It's time for us to sign off for the day, but the Live Blog will be back tomorrow to keep you updated on everything that's going on around Rotterdam Ahoy as second rehearsals begin.
Day 5: Second Rehearsals
What an incredibly busy day. Coffee flasks at the ready!
See you then!
We're all done for first rehearsals today, which means we've now seen every act's first run of their performance apart from the Big 5 and host nation Netherlands, who we'll see for the first time on Thursday afternoon.
Our backstage team have had a great time meeting and photographing the artists - here are some of our photo highlights.
Day 4 Rehearsals in Rotterdam (11 May 2021)
*insert your own caption here*
The video of Denmark's performance will be available soon, but you can view the gallery now!
Denmark First Rehearsal 2021
Of course Denmark finish with pyro, was there ever any doubt? Although it's firework jets, rather than actual flamme.
See, now all we can think about is Bobbysocks. This is what happens when you step back to 80s Eurovision.
The ‘80s grid graphics are back, and in pretty much every respect this staging recreates Fyr Og Flamme's official video. This is every 80s Scandi Eurovision bop all rolled into one, and even features Laurits running around the stage in a purple jacket like he's a honorary member of Bobbysocks. Keep an eye out for the choreographed clapping of the backing singers.
A 30-second preview of Gjon's performance will be available shortly, but you can enjoy the gallery now!
Switzerland First Rehearsal 2021
We bumped into the lovely Samya Hafsaou, our Press Conference host, just outside the Green Room.
Apparently we might be in one of the online round-ups this evening 👀
And finally for today’s rehearsal schedule, and wrapping up the second Semi-Final on Thursday, is Denmark’s Fyr Og Flamme singing Øve os på hinanden. Apparently this means ‘Practice on each other’, and this has a very big ‘80s disco vibe.
We’d like to think that a band called ‘fire and flame’ would go all out on the pyro, but we'll just have to be patient and wait for the final run-through.
We love Gjon's shoes. In fact, we love all the shoes this year. Might do a shoe gallery later.
Gjon is in black sequins on a square frame made up of white pillars, and the staging features a watery digital background and some unexpected contemporary dance moves. It's another piece of musical artistry that combines Gjon's physical presence and extraordinary vocal performance with clever lighting and digital effects - we've seen several this year, and it's going to make for a great TV experience next week.
Here's the gallery while you wait for the video - it's coming soon, we promise!
Latvia First Rehearsal 2021
Next to rehearse is Gjon’s Tears from Switzerland, with his song Tout l’Univers. It’s our first French language song of the contest, unless you refuse to excuse Destiny’s French and include Je Me Casse. This is another heartfelt ballad that’s been getting lots of attention in recent months - let's see how Gjon brings this to the big stage.
Gjon's Tears - Official Music Video Premiere - Switzerland 🇨🇭 - Eurovision 2021
Just for the growing findom of the Rotterdam Ahoy resident fish, here's a photo gillery of their First Rehearsal. Sadly there was no pyro, but they made good use of the prop shipwreck and treasure chest.
Eurovissie and Eurofishion First Rehearsal 2021
Samanta is rocking a long, sparkly green dress, with three backing dancers in green tights and plastic visors, like space elves. More kaleidoscopic graphics and a dance routine that's similar to the video, with bags of attitude and just the right level of 'what am I watching?'
Is it art? It's definitely art. Hang it in The Louvre.
...in a matter of seconds. Enjoy the gallery!
Finland First Rehearsal 2021
We need a lie down after that, but the clock is ticking on the rehearsal schedule. Next up is Samanta Tina from Latvia singing The Moon Is Rising. If the official video is any indicator of what’s coming up, we are fully expecting this to be three minutes of performance art. THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT IS COMING.
As promised, there is much pyro - there are 12 flame outlets and four giant smoke vents, and we tried to count how many repetitions and failed to keep up. Basically it's a family barbecue at a Finnish geothermal hot spring, with bonus fireworks.
We're quite close to the stage on Sweden's Green Room sofa today, having enjoyed a short break in Lithuania yesterday. The North Macedonian and Austrian sofas are in front of us, right next to the stage. We strongly recommend they wear layers.
Anyone feeling a bit sleepy after lunch has been well and truly woken up by Blind Channel, who have just lifted the roof off Rotterdam Ahoy. The full band is on stage, with the smoke machine on full blast and scenes from the official video projected behind them. Finnish rock gods one and all, and we haven't even seen the pyro rehearsal yet.
Welcome back to the afternoon rehearsal session here in the main arena at Rotterdam Ahoy! Next up today is Finland’s Blind Channel, who are performing their song Dark Side.
The band describes their style as ‘violent pop’, and even if this kind of music isn’t your thing (Rob: yes. Heidi: noooo), you can’t help but admire Blind Channel’s dedication and energy. And where else other than Eurovision can you enjoy such a diverse selection of music?
Daði og Gagnamagnið hex code: #37B0A1
Blind Channel hex code: #000000
Finland haven't taken to the stage yet, but we'd bet the goldfish on us having to check the pyrotechnic composition Wikipedia page for descriptions by the end of the rehearsal.
They're gonna have lots, aren't they?
The 30-second preview video will be posted very soon, we promise. But the gallery is ready!
Bulgaria First Rehearsal 2021
That’s it for the morning session – now the Rotterdam Ahoy crew is taking a short break for lunch. Rehearsals start again at 13:40 CEST for rehearsals from Finland, Latvia, Switzerland and Denmark. Don't go away!
...or, more specifically, a giant revolving space rock, with a funnel of falling sand. The simplicity of Victoria’s staging lends itself well to the softness and clarity of the song - it has a dreamlike quality to it, and we’re guessing it will look really effective on TV.
The gallery's ready...the video will be along shortly!
Portugal First Rehearsal 2021
Next up to rehearse is Bulgaria, with Victoria singing Growing Up is Getting Old. It’s a charming song that’s was an early front-runner in the competition, and it will be really interesting to see how Victoria plans to bring the emotional storytelling of this song to the live stage.
VICTORIA - Growing Up Is Getting Old - Bulgaria 🇧🇬 - Official Music Video - Eurovision 2021
The Eurovision social team are on very good form today.
Are these the sharpest shoes ever seen on the Eurovision stage? We think they might be.
This is a hugely classy performance from The Black Mamba, who manage to make Rotterdam Ahoy on a Tuesday morning feel like the coolest blues club in town. Great to see a full band on stage, and the animated graphics add real charm. There's a touch of Prince in lead singer Tatanka's vocal performance, and he has an equally excellent hat game.
We'll have the preview video ready soon, but you can view the gallery now!
Albania First Rehearsal 2021
It’s time for Portugal’s The Black Mamba to rehearse their song Love Is On My Side. It’s a soulful number that will hopefully have everyone in the arena swaying along next Thursday. Also if the official video is anything to go by, we may have our first hat of this year's contest! We've discussed whether Senhit's crown qualifies, and decided it doesn't.
So neither gown has travelled to the Netherlands – instead Anxhela has gone for short, silver and sparkly, which is definitely a costume theme this year. It’s a powerful vocal performance without backing dancers, instead using the digital screen for a backdrop of gathering clouds. We’ve seen a lot of weather on the digital screen this year, mostly stormy. We blame climate change.
We'll share a 30-second video of Tornike's performance soon, but here are some nice pictures while you're waiting.
Georgia First Rehearsal 2021
Next on the main stage is Anxhela Peristeri from Albania, singing her megawatt power ballad Karma. In the official video she wears two fabulous gowns, one white and one red. We have no information at this time about which one she’s brought to Rotterdam, or if she’s actually wearing both and there’s a dramatic dress reveal.
Anxhela Peristeri - Karma - Albania 🇦🇱 - Official Music Video - Eurovision 2021
Rotterdam Ahoy has lots of Health and Safety wardens checking our every move, ensuring we're socially distanced, and handing out more masks than a Scooby Doo villains' convention.
'Uniting Europe on one stage' - Health and Safety protocol shared
...when you can wear it instead?
There's something hauntingly beautiful about this performance from Tornike, making effective use of the stage spotlights and huge graphics screen to create kaleidoscopic clouds. It had the atmosphere of a 90s Radiohead video, really compelling to watch. Also: he's definitely wearing shoes, can't confirm on sock situation.
Don't for a second think we've forgotten about the fish!
Eurovissie and Eurofishion have made it to Day 4 of the Live Blog, and are looking forward to seeing... Samanta Tuna.
Up first today is Georgia, with Tornike Kipiani singing his song You. Before the contest we sent all the competing artists a questionnaire with lots of nonsense questions, one of which was ‘How long is it acceptable to wear the same pair of socks for?’ Tornike told us he prefers not to wear socks, which we’re taking as a clear indicator of a barefoot performance incoming.
Tornike Kipiani - You - Georgia 🇬🇪- Official Music Video - Eurovision 2021
Good morning Europe, non-European competing nations and other places that just love Eurovision! It’s a sunny Tuesday in Rotterdam, which means it’s the final day of our exclusive watch of first rehearsals on the main stage at the Ahoy arena. Today is reserved for those acts performing in the second half of the second semi-final, so by the end of today we’ll have seen every performance apart from the Big Five and host nation the Netherlands, who are rehearsing for the first time on Thursday. Are you excited? You should be.
Heidi and Rob will be watching from the Green Room in the main arena, bringing you a sneak peek of the staging and an exclusive 30-second video. Georgia will be on stage from 10:00 CEST, so #JoinUs then!