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Live Blog: Sunday 9 May

Welcome to the Live Blog for Sunday 9 May (Day 2).

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That's it for Day 2 - we're back tomorrow!

That's it for today's liveblog - tomorrow we’ll be back at 10:00 CEST for another day of first rehearsals. Look out for:

🇸🇲 San Marino

🇪🇪 Estonia

🇨🇿 Czech Republic

🇬🇷 Greece

🇦🇹 Austria

🇵🇱 Poland

🇲🇩 Moldova

🇮🇸 Iceland

🇷🇸 Serbia

#JoinUs then!

🚨Exclusive: Malta First Rehearsal🚨

Preview of Malta's performance coming up...

Video coming soon, but here's some fabulous pictures to tide you over.


Destiny's pyro goes off just as I'm applying my Eurovision branded lip balm - excuse my French!

What an end to rehearsals!

🚨 Exclusive: Ukraine First Rehearsal 🚨

Destiny's first performance...

First run through and Destiny nearly blows the roof off the Rotterdam Ahoy with the sheer power of her voice.

The performance includes four backing dancers, a ballet barre, and the most pink material you'll find outside of Dollywood.

Destiny, Malta, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

Preview of Ukraine's performance coming soon...

Here are some photos to tide you over...

Go_A, Ukraine, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Thomas Hanses

Malta takes to the stage...

Destiny means business.

Destiny, Malta, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

What the world needs now... more photos of Benny Cristo having the time of his life!

Benny Cristo BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat

He'll be performing omaga for the Czech Republic during first rehearsals tomorrow morning.


Benny Cristo makes his way to the Rotterdam Ahoy on one wheel...

Benny Cristo rides to the Rotterdam Ahoy BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat

Ukraine's first run through was.... vibrant as Kateryna's green feathery jacket!

Go_A, Ukraine, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

The band performs in a ghostly forest, representing Chornobyl - the region which inspired Shum.

Ukraine takes to the stage...

Go_A, Ukraine, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

You're always going to have high expectations of any band described as an electro-folklore outfit, but perhaps you've not heard of the ancient folklore singing technique of 'white voice' that Go_A's Kateryna has mastered.

🚨Exclusive: Azerbaijan First Rehearsal🚨

Preview of Azerbaijan's performance coming up...

Our 30-second video of the Azerbaijan rehearsal is almost ready, but in the meantime check out our gallery.

🚨Exclusive: Romania First Rehearsal🚨

Birthday surprises!

Time for a twenty minute break before the final two rehearsals from Ukraine and Malta, and a birthday cake has just been wheeled out onto the stage for Gerben Bakker, who is Head Of Show. Happy Birthday Gerben! 🎂

Interesting footwear from Ukraine...

...who are waiting backstage.

All will be revealed shortly 🤔


Put down your fire extinguishers, Azerbaijan has no pyro. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT start a fire.

Preview of Romania’s performance coming up…

If you'd like a look at Romania's performance, we're ready to share the gallery. The video preview will be coming soon!

Azerbaijan takes to the stage...

Efendi and her four backing dancers have clearly been shopping at the same minimalist clothing store as Croatia, but this time the straps and mesh are black. The staging and dance routine mirrors the official video, but surely with a line like 'let's start a fire' there has to be some pyro to come? UNLEASH THE FLAMES.

Efendi, Azerbaijan, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

Azerbaijan's First Rehearsal

Time for Azerbaijan's first rehearsal! There are some big female-fronted dance bangers in this year’s contest, and Efendi is definitely invited to that party. The official video for Mata Hari features plenty of atmospheric lighting and female backing dancers, but what will Efendi bring to the live stage? Not long until we find out…

🚨Exclusive: Israel First Rehearsal🚨

Watch: Israel's First Rehearsal

⛓ Chains on, chains on you.... and you... and you....

The chain prop TIX uses in Fallen Angel takes an entire crew to carry it to and from the stage

TIX's chain prop

🌫Fog Alert🌫

The final run-through of Romania's performance has BONUS FOG. We'll keep you updated on any other on-stage weather events.

Romania takes to the stage...

Another huge change of pace after Israel, as Roxen brings barefoot contemporary dancers, moody smoke graphics and an oversized green hoodie to the Eurovision stage. The staging feels dark and intense, and really suits the haunting mood of the song.

ROXEN, Romania, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

Preview of Israel's performance coming up...

We'll be posting a 30-second preview of Israel's performance soon, but the gallery is available now!

Romania's First Rehearsal

Next up on the rehearsal stage is Roxen from Romania with her song Amnesia. The song has a dreamlike angst and it will be really interesting to see how Roxen translates that heartfelt storytelling to her live performance. We'll find out soon!

Synchro dancing, Israel-style

Eden's incredible synchro dance routine reminded us of this brilliant video of how to Eurovision if you're Israel. Please enjoy while we wait for Romania to set up for their rehearsal.

Israel are ON IT...

Fun fact: most of the performers have time to do three run-throughs of their performance in their allotted half hour rehearsal time - so far the only exceptions have been Ireland yesterday (twice) and Cyprus this morning (three, plus a couple of false starts due to microphone issues).

But Israel are currently winning with four run-throughs, each as polished as the last. GO EDEN.

Win tickets to the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final!

We know we're not even through the first Semi-Final rehearsals but this year's host broadcasters NPO/NOS/AVROTROS are looking to say Congratulations to one lucky Eurovision fan.

They're running a fabulous competition to win tickets to the 2022 Grand Final!

All you need to do is recreate an iconic Eurovision performance (like Silvia Night's for example), post it to TikTok or Instagram, and use the hashtag: #EurovisionChallenge. Check out the full details before you enter.

If you think about it....

...90s boy bands were the original pioneers of social distancing.

Eden Alene, Israel, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

Israel takes to the stage...

Eden's first rehearsal is super-cool and confident, featuring five male backing dancers with some serious moves, a Bucks Fizz-style dress moment and a HUGE whistle note at the end. Fun, funky, just the thing to get us in the mood for an afternoon of great music.

Eden Alene, Israel, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

Israel's First Rehearsal

We’re back from lunch, and first on the stage today is Eden Alene from Israel singing Set Me Free. This is one of several mid-tempo bops in this year’s competition, and we’re fully expecting Eden to bring ALL the dance moves and attitude from the official video.

The national bird of the Netherlands... the Black-tailed Godwit.

Think we've spotted one in the Ahoy?

TIX, Norway, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Thomas Hanses

🚨Exclusive: Belgium First Rehearsal🚨

Preview of Belgium's performance coming up...

We'll be posting the 30-second preview of Belgium's performance soon, but the gallery is available now!

🚨Exclusive: Croatia First Rehearsal🚨

The Eurovision canteen is playing...

...Boys (Summertime Love) by Italian singer Sabrina 🇮🇹

She clearly hasn't looked at the rehearsal schedule for this afternoon:

🇮🇱 Israel

🇷🇴 Romania

🇦🇿 Azerbaijan

🇺🇦 Ukraine

🇲🇹 Malta

Girl power.

Preview of Croatia’s performance coming up…

Not long to wait until you can watch a 30-second clip of Croatia's performance, but in the meantime we have some photos!

Out to lunch!

The arena crew are taking a break for lunch now, but we'll be back at 13:40 CEST for rehearsals from Israel, Romania, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Malta. In the meantime we'll be getting galleries and previews up for Croatia and Belgium as soon as we can.

Some big tunes still to come, so don't go away!

Belgium take to the stage...

Hooverphonic offer a huge contrast from the previous few performances, and that's definitely not a bad thing. They also bring the first on-stage instruments of this year's Eurovision - it's great to see a live band on stage, and as expected it's an effortless rehearsal of The Wrong Place. Lead singer Geike Arnaert is rocking a sequinned black dress and boots. Some understated and classy staging, but we never expected anything less.

Belgium's First Rehearsal

After that we definitely need something a little more low-key, but thankfully Belgium’s Hooverphonic are here to rehearse their song The Wrong Place. They’ve been performing together for 25 years and are no strangers to a big stage, so we fully expect to see a confident and assured performance of this mellow indie pop anthem today.

🚨Exclusive: Norway First Rehearsal🚨


Croatia have also brought the pyro, because you can never have too much pyro at Eurovision. But they've gone with fireworks rather than flames, which is better for what remains of our eyebrows.

Croatia take to the stage...

Cover your children's eyes, Albina's sparkly silver outfit is VERY revealing. She's brought four male backing dancers in silver outfits with mesh cutouts, and there's a high octane dance routine that looks very polished for a first rehearsal. Definitely one that will get us all dancing during Semi-Final 1 next week.

Albina, Croatia, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

Preview of Norway's performance coming up...

The video preview of Norway's performance is coming soon, but in the meantime please enjoy the photo gallery.

Croatia's First Rehearsal

Croatia are up next for their first rehearsal, with Albina singing Tick-Tock. Albina has told us that she hopes to follow in the footsteps of her pop idols Christina Aguilera and Little Mix by giving the performance of her life, so here’s hoping for some big staging and a fun dance routine. Get ready for a BOP.

🚨Exclusive: Cyprus First Rehearsal🚨


The third run of Tix's Fallen Angel includes choreographed puffs of flame. There's probably a more technical term for this particular pyro creation, but we're going with PUFFS OF FLAME.

It's not all glitz and glamour...

We did promise to bring you every detail from behind the scenes...

The hard-working wardrobe team have a rack full of tape for artist inner-ear plugs.

More on the costume department later this week...

Preview of Cyprus’s performance coming up…

We'll be posting a 30-second clip of the Cyprus rehearsal soon, but in the meantime our photographers have been busy snapping away backstage so we can bring you this excellent photo gallery. You're welcome!

Norway takes to the stage...

If you're a fan of consistency, Tix has recreated every detail of the official Eurovision video. The angel wings, the chained demons on plinths, the bandana and sunglasses - he's brought the whole Tix show to the Eurovision stage. It's a hugely confident performance that makes brilliant use of the incredible lighting in Rotterdam Ahoy, against a backdrop of digital clouds.

As well as the official Eurovision video, Tix has done his own official ...

As well as the official Eurovision video, Tix has done his own official video which is a lovely piece of storytelling. Enjoy while we’re waiting for Norway to set up their stage.

Norway's First Rehearsal

Next up to rehearse is Tix from Norway with his song Fallen Angel. If the official video is an indicator of what we can expect today, Norway’s staging will feature Tix in his signature aviator sunglasses and branded headband, and more wings than a KFC megabucket.

I gave my mask...

I gave my mask, I gave my mask to El Diablo.

One of Elena Tsagrinou's backing dancers, Cyprus, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting


We're now watching the final run-through in Cyprus's 30-minute rehearsal time, and the final chorus catches FIRE. Everything about this performance is HOT HOT HOT.

Cyprus takes to the stage…

Well, this is definitely a good way to start a Sunday. Elena's outfit is a silver-fringed dress that wouldn't look out of a place in a Latin dance competition, and her backing dancers are dressed in sparkly red catsuits. There are echoes of 2018's Fuego, but clever use of mirrors turns her four dancers in a whole troupe, and gives the performance huge impact and energy.

Elena Tsagrinou, Cyprus, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

Cyprus's First Rehearsal

First on the main stage to rehearse today is Elena Tsagrinou from Cyprus, who will be performing her huge dancefloor banger El Diablo. If there are pyrotechnic elements, we won’t find out until the final run-through at the end of their half hour rehearsal allocation, as they only test the pyros once.

The official video uses lots of atmospheric lighting, but we’d be lying if we weren’t hoping for flames and fireworks, even if they’re only in digital form.


For those wondering, Eurovissie and Eurofishion (Rotterdam Ahoy's resident goldfish) are back for a second day of rehearsals.


Eurovissie (pictured) is most looking forward to Belgium's The Wrong Plaice.

We're back for Day 2!

Welcome back to DAY 2 of our Eurovision 2021 Live Blog. Rob and Heidi are back in Rotterdam Ahoy for the second day of rehearsals, which features all the acts performing in the second half of the first Semi-Final.

We have exclusive access to the arena to watch the first rehearsals live, so stay tuned to find out what each country is bringing to the stage and watch a preview 30-second clip of each performance.

Today's schedule:

🇨🇾 Cyprus

🇳🇴 Norway

🇭🇷 Croatia

🇧🇪 Belgium

🇮🇱 Israel

🇷🇴 Romania

🇦🇿 Azerbaijan

🇺🇦 Ukraine

🇲🇹 Malta

It's going to be a huge day of live music, kicking off with Cyprus at 10:00 CEST. #JoinUs then!