November 15, 2014Junior Eurovision 2014
First Netherlands' rehearsal Article
Julia from the Netherlands – one of only five contestants who went through the public national selections this year. Her song “Around” is a classic example of what’s called “eurodance”; its refrain refers melodically to the entry from the winner of the adult Eurovision-2012 Loreen, which is obviously not a very bad choice for the reference point. Overally, from the four dance entries this year Julia’s song is the one I consider the most interesting; not without limitations though. Let’s start with the improvements in comparison to the performance at the national selection. First, from the vocal point of view, Julia now sounds much more confident, and the confident performance is the most important feature of a non-vocal song. Small desync errors have disappeared; most of the notes were taken fairly. From the other side, as could be judged from the available videos, disregarding little or no changes in the arrangement in general, it seems like the backing vocals in the refrain are now even deeper in the back. To me that looks as a doubtful decision: “E E E E E, O O O O O, running around and around” is definitely not the phrase to demonstrate contestant’s vocals on, and a rich, dense sound in the refrain is the must-have for any dance composition. Then, sorry in advance, Julia went on stage with a very little make-up on, which immediately made her a 15 year old girl she is, not a young woman she looked like on the national selection. Let’s hope this will be preserved further, and no one inadequate will be allowed anywhere near the makeup bag. Now, a few words on the negative. The biggest claim towards Julia is the lack of emotions. She’s now choreographically more static, her face shows little besides a little fright, her performance is not energetic enough, which is unacceptable for the eurodance entry. Occasionally, Julia and her backing dancers are perceived as two separate unrelated acts. It might be that the coaches only wanted to test the vocals during the first rehearsal, but we really want to see a different Julia during the second rehearsal – confident, energetic and inflammatory. Then and only then the entry might get into the top 5.