Second Rehearsals — North Macedonia, Ireland, Cyprus, Norway and Croatia

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 first afternoon session – where we saw North Macedonia, Ireland, Cyprus, Norway and Croatia rehearse.

North Macedonia:

Image Credit: EBU / Andres Putting

North Macedonia haven’t changed a great deal for their second rehearsal. The performance still makes good use of the augmented reality and the LED backscreens, with a pulsating golden theme. The song itself is sharpened up with a lot of strong camera angles, as Vasil is moving a little more to work with the cameras. He seems more relaxed and that is shown in the intimacy of his voice at times.


Image Credit: EBU / Andres Putting

Ireland have really upped their game for second rehearsal, and we are so excited that the intricate staging seems to be coming together after some rough mishaps from the other day. Lesley’s vocal is also notably a lot stronger than we’ve ever seen before, which is really encouraging for a final rehearsal on stage! Still not sure on the final 30 seconds where the camera illusions are exposed as being just boxes, but the rest of the performance is starting to work together which is great.


Image Credit: EBU / Thomas Hanses

Elena Tsagrinou is a goddess of a performer. We saw this earlier in the week with her first rehearsal, but just WOW at how much she has been able to improve on what already was a fantastic session on Saturday. The stage is as fiery as her performance and she was really working both the vocals and cameras on stage this afternoon. This could be one to watch – probably the strongest of the uptempo female performers that we have.


Image Credit: EBU / Thomas Hanses

Norway had a bit of a problem at their first rehearsal with the vocals – it sounded quite thin at times and didn’t completely work with the mix. These problems seem to have been completely resolved ahead of their second rehearsal as there is now added vocal support throughout the song which is really ensuring it sounds closer to the studio version. No major changes here, as you can imagine. It’s pretty impactful already so not much they could really change anyway.


Image Credit: EBU / Thomas Hanses

Croatia is another that didn’t have much to change! It’s taken until this rehearsal for me to realise that actually for the majority of the performance she’s on the catwalk between stages with the backdrop that comes down from the ceiling as low as it goes behind her. This looks incredibly slick and she’s able to give movement to the backing without it feeling too far away. Perhaps it’s a little more static than first assumed but Albina grew in confidence with every single performance, and her vocal just got better and better. If she can keep that up then we are in good stead ahead of her semi final run! Fireworks too!

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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