After several days with mere morsels to feast on, today felt like the rehearsals properly kicked into gear.

  • Press centre open: ✔️
  • Online press centre open: ✔️
  • YouTube clips uploaded: ✔️
  • Fully functioning stage? Well…never mind.

The main topic of the day was naturally the malfunctioning on-stage rig and how much of an impact its lumbering presence had over the individual acts. Delegations will have been hoping to refine performances and camera angles but instead, some are still trying to adapt to the technological equivalent of Hamlet’s Father.

Some acts have coped well with the change. Though the song is weak, Bulgaria’s Top Gear compilation album come to life can still do the safe Dad rock performance you’d expect.

The nerdy Slovenian kids, fresh from awkwardly standing at the side of the school disko, gave a refreshingly cool performance free of tech issues. Still don’t think it’s a qualifier but they’ve given themselves the best possible chance. Nothing went tits up here.

If you didn’t watch the Spanish national final, this is tricky to explain…

There have, however, been a number of countries left lacking as a result of the faulty sun. Poor Monika Liu of Lithuania looks very small on a relatively bare stage. Running so early with a song that’s more of a niche interest, this needed to look incredible but it just didn’t.

It also leaves the Swiss staging looking very dark with only the Bear lad’s top half visible. Even Ukraine had a visual effect somewhat diminished as result. Unlike the other two, however, this won’t affect Ukraine’s chances. The rest of the staging that doesn’t involve the arc does the job for Stefania.

On a personal note, the biggest disappointment of the day was Moldova. Like Sugar last year this didn’t go full kitchen sink. There is still fun and energy but not the delightful silliness we come to expect from them. Unless of course, their train prop was operated by Scotrail, in which case it not turning up can only be expected.

The winner of the day for me was Greece. Die Together was not a song that was on my radar pre-Contest but seeing that staging, now suddenly it’s top 5 easy. As Amanda wanders round a graveyard of dead chairs she has a cold intensity that means you cannot take your eyes off her. Wouldn’t be surprised if this tops the jury vote in this semi.

In amongst everything else we’ve had in-ear issues, Covid positive backing singers and a split pair of trousers. Just another normal day in the world of Eurovision.

Image Credit: EBU / Nathan Reinds

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