San Marino’s Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson took us to the club. Switzerland’s Timebelle served Beauty and the Beast realness. And Israel’s Imri Ziv showed off his biceps in a skin-tight vest. And they were just three of nine acts that performed in the International Exhibition Centre during their first rehearsal on May 3

We asked our readers to pick their favourite rehearsals from Wedneday’s lineup and only one could triumph. After counting 5,591 votes, we can now reveal that our readers think the multitalented Croatian star Jacques Houdek was top with his song “My Friend”.

Our team of wiwibloggers in Kyiv were captivated by Jacques’ world of wonder. The performance opened with Jacques staring into the camera, acting as a motivational speaker who preaches that each day can be lived like a miracle. The camera then panned out to reveal Jacques singing to Jacques — when he looked to his right he was the balladeer, when he looked to his left he was the opera star. Behind him were images of Jacques on the LED.

The screens then displayed stunning images, including the sun rising from behind an almost mythical mountain and later a field of sunflowers. At various points pyro geysers erupted around the perimeter of the stage and fell in a shower from above. Towards the end of the song a rainbow appeared above all of this — providing hope and inspiration that matched the soaring sound.

This performance is mad, but in a delightful way. This act takes itself seriously but is so bonkers you struggle not to like it.

Also making an impression with wiwibloggs readers was Bulgaria, who placed second. Kristian Kostov made an impression with the stark yet elegant staging for “Beautiful Mess”, earning 15.76% of the vote. In third place was Israel’s IMRI with 13.97% of the vote. His energetic performance of “I Feel Alive” was also a favourite.

Poll results: Who had the best rehearsal on May 3?

  1. Croatia: Jacques Houdek “My Friend” 18.55% (1,037 votes)
  2. Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov “Beautiful Mess” 15.76% (881 votes)
  3. Israel: IMRI “I Feel Alive” 13.97% (781 votes)
  4. Belarus: Naviband “Story of my life” 12.31% (688 votes)
  5. Estonia: Koit & Laura “Verona” 11.09% (620 votes)
  6. Switzerland: Timebelle “Apollo” 10.03% (561 votes)
  7. Norway: JOWST “Grab The Moment” 9.78% (547 votes)
  8. Lithuania: Fusedmarc “Rain of Revolution” 4.85% (271 votes)
  9. San Marino: Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson “Spirit of the Night” 3.66% (205 votes)

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28 Comments
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Enthusiast
Enthusiast
5 years ago

Kristian is used to be favorite but to be placed securely second (in a long term), so hopefully some day will end really first with great impact.. deservedly 🙂 To be first is a great pressure actually, so I’m happy for him that Italy is now the most favorite and he to be relieved to do his job easily 🙂

Tedi Cular
5 years ago

So cheesy but cheese is delicious, so trashy but gold trash, I really wish he qualify and at this point I’m sure that we will watch this in the Final. The song I had zero expectations aboud surprised me so much, great staging, great vocals, great camera work and song is growing each day more and more!

Stormbolt55
Stormbolt55
5 years ago

Top 10 for sure

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
5 years ago

Who is voting for Israel as the best rehearsal? Seriously?

Eve
Eve
5 years ago

Well deserved, performance was amazing.

Maniac
Maniac
5 years ago

My country will qualify easily to the final , well done Jacques , you are literally destroying haters rights now , they are so bitter , I am enyoing it hahaha , so entertaining to watch all this confused and bitter comments hahah

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Maniac

And you will be destroyed when your country won’t be called among the 10 qualifiers xD Ahahaha

What a joke ! Bulgaria was the best ! 😉

Maniac
Maniac
5 years ago
Reply to  Jay

Hahahah sooo good , next bitter comment please , I am really enjoying it , bring it on pleaseeeee

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Maniac

No seriously, Jacques is a talented and excellent singer … but his song seems to be a copy of ‘Let It Go’ from ‘Frozen’ and that’s so flagrant … and his staging is soooo kitsch ! The rainbow, sunflowers, the landscape, his face on the screens …. meeeeh … don’t be stupid mate, Croatia won’t qualify to the grand final this year. And I’m not the only one to think about that …

Maniac
Maniac
5 years ago
Reply to  Jay

Ok , see you on thursday

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Maniac

Ok mate. See you on thursday and good vhance to your country 😉

My country is already in the Grand final …

Jamakuchy
Jamakuchy
5 years ago

Totally deserved for Jacques, he was on the 2nd place in press center poll. He did really a great job vocally and on the stage. I can see Croatia relly high in the final.

JP
JP
5 years ago

Oh my dear… The Netherlands will most certainly qualify and probably also Croatia!!!

Stan
Stan
5 years ago

this is my guilty pleasure 🙂

Don
Don
5 years ago

Israel and bulgaria were the best.

M_K
M_K
5 years ago

Those poll results are quite surprising. To me, Norway and Belarus had the best rehearsals on Wednesday.

mag
mag
5 years ago

What a joke.lol Bulgaria was the best 😉

tia
tia
5 years ago

Great Jacques!!!! Indeed the best.
If you don’t understand, you should get out from your bubble.
He is the only contestant that is right to use his own face on the screen.
Claudia looks like she is eating herself, but Jacques has a reason to use his two personas on the screen. That way the duet is presented to the viewers.

S@g@
5 years ago

Hahaha rofl
I think there were technical problems with the counting.

Mufasa
Mufasa
5 years ago

Croatia was second on press poll. Why you can’t imagine he did a good job? His vocals are on point and staging. But some people like jodel it and that is weird

DaNiEl
DaNiEl
5 years ago

No way! One of the worst! Belarus and Bulgaria were the clear standouts, and the full Swiss rehearsal is really good !

Billy Loomis
Billy Loomis
5 years ago

No he didn’t.

#Sorry
#Sorry
5 years ago

Please tell me, that you really don’t think he is the best one? I’m scared.

Greta
Greta
5 years ago

Congrats Croatia! Dare to dream and make it real. I know it’s cheezy but like William said : cheese can be delicious ?

Pant7
Pant7
5 years ago

That’s a good joke. Anyways this is the only thing he will win at Eurovision.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
5 years ago

I’d been praying you’d see the light, and you did. Congrats Jacques <3

Danuta
Danuta
5 years ago

Bulgaria was the clear winner, followed by Belarus and Israel. The others were meh. These polls are useless anyway. Day 3 won by The Netherlands who won’t even qualify, same thing about Croatia now… Day 5 will be won by Georgia or Czech Republic or what other non qualifier?

Geo
Geo
5 years ago

Is that a joke, right?