720 days have passed since Duncan Laurence collected the crystal microphone and reprised Arcade as the winning song. Today, after all that time we finally saw acts return to the Eurovision stage. Rehearsals have started and we’re well on our way to the big show. Was it worth the wait?

GOD YES.

The first day back in action opened with Lithuania’s The Roop, and as will be the case with the semi final itself, it was one hell of an opener! Given it was just a rehearsal, and it was the first of the day, they still had an abundance of energy, the like of which I have never felt at 9am! Building on the solid performance we saw in their national final, the addition of a chequerboard effect and some fun camera trickery elevates it even higher. The lead singer, Vaidotas, still strays a little too far over into wacky territory but it’s still an outstanding show opener after a two year wait. As I keep saying, rule them out for the victory at your peril!

The award for best rehearsal of the day, in the opinion of this writer, goes to Manizha’s Russian Woman. It was STUNNING. Starting off restricted by an oversized traditional outfit akin to a Russian doll merged with a Dalek, Manizha struggles with her garb before boldly breaking out to reveal the red jumpsuit we saw in the national final. The performance itself retained all the power and attitude from said national selection but with a more polished feel. It concludes with a large LED wall of Russian women singing along in a very busy Zoom meeting style. This will be an unforgettable performance and any doubts about it’s chances of qualifying have most certainly been allayed. Russia making the final? DON’T BE AFRAID GIRL!

As expected Sweden have given Tusse a very similar staging to Melfest. Coming after Russia it really was rather underwhelming. Vasil from North Macedonia turns himself into a disco ball mid-performance, the lad is showbiz through and through. Elsewhere in the schedule we had a truncated rehearsal for Ireland. They seem to be using dioramas and cut outs to create their staging theme. This complicated concept meant they were the only nation not to complete all three run throughs…DIORAMADRAMA!

Looks like the Irish are giving us a flipbook performance.

Surprise of the Day: Ireland going all out with the staging, even if it is unfinished. IF they can pull this off, it’ll be great.

Disappointment of the Day: Not seeing any of Montaigne’s live on tape rehearsals, but I totally understand why.

Stupid joke I did on Microsoft Paint of the Day:

It’s been a steady start that leaves me with no clue who’s getting out of this semi. With nine acts to rehearse tomorrow, Sunday will be a busier day. Whether we’ll have a better idea of who’s proceeding? WHO KNOWS!

One thought on “Day 1: Rousing Roop, Marvellous Manizha & Intriguing Ireland

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