
  14. Ukraine
  15. Croatia
  16. Australia
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