Jessica Mauboy has hit the stage for her first rehearsal at the 2018 Eurovision competition in Lisbon, Portugal.
Jess, Australia’s entry for this year’s event, was the final act on stage today as half of the second semi-final acts were given access to where they will be performing next Friday.
Today’s rehearsal showed Mauboy alone on stage belting out her song ‘We Got Love’ in a shiny almost strapless dress backed by a light rig in the shape of a modern wing, and pink and teal rule the stage.
Around the climax of the song, pyro fountains give Mauboy’s performance an extra boost.
During the rehearsal only Eurovision stage crew and team members were present.
Speaking as she came off the stage, Mauboy seemed to be happy with how it all went.
“I’ve just come off the stage and I was just saying to myself that the feeling was… if I could compare it to anything, it would be ‘electricity,” said Mauboy.
“It’s a conversation. I guess my performance is really bringing the audience closer, it’s almost like our first conversation, our first meet about whatever matters in the world right now.”
But critics were divided over the first performance, suggesting it could do with supporting dancers or backing singers on stage to give the viewer something else to watch other than just Mauboy.
“The vocals are good, strong and energetic,” said John Lucas from ESCInisight.
“But it has not the staging vibe of a winner, being alone all the time. It is not a contender for victory.”
Martijn van der Veen from Eurovision Artists The Netherlands was more optimistic though: “I am pretty positive about the rehearsal. You don’t need LED-screens and dancers to have a dynamic moving performance. And that is what Jessica had.”
Daniel Gould from Sofabet Gambler said the song was solid but expectations were high and the first rehearsal left a lot of questions.
“It’s a song that requires staging to really lift it and there was a sense that while it was solid and there was nothing wrong with the staging there was nothing that particularly lifted the song,” said Gould.
“I’d create for evolution on stage, I would have her backing singers join her, make the stage less dark not have so many little dance moves that she ends up focussing on rather than engaging with the camera.”
— Jessica Mauboy (@jessicamauboy) May 1, 2018
Betting companies eased the odds for Australia after the performance. Mauboy went from 4th favourite to 7th.