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LIVE: Eurovision 2024: Semi-Final One first dress rehearsal are live for day one of dress rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024, taking place in Malmö Arena this week!

Today, the Eurovision week finally starts, and accredited members of the media will see a full run-through of semi-final one from start to finish.

From 15h35 CEST onwards, we will be updating this page with our first reactions to the FULL performances of the following entries:

  1. Cyprus: Silia Kapsis– “Liar”
  2. Serbia: Teya Dora – “Ramonda”
  3. Lithuania: Sylvester Belt – “Luktelk”
  4. Ireland: Bambie Thug– “Doomsday Blue”
    United Kingdom: Olly Alexander (Years and Years) – “Dizzy”
  5. Ukraine: alyona alyona & Jerry Heil – “Teresa & Maria”
  6. Poland: Luna – “The Tower”
  7. Croatia: Baby Lasagna – “Rim Tim Tagi Dim”
  8. Iceland: Hera Björk – “Scared of Heights”
    Germany: Isaak – “Always on the Run”
  9. Slovenia: Raiven – “Veronika”
  10. Finland: Windows95Man – “No Rules!”
  11. Moldova: Natalia Barbu – “In the Middle”
    Sweden: Marcus & Martinus – “Unforgettable”
  12. Azerbaijan: Fahree feat. Ilkin Dovlatov – “Özünlə Apar”
  13. Australia: Electric Fields – “One Milkali (One Blood)”
  14. Portugal: Iolanda – “Grito”
  15. Luxembourg: Tali – “Fighter”

For the first time this year, the automatic qualifiers will be performing in their semi-final during the live shows, inserted within the running order.

Refresh the page to see updates on the dress rehearsal below! (All times are in CEST)

15:35 – We are LIVE!

This is Vincent, live from the Malmö Press Center, looking intensely at the screen showing the “logo” of this year, and waiting for the show to begin. Dominik, Lisa, Tom and others will also take part in our coverage for the entire week!

15:45 – The Show begins!

The show begins with Te Deum, and then a montage of many previous winners, from Abba to Loreen, with Céline Dion, Måneskin or Conchita Wurst among other things! The introduction video then switches to a montage of the many postcards we will see this year, before getting to the live cameras, in the impressive Malmö Arena!

15:49 – Introduction act – Fuego, Popular, and Slomo, United By Music

We’re welcomed in the show by the sound of “Fuego”, with Eleni Foureira herself performing with 8 dancers, on a slightly revamped version of the song. This has all the pyro we could ask for.

Eric Saade then takes the stage, in a leather jacket over his Melfest 2021’s jumper, to sing “Popular”, with some very loud basses here in the press center!

And finally, six dancers take the stage to welcome Chanel, performing her 2022 hit “Slomo”, in a blue costume. The slomo movement are obviously here again, as at least another 6 dancers join her to create a much more spacious choregraphy.

We were promised a number called “United By Music”, it’s actually a medley of these remixed versions.

15:53 – The hosts arrive

Petra Mede and Malin Åkerman walk down the stage. “I tried it alone, I tried it with a man, and now I’m trying it with a woman… but enough about my sexlife”, as Petra says!

A few issues with the teleprompter and cameras mean our duo must improvise a bit, before, starting their introduction speech again.

As part of their introduction, they also introduce the novelty of the automatic qualifiers taking part in the semi-final, explaining that the public cannot vote for them.

15:59 – Let the Eurovision Song Contest begin!

We can now begin with the 2024 postcards!

First, a ray of lights starts from Malmö and is launched in the direction of the country (Cyprus). We then see extracts of a few legendary songs from the country. After which a few videos taken by a phone show the artist in her hometown/country. We finish with a “modeling” shot, to add some glamour. The screen then transitions to the stage with the “northern lights” graphic identity, coloured in the country’s colours.

16:01 – 🇨🇾 Cyprus- “Liar”

Silia Kapsis opens the Semi-final, with her four dancers, all wearing white shirt (until they take them off at the very end). The show looks good, she’s confident, and there is no reason to believe she wouldn’t qualify, at least from the performance.

16:04 – 🇷🇸 Serbia – “Ramonda”

The past songs for Serbia’s postcard are “Molitva” and “In Corpore Sano”.

The performance opens with screen effects showing clouds and snow, not unlike Poland’s “River”. Teya’s rock is there, with stairs carved in it, which she climbs during the final climax. Behind her, the screen shows a purple ramonda growing and flourishing, taking root in the rock.

16:07 – 🇱🇹 Lithuania- “Luktelk”

The past songs for Lithuania’s postcard are “Love is Blind” (2012) and “Discotheque” (2021), with Sylvester ending the posctard in a stunning black costume.

He’s wearing the red vest in his performance, with four masked dancers around him. The lights and screen alternates from red to blue, in an enhanced version of the national selection’s staging. This is very efficient, and the bass is hitting hard in the press center.

The 360-degrees stage also allow for some side shots, and a slightly more three-dimensional staging, which is making the performance “confusing” but in a good way. You don’t always know from which direction you’re looking, helping with the song’s feeling of “dancing empty”.

16:12 – 🇮🇪 Ireland- “Doomsday Blue”

Did you read us talking about Lithuania’s bass? Say hello to Bambie Thug.

The performance looks like an exorcism on stage, I can even see some journalists going all “Vade retro Satanas” with their arms. The circle of candles seen in the rehearsals is actually circling a pentagram. And after a surpring dress change with the help of her dancer, she makes the circle levitate in the air, and then basically executes her dancer on stage.

This is a becoming more and more a sure qualifier.

16h15 – Add break and hosts are back

Malin and Petra are back, with Petra joining the public, saying she can sing any Eurovision song from the entire contest’s histroy. A “random fan” obviously asks her some of the least famous ones (sorry, Ireland 2009), for a small comedic pause.

Both hosts then join on stage to introduce the Big Five, and remind everyone that they can’t vote for the next song, Olly Alexandre’s “Dizzy” from the UK.

16h19- 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – “Dizzy”

“Puppet on a string” and “SpaceMan” introduce the UK posctard.

Olly starts his performance standing upside down, obviously from an upside down camera. The vocal performance is solid enough, although the song does not really allow for a big vocal moment.

The choregraphy is, as expected from the rehearsals, a quite homo-erotic representation of a locker room. There is a good chemistry between Olly and his dancers.

Just before the climax, Olly leaves his rectangular room, with some very efficient effects on the ground and a top-down camera shot leading us to the climax on stage. The UK may not come last this time, it is a solid package.

16h23- 🇺🇦 Ukraine – “Teresa & Maria”

Jerry Heil begins at the center of the stage, wearing a piece of armor on her shoulder, over a white dress. During the first chorus (excluding the introduction), she walks up to the large “slope” prop on the left of the stage which we saw during the second rehearsal.

The camera then comes back at the center, where alyona alyona sings her rapping part. She is then joined on stage by Jerry for the final chorus, the prop gone, and they finish by lying on the LED floor, among images of dozens of people wearing white and beige clothes.

This is a very solid package, and a natural contender for the win.

16h27 – 🇵🇱 Poland- “The Tower”

Poland’s postcard is introduced by “To Nie Ja” and “My Słowianie – We Are Slavic”.

The performance is heavily chess-themed. Luna starts between a black and a white tower, wearing a red cloack around “spiked” shoulders. She lets go of the cloack to perform in a white outfit with red boots and shoulder pads (still quite spiky), and dances with two dancers dressed in white and black, with a crown.

At the end, both towers get closer, and she finishes the performance above the white tower.

It is not the best vocal performance, but there is a clear improvement from the preparties. I’m still not sure this can qualify, though.

16h32 – 🇭🇷 Croatia- “Rim Tam Tigi Dam”

And now, one of the big favourites, Croatia ! The postcard is introduced by “Marija Magdalena” and “Mama ŠČ!” from last year.

The performance is very good, and doesn’t change much from what we’ve already seen in Dora. There is much more pyro, fireworks, and smoke. We keep the animals, we keep the colour (with much more yellow than in Dora, though), but Baby Lasagna is now wearing a red vest, laced with gold.

Does this look like a winner? It is difficult to say, as the novelty is gone for us fans. But it is a very solid package which should make the arena crazy!

16h37 – 🇮🇸 Iceland- “Scared of Heights”

We now have our first Eurovision veteran, Hera Björk, from Iceland, after a delay of a few seconds between the postcard and the stage-ready text.

The performacne is once again similar to what we’ve already seen in the national final. Very yellow/golden, including the dress. The background theme is very triangular, composed of several triangles with silhouettes of people inside them. It reminds me of Tel Aviv’s “default” stage theme, which we for example saw during Duncan Laurence’s reprise.

There’s glitter, there’s a good vocal performance. But will Iceland make it to the final? I have my doubts.

16h41 – Add break – Eurovision movies

Malin introduces the second break, before the next automatic qualifier performs. This small “interval” shows scenes from two Swedish movies (one of them being “Fanny and Alexander”), re-dubbed with Eurovision musics.

The hosts then give us some statistics about the stage, the LED screens, the moving lights, and the people behind it, making the audience cheer on them as a tribute.

16h46 – 🇩🇪 Germany – “Always on the run”

After the add break, Petra Mede introduces us to Germany’s Isaak. The postcard begins with “Wir Geben ‘Ne Party” and “Satellite”.

The performance begins in a very gloomy atmosphere, of dark yellow lights, with Isaak sitting next to a fire, in a sort of urban layout of props, which all start to burn during the chorus (from controlled pyros, they are not actually burning on stage with the fire brigade needing to take them out).

The props make a square that occupied the entire centre of the stage. Isaak leaves this “room” for the second chorus, concluding with his bridge and his final chorus on the “front square”. It is a solid performance, but one can’t help to think Germany could still be repeating history with it.

16h49 – 🇸🇮 Slovenia- “Veronika”

After a postcard introduced by “Energy” and “Sebi”, Raiven begins her performance, in a dark blue atmosphere.

This is not a faithful reproduction of the videoclip, but it is clearly made in the same spirit. Five dancers join her on stage for the chorus, and Raiven commands the stage. Vocally, this is pitch perfect, and sounds exactly like the studio version.

Overall, it is a good package, although the dancers are sometimes distracting when they don’t dance around Raiven herself. The qualification is still uncertain.

16h54 – 🇫🇮 Finland – “No Rules”

Finland’s postcard is introduced by “Bye Bye Baby” and “Cha Cha Cha”.

You can’t not bob your head to this. The performance is close to the UMK one, with Windows95Man starting from his denim egg, and Henry above the egg.

Some attempts at hiding Windows95Man’s lower parts fail, noticeably one with a cameraman hiding it with his camera. Hilariously, he looked like he was filming the part and not hiding them. The climax is also very similar, although the shorts’ pyro is now oriented towards the ceilling, to make sure nothing can touch the public from this 360-degrees stage.

Once again, a solid package which should qualify.

16h58 – 🇲🇩 Moldova – “In The Middle”

Moldova’s postcard is introduced by “Boonika Bate Doba” and “Run Away”.

This is the second veteran of the year. Surprisingly, Natalia Barbu has no dancers this time, and stands alone at the center of the stage. Or, shall we say, “in the middle”. This works in some shots, a bit less in others, where she looks quite small.

The performance still needs some improvement, with the violin bridge at the end requiring her to be aligned with angel wings on the backscreen, and the alignement was not perfect there.

17h02 – 🇸🇪 Sweden – “Unforgettable”

No addbreak this time, but Petra Mede introduces Sweden to remind everyone that they are allready in the final. The postcard is introduced by “Främling” and “Tattoo”, surprisingly avoiding “Waterloo”.

Guess what? This is close to the Melodifestivalen staging. But once the walls separate, the performance takes over the entire stage, with the retro font design all over the Led screens on the wall, the floor, and the ceiling squares. This does right what Sweden perhaps got wrong in 2018, by taking advantage of all the space and making their performance bigger.

Only four songs left now, as the screen shows the lineup again before the next scorecard.

17h07 – 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan – “Özünlə Apar”

The Azerbaijan postcard showcases “Always on my Mind”, and, unsurprisingly, “Running Scared”.

The song begins with Fahree alone, at the centre of the cross stage. This is very heavy on led screen effects, Fahree being watched over by a large female face. In the end, he’s singing between her hands, which are two human-sized props.

Ilkin Dovlatov sings from the side of the stage, then joins Fahree for the final part.

This works well and is getting some applause in the press center. Qualification could be there…

17h11 – 🇦🇺 Australia- “One Milkali (One Blood)”

This postcard is slightly longer, to make sure the ray of light goes all the way from Malmä to Australia. It introduced by “Tonight Again”, and, “Zero Gravity”.

Fans had shown some doubts after the rehearsals, but the vocals are on point, especially from Zaachariaha. The sound design and the performance are serving the message and you feel like you’re in a dream version of the Australian Bush. This can qualify, whatever people say.

17h15 – 🇵🇹 Portugal – “Grito”

What is this? A national final staging again?

It is actually improved a bit. The stage can be much darker here than in Portugal, so the white costumes of Iolanda and her dancers have much more contrast. The big LED squares above the stage are also used cleverly, strategically put in some shots, and have been sent at different levels to make the entire stage feel more organic.

Obviously this is vocally perfect, and is getting some strong applause in the press center. Portugal should be in the final.

17h19 – 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – “Fighter”

We conclude the performances with Luxembourg, and Tali. The postcard opens with “Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son”, and Lara Fabian’s “Croire” from 1988.

This is different from the national final’s staging. Tali starts with her dancers in a sort of rectangular prop, then leave it and take control of the center of the stage, as the prop disappears. The dancing is then slightly less acrobatic than what we saw in Luxembourg, but works with the ethnic vibes of the revamp.

As for Tali, she kept her hair attached and is vocally on point, looking more mature than she did a few months ago. With such a running order, this is almost a certain qualifier.

17h24 – Europe, start voting now

Well, not yet. After a small reminder of the rules, the hosts opens the (fake) voting, and we can see the first live recap of the year.

A good recap overall. Although, because the recap transitions to the artists in the green room, Ireland has perhaps too little time to showcase the best of their performance. Slovenia’s extract is what we saw in the second rehearsal, which is perhaps not the most striking part (in my humble opinion).

And as predicted, the automatic qualifiers are not part of the recap.

17h30 – Johnny Logan

Petra Mede gets back on stage to remind everyone that Sweden has won seven times, including twice with the same artist, Loreen, the Eurovision Queen. “But before the queen, there was a king”.

And thus, we transition to a small extract from Johnny Logan’s “What’s another year” and “Hold Me Now”, then to the man himself on the stage. And he does not start singing either of his victory songs. He starts singing “Euphoria”.

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