Day 1 rehearsals Eurovision 2018

Azerbaijan’s Aisel climbed futuristic mountains. Belarus’ Alekseev was shot by a blood red rose. And Bulgaria’s Equinox went avant-garde amid a sea of darkness. But who among today’s ten acts — Azerbaijan, Iceland, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel, Belarus, Estonia and Bulgaria — 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.

 

Poll: Who had the best first rehearsal of April 29?

 

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.

Read all of our Eurovision 2018 rehearsal news here

 

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Jona
Guest
Jona

Eugent Bushpepa-Mall

Mary
Guest
Mary

My top
1. Estonia
2. Bulgaria
3. Lithuania
4. Czech republiv
5. Belarus
6. Albania
7. Azerbaijan
8. Belgium
9. Israel
10. Iceland

Alex
Guest
Alex

The best is Eugent, he beings DRAMA, TALENT, POWER.
There is no competition. Even watching the rehearsals today, nothing can compare to what Eugent brings.
#Albania

Nex
Guest
Nex

Wiwibloggs is now Hatebloggs, bunch of frustrated losers in comment section who consider themselves as ”experts”

Ghhfy
Guest
Ghhfy

They were all good, honestly how can anyone predict who will go through..

Porky
Guest
Porky

I need Lithuania and Albania in final. But i know they won’t qualify or maybe ony one of them will (probably Albania) idk…

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Overall, it was a good first day of rehearsals. Everyone sounded great.
My highlights of the day are Albania and Belarus.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

INFORMATION :- WHO IS IN THE PINK OR IN THE BLUE (BETTING UPDATE) . . Things still going as expected, Bookies very slow to catch up, hehe!! . . NEW TOP 5 NOW :- 1st ISRAEL 2nd FRANCE 3rd AUSTRALIA 4th BULGARIA 5th ESTONIA . . Very strong Top 5 now. For me I would like to see either SPAIN or GREECE instead of AUSTRALIA in the Top 5, (only my opinion guys.) I would expect to see ESTONIA in the Top 3 come final day; I don’t expect AUSTRALIA will remain in the Top 5. We have yet to… Read more »

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

It looks like the Baltic countries beat the rest on the first day of rehearsals. The best performances were – Estonia and Lithuania. In random order: Estonia is a pleasure to both eyes and ears. Lithuania – very touching performance, good idea using a bridge. They just need to remove these lips sounds. Albania – good voice, although as for me it is too high for this song. Staging – nothing special. Iceland – good vocal, an obsolete song. Staging – simplicity, pleasant color scheme of fog. Belgium – good song and vocals. Staging – video only showed how messy… Read more »

Hada
Guest
Hada

Albania. His staging didn’t even register to me, I only noticed THAT VOICE. He needs to be in the final.

Mr Gold
Guest
Mr Gold

SWEDEN is easy winner and that’s all about whole Junior Eurovision 2018 in Lisboa.

Escphbelgium
Guest
Escphbelgium

Eurovision 2018 rehearsals My Top 10 (rank and comments): #1 – Israel [Toy – Netta Barzilai] >> The Blanche of 2018? Perhaps but I think they’re holding back and saving the real surprises for later. #2 – Belgium [A Matter Of Time – SENNEK] >> YES! MAH QUEEN SENNEK IS KILLING IT!! GO GET THEM TIGER!!! #3 – Czech Republic [Lie To Me – Mikolas Josef] >> I’m really happy he’s committed to the song and staging ? but I hope he don’t break his back for it. Either way, I’m hoping he gets well soon. #4 – Bulgaria [Bones… Read more »

JUAN MANUEL
Guest
JUAN MANUEL

it saddens me that the best song of the first semifinal will be left out. I am referring to Albania, both the lyrics and the music and, above all, the interpretation far exceeds all the others. I will vote for Albania. Kisses from Spain

Maclaren
Guest
Maclaren

This is what matters- voting. Do not be driven by odds, what other pundits say, just follow your heart and vote for who you think deserves it most (Eugent for me). Folks, is this true that this year votes are limited to 20 per device? I usually vote around 100 times for my favorite

dus2011
Guest
dus2011

They were always limited. You can vote as often as you want but only 20 votes are counted per telefone number and/or Eurovision App

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Notice that Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Israel and Belarus are all bringing dancers to the stage, and I’m assuming that at least two more (Finland and Cyprus) will probably do the same. As I said last month, there’s no room for all these pop/dance songs in the final. I think Belarus is going to be hurt the most.
Croatia and FYR Macedonia might have dancers as well.

Go chicken
Guest
Go chicken

Unbelievable! Haters are bashing Netta when Benjamin Ingrosso is the stu*id boy!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

To be fair, Benjamin hasn’t had a rehearsal so hard to bash him here!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Not even close. Lithuania gained the most from these rehearsals. Azerbaijan a distant second.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Yes, Lithuania gained a lot from this. It even has relegated Finland in the betting odds. Maybe Ieva is the surprise borderline qualifier (although I prefer Albania) but we might never know. I don’t see Finland qualifying, which is sad because I definitely want Finland back in the final after 3 years. Hopefully Saara makes it.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I think I prefer both Lithuania and Albania to Finland.
Finland definitely need a good rehearsal. Last time I checked, they had a lot of things they needed to work out.

Curve
Guest
Curve

Estonia, Albania and Lithuania were my top 3. Bulgaria, Belgium and Azerbaijan are ok.

Hector
Guest
Hector

Based only on the snippets from the performances, my top 10 of today is:
1. Lithuania
2.Estonia
3.Azerbaijan
4.Albania
5.Bulgaria
6.Czech Republic
7.Israel
8.Belgium
9.Belarus
10. Iceland

And 50% performance, 50%song, my top stays as follows:
1. Bulgaria
2.Belgium
3.Lithuania
4.Israel
5.Estonia
6.Azerbaijan
7.Czech Republic
8.Albania
9.Belarus
10.Iceland

And now, let the dislikes begin!

Olivier2
Guest
Olivier2

I’m not disliking it because I feel everybody should respect others opinions but I dont agree with Estonia being below Israel. If you would have switched those two then I would probably have been 100% in agreement

Geeky Monky
Guest
Geeky Monky

And I’m liking your comment because you seem to have a good head on your shoulders. Not because I prefer Estonia over Israel, I haven’t quite made up my mind about the “placings” and such.

Benny
Guest
Benny

Netta rocked. Eugent was vocally superior. Ieva was cute. Aisel was nice.

Hörnchen AT
Guest
Hörnchen AT

This isnt just the most competitive Semifinal in a while..its the fiercest HALF of a SF ? My prediction ——THROUGH—— 1) Bulgaria = its a good song, they have invested a lot in this act! I wouldnt mind if it won, since Bulgaria has been entertaining us at Eurovision for 3 years in a row 2) Czech Republic = its a catchy Song, catchy act, i lile the studio version better, and maybe it should stay there, but this is going through (and get well soon buddy) 3) Israel = i loved the song from the first moment, like i… Read more »

Evita
Guest
Evita

Semifinal 1 Qualifiers : Firsthalf: 1. Albania 2. Estonia 3. Bulgaria 4. Israel 5. Azerbaijan Second Half 6. Armenia 7. Greece 8. Finland 9. Cyprus 11. Austria ( Borderline C. Republic ) Semifinal 2 Qualifiers : FirstHalf : 1. Norway 2. Australia 3. Denmark 4. The Netherland 5. Serbia 6. Ukraine 7. Hungary 8. Swedend 9. Malta 10. Poland TOP 26 Final Night : 1. Winner – Italy – Winner Alert 2. France – Winner Alert 3. Bulgaria – Winner Alert 4. Israel – Nice Message 5. Estonia – Stunning 6. Portugal – love it 7. Albania – Winner Alert… Read more »

Zuzu
Guest
Zuzu

My favourite is still Bulgaria but today didnt have the best rehearsal. I voted for Estonia. I knew Eugent had some strong vocals, and can’t wait to see his performance in 8th of May. Alekseev improved a lot. I hope Mikolas recovers fast, i want him in the final! The rest were meh.

Mary
Guest
Mary

Estonia for the win

Evita
Guest
Evita

1 – st rehearsal : Qualifiers: 1. Albania – Best Performance and absolute darkhorse 2. Estonia – Stunning but i dont think an opera song should win a (non operistic ) festival where you compete only with yourself because there is no other song and singer like her where we can make a diference. 3. Bulgaria – They are gonna be great top 5 for sure 4. Israel – Eventho was not the best day for Netta the song is going to do her job and send her to the big final. Borderline : 5. Azerbajan – Good stage 6.… Read more »

Ddd
Guest

Exactly the same opinion as me about Estonia. And all of it. ?

please
Guest
please

1.Belarus- gives all the drama i need, vocals on point
2.Albania- simple yet impressive
3.Azerbaijan-the staging elevated the song for me
4.Lithuania- very original, very emotional
5.Estonia- i mean the not much i can say just epic
6.Bulgaria- just flat not much of anything
7.Czech rep.- he needs to relax a little, forced performance
8.Iceland- they did the most with what they had
9.Israel- too much going on, no clear message
10. Belgium- bland, flat, horrible styling

Y tho?
Guest
Y tho?

Why the f… Albania has lost ground on the bookies? It is nearly rock bottom. Are the bookies deaf or what?

Lourdes
Guest
Lourdes

The bookies are all over the place right now. We have to wait a few more days.

Jamala
Guest
Jamala

Albania is out. You must be deaf . His song is not good. Get over it.

Y tho?
Guest
Y tho?

Stop spamming for God’s sake!

Pickylua
Guest
Pickylua

In my opinion, Lithuania and Albania were the best. Mikolas get better soon

Jack
Guest
Jack

Say bye bye to Israel as the “winner”!
Loved Bulgaria,Lithuania, Albania(damn that voice dudeeee),Estonia for sure and thats it. PEACE!

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

Who is everyone looking forward to seeing tomorrow?
Definitely looking to see what Finland are doing and also super pumped for Cyprus. My take is one of these won’t make it, let’s see who comes out on top! Comment down below of who you’re most looking forward to seeing!

Darren
Guest
Darren

Cyprus, Greece and Ireland

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

I’m actually excited about Ireland too! If they play their cards right and create an atmosphere on the stage it could carry them through. Just a shame that the song is not 100% up to scratch. For me it’s Lithuania Vs Ireland when it comes to this type of song to go through. Lithuania is probably edging it atm for me.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Cyprus, to see if it’s a bomb or it will bomb. FYR Macedonia to see if they will keep tradition lol.

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

I’ve been following Eleni on Instagram and I always had reservations if she could sing, but the backing vocalists actually help tremendously.. and we know she can move so I expect something good. I’m fearful of FYROM not making it, I think this will get lost (no pun intended!) amongst all the other performances and I have a feeling the staging will be a letdown as is always the case with them. Hopefully everyone is amazing!

careen
Guest
careen

Looking for some downvotes:

Bulgaria was a disappointment and has a bad song.

ieva
Guest
ieva

I actually agree with you. It is very overrated, but i hope the juries will make justice by not voting for it.

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

Bulgaria is jury bait, I’m very curious about their televoting.

ieva
Guest
ieva

1. Estonia
2. Albania
3. Belarus
4. Azerbaijan
5. Bulgaria
6. Czech Republic
7. Lithuania
8. Israel
9. Iceland
10. Belgium

scre
Guest
scre

Following some peeeps logic…Netta from Israel is much better than Loreen”!!! LMAO

Serious
Guest
Serious

I’m starting to feel, thay Belgium might be the shock non-qualifier..

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Not so shocking anymore.

Olivier2
Guest
Olivier2

Okay so I’m seeing the odds and for some reason Czech Republic after going up are now dropping again in the odds (even though his injury looks somewhat severe) and somehow I saw Norway going down possibly passing Estonia although they haven’t really done anything? France also went up even though they haven’t really been impacted by the rehearsals . I’m so new to this and confuse on what specific factors affect odds so if somebody could enlighten me I’ll appreciate it.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Well, Czech Republic just went from #3 to #5 which isn’t exactly that bad since they’re still a huge favorite to win the contest. But it seems that in the eyes of the bookmakers, the rehearsal was a big letdown.

West
Guest
West

I think the drop is more likely the result of Mikolas’ injury – he is in hospital right now after all and there’s little to no doubt that his performance will be changed.

Thiago
Guest
Thiago

The first rehearsals are not set in stone and not a good predictor. Many times the final rehearsal is from another planet compared to the first. Don’t take the odds too seriously right now. Wait until the later rehearsals.

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

OMG, I’ve just just heard the Wiwi review of the rehearsels and I’m shaking. I’m Belarus’ wacko fan this year, they always bash him, but I’m ok and super confident and now they are praising him and I’m just scared sht, please Alekseev lose the dancer, the scarf and tone down that back, please stay classy and go to the final and then slay!

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

To add I think Albania was wow as ever and the rest not bad at all.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Based on the first nine rehearsals, this is my ranking from Peru: 1. Albania: What else can I say? Eugent is the best live so ofc he can bring Albania back to the final! Fingers crossed! 2. Lithuania: I liked this song after I listened and the rehearsal did justice to Ieva and her simplistic ballad. Definitely great! 3. Israel: Despite not being incredibly amazing, Netta showed her vocal abilities to make a very good first rehearsal, she’s living up to her hype. 4. Estonia: That dress is quite a gem, isn’t it? I was doubting Estonia’s pass to the… Read more »

Wyatt
Guest
Wyatt

1. Azerbaijan (Voted)
2. Estonia (Voted)
3. Lithuania (Voted)
4. Belgium (Need to see more)
5. Albania
6. Bulgaria
7. Czech Republic (get well soon!)
8. Israel (Wasn’t believing the Occidentali’s Karma comparison until today)
9. Belarus (Need to see more)
10. Iceland (Can’t believe I actually defended the studio version. Horrendous staging.)

My2Cents
Guest
My2Cents

Based on this little that we’ve seen, I feel like it will be less painful to let some of the acts stay in the semi. Only Estonia seems to have a wow factor.

1. Estonia
2. Lithuania
3. Belgium
4. Azerbaijan
5. Bulgaria
6. Israel
7. Czech Republic
8. Belarus
9. Albania
10. Iceland

Lian
Guest
Lian

Guys, we’ve only seen some tiny snippets. I’ve found the information that came with the videos much more informative. All in all, I believe that the majority of the delegations will be counting on the camerawork.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Voted for several countries but the best were definitely Bulgaria and Estonia <3

Clément
Guest
Clément

In my opinion Albania had the best first rehearsal

Jamala
Guest
Jamala

Albania is out.

Maria
Guest
Maria

Estonia had the best rehearsal today, and stage effects were amazing.
But otherwise, this year will be the most boring stage and light effects. Missing LED screens.
Belgium stage was very dull.

Irina
Guest
Irina

Indeed. I miss LED screens so much 🙁

Anya
Guest
Anya

Albania is so so so overrated, nothing but the voice is worth remembering here.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I love also the song – not only he voice.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Overrated? He’s 36th with the bookies.

George Bonev
Guest
George Bonev

Albania is f*****g underrated. His voice outshines his song. The song is so sweet and agressive in the same time, it brings magic to the stage. Can’t wait for the full performance.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

How’s Albania overrated? It doesn’t have that much support from the fandom as Israel or Bulgaria who are slightly overrated. And again, 36th at the bookies. FREAKIN’ 36TH!

KESC
Guest
KESC

1.Estonia: Those vocals just gave me goosebumps. Yes, it is the same staging as at Eesti Laul, but that’s nothing bad. She is giving me winner vibes. 2.Albania: This man deserves to qualify, I mean those vocals and especially high notes are just epic. Performing after Ari could be an advantage for him. 3.Lithuania: This was the biggest surprise for me. I’m not the biggest fan of the song, and I always had my doubts, if she can really qualify,since she could get lost between Czechia and Israel, but quite the contrary, it was more remarkable. The staging is really… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Estonia didn’t disappoint. Lithuania is such a grower as well, she’s keeping it personal and you can tell she’s genuine (never thought I’d say this). Loved Israel too, I’m sure it’ll translate well.

BoriS
Guest
BoriS

Bulgaria is sure to have the highest televotes thanks to its immigrants. The jurry second is going to be there, so do not worry too much and just keep your luggage for Sofia2018.
I know you do not like the Balkans, you westerners, but that does not really care.
If there is justice, Bulgaria wins!

Dan
Guest
Dan

Ugh! What a stupid comment. ESC is about bringing people together not pitting us “Westerners” against “Balkans”.

mark dowd
Guest
mark dowd

Sofia 2018??? It’s Lisbon 2018…in case you hadn’t noticed?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

How many bulgarian immigrants do you think there are? You know Bulgaria have failed a lot of times right. Where ere there help then? Bulgaria have only qualified 3 times…

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

I don’t think the Bulgarian diaspora is as big as you claim, plus Bulgaria mostly gets points because of its entries. Just look how the United Kingdom gave the 12 points in televote to Kristian last year, despite not having a huge Bulgarian diaspora.

careen
Guest
careen

the british televote did, not the juries

careen
Guest
careen

See guys, here’s the easiest way of getting downvotes. Just criticize bulgaria or spain.

Melania Trump
Guest
Melania Trump

Or you get dislikes for making a pretty stupid comment

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

It’s really hard to make a top having seen so little, but were I obliged to make one it will look like this: 1. Lithuania : Very organic and heartwarming, I think this will be sailing through. 2. Israel: Didn’t seem bad to me, they got a nice core idea 3. Estonia: Not sure about the colours on the projections, but it seemed cohesive 4. Belarus: This actually seemed good on stage, don’t know about the “gimmicks” 5. Azerbaijan: The triangles are nice and bright, nothing super special but it’s somewhat eye catching. 6. Belgium: Glad to see vocal improvement,… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

Agree with this. It’s very hard to judge based on the glimpses we saw today but at least we got a flavour of what to expect.

William
Guest
William

Song from Estonia more in opera than in this competition, that’s why I do not like it.
Bulgaria and Albania perform very well.

Esgalnor
Guest
Esgalnor

OK, I really liked Bulgaria, my absolute winner probably. Then there are 2 growers – Albania and Lithuania. My fourth vote went to Czechia (considering Mikolas’ health issues, he pretty nailed it). The rest… Azerbaijan is too cheesy for me, not even mentioning iceland, Belgium is just meh, sorry Sennek, Estonia is fine, but I just don’t connect with the song, Belarus is not convincing and Israel is just a disappointment.

Savalan
Guest
Savalan

Best rehearsal was only for me AISEL X MY HEART. She took my vote.