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Report: Dress Rehearsal of the First Semi-Final

13 May 2013 at 19:09 CEST

Starting from 17:00 CET, the First Semi-Final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest is being rehearsed in full length in the Malmö Arena for the first time. A total of 16 countries will be represented in this show, which will go live tomorrow, Tuesday May 14th, at 21:00 CET. 

This is the full line-up:

  1. Austria: Natália Kelly - Shine
  2. Estonia: Birgit - Et Uus Saaks Alguse
  3. Slovenia: Hannah - Straight Into Love
  4. Croatia: Klapa s mora - Mižerja
  5. Denmark: Emmelie de Forest - Only Teardrops
  6. Russia: Dina Garipova - What If
  7. Ukraine: Zlata Ognevich - Gravity
  8. The Netherlands: Anouk - Birds
  9. Montenegro: Who See - Igranka
  10. Lithuania: Andrius Pojavis - Something
  11. Belarus: Alyona Lanskaya - Solayoh
  12. Moldova: Aliona Moon - O Mie
  13. Ireland: Ryan Dolan - Only Love Survives
  14. Cyprus: Despina Olympiou - An Me Thimasai
  15. Belgium: Roberto Bellarosa - Love Kills
  16. Serbia: Moje 3 - Ljubav Je Svuda

The First Semi-Final starts with a three-minute clip called Euphoria from Baku to Malmö, showing different "interpretations" of last year's winning song from different corners of Europe and Israel. Then the view switches to the stage, where a children's choir sings Euphoria including a translation into sign language. Later they are being joined by Loreen.

After the intro, Petra Mede, the host of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest enters the stage - she lifted onto the stage on a podium from below. Of course, as it has been a tradition since the 1950's, she greets the TV public from all over Europe and beyond in English and French.

Then the Austrian entry is introduced, and the TV viewers get to see the first "postcard" of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. This year, the postcards were recorded with each artist in their home country. Natália Kelly performed Shine in a white blouse and jeans, giving a confident and uplifting vocal performance. The stage was set in purple, and lighted "pins" were hanging from the ceiling, first at the same level as the backing vocalists, then being raised. 

Next is Birgit with the nostalgic ballad Et Uus Saaks Alguse, representing Estonia. Until the first chorus, the performance is shown in black and white. Then the stage setting in dark blue colour can be seen, contrasting nicely with the singer's long white dress. Stage smoke covers the floor, and Birgit gives a very convincing performance.

Third to go on stage is Hannah from Slovenia. She brings dance sounds into the Malmö Arena with her song Straight Into Love. She and her three backing dancers are wearing black leather costumes and they show an elaborate choreography, including a run over the catwalk. The dominating colours of the light scenery are white and blue.

Croatia is fourth in the line-up, represented by Klapa s Mora and their song Mižerja, which is in a traditional Croatian style of singing, recognised as cultural heritage by UNESCO. The impressive group of six male singers wear black knights uniforms, native to Dalmatia. The stage is set in warm colours, with red and pink being the main ones.

Emmelie de Forest from Denmark then takes over the stages. She performs Only Teardrops barefoot. First she sits on the floor, then she stands up, and two musicians join her, playing drums and a flute. Red and yellow are the main colours of the stage, and in the end of the act, waterfall-like pyro effects are applied.

Then it's time for the first commercial break which takes a little more than one and a half minutes.

Seventh in line is Russia. Dina Garipova performs What If in a rose-coloured dress. Shining bubbles are placed on the stage, which is set in blue and orange. First only Dina is visible, then her four backing vocalists appear behind her. They show a very impressive vocal performance. Before the last chorus, two balloons are being lifted towards the audience.

From Russia we go directly to Ukraine, represented by Zlata Ognevich. She is carried onto the stage by Igor Vovkovinsky, the tallest man in the US, who impersonates a giant in this act, emphasized by the fact that the TV image shakes at that very moment. Her mystic entry Gravity was very well sung indeed, with a fairytale-like forest displayed on the backdrop. Zlata wears a long champagne-coloured dress.

Anouk from The Netherlands is eighth with a simplistic, but very effective, performance of Birds. Fitting the song title, white birds are being projected on the stage backdrops. Anouk wears a black outfit, and the stage is kept in dark colours.

A funny postcard, filmed in the Bay of Kotor, introduces the Montenegrin entry Igranka by Who See. Dedduh and Noyz, the two band members, are dressed in spacesuits. The dubstep parts and the powerful vocals of Nina Žižić add to the energetic appearance of this act, which really stands out in the line-up.

Lithuania is being represented by Andrius Pojavis, who wears a black leather jacket and a white t-shirt. Moving white spotlights and pink lines on the backdrops underline the rhythm of the song Something, which was confidently performed.

Sunny summer sounds are brought to this Semi-Final by Alyona Lanskaya from Belarus and her captivating song Solayoh. She enters the stage out of a huge disco ball. Two male backing dancers show an athletic choreography, lifting the main singer, while three more backing vocalists are there to support Alyona. Pyrotechnical effects are being used too, consisting of flames and fountains.

Aliona Moon from Moldova is 12th to perform her heartwarming ballad O Mie, which is sung in Romanian language. She wears a white dress on which red stars and lightnings are being projected. Later on Aliona is being lifted up high, transforming her costume into what is most probably the hugest dress ever featured in the Eurovision Song Contest, raising more than four metres high! Last year's Moldovan representative, Pasha Parfeny, is supporting Aliona on the piano.

With Ireland's Ryan Dolan, the Semi-Final goes uptempo again. Ryan, who wears a black leather suit, is accompanied by bare-chested tattoed dancers, who also play drums. The stage is set in black and red, and quickly pulsating spotlights give the whole act a disco-like appearance.

Now it's time for the next break, in which a special feature from Australia is shown - one of the non-European countries that are most keen on Eurovision.

Then it's time for Despina Olympiou, the Cypriot representative, sho sings her ballad An Me Thimase in the Greek language. She wears a black outfit and shows an elegant and simplistic performance on a stage that is first set in blue, changing to red, resembling a sunrise. Despina is alone on stage throughout the performance.

15th to perform is Roberto Bellarosa from Belgium, the youngest performer in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. He wears a black suit, and he interacts well with the two female backing dancers, who wear short black dresses. Pulsating spotlights and lines on the backdrop support the beat of his uptempo pop-song Love Kills, which is very convincingly performed.

Serbia closes the line-up of the First Semi-Final, with the girl band Moje 3 and their song Ljubav Je Svuda - which is catchy, and fun! The three young singers, Sara, Mirna and Nevena, wear colourful costumes designed by award-winning Serbian designer Ana Ljubinković. The stage is set in pink, and together with the three backing vocalists, they leave a very confident impression.

After the recap and a report from the green room, a Eurovision history clip is shown, in which also Petra Mede makes some funny appearances.

The interval act of the First Semi-Final is called Northern Lights, and it kicks of with images of real Northern lights before moving to an artistic dance performance in the Malmö Arena. Then it's time for a clip featuring the comedy character Lynda Woodruff.

Before the announcement of the ten qualifiers for the Final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, excerpts of the six direct finalists are shown.

This concludes our coverage of the First Semi-Final dress rehearsal. You can watch the show live on, tomorrow at 21:00 CET!