On Thursday fifteen of the Eurovision 2017 Semi-Final 1 acts had their second rehearsals. And this morning the final three — Armenia, Slovenia and Latvia — arrived at the International Exhibition Centre ready to show how they had nipped and tucked since their last run-throughs.

Armenia: Artsvik with “Fly With Me”

Armenia’s Artsvik delivered one of the most memorable rehearsals of the first semi-final, even winning our poll for best rehearsal on May 1. But this girl doesn’t rest on her laurels and used her second set of run-throughs to test different colours, images, lights and camera angles. The bird that flies out at the end of her show disappeared into the background earlier in the week. But this morning, owing to slightly different colouring, the bird was visible throughout its flight. The biggest change, however, comes in the slicker and higher-impact use of pyro and sparks, which erupt and burst with new rhythm and power. Best of all producers actually manage to capture them with the cameras this time around.

Artsvik, a vocalist of the first order, stunned in an all-black outfit with a shiny, reflective quality that catches the light amid the relatively dark atmosphere. Initially you think she’s wearing a dress. But as she struts down the stage you see that she’s actually wearing billowing trousers. At times the lights give her outfit a metallic quality, which adds a warrior-like feeling to her strong silhouette. This was already good — and now it’s all kinds of amazing.

Armenia’s second rehearsal at Eurovision 2017

Artsvik, “Fly with Me”: Performance preview

Slovenia: Omar Naber with “On My Way”

During his first rehearsal he sought to create an inspiring Broadway feel, deploying a series of brightly lit panels and a starry LED sky. And today it was more of the same from Slovenia’s Omar Naber, who once again worked a sparkly black suit. During his first run-through his voice seemed to croak at times, as if he had swallowed a very large frog. But he improved with subsequent run-throughs, suggesting that he was slowly waking up. At one point he dropped to his knees and belted it out. He’s feeling like a star and wants to act like one too. The blue background seems just a smidge darker this time, which provides a nice contrast with the white lights he has on show.

Slovenia’s second rehearsal at Eurovision 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJezz7wvGx

Omar Naber, “On My Way”: Performance preview

Latvia: Triana Park with “Line”

She’s a true one-off who beats to her own drum — and then pours gasoline on it and sets it alight. And today Agnese did it again, wearing gold-and-pink thigh-high boots, which she paired with a black bodice that almost looked skeletal owing to white ornamentation. Clearly a fan of squatting, she frequently dipped it low as she waved her two blonde pony tails back and forth. The controversial squiggle that resembled a penis appears to have been deleted, or at least downplayed, as we couldn’t see it on the LED. The release of plumes of smoke toward the end really helped drive this home.

Latvia’s second rehearsal at Eurovision 2017

Triana Park, “Line”: Performance preview

Read all of our Eurovision 2017 rehearsal coverage

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AverageAron
Guest

Here’s our reaction video of the 2nd rehearsals hope you like it!:)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWTNmbNeM-Y

Purple Mask
Guest

Love you Aron. 🙂 x

Ron
Guest

Love your reactions.we have very similar taste

AngieP
Guest

Armenia: Another great performance! Glad to finally watch the background and the effects throughout the song!

Slovenia: Nothing has changed! Still bland!

Latvia: Agnese is a fashion icon! I love her style everytime I see her! I don’t particularly like the song, but it’s interesting and a good closer!

Yegor
Guest
I remember when I was so excited for eurovision some 7-8 years ago, when it was JUST the contest, I had no clue about hearing and knowing the second 3 months in advance etc. I was so excited to watch the contest as you never knew how it is going to sound, who is going to win, but now you know the songs, you know the staging, all of the rehearsals are uploaded online and you pretty much know who is going to win this year once again…I mean, don’t you miss when it was keeping you excited and every… Read more »
Ron
Guest

People need to just start ignoring people like Polegend. Not worth the time to argue with hateful people like that.

Siran
Guest

You are hateful this song is saying love is one it is about love. I will guess you are azeri

Ron
Guest

Ummmm. Did you read my comment? I said people should IGNORE those people that write racial things about other countries and participants. Ev voch es hay em. Myus angam karda nor himar himar baner gri.

B.G.B.
Guest

Siran hangstaci…

barcelona fan
Guest

There are worse songs than armenia for example poland( song about stray dogs) for example romania( disaster comedy) but nobody writes bad things about them at their article but Armenia’s article always bad things. Because you know that Artsvik is most beautiful most strong voice best song best performance best show WINNER IS ARMENIA THIS IS TRUTH YOU ARE AFRAID!!!!!! HAYASTANNN!! ????????????!!!!!

FranciscoTe
Guest

Reading through the comments section I can now say that I ABSOLUTELY detest the attitude of armenian eurovision fans. It’s been years since they joint Eurovision family and still they cannot understand what Eurovision is actually about. Rigging polls, attacking people who does not like their entries, calling someone “racist” for his/her opinion, that’s just UNACCEPTABLE!! Let’s respect each other and have fun, that’s what Eurovision is about, don’t ruin the true spirit of the contest, please. This contest is older than many of us.

Mark Beckenbreur
Guest

You only see Armenians.. right, let’s ignore Serbs, Albanians, Greeks, Spaniards, Dutch, Poles, Romanians etc. and of course the turks and azers.

LiGhts
Guest

I, myself, don’t ignore Poles, Romanians and Greeks. Well, it is not a bad thing to support your country, but sometimes it gets annoying. I don’t see any reason being defensive here. Just have fun, these polls are existing in order having fun. Really, don’t take them too serious to win here, we’ll see the winner on 13th of May.

Hay
Guest

You will see and ashamed on 13 may. Winner will be armenia and you look for place to hide!!!! Hayastani hay

LiGhts
Guest

Why does somebody have to find a place to hide? Let’s hope everything will be the way you guys want it to be.

Sam
Guest

@Annie, my dear, politics have always been in Eurovision, but don’t think too much about it. Yes, it’s true that Western Europeans always hated something what was different from their culture and worldview. But you should just enjoy the show, darling. Armenia is a very beautiful country. And Armenia adopted Christianity as its official religion in the year 301, thus becoming the first Christian nation in the world. I’ve read all about it. Good luck to your country and greetings from the Netherlands! ?

Anushavan
Guest

it is traditional Armenian dance costume and music it comes different to europeans maybe they are jelousss

Tel Aviv 2018
Guest

Since second rehearsals for first semifinal is over, here is my final ranking:
1. Finland
2. Azerbaijan
3. Portugal
4. Moldova
5. Sweden
6. Greece
7. Armenia
8. Georgia
9. Poland
10. Australia
——————-
11. Czech Republic
12. Belgium 🙁
13. Latvia
14. Albania
15. Iceland
16. Cyprus
17. Slovenia
18. Montenegro

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

We agree much more than I thought we would. After watching the 30-second snippets of the rehearsals, my list would be:

1. Azerbaijan – I’m using all of my 10 televotes on them on Tuesday.
2. Latvia
3. Finland
4. Portugal
5. Greece
6. Georgia
7. Moldova
8. Belgium
9. Poland (I know I don’t really say nice stuff about Flashlight, but the radioactive animals on the backdrop make me laugh)
10. Armenia (hate the song, but the performance looks nice)
11. Czech Republic (used to love the song, but the performance is a tragedy)
12. Sweden
13. Montenegro
14. Slovenia
15. Albania
16. Cyprus
17. Australia
18. Iceland (easily the worst performance of the year)

Mark Beckenbreur
Guest

Very stupid, since only one will be actually counted. But you can do it. It’s your problem, though))

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I don’t know about you, but in Italy you can vote for the same song multiple times and all the votes will be counted.

Mark Beckenbreur
Guest

as 1.

Lukewarm
Guest
[Rk after first rehearsal] 1 [1] Sweden – Chance of qualifying: 100% 2 [3] Azerbaijan – Chance of qualifying: 100% 3 [2] Portugal – Chance of qualifying: 98% 4 [4] Finland – Chance of qualifying: 95% 5 [16] Greece – Chance of qualifying: 80% 6 [6] Albania – Chance of qualifying: 70% 7 [11] Belgium – Chance of qualifying: 65% 8 [7] Poland – Chance of qualifying: 65% 9 [10] Latvia – Chance of qualifying: 55% 10 [5] Armenia If you watch on 144p you might think it is Lady Gaga. That is a big compliment for Artsvik and deservedly… Read more »
Lukewarm
Guest

Latvia: The sceneshow is a more elegant version of last year’s Midnight Gold, but makes you high nevertheless. She has a rocky voice and the nature of the genre disguises her vocal limits.

Meme
Guest

I dunno… I think Latvia should do well…. Loud and colorful songs always are doing good…as it can’t get lost…. Plus I think they are one of the rare who actually have something more than boring cliche drops or squares or rain etc on stage

Americanvision
Guest
Before I give my predictions out, my thoughts on all 3: Armenia: I loved what I saw on the 1st rehearsal but now watching the whole thing, I felt it was missing something. Maybe she’s saving it for the actual semi. Should qualify with ease. Slovenia: is it me or was he a little pitchy at times? Shame because I had this as a spoiler. Latvia: I like it and hopefully it’ll qualify. We need songs like this in the Final. My SF1 qualifiers are: Sweden, Azerbaijan, Finland, Portugal, Armenia, Latvia, Greece (she needs to hit that note), Moldova, and… Read more »
Jason
Guest

Armenia last year was much better. 30/42 for Fly with me. I don’t get the hype around the rehearsal. It was okay but nothing special that hasn’t been done before.

Briekimchi
Guest

I really did not like the Armenia song but they are staging it well and she is singing the hell out of it. I think it is in my top 30 now after seeing the rehearsals.
Guaranteed finalist. As I always say if Dorians and Genealogy can make it to the final, this will have no problems.

Honestly
Guest

LOL! I actually like Dorians and prefer them over Genealogy any day!! I think the lead singer, Gor Sujyan has great potential and great vocals. I like some of his songs, such as “Yes Kulam” in Armenian.

I am Mateusz.
Guest

Hey, @Annie! Just ignore him, he’s always like that. Artsvik and our Kasia don’t care about him as well. He just wants to set all the people against our countries for Francesco’s winning. I’m sorry for him, but It’s not going to happen. Francesco Gabbani will suffer the same fate as Sergey Lazarev like last year, and we all know it. Good luck to Artsvik because she’s really nice and funny, she’s got great taste of music.And the Europeans are not racists. Poland likes all countries!!!!!!

Purple Mask
Guest

Can’t we all enjoy the music and be nice to one another?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Bless your heart. If I don’t like Kasia’s song/performance it doesn’t mean I don’t like her personally. Never said she was a bad person, I just don’t like her voice and song. You don’t like Francesco’s it seems, so why are you so bothered? 😀

Annie
Guest

I’m an Armenian woman and I would not be surprised if George (@Polegend Godgarina) hates me too because I’m an Armenian. It’s terrible…I never thought that Eurovision fans could be racists.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

For heaven’s sake you’re ridiculous

Karen Tariutriyeva
Guest

I agree Annie its disgusting how some people can be so rude to others!!! Its defiantly not like the Eurovision community to behave like Polegend Godgarina! 🙁

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

But it is to hate on Italy in every article like you do, Karen? 🙂

Annie
Guest
@Polegend Godgarina you are such a hater, racist and just nasty, ill-mannered little boy, aren’t you? Every single year you hate all the Armenian entries for Eurovision. What do you want from us? Iveta was amazing and last year all people are talked about her all the time.Do you think that only Armenia has such a large diaspora around the world? Haha. It was a good joke. What you can say about Greece, Russia, Poland? Their diaspora is much larger than Armenian. And you’re insulting Artsvik all the time. You always say that she ugly, she can’t sing and other… Read more »
Azyek Deyvi-Bruks
Guest

@Annie I understand what you are saying. Its not very Eurovision to be racist! I thought that Eurovision was meant to be celebrating diversity and coming together to build bridges! I think that Polegend Godgarina should be banned from wiwibloggs!
P.S I love your Esc entry it is one of my winners! #Yerevan2018!!!! 🙂

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

You clearly have no idea what ‘racist’ means to use that word so loosely, and you’re also pretty dumb for thinking that I hate Armenia just because I don’t like their entry this year (when, in the past, I’ve loved some). I’m not calling her donkey face or anything, I’m just saying that I don’t like her performing ways, which is completely different.

I swear, people thinking I hate their country because I don’t like the song representing them sound so naive and uneducated.

Azyek Deyvi-Bruks
Guest

Calling someone dumb!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable!!!

Azyek Deyvi-Bruks
Guest

🙁

Less Glamour More Music
Guest
Less Glamour More Music

I never liked Lithuanian entries in Eurovision, NEVER!! Does that mean I hate Lithuania and I am a racist?? Think twice before you write something, lady. You MUST respect everyone’s opinions. This is song contest, just this, no need to take everything close to your heart. That’s the reason why armenians massively support their entries every year no matter it’s good or not, because you take this competition way serious than it is. No need to disrespect anyone this way. Behave yourself.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I feel like some people take things too personally. Like, you hate their songs = you hate their country. That’s not how it works, boo boo. I haven’t liked one single Israeli entry since 2008 and I’m fully pro-Israel – and I’ve never had an Israeli telling me I hate their country because I ranked their song low. I guess some fans just have persecutory delusions? Bless their heart indeed 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest

If you have evidence of racism, please take the appropriate action. Apologies if you have been hurt through this blog.
I hope we can all enjoy the music and be nice to one another. x

Azyek Deyvi-Bruks
Guest

Thank you Purple Mask for your help, I hope that Annie can go forward in talking action 🙂

Guðrún Karlsdóttir
Guest
Guðrún Karlsdóttir

I already said this in this blog before. If you share negative opinion about Armenian entry here, you will get called “racist”, “azeri” or something else. It’s already second time that I witness it.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Yeah, it happens a lot on YouTube as well. It’s always the same few asinine people, though. Most Armenians are smart enough to understand that not everyone is going to like their song, just like with any other entry 🙂

Tel Aviv 2018
Guest

This comment is just… wow. lol. George, you got some enemies, I’d be careful. XD

I swear I never realised that Eurovision is so important for armenians, they are so passionate. I can’t even

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Let me go call out the disgusting racists who hate the Estonian entry! :p

Karen Tariutriyeva
Guest

Armenia really deserves to win this year! #Yerevan2018. 🙂

loving_ya_harder
Guest

Armenia is definitely overrated. Their 2016 entry was AMAZING, in my opinion. But this year there’s nothing special about their entry, but somehow some people made it seem like it deserves Top 10. There are a lot of better entries this year. From what I have seen it’s clear that she tries to copy Iveta, but it doesn’t even work. She doesn’t have that sexiness, so her facial expressions/arm movements looks way awkward.

Tonia
Guest

Seriously whats wrong with people why do they hate on the armenian song so much just because it’s apparently overhyped should armenia stop trying just to please you it’s not armenias fault that people tend to hype their songs and trust me there are enough armenians who don’t like the song you just don’t know about them cause their comments don’t get enough likes i don’t understand why people want eurovision to purposely be bad ARMENIA KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK YOU MAKE EUROVISION SPECIAL AND GET THE ESC SPIRIT

Leo M
Guest

Armenia looks really good, it is not a winner but should qualify. Latvia is either a love it or hate it kind of song. I am not a fan but I would say it is a borderline qualifier, while I will be surprised if Slovenia doesn’t come last in the semi. Omar’s vocals not great and it sounds dated and boring.

M_K
Guest

Armenia:

It’s still good. I don’t really like all those arm movements, but the staging is nice. It’s enjoyable, even if it’s a little predictable.

Slovenia:

I still don’t rule out Slovenia. It could be a surprise qualifier, it feels kinda “big”.

Latvia:

I love the song and the staging is interesting to watch. It’s quite busy, something a litte more toned down and “classy” (like in the music video) would have worked for the song as well. But I like it.

Guðrún Karlsdóttir
Guest
Guðrún Karlsdóttir

Armenia is overrated as I expected it to be. She won’t do that well, juries will definitely not like it. It will have some diaspora support for sure.
Latvian song I didn’t like since day 1.
Slovenian song is just boring. Pity because Omar is really a good singer, he got some strong vocals.

My favourites for this semifinal are Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

“Some” diaspora support? Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Turkey and the Czech Republic – all countries that have never given Armenia less than 8 points in televote, and of course, it’s because of the diaspora. Unfortunately, they have 80 televote points on lock every year, so the vote of the rest of Europe is more relevant to whether the people are here for them or not. Last year’s 134 televote points show it clearly that had Iveta represented a country with no diaspora or historical partners, she wouldn’t have gotten half of those.

RMK_91
Guest
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_diaspora Going by this map, the only countries you have any merit on are France, Georgia (also their neighbor), and Russia. The Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic don’t have enough Armenians to impact the vote, assuming they even watch Eurovision in the first place. There are more Turks in the Netherlands than Armenians…how come the points didn’t go to Turkey instead? Seems to me those countries just like their songs. Why wouldn’t they? Armenia always brings unique and interesting songs to the competition. Also it’s funny how how people always complain about the former Soviet countries always voting… Read more »
Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Armenia’s performance is wayyy overhyped by blogs, it’s LoveWave all over again. The good sis literally only has one facial expression.

Bogdan Honciuc
Editor

“LoveWave” finished 7th, so I don’t think it was overhyped. I like “Fly With Me” more, it’s my second favourite song in competition and I’m not the only one. And I am not Armenian 🙂

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Fly with Me is my 42nd, and I am not Azerbaijani 🙂
The expectations for Iveta and by Iveta herself were much more than 134 televote points. The disappointment on her face when she was announced shows it clearly.

Bogdan Honciuc
Editor

OK, let’s agree to disagree then 🙂

Bostian
Guest

You sound like you’re eating a raped frog while talking… try to sing like Omar and you will newer again say something so inappropriate of anni participant ever..

I like you gays , but …. show such behavior model for your fans…

Guðrún Karlsdóttir
Guest
Guðrún Karlsdóttir

He got the voice. The problem is the song which is most important thing in Eurovision, dear.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Ironic how you talk about rape while defending Omar.

Bostian
Guest

It is ironik yes …and I totaly agre with you…and I dont nead to defend him…he is on his way

Arie
Guest

1. Latvia – that’s my jam! I hope that they will qualify. :/
2. Armenia – we’ve seen a lot of entries similar to this, what’s so special? And I don’t like her facial expressions, seems annoying.
3. Slovenia – boring, sorry. ._.

Eve
Guest

”tell me baby where we draw the line” is on my repeat, they’re great!

ErvinSass
Guest

I really don’t understand what’s so special with Armenian performance. That’s typical Eurovision entry. Not bad, but not also as good as some people describes it.

Arie
Guest

I keep thinking about that, seriously. But somehow I feel like the main reason is that its Armenia. It always has massive support by armenians. If it was from any other country it wouldn’t be so hyped I believe.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I agree. Everyone expected much better than 134 televote points from Iveta last year. Performing last + 80 automatic points thanks to the Armenian diaspora… her face when she was announced as 7th is priceless.

Paysbart
Guest

I do like Armenia: colourfull and the Indian-style-dancing with the 4 arms moving behind her. It will be a top 10 next saturday.
I also like the somewhat oldfashioned ballad from Slovenia (Omar deserved a final place in 2005 too, so let’s give it him this time 😉
Latvia: colourful but don’t know who she will sound live on TV (the national final was not that good….)

Robot123
Guest

Yeah, Armenia’s performance was quite exaggerated by bloggers. Nothing special.
Maybe with this we can officially claim that Kiev arena has the worst camera work among all latest ESC stages. The camera work ruins all entries one after another.

Eve
Guest

Triana Park <3 <3 <3
Agnese should bring back pink hair !

P
Guest

Why all this fuss about Armenia – half through and I’m dropping out. I do like Slovenia, though. One of the best voices this year and the staging is simple and clean – classy and beautiful.

Katrinelene
Guest

I don`t like Armenia entry too and I am not azeri.

Jackson
Guest

Armenia’s timed arm movements was inspired by buddhism. I think the dancing involves concepts from martial arts, buddhism, tribal african dancing and a blend of modern dancing techniques. I don’t like the staging & choreography. She sings well though

Anne
Guest

Armenia’s performance looks like some kind of ritual ceremony??. Armenia will be in top 10 but not a winner. The performance may be good for eurovision but I won’t be listening to it after the show.

TheRainFromAbove
Guest

Ohhhh, Agnese looks so good in her new outfitt! Vocaly very improoved!

JP
Guest

Well… I so get the hype around and about Armenia. Perfection!!! Really really good in every way…

mccacaye
Guest

perfection?? ha ha) it reminds me Bollywood movies scene a lot) indian style perfection) lol)

Siran
Guest

Why??? Because you are azeri

mccacaye
Guest

wrong, i’m not) but you armenians are too obsessed by azeri’s)) are sick?)

mccacaye
Guest

wrong, i’m not) but you armenians are too obsessed by azeri’s)) are you sick?)

Annie A.
Guest

I don’t know who you are Siran but you are very annoying maybe because you are azeri lol :DDD

Qarabag
Guest

Azeris do not waste their times on watching your rehearsals and commenting it; they are in their jobs, working; not like you, sitting and doing nothing, except calling every person, who dislikes your song, Armenian So, believe me in Azerbaijan nobody cares about your entry.

P.S: Idk if you heard the words “human rights” or not but it could tell you that everybody has its own right to speak.

Artsakh
Guest

Well, human rights in Armenia are much better than in your country… If Azeris don’t care about Armenian entry… Then whaatt the heck are you doing here or read comments about Armenia?

Qarabag
Guest

If you can read, you can see that this article isn’t only about Armenia.You should live in Azerbaijan (In the territories, which are not occupied)to see that what’s the difference between human rights in Armenia and human rights in Azerbaijan.And if you have “human rights” you should know that everybody has rights to speak.

Artsakh
Guest

Yeah i know… this article is not only about Armenia. If you don’t care about Armenias entry… why do you lose your time writing comment about it? Occupied territories? I didn’t know that you have occupied territories. I am sorry for you :(.

mccacaye
Guest

same me – I don’t get the hype with armenia.

oli
Guest

I don’t get the hype with armenia. It’s diva routine circa 2005 all over again. meh

Siran
Guest

Because you are azeri

Mike
Guest

I’m not Azeri but I hate this song
Boring song Sorry

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Italian here, this song is my 42nd this year. Awful.

I like food
Guest

Hi George.