Today the last nine contestants of the semi-finals had their first rehearsals in the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv. Here are my thoughts about the rehearsals:

SAN MARINO

This song is a guilty pleasure for so many people. I just don’t see this qualifying at all. It’s a very cheap song and the performance is also quite cheap in my opinion. I don’t know if those are their actual outfits but I don’t like them at all. The song is very much like a disco song and gives a party feeling but their outfits don’t match with that. Neither does the staging, there’s nothing going on besides the two of them dancing around. I really appreciate their energy and I can’t help but love Valentina but unfortunately I don’t really like the overall package.

CROATIA

I’m really impressed with this performance. I already knew that Jacques was a great singer but I was still doubting about how this would look on stage. But I love what they have done to the stage. Normally, I don’t really like backing vocals being that present on stage but with this song I don’t mind at all. I think the big screen for Croatia is one of the best screens that we have seen this year. There’s actually something to see, it’s not just colors or some smoke, they show a picture. I can’t help but think that this will qualify. I can’t imagine that people forget about this. It’s very impressive.

NORWAY

Based on the song only, this was one of my favourites this year. I thought the staging in the national final was good, for the national final. Right now, for the stage in Kyiv, I really expected something bigger. It’s like the same thing. There’s nothing refreshing, nothing that catches your eye. I like the fact that they have kept the mask because that’s just a clever thing. But overall, I was expecting a lot more from Norway.

SWITZERLAND

I’m going to start by saying the things I like about this performance. I like the fact that she wears a yellow dress, I think that a nice touch because it makes her as an artist memorable for people who just watch Eurovision when it’s on tv. Like, I can imagine people saying ‘oh yeah, the girl in the yellow dress.’ I like the fact that there’s something going on, with the stairs and the piano. You have something to look at. Now about those stairs, I don’t get why she keeps standing there for so long. It really looks boring. The part where she walks towards the piano is great, though. I don’t really get why they used pastel colors, I really expected a darker color scheme for Switzerland. Right now, it kind of looks too simple for the song.

BELARUS

I was expecting a more happy projection from Belarus. The song is very energetic and makes me smil, but the background right now confuses me a bit. Again, the blue color. I’m getting so bored by it. But anyway, the staging was what I expected because I can’t really see what they could have changed about that. I like them as performers, I just don’t think that this performance will be memorable enough.

BULGARIA

I think this is a great staging for Bulgaria. It really suits the song. I still don’t really understand the hype around him and the song. Yes, he’s a great singer and the song is nice but to say that he’s a favourite to win the entire competition is too much for me. I like the led screen, I think it really fits with everything. The entire package just works, but it’s not that great to be one of the favourites, in my opinion.

LITHUANIA

I think it was already destined for Lithuania to finish last in this semi-final. And I don’t think that the performance or the staging has changed anything about that. I have to say that it’s something different, there’s nothing like it in the entire competition. That’s actually a good thing and she’s vocally great as well. I just don’t think it has enough potential to qualify.

ESTONIA

I think this is the most classy song this year and it demands for a classy performance. I want to see glamorous styling and staging with this song. Right now, I don’t really get that feeling yet. I still don’t see that connection between them. It’s like he’s singing the song and she’s singing the song but they’re not singing it together. I don’t know why, but I keep getting this impression. I also think that it really depends on the camera cuts and angles for this song. I can definitely see it qualifying but they still have some work to do.

ISRAEL

I was never a fan of this song, or his voice. But damn, this performance is so good. I don’t get the fact that the led shows a picture of him, but that seems to be a popular thing this year. So anyway, the performance is very energetic and I like it. Guys doing this type of choreography is, for me, typical for Eurovision, but anyhow no one has done it up until now. Israel does something that isn’t original at all but it just works. I don’t know if this performance will save the fact that his vocals aren’t that great (for now). But I can see why people would vote for it, especially since it’s the last song of the evening.


I think this has been the least impressive day of the rehearsals. Croatia has made a big impression, though. Israel was also very good, although the overall package isn’t that convincing for me. San Marino was probably the most forgettable one, followed by Bulgaria in my opinion. Switzerland had good things, but also quite bad things. So that’s not one of my favourite performances either. Estonia has potential but isn’t where it should be yet. Lithuania was also quite forgettable, but it has that weirdness that could partly save the performance. Norway and Belarus have good performances, but I really expected more from both of them. Here’s my top nine of today’s rehearsals, based on the performance only.

  1. Croatia
  2. Israel
  3. Belarus
  4. Norway
  5. Estonia
  6. Switzerland
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Lithuania
  9. San Marino
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