Eurovision 2021 Stefania Greece Rehearsal
Stefania from Greece (Photo: Andres Putting / EBU)

Eurovision 2021 Semi-final 2: First rehearsals

All the participants from Semi-final 2 had their first rehearsal on the Eurovision stage. Watch a snippet from the rehearsals here

Yesterday and today the 17 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 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 2

1st rehearsals
Senhit feat. Flo Rida
Senhit is here to open the second semi-final and transmit her highly energetic song to the viewer. The performance starts off with a head shot of the singer wearing a church headpiece which seems out of place but is soon removed by one of her dancers. Senhit is all dressed in black and is accompanied by four dancers who are dressed in white and wearing a rubber mask. She performs the first half of the song on the spinning diamond which was also featured in the music video. AS the first chorus hits, Senhit shouts out "Hello Rotterdam". Blue, Pink, Green, Yellow and White dominate the stage numerous times. Was Flo Rida present? Sadly no! A stand-in rapper took over the rap part of the performance in the first rehearsal (still no confirmation if Flo Rida will make it to Rotterdam or not). As the rap part of the performance hits, Senhit, her dancers and the rapper move towards the second stage. Vocals are good especially for an early morning run but could improve.
Uku Suviste
Simple is the keyword for this performance. Uku is alone on stage throughout the performance in a very dark blue staging. The performance starts out with far end shots of Uku, having a white sphere as a backdrop. As the song progresses, lightning bolts dominate the backdrop. He is is formally dressed with an open bowtie - same style we've seen in the Estonian national selection. Towards the end of the song, the floor and backdrop changes to red and thunderbolts dominate again. The performance is very similar to the Estonian national final however more polished for Rotterdam. Vocally, Uku comes out quite good but high notes are not reached.
Benny Cristo
Another up-tempo song next with Benny Cristo. He starts off in the middle of a few white neon tubes but after a few notes walks towards the middle of the main stage. He is immediately joined by two male dancers which are all dressed in black with a beanie hat. Benny is wearing casual skate-park clothes with a rhinestone yellow jacket and embedded roses the left side. The staging is quite dark for this number however at times, some colors do shine through. After the second chorus, two female dancers join the group making Benny accompanied by a total of four dancers. As we get to the bridge of the song, the stage goes darker with shattered glass as a backdrop and moves towards the second stage. Vocally weak and the energy level so far is quite "zen".
The highly anticipated Stefania is here to showcase her last dance moves! Stefania shines in a purple rhinestone catsuit. The backdrop and lights have a purple tone to complement her dress and as we head towards the first chorus, laser lights are displayed! As the first chorus hits, the stage turns into a comic-book reel (made by Green Screen) and Stefania is joined by a dancer, where it's only his white suit and hat that is visible, to blend in the comic strip. Towards the middle of the performance, four dancers join Stefania in the comic setup. As it approaches the end, the dancers reveal themselves and the stage is revealed again, taking away the comic feel. Vocally impeccable with heavy usage of Green Screen technology.
Vincent Bueno
It may be one of the only times the LED screens are barely used during a performance but it seems that way for Austria. Dressed all in black with a shiny long jacket, Vincent Bueno is also on his own little catwalk. Instead of the LED madness, Austria opts for a huge game of lights that in one or other segment could resemble John Lundvik's "Too Late For Love". The game of lights is quite well put together and does grab the emotion that Vincent wants to transmit onstage. From the bridge onwards, Vincent walks to the end of the catwalk joined by more and more lights. It's only within the last chorus that we see orange graphics in the LED screen.
Disclaimer: the sunglasses are back! Rafał is dressed in black and accompanied by four dancers dressed in white with a black t-shirt. The dancers have their hands lit up as they dance around Rafał. He tries to get cozy with the camera numerous times by turning it around and pushing it away. As the first chorus hits, Rafał and the dancers head to the center of the main stage with the music video playing as the backdrop. The stage itself has an 80s vibe with checkered squared all over the place. Actually this reminds me of the Eurovision 1988 stage. Towards the middle of the performance Rafał takes off his sunglasses and starts striding down the catwalk over to the second stage. Towards the end he goes back to the main stage and puts those famous sunglasses back on. Vocals are weak and a lot of improvement is needed. Pyros are used when Rafał sings the chorus parts of the song.
Natalia Gordienko
Natalia's outfit is not too different from Elena's from Cyprus. It is silver and also short, covered in shiny pieces. Her hair is short and she is joined by four male dancers. Once more the delegation brought their own piece of stage - a white square - where Natalia stays the entire performance. As for the LED colour scheme, well, it's again a mixture of purple and pink, live we have seen Croatia and Israel do. She starts by being sit in one of the dancers back while doing somewhat teasing moves and, as soon as the chorus kicks in, it's choreography all the way. The square is movable which allows some interesting camera angles. As for the vocals, Natalia is heavily supported by the backing track.
Daði & Gagnamagnið
Wind machines, Green shirts, game console characters together with Daði & Gagnamagnið transporting us into space. The performance starts off all in purple with Daði & Gagnamagnið placed next to each other but in black light. As the first note is sung, everyone appears, with three members holding a piece of synthesizer. During the first part of the performance, the stage gives us a space feeling with game console aliens floating around whilst Daði walking towards a microphone stand at the center of the stage. As the first chorus hits, the stage becomes colorful in pink and yellow. This for sure will make viewers smile! Later, just before the second chrous Daði & Gagnamagnið starts to walk on the catwalk between both stages but stop with an LED background of more gaming characters. As the bridge hits, the members holding the synthesizers, group together and form a circular piano with Daði heading back towards the main stage for the final part of the song.
The Rotterdam Ahoy arena stage is quite enormous but not big enough for Serbia's Hurricane. In black outfits yet all extremely different, the trio delivered a quite energetic performance featuring a complex routine. They're alone onstage and rely on nothing else but on their energy and stage presence. As for LED, it features red and black graphics with a few words here and then: "Loco Loco", "Hurricane" or "Baby". They're supported by backvocals often but not in a way that you can't listen to the actual singers. Before the bridge of the song, the three girls run to the stage B where they eventually finish the song in a high note: choreography and big vocal moment.
Tornike Kipiani
Wearing quite similar clothes to what he's wearing in the music video, Tornike Kipiani chose to go with a quite simple performance. The LEDs are a big part of this performance and there's barely any movement on stage aside from when a white cube appears behind the Georgian singer who eventually sits on it. That's the highlight of the performance visually as parts of the song's lyrics are projected in his body ("You're everything"). Tornike is on the cube just for the second part of the song and continues to sing standing still until the end. The staging is quite dark and the LED filled with blue graphics. Vocally, the singer didn't struggle.
Anxhela Peristeri
Diva alert incoming from Albania. Anxhela Peristeri relies on nothing else but on her voice, beauty, sexiness and attitude for her Eurovision 2021 performance. She is wearing a short silver dress with dripping jewels – something we've seen quite a few times at this year's edition. The LED is a mixture of red, blue and black with a lot of smoke effects that eventually come to life by the end of the performance as the stage gets quite smoky. The camera angles constantly go from close to open plans as Anxhela serves also choreography.
The Black Mamba
The white hat is back. In fact, the outfits and the staging position of the band is quite similar to what we saw in Festival da Canção. In the beginning, it almost feels like we go back to one of the first ever Eurovision Song Contests. The screen is almost square and it's full black and white. It's only after the first chorus that the full screen takes place as well as the stage the colours. The Black Mamba share the story of the song using the LED screens and it's quite a smart move as images representing Amsterdam are also part of it. Before the final chorus, the vocalist heads to stage B to take on his electric guitar and finish the performance.
While Bulgaria is presenting a quite slow song, the staging does have a lot of work done including their own piece of material. Victoria is wearing a blue overall. Her hair is brown and long and she's also wearing a big neckless. The colouring is very warm throughout the entire performance with yellow and brown shades. As mentioned before, there's an alternative stage which seems to be a rock but that, at first, may give the idea that she's standing in an attic... Up until there's sand dropping from the roof and sea beneath the "rock". Next to her there's a picture that we see in the music video for "Growing Up Is Getting Old". Victoria is sit up until the second chorus kicks in and she moves next to the dropping sand. Towards the bridge of the song, she climbs the rock further and ends the performance in the highest point of it with the camera zooming on her face.
Blind Channel
Put your middle fingers up and join the dark side sorry I mean rock side! This is the first rock entry we've seen so far this year in the semi-finals. The concept is quite the same as we have watched in UMK, the Finnish pre-selection with higher energy levels. The vocalists are all dressed in black and the staging transcends between blue and red. The camera angles focuses a lot on the vocalists with several shots of the band. During the bridge of the song, shots of the guitarists are seen with them raising their guitar to this rock anthem. As we head towards the last chorus, both vocalists scream "ROTTERDAM".
Samanta Tīna
Has the moon really risen on this? The performance starts with a shot of Samanta Tina from the back in a dark setting. After a few notes, the singer turns around and struts towards the middle of the center stage. The main stage coloring is gold as Samanta is wearing a long green dress with a high tight slit and arm gloves. She is accompanied by three backing vocalists on stage which are also wearing green and head visors like the music video of her 2020 entry "Still Breathing". Samanta is not doing any specular dancing except for the bridge part when she dances in circles and facing up to the ceiling camera. This performance has a lot of long shots to focus on Samanta and the three vocalists. Vocally not the best with room for improvement.
Gjon's Tears
The highly anticipated performance from Switzerland had every reason to be anticipated. There's no connection with the music video and there's no piano. Instead, there's a huge white structure that, in the beginning, could resemble to Leonora from Denmark's chair in Eurovision 2019 but clearly isn't. Gjon's Tears is wearing black pants and a grey shirt with a few silver lines. The performance is impactful with the different camera angles, with Gjon's theatrical moves and expressions as well as with the lighting game on stage. Towards the bridge of the song, the initial structure is no longer put together and Gjon is standing alone in one of its parts while he finishes the song. There's just the correct mixture if emotion and choreography to convince the public. His vocals were flawless.
Welcome to the discotheque of the 80s, showered in pink, purple and turquoise colors – A full power LED dancefloor. Did you watch the Danish Melodi Grand Prix 2021 when Fyr & Flamme won with "Øve os på hinanden"? Then you have seen their performance for next Thursday. It is very similar, including the exact same clothing, choreography and staging. In the center of the stage there are two small round boxes where the two are standing most of the song, except when the singer, Jesper Groth, runs down on the catwalk and dances, sings a bit, and runs back on his box, a bit out of breath. Three backing singers (live) is seen at the back of the stage. The songs ends with fireworks. Vocals could be better.

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