It’s been an exciting first day of first rehearsals in Rotterdam Ahoy today, and for many of the stage crew watching in the main arena, it was the first time hearing live music on a big stage in over a year.
You can read the full Day 1 Live Blog here, and we're back tomorrow at 10:00 CEST for Day 2.
Today’s rehearsal schedule featured all the acts performing in the first half of the first Semi-Final on Tuesday 18 May, with each delegation required to adhere to a strict time schedule of half an hour. All of today’s acts managed to use that time to perform three times apart from Ireland, whose complex staging meant they could only perform twice.
First up this morning was Lithuania, who will open the show on 18 May. The Roop brought a little of their trademark sunshine to Rotterdam, delivering some iconic Discoteque dance moves in canary yellow suits.
Next up was Ana Soklič from Slovenia, who delivered a powerful first performance of her ballad Amen against a backdrop of cinematic graphics. She also delivered our first bare feet of the contest, but we’re pretty sure she won’t be the last.
The third rehearsal today came from Manizha from Russia, whose staging for Russian Woman featured a giant gliding dress, a graphic backdrop featuring hundreds of Russian Women and the first pyrotechnics of Eurovision 2021 in the form of huge jets of flame.
It seems almost poetic that UN Ambassador for Refugees Manizha should be followed by Sweden’s Tusse, who arrived in the country as a child refugee from Kongo-Kinshasa. He brought his trademark sparkly platform boots and a confident performance right through to the big key change at the end.
The first rehearsal of the afternoon should have been Australia, but of course they’re not able to be in Rotterdam so we saw their Live-On-Tape performance of Technicolour instead. It was as fun and colourful as the name suggests, and demonstrated how committed Australia are to Eurovision even though they can’t be here in person.
North Macedonia made the most of Vasil’s soaring vocals and incredible stage presence, and his performance of Here I Stand featured some dramatic lighting and star-studded graphics.
Finally for today’s rehearsals, Lesley Roy from Ireland brought some fairytale magic to the Rotterdam Ahoy stage, using camera frames and a graphic backdrop to put Lesley in her very own storybook.
Tomorrow is another HUGE day of rehearsals, with nine countries having the opportunity to perform their song on the big stage for the first time.
Day 2 schedule
We can't wait to see what they've got planned! #JoinUs for the Day 2 Live Blog from 10:00 CEST.