Good morning from Stockholm! In the press centre we are ready for Day 3 of rehearsals.

The first ten acts of the Eurovision 2016 Semifinal 2 will be performing soon.

This will be the schedule for the day (all times in CEST):

  • Latvia 10:00 – 10:30
  • Poland 10:40 – 11:10
  • Switzerland 11:20 – 11:50
  • Israel 12:00 – 12:30
  • LUNCH 12:30 – 13:30
  • Belarus 13:40 – 14:10
  • Serbia 14:20 – 14:50
  • Ireland 15:00 – 15:30
  • BREAK 15:30 – 15:50
  • FYR Macedonia 16:00 – 16:30
  • Lithuania 16:40 – 17:10
  • Australia 17:20 – 17:50

Peter Dunwoody
May 4, 20164:46 pm

Australia: OK fine, I’m sold. The song is really not all that, but you don’t notice that as the performance really works. Dami Im sounds brilliant, great dress, and the staging keeps you interested. Boy can she belt – and she does at the end. Definite qualifier, possible top 5 – not a winner, but it has made me appreciate the song so that is already a victory.


Simon Wells
May 4, 20164:41 pm

Australia: Dami is in a whilte dress slathered in glittery sequins. The staging is very dark, and she stays seated on a tall block until the middle eight. Stage hands her her down which needs hiding, at which point the full look of Dami’s wedding-style-dress (and her legs) being seen, plus a lot more vocal embellishments than in the studio version.


Brent Davidson
May 4, 20164:19 pm

Ok so Lithuania pulled out all the stops for the final run through! So much pyro and jet streams! And a super acrobatic flip off that trampoline! Call me impressed!


Peter Dunwoody
May 4, 20164:16 pm

We got pyros that time, and he did a proper somersault off the trampoline, both of which work well.


Simon Wells
May 4, 20164:16 pm

Lithuania: The last runthrough for Lithuania adds a white jacket. Firework jets welcome the second chorus. As he leaps off the mini trampoline there are jets of smoke near him, as well as a few jets of smoke around the edge of the stage in the final chorus. A little wink at the end.


Peter Dunwoody
May 4, 20164:03 pm

Lithuania is fairly basic at the moment but I can’t help but feel there will be more to it in future runthroughs. Donny is alone on stage with hidden backing vocalists, the stage is blue and purple with lots of stars, and in the middle, as in the national final, Donny utilises a trampoline. It doesn’t look all that impressive though.


Brent Davidson
May 4, 20163:55 pm

Lithuania! The movement is very simple, but the stage is very nicely put together floor screen and the others work really well too. There is a trampoline but he doesn’t do any fancy jump off it or anything just a simple jump. Potentially this was much more technical and it seems like there is more to come from Lithuania so stand by!


Simon Wells
May 4, 20163:35 pm

Macedonia:
Kaliopi is all in black standing centre stage with subtle lighting. She stands alone with the backing vocalists and drummer flanking her at the back of the stage. This is one of the few songs where backing singers who aren’t part of a choreographed act appear on the stage. Vocally excellent of course.


Brent Davidson
May 4, 20163:15 pm

Kaliopi is belting it out for Macedonia! the lights are awesome and she does what she does best – Sing! Boy can she. She is joined by backing singers and a drummer and with the simple staging and her strong vocals Kaliopi delivers!


Peter Dunwoody
May 4, 20162:23 pm

He went to the end of the catwalk at the end of the second runthrough which works much better.


Peter Dunwoody
May 4, 20162:22 pm

Nicky Byrne is holding together vocally surprisingly well, and Ireland have done a good job with the staging – not a shamrock in sight! It looks slick and professional, but dare I say a little boring? Nicky is going through the motions at the moment but he knows that this is just a rehearsal so I’m sure he’ll be giving it stacks in the semi-final itself.


Sophie Haustein
May 4, 20162:12 pm

Ireland:
The red lighting doesn’t suit the song at all in my opinion. I like that the band is with him on stage, but Nicky definitely has to work on his vocals.


Simon Wells
May 4, 20162:09 pm

Ireland: Nicky carries the vocal in the first verse stably but not impressively. He is wearing suede and leather zipped jacket in red and brown. There is a drummer stage left and guitarrist and keyboard to stage right. They double up as backing vocalists, with two hidden female vocalists. The staging is very red throughout. Nothing worrying about this in terms of staging and presentation, but the vocal could be more convincing.


Brent Davidson
May 4, 20161:45 pm

Here we go Serbia! A bunch of hand choreography is working for Sanja! Vocals are so strong also. This one really does feel like a certain qualifier. The backing singers interact with the male dancer (who interacts with Sanja as well). I think the only thing I could ask for from this is maaaaybe a little pyro!


Sophie Haustein
May 4, 20161:30 pm

Serbia:
The message of the song is delivered very effectively by the choreography. You can feel the energy behind Sanja united with her backing singers against the male dancer. I find this very powerful and touching.


Simon Wells
May 4, 20161:26 pm

Serbia: Wearing a Japapese style summer dress, Sanja stands at a mic stand with plenty energy, but not overcooked. The backing singers – 4, female, move around and use hand gesture choreography. Later in the song they align up on the stage next to Sanja. There’s a male dancer who does some interpretative dance, occasionally interacting with Sanja.


Peter Dunwoody
May 4, 20161:09 pm

Belarus: Yes there are wolves, yes Ivan is naked. BUT it’s all a hologram – it will have people fooled for the first 30 seconds though. Ivan then appears fully clothed and sings surrounded by wolf holgrams who then dissolve to form a load of other holograms throughout the performance, not all of which are necessary. To be honest this isn’t awful, except for the giant baby who waddles over to Ivan at the end – that’s a little creepy.


Sophie Haustein
May 4, 201612:49 pm

Belarus:
Oh boy! No real wolves, but plenty of virtual ones. Ivan is standing on stages with three white lines across his face. In the end, a little baby appears on screen which completes the confusion about what all of this is supposed to mean.


Brent Davidson
May 4, 201612:49 pm

Here we go with Belarus! And yes. They pull of both the wolf and the nudity! Thanks to some very clever technology. His voice is definitely strong enough for the song. There is lots of holograms and most of them work. There are a couple of questionable ones and there is a little bit of a disappearing act but when he re-appears it all comes together. I’m sure we’ll see more in the next few run throughs but for so far it’s strong enough for me!


Brent Davidson
May 4, 201611:51 am

Israel! Wow, there really isn’t much that needs to be done to this performance. I love the subtle glitter (if that is a possible phrase) in what he is wearing and boy can he sing. I really appreciate when someone knows how to connect with the camera and his eyes are Working it on the camera! It’s becoming harder to see clear qualifiers now everyone is very strong!


Simon Wells
May 4, 201611:13 am

Israel time. Hovi is in a black coat on a dark stage with, unsurprisingly, lots of stars on the floor and the background. The only colour theme is silvery blue. Hovi has a glittery dark top underneath the black suit. For part of the performance, two performers move around the stage on a fancy gymwheel, which lights up with blue stars. A solid performance, vocally. Nothing really can go wrong here.


Brent Davidson
May 4, 201610:39 am

Oh here we go a bit of smoke coming out of the back of Swizerland’s dress!


Matteo Manta
May 4, 201610:29 am

Switzerland is here!
The stage is beautiful. Very simple, nice blue background, she’s just standing there in a draught and she is wearing a black bodysuit and a transparent skirt.

Vocally wise. Let’s move on.


Brent Davidson
May 4, 201610:28 am

Shoe’s off on stage always makes me nervous. But here we are with Switzerland’s first rehearsal! She has a very sheer skirt on. Vocally not quite on point or as strong as it could be. The stage is rather nice. But really its not standing out. We’ve seen stronger rehearsals today.


Sophie Haustein
May 4, 201610:26 am

Switzerland:
This was vocally less horrible than I’ve heard Rykka sing it before. She is on bare feet wearing a half-transparent grey-blue skirt that matches her hair colour.


Peter Dunwoody
May 4, 201610:17 am

Poland is pretty much as expected. Michal sings fairly well, although he was off-key in the first runthrough. He was wearing an awful tailored foil jacket that he’s lost in subsequent runthroughs. He’s joined by a cool string quartet with cool stringed instruments, but that’s the only thing that could be considered exciting about this. Fairly dull and dated, and I don’t think it’s qualifying.

And NEGATIVE POINTS for the spelling of “color” on the backdrop, even though the title of the song is spelt “Colour”


Sophie Haustein
May 4, 201610:15 am

Poland:
I only saw the third run-through where there were some blanks and he just stopped singing at some points, but nevertheless he was vocally strong. The whole scenery with the strings and the lights support the monotony of the song. I wonder if he’ll be wearing this tank top for the show.


Brent Davidson
May 4, 20169:51 am

Up next we have Poland! Look if you’re a fan of gold clothing (like I am) you’ll have something to look forward to. The staging is very simple with a string quartet (with one violin missing) and a piano with him standing in the middle. Vocally he strong and nails the key change. But is it enough for him to qualify? We shall see


Brent Davidson
May 4, 20169:24 am

The floor is up and running and only adds to Latvia’s strength. There isn’t much that needs to be done to this one. I get the feeling he’ll be a shoe in!


Peter Dunwoody
May 4, 20169:20 am

Latvia: It’s pretty much as expected, very industrial staging and striking lighting – although give or take, it’s the same as Aminata’s staging last year but that’s OK! Vocally he’s strong and it doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eye. I’m surprised that the Swedes have gone for this as an opener but it’s strong and should be a safe qualifier. Just needs some camera angles tidied up and Justs needs to be secure in where he’s standing but it’s a good first runthrough.


Brent Davidson
May 4, 20169:14 am

Here we go! First up it’s Justs from Latvia. Delivering a very strong vocal performance, it feels like Semi Final 2 is already shaping up to be the Semi Final to watch! Lots of Red and a relatively stripped down performance. It lets the song speak for itself and really that is all it needed. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s feeling their heartbeat right now! I only hope he doesn’t push his voice too hard and that it lasts for what will be a great start to the second Semi Final!


Matteo Manta
May 4, 20168:24 am

And we are live from the press centre! You can follow our livestream (already on!) on http://www.escxtra.tv

Italian in the UK, with a strong preference for Sweden. I support myself tweeting (not even joking) - and that's why Social Media is my kingdom. Drama tends to follow me, hence why I really feel connected to the #skandal and #fiasko hashtags.

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