It’s day two in Eurovision land and it already feels like we’ve been here for months!

The 2nd half of the first semi-final will be taking to the stage to rehearse, and you can follow all the action below in our live blog of events.

If you want to see our gorgeous faces and hear our reactions to the rehearsals, then tune into our live stream from the press centre at www.escxtra.com/live or www.escxtra.com/live/mobile.


Simon Wells
May 12, 20157:25 pm

Georgia: I had not rated before rehearsals, but this performance on stage really does help the song. They set out to make Nina the focus of the performance and this has been very well achieved. The background effects include wings, lightning and bold images. Nina’s actions coincide well with the graphics behind her, e.g. the flinging of an arm with a bolt of lightning. There were a couple of wobbly notes in each run through, but overall her voice is clearly very strong.


Alec Parkin
May 12, 20156:02 pm

Now we move on to Nina, representing Georgia. She is alone on-stage, wearing thigh-high black boots and a short, very fitted, belted black dress, with feathers on her shoulders. This is all very ‘fierce’ and powerful, certainly meeting the meaning of the lyrics. Nina is certainly taking no prisoners with this one! At one point wings appear on the backdrop behind Nina, (vaguley reminiscent of Conchita’s performance in Copenhagen, (though a lot ‘darker’ in tone). Strong and impressive vocals.


Alec Parkin
May 12, 20155:37 pm

Given the lyrics and meaning of the song, the individually-lit suitcases on stage are a nice touch, and a simple yet effective stage prop. Two of the lit spaces are vacant, (this is all heavily laden with symbolism!) True to an apparent theme this year, there’s a lot of black and white on-stage. The suitcases also form part of the scene on the backdrop; some are closed, while others are open and feature images from the video to the song. These virtual ‘cases’ close towards the end of the performance. Everything is very impassioned and slick, with definitely competent vocals.


Liam Clark
May 12, 20155:12 pm

Romania is up now. The backdrop consists of a bunch of open suitcases, and the suitcases are acting as screens playing the song’s filmclip. The stage is them all sitting at their instruments while the rest of the stage is littered with suitcases.

Everyone is wearing black while the lead singer is dressed in white, with a relatively large orthodox cross instead of a tie.

The microphone levels need a bit of adjustment, but otherwise the vocals are relatively on point. It’s a very simple presentation from Romania and given their history, the position in the running order and the fact that only six songs have to miss out should see Romania qualify pretty easily.


Liam Clark
May 12, 20154:54 pm

Okay, another run through. I don’t really see much in the song really, but she’s nailed the vocals on every run through so far. She gets a little more confident each time.


Liam Clark
May 12, 20154:45 pm

I disagree slightly with Simon, I think her outfit is a bit strange and it looks like she’s got boat sails.

However she does look a lot less lost on this second run through. Vocally she’s so on point though and the backing singer volume levels are perfect.


Simon Wells
May 12, 20154:42 pm

Elhaida is sounding great. The black outfit with spangly cape and trousers works just fine, and her backing singers are in white. She hits all the notes at the end, no problem. Elhaida does not use a mic stand after the first chorus, she is moving around the stage. It’s another straightforward performance today, no gimmicks or props. Focus is on the song. Good.


Simon Wells
May 12, 20154:40 pm

Elhaida is sounding great. The black outfit with spangly cape and trousers works just fine, and her backing singers are in white. She hits all the notes at the end, no problem. Elhaida does not use a mic stand after the first chorus, she is moving around the stage. It’s another straightforward performance today, no gimmicks or props. Focus is on the song. Good.


Liam Clark
May 12, 20154:33 pm

Elhaida looks a bit lost up there on stage, but despite that she’s singing beautifully. There’s some sound issues with the backing singers, but I have no doubt that this will be fixed by the end of the day.

The back screen is all awash with gold and green and I think it looks nice, but there’s nothing super exciting about it.

The staging is very simple it’s just her on stage with three backing singers. Very simple. For me it’s lacking in something though.


Alec Parkin
May 12, 20154:08 pm

Yet another largely monchrome staging for the boys from Anti-social Media, with the only splash of colour coming from the red shift dresses worn by the two female backing vocalists, and the red laquered guitar played by the lead vocalist. ‘Zebra crossing’ lighting effects move from the floor to the backdrop. This performance certainly fills the stage, and exudes an energy that is very much appreciated here in the Press Centre.


Alec Parkin
May 12, 20152:24 pm

Polina is wearing a simple white halterneck dress with a long train, which is arranged in a circular shape on the stage floor. Her backing vocalists and drummer also wear variations on white. Much of the staging is in shades of blue and white, with some impressive overhead shots of dynamic images on the stage floor. A very competent and encouraging vocal performance from Polina this afternoon, which received a strong positive reaction here in the Press Centre. 


Peter Dunwoody
May 12, 20152:24 pm

The only things I’d change about this are to take away the few dodgy camera shots of the drummer, and the big globe that appears on the screen at the end.


Peter Dunwoody
May 12, 20152:17 pm

Russia are keeping it simple this year – no OTT props or gimmicks! Polina is on stage with three backing musicians and two backing singers, all dressed in white. Polina is on form vocally and the lighting is very striking. They’ve been very smart not to stick any gimmicks in here that might annoy people, and this went big in the press centre – the reaction it gets in the hall remains to be seen, but it’s a very strong performance.


Peter Dunwoody
May 12, 20151:50 pm

If you are going to have minimal staging at Eurovision, you need to make it “deliberately” minimal and strip it back completely. Belarus still has the lighting and the graphics but there is absolutely nothing happening on the stage. Uzari and Maimuna are just THERE.


Alec Parkin
May 12, 20151:34 pm

A very red staging for the entry from Belarus – and quite a pared-down, simplified one too. Uzari is wearing a black top and jeans, with a navy blazer, while Maimuna is dressed in a long white gown. From the way this is both staged and shot, the casual viewer wouldn’t know that Maimuna was part of the duo and would probably assume she is a backing performer. This is really quite underwhelming, especially given the style of, and approach to, previous entries from Belarus.


Peter Dunwoody
May 12, 20151:27 pm

There’s really not much to say about Belarus. Uzari and Maimuna just perform the song. Some movements, which don’t look particularly choreographed, no gimmicks, nothing. It’s incredibly boring.


Simon Wells
May 12, 20151:01 pm

I like the tree background and their outfits suit the song. I expected the guitarist would be on stage but I don’t miss him. (Nothing personal! Vocals are safe and secure, but there’s no great excitement here.


Alec Parkin
May 12, 201512:56 pm

Next up is Hungary. This represents such a marked contrast to what has just been performed before! Another largely monochromatic performance to begin with, Boggie stands centre-stage dressed in an elegant, simple, belted maroon/burgundy gown. She is joined by four backing vocalists. Some clever use of the animated backdrop, with images of guns and weaponry circling behind Boggie, which eventually shape into a tree formation. The ‘guns’ then morph into leaves and the tree brings colour onto the stage. This has never been a particular favourite entry of mine, but the performance of this song is very polished and classy.


Peter Dunwoody
May 12, 201512:53 pm

The stage starts off very dark for Hungary, with Boggie in looking lovely in a very tasteful dress, and the four backing singers dotted around the stage. The backdrop varies between twinkling stars, a globe, constellations, and then at the end, hundreds of guns merging together to form a tree. The song ends with a light stage and a backdrop of a tree in a field. I’m still finding this deathly boring, and a massive comedown after Serbia, but it is staged well and it will get a lot of votes.


Alec Parkin
May 12, 201512:47 pm

Oh Dear. Quite why someone thought it necessary to give Bojana poodle curls and then blowdry them to the max, is beyond me. Actually, it’s probably Bojana’s hair that is the most disturbing element of this performance. Dressed in a grey and silver floor-length sequinned gown, she is flanked by two female, and two male, backing dancer-vocalists who inject a bit of colour into the whole thing once it hits the uptempo part. 


Simon Wells
May 12, 201512:38 pm

Serbia: I am not a fan of this type of music in general but I do like this  – guilty pleasure. The way they have presented the song seems like if Hera Björk took a Joksimovic song to Melodifestivalen. I should not like this but I do. Vocally it is really strong. Her hair is big and crazy, but it kinda suits.


Peter Dunwoody
May 12, 201512:37 pm

Bojana absolutely let rip vocally every single time there. Nice little cheesy bits of choreography in the last minute too. One thing I would change is the dancers’ outfits after “the reveal”…I think they could go all out and make them more garish and colourful.


Peter Dunwoody
May 12, 201512:17 pm

Serbia have just had their first runthrough, and Bojana has had a bit of a makeover! Big disco perm and very sparkly flowy dress, both of which are blown all over the place by considerable wind machine action. The 4 backing singers carry flags for the first couple of minutes, wearing typical Balkan ballad flowy white outfits. These then come off as the rave-athon part of the song kicks in, to reveal multi-coloured outfits underneath. The styling did raise a few sniggers in the press centre but it was actually quite a polished performance for a first runthrough and Bojana sounded great.

Content Manager: In the real world I work in PR and I love pizza, dogs and gin. When it comes to Eurovision I can be quite a cynical fan at times, but I can always be won over by a killer key-change.

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