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Preview the Second Semi-Final: The First Dress Rehearsal

26 May 2010 at 16:55 CEST

The opening sequence of the second Semi-Final starts with bubbles resembling those out of this year's logo flying through the skies in various places. Then the hosts appear on stage, with Erik wearing a black suit again, Nadia in a purple dress and Haddy in a bright red one. After welcoming the public, the hosts explain the voting procedure - all viewers will be able to televote right from the beginning of the show, and the final result in each country will be a 50/50 mix of the televote and the verdict of an 5-member expert jury.

The first representatives on stage were InCulto from Lithuania, singing their cheerful East European Funk. They appeared on stage in checkered trousers, which they later removed as a part of an undressing gimmick, revealing glittering underpants. During the performance they pretended to play on inflatable rubber instruments. Their performance was well received by the audience in the hall.

Second to perform was Eva Rivas from Armenia. She did not only sing about an Apricot Stone, it was even present on stage twice, once as a pendant on her necklace, and once more in a larger variety, out of which even an apricot tree started to grow! One of Eva's backing vocalists had an accident yesterday and broke her arm, but she felt already well enough to perform on stage today. Jivan Gasparyan, a 83-year-old famous duduk (a traditional Armenian flute) player was also on stage for the first time today.

The Israeli entry was much quieter and in a more melancholic atmosphere than the two preceding songs. Harel Skaat performed his song Milim on a relatively dark stage, set in blue colours, which got lighter as the entry progressed. He was accompanied by a piano player and two backing vocalists. Harel was vocally strong and convincing.

Next in line were Chanée & N'evergreen from Denmark. In the beginning of their performance of In A Moment Like This, they were separated by a half transparent wall, which then slowly moves away to make it possible to hold their hands. Then, they step on moving platforms which move them apart from each other, and together again. The duo also used the catwalk, moving to it's very end, in the middle of the public, and a wind machine also enhanced the visual impact of this cheerful schlager.

The fifth act on stage was Michael von der Heide, representing Switzerland with Il Pleut De L'Or. He wore a golden suit and white shoes, and big silver bubbles were used to decorate the back of the stage. In a press conference, Michael had stated that he would consider shaving off his beard, but till today, he still kept it. His backing vocalists wore long evening dresses, and they were dancing all around him.


After the first five entries, Haddy N'Jie took the stage again to introduce Lys Assia and show the trophy that the winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest will receive.

Nadia Hasnaoui then announced the next entry in the contest, which is the Swedish one, sung by Anna Bergendahl. She sang her ballad This Is My Life without props or visual effects, accompanying herself on the guitar and supported by five backing vocalists. But of course no Swedish entry would be complete without a wind machine, and the viewers won't be disappointed this time in that aspect either.

Another ballad was presented by Safura from Azerbaijan, Drip Drop. The main gimmicks used on stage were LED-enhanced staircases, the steps of which started to shine when the young singer touched them. Safura started her performance on the upper podium and then stepped down the stairs, assisted by her backing dancer holding her hand. Later she walked down the catwalk, with her long blue dress, which was also dotted with shining LEDs, waving in the air of the wind machine.

A red stage was the setting of the Ukrainian entry with an ecological message, Sweet People, sung by Alyosha. She was alone on stage, and the only effect that was used was a wind machine. She wore a black leather coat with hood in the beginning of the performance, which she later on removed. Alyosha showed her amazingly strong voice, and she really did not need the support of backing vocals!

The Netherlands were next, with Sieneke's happy song Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie). The young singer was backed by three backing vocalist and an LED-enhanced street organ, in front of which two dancers moved like puppets. The small rehearsal audience reacted well to this entry, which was written by Pierre Kartner, better known as Vader Abraham.

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After the Dutch entry, Haddy and Erik greet the public from the green room, before the show moves on to the Romanian entry. Paula Seling & Ovi started their performance sitting on a lucent two-sided piano, facing each other. Fitting the song title Playing With Fire, a lot of pyrotechnical effects were used, one of them being a small fire appearing in their palms. Both of them were very convincing vocally.

Slovenia is represented by a unique blend of rock music and ethnic sounds this year. Their entry Narodnozabavni Rock, presented by Ansambel Žlindra & Kalamari, features both folk musicians in traditional clothes and rockers in leather outfits. They showed an energetic performance and certainly cheered up the journalists and fans in the arena!

A quiet and warm atmosphere was created by Niamh Kavanagh, representing Ireland with her dramatic ballad It's For You. The singer has already won the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest. Today she wore a long purple dress and was supported by four backing vocalists, one of which also played a flute in the instrumental parts of the song. For the last chorus, a wind machine was used.

The Bulgarian representative Miro performed next, supported on stage by two male and two femal dancers. All artists wore white or silver dresses, and white was also the main colour of the stage lighting. Well fitting the song title Angel Si Ti (You Are An Angel), Miro was covered by angel wings attached to the costume of one of the dancers in the beginning. One chorus and one verse of his song were sung in English language.

After that, Jon Lilygreen & The Islanders, the representatives of Cyprus, took the stage to perform their ballad Life Looks Better In Spring. Four band members were playing their instruments - an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, a drum kit and a piano - on stage, and two backing vocalists supported the lead singers. They showed a vocally flawless performance.

Before the last three acts went on stage, it was time for another break, this time featuring backstage impressions of the participants of the Second Semi-Final. Then Erik and Haddy announced the next entry, Lako Je Sve by Feminnem from Croatia. The three girls of the band, Neda, Pamela and Nika, began their stage act sitting on a bench, wearing long cream-coloured dresses and big earrings of the same design. They were very strong vocally and their performance came across very well on the cameras. The final screen shows them in a big heart-shaped frame.

Sofia Nizharadze, the Georgian representative, was the 16th act to perform in this Semi-Final dress rehearsal. Her ballad Shine was visually enhanced by an elaborate choreography featuring one female and two male dancers, who were carrying her, holding her and lifting her in the end of the performance, creating  the image of a cross. The stage lighting and the dresses were all in red and white, the national colours of Georgia.

17th and last in the running order was the Turkish band maNga with their rock song We Could Be The Same. The stage looked very dark on the screens, fitting the mood of the song very well. Waving flags showing the band name were set up in the background, and one backing artist was wearing a knight's armour. She worked on it with an angle grinder, helping to remove it, and in the end, when she succeeded, she approached the lead singer to kiss him, stopping just a few centimetres from his mouth.

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After the recap of all the songs in the second Semi-Final, video excerpts of songs that finished last in previous Eurovision Song Contests were shown. The presenters introduced several artists from the green room. Then a funny video is shown, featuring a teenager watching the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest via internet, with one of the hosts, Nadia Hasnaoui, apparently talking to him. The kid then starts his race to get to the arena and join the show, where he then becomes part of a dancing performance on stage.

Nadia then talks to two fans in the audience who came to Oslo all the way from Australia. Then, both younger and elder versions of Erik and Haddy appear on stage, while they explain parts of the Eurovision Song Contest rules. After a short introduction of the five songs that are directly qualified for the Final of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest and some more impressions from the green room, the most exciting part starts: The opening of ten virtual envelopes to announce the ten qualifying countries!

The Dress Rehearsal starts at 15:00 CET and takes until 17:00 CET, and during this time, this article is constantly updated with information on all stage performances. Stay with us!