Eurovision 2021 Eden Alene Israel First Rehearsal
Eden Alene from Israel (Photo: Thomas Hanses / EBU)

Eurovision 2021 Semi-final 1: First rehearsals

All the 16 participants from Semi-final 1 have been on the Eurovision stage in Rotterdam for the first time. Watch a snippet of the rehearsals here

The last two days, the 16 participants from Semi-final 1 rehearsed on the Eurovision Stage for the first time. Follow the rehearsals from Saturday and Sunday, and watch the videos (snippets) from Rotterdam.

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.

Semi-final 1

1st rehearsals
The Roop
The Roop have already stepped on the Eurovision 2021 stage. The clothing is exactly the same as presented in Lithuania's national selection (Pabandom iš naujo 2021) as well as the choreography. It is safe to say that the staging is similar to what we were already introduced to but with new background images – including thunder effects and the black and white squares also featured in the music video. The purple is also a big part of the performance. Through the last chorus, the vocalist and the two dancers grab the camera and follow it through the stage.
Ana Soklič
The hallelujah singer Ana Soklič is next to grace the Eurovision 2021 stage. Very similar to the presentation of Amen, she is dressed in white. The staging gives a universe vibe. Upon the first verse of chorus, the stage lights up with a shower of stars and Ana showcasing strong vocals. The Slovenian singer is alone on stage and is the first to make use of both stages. During the choir part of the song before the final minute of the song, Ana crosses over to the second stage where she belts out the last chorus. The performance ends with a close shot of Ana.
"Wait, what?" That would be an accurate reaction to Manizha's first run of rehearsals. There's an outfit change live on stage, just like she did in the Russian national selection, but way more impactful. The first outfit (a sort of sarafan) is a huge dress that moves around the stage like a bumper car and features traditional Russian elements. It's so huge it opens, as a door, and she leaves it before the first chorus. The second outfit is pretty similar to what she wore in her national selection and so is the staging. Another highlight would go for the LED filled with russian women. Girl power!
Tusse is next. Sweden are known not to make drastic changes from their Melodifestivalen performance and this year is no exception. Tusse's stage presence and movements are the same of what we've seen in the national final however the staging is less dark. Warm colors are used and could remind you of their 2019 entry "Too Late For Love" by John Lundvik. A noticeable change is Tusse's clothes. Same color suit but this time sleeveless with some bling. Towards the end of the first chorus he is joined by four dancers however just before the bridge of the song, the background is lit up with various people joining Tusse in spirit. As he sings the last chorus, the stage lights up with stars. Vocally he is much better than Melodifestivalen especially after his latest vocal surgery.
Unlike other performers, Montaigne did not rehearse due to Australia not being able to be in Rotterdam. With this constraint, we were only shown a short clip with some behind the scenes footage of recording her live-on-tape performance. From what was shown, Montaigne will be wearing a black latex suit and will be surrounded by 3 dancers. The stage seems to be set mainly with dark colors however we might get treated to more behind the scenes clips during the 2nd rehearsal.
From backing vocalist to main artist, Vasil was here to stand in Rotterdam. The performance starts quite dark while focusing on Vasil. He is dressed in black with a cape to complement his style. After the first few notes, we see a gold light growing from his chest. As the song progresses the stage lights up in gold with several close up shots of Vasil. Just before the last chorus hits, Vasil opens his suit to reveal a sort of mirrored waistcoat. This part of the performance will remind you of Dotter's Melodifestivalen 2020 performance "Bulletfproof". As the song closes the stage switches between dark and gold colors as Vasil hits his last high note. Vasil stands alone on stage throughout the whole performance.
Lesley Roy
Lesley Roy was the last act to step on the stage. In a green overall, the singer tried to create a sort of alternative reality and tell a story using multiple stage props such as paperboard waves, rocks and so on. You can easily see the Katy Perry influences in the perfomance but a lot has yet to be improved as timings and camera angles failed multiple times. By the end, Lesley gets rid of all the stage props and walks toward the stage B to finish the song.
Elena Tsagrinou
Elena Tsagrinou kicks off the second days of rehearsals with a highly-choreographed performance of "El Diablo". Dressed with dripping jewels, she starts on the floor facing a mirror. As soon as the first verse kicks in, she is up and joined by four dancers all wearing a full red outfit making allusions to what it's thought to be the devil (easily compared to Britney Spears' "Oops!... I Did It Again" music video outfit). From the moment she's up, the choreography is non-stop. The mirror in the beginning of the performance is featured throughout the majority of the performance and the viewer is able to see the front and the back of the performance. Fire is also part of the performance towards the end. Vocals seem to be pretty stable as well.
The Norwegian "Fallen Angel" has landed in Rotterdam. The performance is pretty much the same as the MGP 21 national final with some changes. TIX is now accompanied by 4 dancers opposed to what we've seen in Norway. A noticeable change is that his "golden" armor that we've seen in the national final is now covered in jewels, same as his chains. The staging starts out quite dark however from the first chorus, more shades of blue are induced. This time TIX has removed his dice to make a statement and as the song approached towards the end, the stage turns into gold with a cloud backdrop. During the chorus, pyros are used and a clear yin yang symbol is shown on the stand that TIX is on. Vocally he was not strong as he was in the Norwegian pre-selection.
Don't expect a very similar performance to the national selection from Albina. The "Tick-Tock" performance has been upgraded and a lot of things have changed minus parts of the choreography even if more was added in. Albina is joined by four male dancers and has left the pants home to wear a quite see-through bodysuit - she almost looks like a superwoman! The Croatian delegation have incorporated their own piece of staging where Albina stands until the bridge of the song where she's carried by the dancers to the center of the Rotterdam Ahoy arena stage. The Croatian bit of the song was kept.
The performance beings with a shot of the pianist and turning the focus immediately towards the singer, Geike Arnaert. As the song progresses shots of Geike together with the backing vocalist are shown whilst a backdrop of the singer's face is projected. The staging is quite minimalist with the color black dominating. Shots of the band and the backing vocalist are shown throughout the performance with them all placed on platforms except the singer herself. Everyone is dressed in black including Geike who is rocking an elegant black dress with high knee boots. As the song approaches towards the end, a beam of white light is focused on the singer. Vocals are impeccable during the whole performance.
Eden Alene
Do you want a high energy performance? Well, Israel has got your back. Eden Alene is on stage joined with five male dancers in a white shiny short jacket. The beginning is mysterious up until the first beat kicks in and Eden's stage presence comes alive with a lot of dance moves and walking on stage. The Israeli team makes good usage of both stagings as Eden tries to divide time between them. If the viewer isn't yet convinced, wait until the bridge goes in as Eden, not only, serves great and stable vocals but a reveal and even a different hairdo... That is part of her "new dress".
Roxen takes her dark melodic ballad to stage. She is wearing casual sweatpants and a jumper which most probably are not part of the official clothing and is accompanied by 5 dancers. Her vocals start of shaky but slightly improve towards the end of the song however leaving much room for improvement. The choreography is based on her music video but adaptable for the stage. This starts of quite dark but transcends into blue elements for the first chorus and continues with shades of red. The backdrop for this performance shows people who are trapped and trying to escape. Roxen uses both stages as she walks on the catwalk to escape her inner demons. The second stage is mostly used to portray Roxen conquering her demons with the last part of the performance having a backdrop change which represents a sunset with a sky becoming more clear by time.
Efendi is next with an ethnic tune. She is all dressed in black with a dress which seems to be made out of lace and shining pieces of jewelry on her shoulders. Efendi is accompanied by four dancers and the choreography is quite similar to the music video. The main element which is shown in all the backdrops throughout the performance is a golden sphere and each time the chorus hits, a cobra is shown. Elements of fire are also shown numerous times. Efendi moves around the stage during the performance but her main dancers do most of the work. Efendi's voice is quite good but could be better at times.
Go_A tried to bring part of the music video of "SHUM" to the Rotterdam Ahoy arena stage. They are standing in a white square decorated with white fake trees that gives it a sort of a winter look. On top of that the vocalist is wearing a black latex dress with a green feathery jacket whereas the remaining members are wearing white. The group is joined by two dancers who carry what it seems to be a ring light throughout the entire performance. The background imagery is quite dynamic and fast-paced just like the song itself.
It's not because all ears are in your voice that you can't try to get every eyes on you. That's exactly Destiny's goal with her "Je Me Casse" performance. Dressed in a pink body and backedup by yellow backgrounds, the Maltese singer gives sass, attitude and certainly delivers onpoint vocals. She's joined by four other ladies, also dressed in pink. The majority of the performance happens in the back of the stage featuring a sort of a colourful handrail up until the second chorus when Destiny walks onto the center of the stage. The staging is highly choreographed even though there's not that many dance moves aside from the "Je Me Casse" known hand movement.

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