Live from Tel Aviv: Second Rehearsals (Day 7)

Today marked the third day of the second rehearsals for the semi-finalists, starting with Croatia through to Azerbaijan Who impressed, and who runs the risk of non-qualification? Our guest writer Dennis (ESCdaily) gave his thoughts on the performances of the day!


Roko starts his performance lying on the floor, while the floor LEDs are showing big wings. He is wearing his white leather jacket. He sits and stands up, as two angels fall from the sky in the backdrop and actually on stage. The dancers have golden angel wings and they put on the same wings on the back of Roko. He then switches to Croatian, vocals are fine throughout the whole song. A lot of wide shots in this segment. Some distorting camera shots to close off the cheesy song.


‘Chameleon’ opens with Michela looking out of a window of home, while she plays with her hair. We see the door of her girl’s room opening, and water floats in (LED-projections on floor and backdrop).

The scene changes to a desert, where a chameleon is crawling. Big yellow, green ,red, blue changing backdrop as the word ‘Chameleon’ also appears. We switch to a jungle. Both Michela and her four dancers are all dressed in full white. Vocals remain the biggest issue potentially preventing a good Maltese result.


Plain and simple staging for Lithuania this year. Jurijus is all alone on stage in the dark, and yellow lights singing his song. The backdrop shows yellow dots forming quite unclear pictures. Some red and purple light beams appear in support.

Jurijus with his blue eyes aims for the camera, constantly, which is a good thing. The song opens with some distorting camera shots. You’ll get to see many close-ups, not as much wide shots, and the camera spins around him often.


Sergey grabs the attention from the viewer from the first second of the close-up of his face. First wide shot shows many mirrors on stage, with many Lazarev’s in it. Intergalactic backdrop. Sergey Lazarev then steps behind one of the mirrors, which changes to a rainy window. Also rain in the backdrop.

Many screaming Lazarev’s in all the other mirrors for the second chorus. On the beats the stage turns black, when only two mirrored Lazarev’s walk away. Very nice and spotless vocal harmonies and breaking glass for the closing shot.


Jonida looks like Cleopatra in her black and golden dress. Camera starts behind her and immediately gets close and spins around her. The stage triangle parts have changed position and now look like the 1980 stage with large ‘metal’ elements with orange ribs in the (dark blue) air. A lot of black and red in this act, as expected. The three backings are standing on stage, in sight of Jonida. Halfway the song Jonida is standing in a circle of fire. Good vocals!


The three members of KeiiNO are all on their own spot for the start of ‘Spirit in the sky’. Black leather outfits with loads of chrome buttons for Tom, Alexandra and joiker Fred. Tom Hugo takes the catwalk, Alexandra is standing still on the middle on the stage and the joiker (Fred) is apart from them as well. They join each other after a while until the joiker gets his solo. We see a deer and drawings behind him on the backdrop.

In the dark some green spots lit during the first two minutes and we see the Northern light theme. There is smoke on the floor and fire flares, which enlightens the scene. In the end the KEiiNO stand together but never we get to see real chemistry.


A black and blue stage for the Dutch, who have Duncan Laurence sitting behind a piano. A long wide shot brings us towards him, which takes about 20 seconds. An empty glass box with a bright light above it is standing next to the piano.

Every now and then we get a close-up of Duncan, who doesn’t look in the camera that much. A LOT of wide shots of the blue backdrop, especially at the high pitched notes. A beautiful spin around Duncan near the end of the song. Closing shot is a zoom-out. Vocals and emotional deliverance are of very high quality.

North Macedonia

Tamara has a turquoise dress, with black see through sleeves, red lipstick and blonde hair. Song opens close-up of her face on a very dark stage. She stands in front of the stage, with in the background six mirrors, mirroring Tamara’s backside. No extra features. Projections of black and white portraits of children and women in the big backdrop. Powerful vocals in a very simple staging. In the end we get to see a black and white portrait of Tamara and her daughter as a closing shot. Vocals are strong and her emotion comes across in every run-through.


Show opens with a robotic arm, projecting a heart on the chest of Chingiz. He stands in front of a upside down triangle prop. A LED background you see a computer model of a woman’s head turning to left and right.

Many messy camera shots (on purpose) before a beam of light seem to lift his hologram spirit in the sky in the intermezzo. Visually very strong. As it’s Azerbaijan, the land of fire, expect some pyrotechnics. None of the backing singers are visible on stage.


The Winners of the day: The Netherlands has made some good improvements, but still has quite a lot of wide shots, making it hard for Duncan to connect with the camera. Malta and Azerbaijan also made improvements to their staging and can look back on a good day, whilst North Macedonia and Russia were stable in delivering their best. Russia is a contender for victory, together with The Netherlands and Sweden.

Needs Improvement: Norway is the country that is still left with the most work, as the three people of KEiiNO look like three solo artists and barely make connection with each other.

Middle of the pack: Croatia, Lithuania and Albania all seem to have a shot at a spot in the final, but it is obvious they will not all make it. Let’s see the dress rehearsals with all songs back to back in the running order, if we can make some final predictions.