After a relatively gentle start to rehearsals yesterday Sunday ramped up the excitement with a longer running order, a wee bit more pyro and plenty of bangers. Today has confirmed just how great SF1 is going to be this year…

Whilst Sunday morning in Edinburgh may have been a drab and driech affair the stage in Rotterdam was literally and metaphorically HOT! Elena Tsagrinou has a lot to live up to live up to following Eleni Foureira & Tamta (let’s just forget Sandro). However, she well and truly knocked it out the park with her performances of El Diablo. Barring an unfortunate mic pack drop her rehearsals were pretty much flawless. It had red light effects, akin to She Got Me from 2019, but with a mirror adding depth to the performance. Elena had plenty of choreo to run through, as well as vocals, and all were on point. The final run through with a massive flaming “El Diablo” sign was the final pièce de résistance. I had Cyprus down as a maybe for qualifying. Not anymore, she’s sailing through to Saturday.

The overall theme of today was battle of the pop ladies. With the aforementioned Cyprus rehearsing along with Croatia, Israel & Azerbaijan we were treated to a bundle of bops. And I cannot rule any of them out for qualification. Cyprus is by far the safest of these but the others all stand a chance. Croatia and Israel have similar colour palates and both bring a comparable level of quality. Eden of Israel still has more work to do but Albina of Croatia has turned up with the full package. Both are more likely to make it than Efendi from Azerbaijan. Cleopatra Mata Hari lacks the pure batshit nonsense we expect of an Azeri stage presentation. Still wouldn’t count it out mind.

The winner of the day has to be the likely winner of the semi and the possible winner of the final. Given the visual gimmickery we’ve seen over the years just putting focus on the performer and allowing her to stand out on a bright, vibrant stage is all you need. Je Me Casse isn’t the best song of the year but Destiny is THE best performer and vocalist and there was nothing in the rehearsals to suggest otherwise. A few tweaks here and there, mainly making sure the line “Excuse my French” has Destiny in focus, and they’re golden. Destiny fulfilling the expected nominative determinism is still on.

Surprise of the Day: Ukraine. Really not a fan of their song beforehand but cannot help but be beguiled by their stage show. Has all the vibes of mysterious mythical enchanted forest. Pure magic!

Disappointment of the Day: Azerbaijan have brought all of…zero pyro. Azerbaijan…at Eurovision…with no pyro. What’s the point?

Dumb joke that should really result in my accreditation being rescinded of the Day:

I wondered yesterday if we’d be a little clearer on who was qualifying for the final after today. I’m happy to report that, for me, I’ve got a better idea of who’s going to make the cut. But we’re still some way from keeping score. Everything still to play for!

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