Welcome back to ESCBubble’s coverage for Eurovision 2021! After the first seven countries took to the stage at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam for their first rehearsals, we are flying through to day 2! Today, the remaining nine countries performing in the second half of semi final one will be rehearsing so keep following our coverage for all the updates throughout the day.
As always, you can check out our ongoing coverage through both our Live Rehearsal Blog and also rolling daily updates on our Twitter Account.
If you are avoiding potential rehearsal spoilers then don’t read any further! Semi Final One will take place at 21.00 CET on Tuesday 18th May 2021 with sixteen countries competing for ten qualifying spots for the final.
Two more to perform, but we are back from the afternoon break! The penultimate rehearsal of the day comes from… Ukraine!
Wow!!! The first big WOW moment of the semi final as a whole across both days. Ukraine have pulled the staging for “Shum” out of the bag. They are joined on stage by a white forest, whilst the lead singer is in a black leather outfit with big lime green feathered arms. She is a masterful performer, making light work of what should in theory be a difficult song to sing. Within the white forest on stage you also have the flutist and the other member of the group on the production rig. It’s somewhat intense but in a completely accessible, original way.
There are two dancers that join the band on stage, who start waving their light chakrams but by the end are full blown raving. There is also a nod to the post-apocalyptic vibes in the music vibe with what I think is ash? (There’s a lot going on!) The background starts off pretty clean but then by the first chorus it erupts in to gold and then an overdrive for computer techno colours pulsating. As the production cuts out and starts the build, the backdrop are pulsating hands/arms waving, creating an impression of an audience, and the pulsating increases with the tempo.
The final minute is just a full blown folk rave. The singer doesn’t falter at all, the choreography is intense but in a way that suits the song down to a tee and the last minute has loads of animated bodies sprinting very quickly. All in all – enough to leave us speechless after the first runthrough! Great job from Ukraine.
Last year, Ukraine made a bid to return to the contest by hosting continued national selection show Vidbir. Following a close result, electro-folk band Go_A were crowned the winners with their song “Solovey” which as a result won the ticket to Rotterdam. Sadly, with the cancellation of the contest last year, “Solovey” was unable to performed. However, Ukraine’s broadcaster UA:PBC were one of the first broadcasters to invite their 2020 artist back for 2021. As a result, Go_A were internally selected to have another chance at travelling to Rotterdam.
This year, their song was unveiled in February after an announcement that a panel, including 2016’s winner Jamala, had chosen unanimously one of three songs put forward. “Shum” was the confirmed song for Eurovision 2021, and following a small rewrite, “Shum” was re-released in March with an apocalyptic themed music video. You can check that out here: