Second Rehearsals — Belgium, Israel, Romania, Azerbaijan and Ukraine

Good afternoon from Day 5 at the press centre! We’ve now seen all of the first rehearsals for the semi finalists, so each country will return over the next few days for a shorter, second rehearsal. Any technical difficulties or camera glitches will hopefully have been resolved and the final changes made to the staging in preparation for the shows next week.

Today we will see 14 countries take to the Ahoy Arena for their second rehearsals, with today being all of the countries in semi final one except for Malta who will be rehearsing tomorrow first thing.

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We will be overviewing all five of the rehearsals in today’s second afternoon session – where we saw Belgium, Israel, Romania, Azerbaijan and Ukraine rehearse.


Image Credit: EBU / Thomas Hanses

Kicking us off this afternoon was Hooverphonic for Belgium! Biggest improvements come from the sharpness of the camera angles and the way that Geike definitely works with the camera with her delivery. Those small improvements aside, not much more to say about this one! You can tell they have decades of experience because they were 100% set from day one. They’ve done all they can to maximise chances for qualifying and I wouldn’t rule Belgium out.


Image Credit: EBU / Andes Putting

Eden Alene has upped her game yet again. There were things that definitely needed to be improved from her first rehearsal, notably camera angles and some of the movement wasn’t quite there. However we needn’t have worried because this afternoon she served choreography, served vocals and the issues they had with her first outfit at the dress reveal have also been resolved as they seem to have modified the outfit so that it pulls in two directions instead of just being pulled off her back, whilst a dancer in front holds on to her microphone. Each transition was great, albeit one missed whistle note on the first run which she looked visibly annoyed about!


Image Credit: EBU / Thomas Hanses

Roxen takes to the stage again with one of the biggest pressures on her to improve after a rough first rehearsal. However – people should not be too concerned. She appears more confident on stage and whilst the vocals aren’t perfect, the story of the song is all about that vulnerability which is coming across from her imperfect vocal technique. There’s something beautiful about he imperfections which really work with the choreography. It looks much better with added smoke too, although it is funny when she’s dragged along the floor and you can’t actually see her under the smoke! A bit of a wildcard as this could either be killed off or loved by juries, very difficult to predict.


Image Credit: EBU / Andres Putting

Another that must’ve felt the pressure after perhaps an underwhelming first rehearsal was Azerbaijan. We finally have pyro, which is much needed! However all in all they’ve worked to make the performance less static. You can see that Efendi is moving a lot more confidently and there are definite improvements there. They still struggle with making the stage look less huge – which swallows up Efendi and the backing dancers. Whereas with other similar performances like Cyprus, Israel or Croatia, it struggles to show the level of movement and energy which could work against it.


Image Credit: EBU / Thomas Hanses

Ukraine was perhaps the weirdest rehearsal yet! Sadly, the news broke earlier that Go_A’s lead singer has not been feeling well and was as a result asked to sit out of this rehearsal. The rest of the band have tested negative for COVID-19 so were allowed to continue. Instead, we had a stand-in vocalist who despite her clear lack of chemistry with the rest of the band, actually held up pretty song vocally for a very demanding song. The performance itself didn’t see much change as it has always been super strong since the first run through on Sunday. A crazy experience but perfect none-the-less.

Who was your favourite of this session of rehearsals? Let us know on our social media! And don’t forget to make sure to vote in the official ESCBubble qualifiers poll too – who do YOU want to see make the final?

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