Getting ready for the First Semi-Final

After two dress rehearsals have already taken place, everything is ready for the First Semi-Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest! Starting at 21:00 CET today, viewers all across Europe and the rest of the world will tune in and vote in Europe's favourite TV show, which is to be presented by Natalia Vodyanova and Andrey Malakhov. Find out more about the 18 countries that will be represented in the First Semi-Final here.


Out of tonight's participants, ten will proceed to the Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Every country that is represented in this Semi-Final has the right to vote, as well as Germany and the United Kingdom. Nine finalists will be decided by televoting, and one additional finalist will be the one country that has received the most votes in the national juries and has not yet qualified by televoting. The ten countries going forward to the Final will be announced in random order by opening "virtual" envelopes.

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Yesterday was not only the first day of dress rehearsals, it marked also the first time all artists had to get 100% ready for their stage act. This means, everybody was wearing their actual dresses for the "big night", everyone had to get their hair styled and everything prepared for their performance in time. Thus, a lot was going on backstage the whole day. For the first time, the hairdressers' room was full with singers and dancers, and the technicians were working hard to get the green room ready, where the representatives of the 18 countries will be seated during the show. The green room looked very stylish, with white leather couches and tables with cubic lamps showing the flags of each country. Blue light will be used inside to create a relaxed atmosphere. Further away from the stage, the dressing rooms were a busy place the whole day, too. Singers, songwriters, dancers and representatives of the delegations were mingling there, getting dressed, making music together, or just drinking coffee or having a short nap. New friendships were built as well - for example, the musicians from Israel, Portugal and the Czech Republic met all together in one dressing room and played their instruments jointly, creating a warm atmosphere.

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