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Live Blog: Saturday 30 April

Welcome to the Live Blog for Saturday 30 April (Day 1).

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Live Blog

Day 1 of rehearsals is DONE!

So that’s it for Day One, and WHAT a start to rehearsals here in the Pala Olimpico in Turin. Hope you’re enjoying all the photo galleries and rehearsal clips on TikTok – we’ll be back tomorrow for more exclusive peeks at the preparations for the first Semi-Final next Tuesday. Here’s the line-up for tomorrow:

🇵🇹 Portugal

🇭🇷 Croatia

🇩🇰 Denmark

🇦🇹 Austria

🇮🇸 Iceland

🇬🇷 Greece

🇳🇴 Norway

🇦🇲 Armenia

We’re starting at 10:00 CEST, so we’ll see you then! Ciao!

🚨EXCLUSIVELY ON TIKTOK – Moldova's First Rehearsal🚨

And finally for today, here’s an EXCLUSIVE clip of Moldova’s first rehearsal, only on TikTok.

🚨EXCLUSIVELY ON TIKTOK – Netherlands' First Rehearsal🚨

Here’s a little peek at Netherland’s first rehearsal, courtesy of TikTok.

🚨EXCLUSIVELY ON TIKTOK – Bulgaria's First Rehearsal🚨

Here’s an exclusive TikTok clip of Bulgaria’s first rehearsal.

Backstage Day 1

Please enjoy this gallery of backstage photos from Day 1 of rehearsals.

Loving the Netherlands' delegation jackets...

Talking of style, any chance Team S10 might swap one for their fancy jackets for an official Eurovision crew hoodie? Hello? Anyone?


We're all about the content

S10 backstage making some glorious, glorious content. So much style on show today, we feel very underdressed.

S10 in the Content Studio

🚨EXCLUSIVELY ON TIKTOK – Ukraine's First Rehearsal🚨

Here’s an exclusive look at Ukraine’s first rehearsal – enjoy!

Folklore and tasselled hats...

We’re already obsessed with this Moldovan tasselled baseball cap. Just checked the official merchandise store and they’re sadly not available. Yet.

Zdob şi Zdub’s lead singer Roman Yagupov

Wait...LPS can JUGGLE too?

Oh no wait, they’re not juggling. But they are helping us make some fun content…coming soon on the official Eurovision YouTube channel. Hit subscribe so you don’t miss anything!

LPS juggling

Here's the Moldova picture gallery...

Just a few pictures of Moldova’s first rehearsal. TikTok video link coming soon!

Ukrainian guy in a small arcade...

There’s no ping-pong table in the delegation bubble this year, but there is a selection of vintage arcade games. Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra have already discovered the pinball machine – can we expect a tournament once the other delegations arrive?

🚨EXCLUSIVELY ON TIKTOK – Slovenia's First Rehearsal🚨

Fancy a little disko? Here’s a clip of Slovenia’s first rehearsal.

A picture gallery from the Netherlands...

Want to see a few pics from Netherland’s first rehearsal? Happy to oblige.

A lot happens while those postcards are playing...

Rehearsals aren’t just for the acts – it’s an opportunity for the stage team to practise setting up each performer’s props and staging. In the live shows they’ve got the length of a postcard (maybe 45 seconds) to clear the stage and set up for the next act. It’s a VERY well-oiled Eurovision machine.

Behind the Scenes – First Dress Rehearsals EBU / Nathan Reinds

Are you dancing? We're definitely asking.

Moldova are doing another run-through, and we’re having a dance in the Green Room. It’s impossible not to.

Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers from Moldova rehearsed their song Trenuleţul for the first time at the PalaOlimpico EBU / Andres Putting

🇲🇩 Moldova take to the stage 🚂🚂🚂

After a long day in the arena, a bit of folklore and rock ‘n’ roll is the perfect way to wrap up today’s rehearsals. This song is SUCH fun, and Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers are bring big train energy to the Pala Olimpico stage.

They’ve gone full neon on the lighting and the graphics, AND there are even a couple of little dance routines in the chorus. It’s the first time we’ve seen the B Stage used today – there are a couple of drawbridges over the waterfall that go up and down.

This is three minutes of joyful chaos, but we are very much on board.

Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers from Moldova rehearsed their song Trenuleţul for the first time at the PalaOlimpico EBU / Andres Putting

Are these the most stylish teens in Slovenia?

While we’re waiting for Moldova to start, here’s Slovenia’s LPS chatting to their home broadcaster. Check out the STYLE.

LPS looking smart

And finally for today, it's 🇲🇩 Moldova to rehearse!

Hey ho, let’s go! The last act on stage for today’s rehearsal schedule is the irrepressible Zdob şi Zdub and Advahov Brothers singing Trenulețul, which is Romanian for ‘train’. It’s Zdob şi Zdub’s third time at Eurovision, and we’re hoping this is going to bring the final boost of energy we need to wrap up rehearsal Day 1.

Spotted in Turin... 🍌🍌🍌

These could only belong to Norway’s Subwoolfer. Full of bananas, probably.

Yellow suitcases

Check out our Bulgaria gallery...

Here’s a few photos from Bulgaria’s first rehearsal, because we’re good people who like nice pictures.

🚨EXCLUSIVELY ON TIKTOK – Switzerland’s First Rehearsal🚨

Here’s an exclusive clip of Switzerland’s first rehearsal. Enjoy!

🇳🇱 Netherlands take to the stage...

This is the first of several female-led alt-pop/folk ballads this year, and it’s the first time Netherlands have sung in Dutch since 2010. They didn’t qualify on that occasion, but this song is something quite special.

S10 is Stien den Hollander, and her costume is a very stylish black dinner jacket that’s cropped at the front but has long tails at the back. Her staging is is a smoky plinth and some dramatic lighting, and it delivers real impact. The Dutch delegation seem very happy with that, and so they should.

S10 from Netherlands rehearsed her song De Diepte for the first time at the PalaOlimpico EBU / Andres Putting

It's time for 🇳🇱 Netherlands’ First Rehearsal!

A significant change of pace now, with S10 from the Netherlands rehearsing their heartfelt ballad De Diepte. Incidentally, if you want information about S10 I’d recommend going straight to their Eurovision page below, because online search brings up great deal of information about cellphones.

🚨EXCLUSIVELY ON TIKTOK – Lithuania’s First Rehearsal🚨

Here’s an EXCLUSIVE TikTok clip of Monika Liu’s first rehearsal for Lithuania.

Marius Bear-ista ☕️

Here’s a pic of Switzerland’s Marius Bear honing his barista skills in the Delegation Bubble. We had high hopes for the arena coffee this year, and Italy has not let us down.

Switzerland’s Marius Bear making coffee


It’s our first pyro of the day! Bulgaria have brought ALL the flames to the final chorus. We didn’t need eyebrows anyway.

Intelligent Music Project from Bulgaria rehearsed their song Intention for the first time at the PalaOlimpico EBU / Andres Putting

Here's the Ukraine gallery...

Here’s a gallery of images from Ukraine’s first rehearsal. ENJOY.

And here's the view from above....

Love this view of the stage (set for Bulgaria) and the greenest Green Room ever. Can’t wait for this to be packed with Eurofans next week.

View of the stage and Green Room

The view from the Green Room...

Here’s a nice view from where we’re sitting right now – just in front is where each delegation watch their act rehearse, so they can decide if there’s anything they want to change before second rehearsals next week. Each pod also has a video monitor so they can see exactly how it will look on TV.

Behind the Scenes – First Delegation Rehearsals EBU / Nathan Reinds

🇧🇬 Bulgaria take to the stage...

Some incredible neon lighting in this performance, and impressive use of geometric shapes on the graphic backdrop too. This is a hugely polished performance from Bulgaria – there may only be a handful of spectators in the Pala Olimpico, but they’ve just blown the roof OFF.

Intelligent Music Project from Bulgaria rehearsed their song Intention for the first time at the PalaOlimpico EBU / Andres Putting

🇧🇬 Bulgaria are rehearsing next!

Next to take to the stage are Bulgarian rockers Intelligent Music Project, who are rehearsing their 80s-style rock anthem Intention. IMP have been making music for a good ten years, so they’re no strangers to the big stage. Let’s do this.

Take a look at our Slovenia gallery...

Dance this way for exclusive photos of Slovenia’s first rehearsal.

Prop of the day (so far)

Slovenia’s disko ball has made an early pitch for biggest prop of Eurovision 2022, but how big are we going to go this year? Will we reach the dizzy heights of Blas Canto’s moon from 2021? Time will tell…

LPS from Slovenia rehearsed their song Disko for the first time at the PalaOlimpico EBU / Andres Putting

🇺🇦 Ukraine take to the stage....

So Stefania is a tribute to band member Oleh’s mother, and apparently she didn’t know he’d written it until she saw them perform it on Ukraine’s Eurovision selection show, Vidbir. We bet that was a pretty special moment for Oleh’s mum, and now she gets to see them perform on this huge Eurovision stage.

Some incredible outfits in this lineup – not everyone can pull off a sparkly waistcoat paired with a pink bucket hat, never mind the German flag made entirely of fringing. But these guys are nailing it.

Lovely use of the graphic backdrop too – some really nice black & white video mixed in with traditional Ukrainian motifs.

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine rehearsed their song Stefania for the first time at the PalaOlimpico EBU / Andres Putting

It's time for 🇺🇦 Ukraine!

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra are next up on the rehearsal stage, with their song Stefania. Their band members include Ihor, who was one of the flute guys for Go_A in Rotterdam last year. This year’s entry is a little less late night rave, but still has that uniquely Ukrainian folk/hiphop vibe. Are we ready?

Want to see some Switzerland photos?

Of course you do.

Lunchtime attire for Ronela

While the rest of us grabbed a sandwich before hurrying back to the arena, Ronela Hajati from Albania was setting a very high fashion bar in the delegation bubble. How will other nations compete with this incredlble look? It’s only Day 1!

Ronela Hajati from Albania

🌿🌿 Greenery update! 🌿🌿

We’ve confirmed that there are 1700 individual bushes in the Pala Olimpico Green Room. Still trying to find out who has to water them.

Check out our Lithuanian gallery...

Please enjoy these exclusive photos of Monika Liu’s first rehearsal. You’re so welcome.

🚨EXCLUSIVELY ON TIKTOK – Latvia’s First Rehearsal🚨

When you’ve finished your lunchtime salad, watch this EXCLUSIVE clip of Latvia’s first rehearsal.

🇸🇮 Slovenia take to the stage...

We LOVE a giant on-stage disco ball! For scale, we’d say it’s roughly the size of two Fiat 500s stacked on top of one another. There’s a picture below so you can tell us on Twitter that we chose the wrong Italian car.

LPS are looking fabulous in classic sixties tailoring. This song is pure joy, and they’re delivering it with their usual effortless cool. We’re smiling and having a little bop. How could you not?

LPS from Slovenia rehearsed their song Disko for the first time at the PalaOlimpico EBU / Andres Putting

It's time for 🇸🇮 Slovenia’s First Rehearsal!

Up next is Slovenia, with LPS performing their song Disko. There’s lots to love about this – LPS are a Slovenian teen pop quintet, but they’re not your average teen band – the vibe of this song is pure retro funky disco.

Incidentally, LPS stands for Last Pizza Slice, which earns them the first pizza emoji 🍕 of this year’s Live Blog season. Since we’re in Italy, it almost certainly won’t be the last. Sorry not sorry.

🚨EXCLUSIVELY ON TIKTOK – Albania’s First Rehearsal🚨

Want a peek at Albania’s first rehearsal? Of course you do. It’s up on Tiktok!

It's time for lunch!

We’ve taken a break for lunch, rehearsals will start again about 1340 CEST. In the meantime please enjoy this photo of Latvia’s Citi Zēni hanging out in the delegation bubble in their normal, everyday clothes.

Latvia in the delegation bubble

And maybe some Latvia photos too?

Galleries are hot 🔥, galleries are cool 😎. Eat your salad, see some photos, galleries are sexy as…

Want to see some exclusive Albania photos?

The TikTok exclusive is coming soon, but in the meantime please enjoy this gallery of Ronela’s first rehearsal for Albania.

🇨🇭 Switzerland takes to the stage!

Following on from Lithuania, we’ve got another stripped back, classy performance from Switzerland’s Marius – he’s dressed all in black, with nothing more than a spotlight and some atmospheric lighting for support. His vocal sounds great – he has a really distinctive voice and the acoustics in the Pala Olimpico are adding some extra drama.

That was a really nice rehearsal, we suspect the Swiss delegation will be very happy with that.

Marius Bear, Switzerland, First Rehearsal, PalaOlimpico EBU / Nathan Reinds

It's time for 🇨🇭 Switzerland!

One more rehearsal before we take a break for lunch, and it’s Switzerland! Marius Bear is performing his bluesy number, Boys Do Cry, but of course we already knew this because we witnessed Gjon’s Tears from Switzerland last year.

We’re here all week, folks.

💦🐟 Water, water everywhere...💦🐟

There’s a lovely camera shot at the end of Monika’s performance where it sweeps up from the waterfall to Monika on stage. In her long sequinned dress she looked like a fish – it’s a really nice ending that makes the most of this incredible stage.

Also we now have drinking water in the arena. It’s very important to hydrate, but not TOO much because the nearest bathrooms are a bit of a hike.

🇱🇹 Lithuania takes to the stage!

We love the retro class of this song, and Monika has gone for a stunning silver sequinned dress and a backdrop of atmospheric swirly graphics. Otherwise it’s a stripped-back, classy performance – no dancers and props required, Monika’s totally got this.

First Delegation Rehearsal – Lithuania EBU / Nathan Reinds

🇱🇹 Lithuania’s First Rehearsal!

Are we all ready for a change of pace? We’re staying in the Baltics for another half an hour, with Lithuania’s Monika Liu next up on the rehearsal stage. She’s singing her sultry, evocative ballad Sentimental – Monika is a huge star in Lithuania, and now the rest of Europe and beyond is about to find out why. Can she match the success of The Roop last year?

Latvian pyro update!

Latvia have no pyro, presumably because it’s an environmental disaster. It’s just six guys bringing the party, and living their best lives 24/7. Here for it.

How green is the green room? 🌿

It’s VERY green. Plants everywhere, and they’re actually real; we know this because we pulled a tiny leaf off to check.

We hope somebody waters them regularly, otherwise they’re going to look a bit sad by Grand Final night. Maybe there’s an official Eurovision gardener this year? We’ll find out.

The (VERY) green room in the Pala Olimpico EBU / Nathan Reinds

Second run through for Latvia...

A few sound issues for Latvia too, but that’s what first rehearsals are for.

Sound aside, as a visual spectacle this performance looks AMAZING on a big stage. Ronela is going to get the Eurovision party started next Tuesday, but Citi Zēni are going to bring the (vegan) buffet.

🇱🇻 Latvia takes to the stage!

Citi Zēni are on stage in their brightly coloured suits – like kids TV presenters, but make it fashion. Even the guy in yellow on drums looks stylish, and that’s a tough look to carry off.

It’s also our first on-stage band of the competition (but definitely not the last) – it served Måneskin well last year, but that was a slightly different vibe.

They’ve obviously left out the 😻 from the first line, but if some of the pre-parties are anything to go by, the audience will help them out. They graphic backdrop is heavily fruit-based, and we are in no doubt that being green is both hot AND cool. Mmm, salad.

First Delegation Rehearsal – Latvia EBU / Nathan Reinds

Are you ready for 🇱🇻 Latvia? 🐱🥗

Are any of us truly ready for Latvia? Either way, Citi Zēni are up next, inviting you all to Eat Your Salad (amongst other things). These guys have brought their own unique brand of sustainable chaos to Turin, and we excited to watch them rehearse.

Albanian steam jets! 😤

No fireworks for Albania, but they do have LOTS of steam jets. Our pores have been opened and cleansing has begun.

We have water! 💦

Not to drink, that hasn’t arrived yet. But the beautiful waterfall at the front of the stage has been turned on, and now we need the bathroom.

Second run-through for Albania!

The dance routine in this performance is great – Ronela has some MOVES. If there’s any pyro it will be in the final run-through of their half hour slot, so we’ll keep you posted.

🇦🇱 Albania takes to the stage...

TOO exciting to be here in the Green Room watching Ronela perform. This performance has incredible drama and impact, and she looks amazing in a sparkly bikini with black boots and pink hair. Four bare-chested (male) backing dancers and one very gymnastic female are providing backing support – this is ticking lots of our Eurovision boxes.

This is going to be a great opener to the first Semi-Final next Tuesday – despite some sound issues in the first run-through, her vocal sounds great. Her rehearsal time is half an hour, so plenty of time to go again.

Stay tuned for an EXCLUSIVE clip of Albania’s rehearsal on TikTok – we’ll post a link here.

First Delegation Rehearsal – Albania EBU / Nathan Reinds

🇦🇱 Albania’s first rehearsal!

Albania’s Ronela Hajati will open the first Semi-Final with her song Sekret, so she’s first up on the rehearsal stage today, starting in a couple of minutes. Will it be the whole Gladiator vibe of the official video, or kaleidoscopic fire graphics we saw at Israel Calling?

The whole Albanian delegation is on the green room sofa next to us. Hopefully they’ll be kind enough to share their comments in English so we can give you the highlights. Our Albanian is not great.

What's new with the staging this year?

Spoiler alert: everything is pretty much same as last year – you can have six people on the stage, you can bring a burning fake piano or a treadmill if you like, you can have as many pyrotechnics as your country can afford, and there’s a huge semi-circular digital projection screen too.

The Eurovision team have also kept the rule that was introduced for last year – performers have the option to pre-record their backing vocals rather than have live backing singers on stage, or they can have both. So we might hear a few more virtual choirs.

We're in the arena!

OK so right now we’re in the arena, sat in the green room area in front of the stage. The WiFi isn’t entirely functional just yet so if we disappear for a while, please bear with us until we return.

The stage this year looks AMAZING – designed by Italian stage designer Francesca Montinaro, it’s called The Sun Within, and is based on the movements and light of a kinetic sun. Since your liveblogging team pretty much lives in the arena and won’t see much daylight for the next two weeks, we’re already basking in the warmth of the staging and wondering if we can take a dip in the fountain.

Buongiorno, Europe!

Greetings from Turin, and a warm and sunny Italian welcome to our very first Eurovision 2022 LiveBlog! This is where you’ll be able to catch up on all the latest news, backstage gossip and goings-one from the Pala Olimpico in beautiful Turin.

Heidi will be your host this morning, with an EXCLUSIVE look at today’s first rehearsals. Today is scheduled for all the acts performing in the first half of the first Semi-Final, and we’ll be watching from the Green Room right in front of the stage as each act gets their half-hour rehearsal slot.

So we’ll be able to reveal a little bit about each country’s staging and costumes as it happens, and share some exclusive photos, AND share a link to a must-see 30 second clip of each rehearsal, which this year will be hosted EXCLUSIVELY on TikTok.

Today’s schedule:

🇦🇱 Albania

🇱🇻 Latvia

🇱🇹 Lithuania

🇨🇭 Switzerland

🇸🇮 Slovenia

🇺🇦 Ukraine

🇧🇬 Bulgaria

🇳🇱 Netherlands

🇲🇩 Moldova

Kick off is at 10:00 CEST (or there abouts), so please join us then!