Lithuania 2019: Jurij Veklenko
Jurij Veklenko from Lithuania at his first rehearsal (Photo: Thomas Hanses / EBU)

Eurovision 2019 Semi-final 2: First rehearsals

The rehearsals in Tel Aviv continued today with the second half of Semi-final 2 on the Eurovision stage for the first time. Watch a snippet of the rehearsals here

The last couple of days the 18 participants from Semi-final 2 rehearsed for the first time on the Eurovision Stage. Follow the rehearsals from Monday and Tuesday, and watch the videos (snippets) from Tel Aviv.

1st rehearsals (30 minutes)

Before the 1st rehearsal each country gets instructions on safety, the dressing room area is presented, and there will be an In-Ear Monitoring Rehearsal backstage.

After the 1st rehearsal each delegation go to the Viewing Room, to see the recording of the rehearsal. Here any changes on visuals, camera work, choreography, etc. will be discussed. After this, there will be a makeup consultation, and the Press Meet & Greet takes place.

Semi-final 2 (1st half)

1st rehearsals, Monday 6 May
She serves fierceness, looks and vocals. Alone on stage filled with smoke, Srbuk is wearing a black outfit and her legs are showing. She is also wearing long black high-heel boots. The LED keeps on changing between tones of white, red and black and there's even a broken glass on the floor around the bridge of the song. Amongst the face shots, the Armenian singer plays a lot with the camera towards the second part of the song. The choreography is not over the top and vocally, Srbuk was on point. The performance features fireworks during the second chorus and during the song's peak, our TV screens will look as if they're broken due to screen effects and will be invaded by lots of fire.
Sarah McTernan
Ireland is giving it all this year. In a rubber red dress, Sarah walks into the stage from the backstage and we quickly realize we're in a sort of American pub with a bar in the center of the stage. The LEDs are filled with Pop Art elements. Right after the first chorus, two dancers in pink appear on stage and join McTernan for the rest of the song. Together they do a few of choreography and by the song's bridge, Sarah lays down on the bar while the camera films her from up above which does create a moment.
The four members are on stage. Sabīne - the vocalist - is wearing a green hat with a long white dress while the boys are wearing a mix of white and dark pants. The staging is quite shiny and simple, just like in their national selection. The LEDs are representing the night, being filled with stars and a moon (making justice to the song's title) and it surely resembles a simple yet effect Country performance.
Luca Hänni
In black and with a red background, Luca enters the stage with a slow walking that could resemble Eleni Foureira's 2018 entrance. He is joined in the middle of the stage with four dancers wearing all red-colored clothing. The LEDs behind him remain red for most of the performance - with a few white backgrounds. The TV screen keeps, nonetheless, on changing throughout the song from a full screen into little squares mixed slow-motion effects. It is a full choreographed performance with fireworks near the end but Luca does not follow entirely the dancers' moves for the whole performance probably due to breathing purposes.
Anna Odobescu
Do you remember Mika Newton's performance of "Angel" (Ukraine 2011)? That's basically what Moldova is presenting this year. Anna is in a short wedding dress while she walks around the stage and a woman behind her is in charge of the sand effects. The LED is a representation of what the artist is drawing in the table behind her. Anna had various issues throughout her rehearsal but ended up repeating the performance successfully. Vocally there was no flaws to point out.
Ester Peony
Is this a Dracula inspired performance? Yes! Ester Peony is sitting on a red armchair in a big gothic outfit that surely resembles the character. Besides the Romanian singer, the stage is filled with two backvocalists, two dancers and her boyfriend, the guitarist - all wearing black outfits. There's an obvious dark mood attached to the performance and Ester acts maniac randomly. As if all of this wasn't enough, her eyeshadows are toned red. Throughout the entire performance there are shots of fire and by the end it gets more intense along with fireworks.
Staging is similar to her Melodi Grand Prix 2019 performance, wearing the same outfit. Leonora's performance begins with camera focusing on her face, with a board painted with clouds placed behind her. after 20-30 seconds, the board splits in half as she walks backwards towards the audience. Videoart on the screens behind her showing sun rays with clouds. She walks around the stage, to climb her way on a ladder, to a huge chair centered on stage. two backvocalists wearing black are joining her on the chair. she stays on the chair for duration of the song, with two dancers joining her and the backvocalists.
Simple, effect and emotional. It all starts with a black & white screen effect and really few lights. As the song continues, more lights keep on illuminating the stage chorus by chorus up until we realize she is surrounded by light sticks. Alone on stage from start to end, Paenda brings colours back to life in the song's bridge. Vocally she seemed to be on key and even dared to change a few keys of the original song.
John Lundvik
Unsurprisingly, John's Tel Aviv performance is a replica of his Melodifestivalen performance. Same black clothing, with his golden dots projector and even the same 4 dancers and camera angles. videoart on the screens behind him displaying white stripes blinking. Vocally he sounds good, very uplifting and relatively stable throught his performance.

Semi-final 2 (2nd half)

1st rehearsals, Tuesday 7 May
The wings are not leaving. Roko begins his performance laying on the floor surrounded by what it seems to be the end of the world. The LEDs are covered with fire and lava at first. Once he gets up, the fire gives place to the sky and the stage is filled with smoke. That's when two dancers - dressed as angels with golden wings - join the stage. They also give Roko a pair of golden wings that follows him until the of the song. Throughout the performance, one can also see thunders in the LED performance - very similar to the official music video.
Malta brought their own material to Eurovision. LED walls build the stage and its screens are complemented by the main one at the end of the song. The performance kicks off with Michela in a cartoon frame that then gives place to the several references within the song: chameleons, jungle and water. She executes some choreography, especially during the choruses. She is wearing white pieces of clothes and her hair is tied up. It may be one of the most complex performances so far as a lot of camera work will be needed due to the LED screens. Michela seems confident and vocally competent.
Jurij Veklenko
He's all smiles even if alone onstage from the beginning until the end. The LED screens are decorated with golden tones but despite his suggestion of running with the lions, no one's running in the performance. In fact, it's a very minimalistic performance focused in Jurij's face and smile.
Sergey Lazarev
Sergey is in the center of the stage wearing a white outfit. He is surrounded by nine LED screens. The screens keep on changing between mirrors, to windows to other figures of Sergey. During the second part of the second and respective chorus, Sergey is behind a specific LED that shows "rain" falling on a window. Vocally competent, Sergey delivers a very elaborated performance that, nonetheless, isn't as complex as his 2016 attempt. At the end of the song, the LEDs go back to mirrors that eventually break.
Jonida Maliqi
The first thing one notices is how the stage has changed. The triangles on top of the scene are in a different position that eventually go back to normal by the end of the performance. As for Jonida, she's wearing a beautiful black dress with gold details in it. The camera starts from her back and goes around her in the beginning and changes between face-shots and full body ones. She's joined by three backvocalists kept on having different positions throughout her takes.
KEiiNO's performance starts with the camera focused on lead singer Tom, then zooming out, showing Alexandra singing at the middle of the stage. They all wear black part-shiny clothing. Screens behind them showing Blue-Purple animations, followed by smoke being spread on the stage floor. At some point, Tom is walking the stage's catwalk and they all unite at the middle of the stage for the rest of the song. Towards the end, we enjoy pyro and yellow colored lighting.
Duncan Laurence
All alone on stage, Duncan does seem vulnerable while he plays the piano in the center of the stage. There's no one else but him, a blue sky behind him and a lamp above him. Blue is also the color of the shirt he'll be wearing. His facial expressions seem to show pain and emotion. The performance ends with the camera getting away from Duncan and a bunch of blue lights behind him. Duncan kept it minimalistic, intimate and surely created a moment. "Arcade" has what it takes to replay what happened back in 2017 with "Amar Pelos Dois".
Tamara Todevska
Tamara is wearing shiny turquoise dress, while the screens behind showing 6 replicas of her, from the back. She stays in the middle of the stage during all of her performancer. later, we see black&white faces of people being shown on the backscreen. camera is switching between 3 main angles: zoom-in on her face, side angle and zoom-out on her and the stage.
Chingiz stage performance includes a large LED triangle standing behind him, with two laser machines is projecting a red beating heart on his black jacket. Towards the end, we can enjoy an amazing effect on stage with animation of Chingiz being projected from the stage and returning. Screens behind him are showing yellow beating heart, later switching to women face in digital form.

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