Sweden’s Robin Bengtsson took a ride on his treadmills. Montenegro’s Slavko whipped his hair back and forth. And Azerbaijan’s Dihaj went avant-garde surrounded by chalkboards. But who among today’s nine acts — Sweden, Georgia, Australia, Albania, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Azerbaijan, Portugal — stole the show?
You can watch all of our reviews of today’s first rehearsals in the playlist below. Then vote in our poll. You can vote for as many countries as you like, but you can only vote one time, so make it count. Be sure to click the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit.
First Rehearsals: April 30
Poll: Who had the best first rehearsal of April 30?[polldaddy poll=9726794]
We’ll close our poll tomorrow evening and release the results shortly after that. In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you thought about the first day of rehearsals.
Shout out your thoughts in the comments section below or on the wiwibloggs app!
Definitely Azerbaijan and Albania!
– from Poland
Azerbaijan and then Finland. I’m surprised at how much I agree with the results of the poll because I usually have the unpopular opinion. 😀
The Belgian song will not turn out well live. Too many effects in the LEDs, is that the mysterious environment of the song asks for less.
Blanche please do something !!! Your song is the best to me but the staging eww you need to wake up and keep dancers with you.
Chris’ face while the others are praising Portugal to the skies is an absolute picture. 🙂
I agree tat the song is wonderful and Salvador’s performance is beguiling. But I still don’t see it qualifying 🙁
I am just so glad Finland gets a positive feedback. That song is so beautiful and emotional. Deserves to qualify and if the press voting is accurate, it’s a good sign. This poll is a good sign too. Another country that deserves to qualify is Azerbaijan. Sure, they somehow always qualify, but this time they deserve to so much. Seems like the staging will be very interesting too. Love it or hate it, qualification of Portugal would be a success for non-English songs in general. Maybe in ’18 we get more than 5-7 of them. Personally, I think Portuguese song… Read more »
Jenia family guy. Great! Congratulations!
just azerbaijan for me.
1)Azerbaijan 2)Australia 3)Sweden 4)Finland 5)Portugal 6)Montenegro 7)Albania 8)Georgia 9)Belgium.
The countries that are safe are Azerbaijan, Australia and Sweden. Others will have to rely on either Jury or Televote to qualify.
Belgium is no longer a top 5 contender according to the bookmakers.
Portugal and Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan and Finland were the winners for me.
Portugal and Sweden were good as well, Albania and Australia were better than I expected. Belgium was a bit of a let-down, but I’m confident that it’ll get better.
Georgia was meh and Montenegro was a disaster.
Anja the winner!
Can’t believe it’s already that time of year! Judging only on performance, not song: 1 Finland: I knew this would transform live like at UMK but it has definitely impressed me today. I love the ominous, rolling clouds of red. 2 Portugal: Im worried about the forest curse, but I think they did a great job keeping the staging simple and intimate. Cant wait for Salvador to perform! 3 Azerbaijan: Cool performance, love the chalkboards and darkness. I don’t get the point of the donkey head and ladder. Backing vocalists are a little creepy towards the end, like they are… Read more »
Azerbaijan is really interesting this year. That staging is everything and I love the song.
Finland was also good, loved that gothic-style staging.
Georgia and Albania super cliche diva ballads, nothing really interesting.
Sweden was ok. Australia had some great vocals + nice ballad.
Belgium and Montenegro both are awful, sorry.
I don’t want say anything about Portugal, because Salvador wasn’t there. But I am a big fan of Portuguese entry this year.
I’ve been gladly convinced by Finland, the Beauty and the Maudit. I voted for them. Until now, I “just” liked the song for what it was, without concerning much about the video (which always left me neutral) or the finnish finale performance (that I’ve never watched in its full length, so…). Hoping it will just get better and better, finally there’s the objective recognition that this song deserve the final without any doubt. Even at the very first view from general audience. I wanted to vote for Australia, honestly. I’m sure he’s going to be on the point when needed… Read more »
The last 3 acts Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal saved the day.
Sweden and Australia were ok.
The rest bye.
Agree with Top 3. It was all about Azerbaijan, Finland and Portugal. The rest were kinda meh..
Azerbaijan is absolutely amazing. I also liked Finland. Belgium is biggest dissapointment.
Stll utterly shocked at people’s reaction to Portugal. I am clearly missing something. I think the song is absolutely atrocious and I don’t see one redeeming feature in it. It is dull personified in my opinion . Though obviously each to their own. Even if it qualifies (which I’m not so sure), I simply cannot see it anywhere near Top 10 like people seem to think. I’d love Portugal to do well considering their appalling ESC record, but I can’t see that changing with this entry… Finland came across stunning. So haunting, fab vocals, beautiful staging….and that piano section….wow! Sweden… Read more »
People have different tastes you know? You find it atrocious, other people find it good. I do not understand why you’re shocked.
What would it be blue if everyone liked pink?
Absolutely agree with you, Jana ! Long live diversity and people’s differing views and tastes! Glad you like the song. That’s what Eurovision is about and what makes it so special – and any number of songs can put a smile on our faces. To answer your question I suppose I am shocked because normally I “get” it when people go mad for a song even if I don’t like it. I just can’t see the attraction of this particular one. And Portugal’s record suggests Europe agrees. But, of course that may all change this year and “bravo” & hearty… Read more »
Everyone does have different tastes and he’s just sharing his. There are a lot of people who really don’t like that song. Don’t be too surprised!
And there is this somewhat perverted desire to let the whole galaxy know how much one hates something more than one loves it … it’s a human tendency we can’t control … Usually we should be able to ignore what is irrelevant to us but … in Eurovision, we shout to the seven winds how much we hate something until we get a universal “I agree with you” validation response just for personal satisfaction. God knows why …
I gotta say…I rewatched Finland’s rehearsal…
They can win this SF.
Portugal, Finland and Azerbaijan have very promising staging !
Padraig is getting hotter every year
Off topic (but agreed). 🙂
YES YES YES. He’s my Wiwibloggs crush!!!
BLANCHE WILL WIN! MARK MY WORDS
We’ve had “XY will win/finish in the top five! Mark my words!” and “XY will not qualify/finish last! Mark my words!” comments for pretty much any country.
Blanche will go back home crying
Portugal is awful
There’re people who like it
I WAS THINK THE SAME BUT WHEN I UNDESTAND THE LYRICS AND DE DIFERNT CONCEPT I CHANGE MY MIND, BECAUSE A ROMANTIC SONG LIKE THAT MUST BE RATATUI STYLE
You are awful. Your posts in general are awful and mean. Your musical taste is awful. Bye now!
Wait for 2nd rehearsal for Belgium..
You’ll be surprised!
Hopefully people don’t criticize Belgium’s second rehearsal. When I was watching the first rehearsal earlier on YouTube, I was confused about why Blanche’s backup singers didn’t appear. Eurovision’s YouTube channel usually uploads all the second rehearsals in their entirety!
My favourite in this SF is Finland. I’m happy it was good 🙂
I’m also happy that my country (Portugal) did good even in Salvador is not able to be there at the moment.
I’m not sure what to think of Azerbaijan…weird, maybe? XD But, the song is also one of my favourites.
I was never much of the Swedish and the Belgium despite them being the favourite of almost everyone…I’m quite neutral about the rest fot now…
Can I see the full rehearsels anywhere? Hope someone can help! 🙂
Ty, but thats only Aserbajdsjan? Can I see the other rehearsels in full? 🙂
I have a comment to add about Monentenegro, a few people have mentioned that he needs backing dancers but I feel like it would really change the song if he had them. I feel like although this is a really wild and quirky song, it’s also very personal. This is Slavko’s art and honestly, adding backing dancers would take away from Slavko’s magic. Slavko is enough and I only want to see Slavko.
Apologies, but choreographically-speaking it is very difficult for a man to sell “raw sex” alone on a massive stage. Slavko dancing on his own looks comedic and juvenile when compared to Freddie Mercury from Queen (for example), who really oozed power and sweated out sex appeal on the big stage. Giving Slavko some added support may choreographically be the better option, otherwise it’s easy to laugh him off as a silly comedic dancer who can’t sing that well.
You’re probably right but I’m just gonna have to politely disagree because I like Slavko’s act the way it is. 🙂
My winner was Finland and I think it always will be. I just have a really special place in my heart for this song. It reminds me of my sister who moved to Finland (I live in America) and I don’t get to see her very often but we are really close. I don’t even know how to continue with my comment because my train of thought got derailed but it’s a really special song for me. My loser was probably Belgium or Georgia. I don’t even really have anything much to say about them but they weren’t good at… Read more »
I was fearing it before today but after Belgium’s poor first rehearsal, it is possible that they could be a shock non-qualifier. Can’t really judge Portugal without Salvador, while Montenegro was certainly over the top as I expected. However, I am a bit underwhelmed with the first rehearsals. Really disappointed with Belgium.
Ah, and yes, I forgot Finland. So Azerbaijan, followed by Finland, Portugal, Albania and Georgia!
Of course, Azerbaijan! Followed by Portugal, Albania, and Georgia!!
Georgia could really surprise us..
I’m a bit afraid for Belgium, though. She will obviously qualify, but I’m not sure about her final result.
Finnland and Portugal best, last Azerbaijan and Belgium
Really?! I thought Azerbaijan slaayyyed but to each their own I guess! 😉 I do agree with you on all your other points. 😀
She is vocally not the best ( Azerbaijan) and this thing with the horse and blackboard is to much for me. And Belgium, I said it from the beginning. This is live not as good as studio version. Great song, wrong singer and staging
Today we saw some really good perfomances and I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen tomorrow. It is a strong semi final and every perfomance counts, especially when it comes to the countries that are border line qualifiers.
Sweden the best
Finland, Portugal and Albania
honorable mention: Azerbaijan
Same. I want them to qualify so bad. They’re fantastic.
Portugal killed it. Just like i predict it. The stage is impressive and Amar pelos Dois just keeps blowing me away. Just simplicity and artistic merits.
Take a look, folks. This one will be in the books of Eurovision history!
Today was just great. The stage looks amazing and these rehearsals look promising, I can NOT wait till May. (Gosh I am getting old, I remember the Finnish rehearsal from last year like it was yesterday) her is everyone: Sweden: They did not change much, the backdrop looks good, but I don’t like how the ‘camera’ on the backdrop moves around so much (not a real camera, they just had a ‘plain’ background and that moved around as if a camera did it) They will 100% qualify even tho the vocals where a litlle bit dodgy sometimes. Georgia: I do… Read more »
Belgium 0????? Can’t be that bad reheasal?
Azerbaijan and Finland gets my vote.
Finland is the dark horse, I tell you.
Azerbaijan, of course. It’s going to be interesting. Serving dark and artsy without being pretentious and annoying.
The trinity of talent (Azerbaijan, Portugal and Finland) is topping this poll, what a day <3
Agreed. (Yet again.)
Azerbaijan is not in Europe.
Australia and Azerbaijan.
72 Finland (well deserved)
0 Belgium (Yes nul points XD)
OMG they even vote the rehearsals. That makes me think that contestants bear much more pressure than imagined… Poor Blanche, by the way. I hope she does better the following days 🙂
Where did you find that?
Everything else paled in comparison to Slavko. What a star. Seemingly undeterred by any notion of human dignity, he reminded us all of Dostoyevsky’s famous adage “that only a fool can become something.”
She is not in this semi but I feel so bad for Claudia Faniello. First trying to win her NF for a decade and then when she wins her song is the weakest of all her song in the NF…. I feel bad for her. A qualification is unlikely
Yesterday and today i had struggle to enter wiwibloggs. It gives an error saying the website was offline. And now i can’t see article photos. Is it just me or the website having bad days?
The same to me
This always happens in eurovision time in may. I think it’s because of a higher amount of website visiters than normal but i’m not sure. If you try to visit the site at the night of one of the grand shows it’s nearly impossible xD
Belgium could be shocking non qualifier
Albania is vocally amazing.
Azerbaijan is so mysterious no doubt to the Final.
Montenegro is kinda fun,catchy and I like it.
Finland not sure will qualify thos the performance was quite good.
Portugal is also could be shocking non qualifier or gonna win the whole contest.
Georgia has an amazing voice but boring and repetitive song .
Australia I like it and of course will qualify.
So excited for Armenia