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Contestants arrive in Tel Aviv, Eurovision 2019 rehearsals kick off!

03 May 2019 at 19:26 CEST
Backstage Rehearsal Semi-final 2 Thomas Hanses
Tomorrow, Saturday, the first few Semi-Final contestants will rehearse on the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest stage at Expo Tel Aviv. Follow the official Eurovision Song Contest online channels and don't miss any of it!

With each act getting 2 dedicated rehearsal slots on stage — a whopping 82 rehearsals in total — over then next 10 days, there will be rehearsals of the opening acts, interval acts, 3 dress rehearsals for each show, of course, the 3 live shows on the 14, 16 and 18 of May.

Why so many rehearsals?

For the 3 Eurovision Song Contest live shows to run smoothly in front of an audience of some 200 million viewers, a vast amount of rehearsal time is needed. As the artists have worked towards  this moment — undoubtedly a career highlight for most! — the producers of the show ensure every camera angle and shot is meticulously planned. Lights, sound, on-screen graphics, cameras, props and special effects all have to come together with precision, which can only be achieved if meticulously rehearsed.

Step by step: The artist's schedule

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest have been well underway for quite some time already. Dancers have been preparing their choreography, singers have been working with their backing vocalists to perfect their harmonies, designers have been preparing stage outfits and costumes.

Meanwhile, videos of their staging plans have been sent to Tel Aviv already in March, so that the production team could prepare staging, lighting design, graphics and camera work of each performance. The so-called stand-in rehearsals, often local singers and dancers of the Host Country, give delegations a good idea of what their act will look like on stage. This happens to ensure when the artists take to the stage for the first time, the production team is already well-prepared.

Each country's act will have 2 dedicated rehearsal slots over the next week, starting tomorrow (Saturday 4 May). The first will last 40 minutes, the second one 30 minutes. For them and the production crew it marks the last opportunity to fine-tune performances, vocals, choreography, lighting, staging and all important camera angles. Each country will have 3 or 4 run-throughs of their performance during each rehearsal, with the production team and delegations working hard to improve and perfect all the aspects of the performance.

82 rehearsals and 9 dress rehearsals (3 of which the juries will vote on) later, viewers from all over the world will be able to enjoy one of the greatest TV events on earth.

What does the schedule look like?

The rehearsal schedule will follow the running order of the live shows, with the first half of the first semi-finalists rehearsing tomorrow (Saturday) and the second half on Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday, the countries competing in the Semi-Finalists will have their first rehearsals on stage.

The so-called 'Big Five' countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and host country Israel will all rehearse for the first time on Friday afternoon, having their second rehearsals on Sunday 12 May.

What happens after a rehearsal?  

After the artists have completed their on-stage rehearsal, they are joined by their entourage into the so-called viewing room, where they can watch back their performances, make notes for how their act can be improved and request changes to the production team. When possible, these changes are being implemented during each artist's second rehearsal. 

Once the performance review is over, artists will talk to the hair and make-up teams, to ensure that they look their best for the live shows. They also meet with the Eurovision Song Contest digital team and pay a visit to the Press Centre for a meet-and-greet with international press and fans.

Coming up tomorrow (Saturday)

Tomorrow, Cyprus, Montenegro, Finland, Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Belarus and Serbia will all have their first rehearsals. These rehearsals are closed for press, but video teasers will be revealed on our official YouTube channel! We will also be on site in Tel Aviv to extensively cover the preparations.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for tons of photos, loads of stories and countless sneak peaks at the preparations for Eurovision 2019. Also don't forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!