Belgium Czech Lithuania Second Rehearsal Eurovision 2018

Second rehearsals from the first semi-final continue today. Belgium’s Sennek, Czech Republic’s Mikolas Josef — back injury and all — and Lithuania’s Ieva Zasimauskaite took to the stage. Here’s how they nipped and tucked…

Reaction: Belgium, Czech Republic and Lithuania

Belgium: Sennek with “A Matter of Time”

There’s immediate improvements to “A Matter of Time” from the very first shot. Instead of focusing just on Sennek’s closed eyes in the narrow window of light, she now holds her arm above and in front of her face — slowly pulling it away to show off her face. In our interview afterwards, she said this was to draw out suspense and mystery. There’s also been a change to Sennek’s makeup. She doesn’t look quite as pale now, giving the performance some extra life.

Other improvements come with the camera cuts and the lighting, which give the performance more dynamism. Sennek remains on the catwalk for the performance, making her the first person (of many) who make use of it in the contest.

Sennek, “A Matter of Time”: Performance Preview

Czech Republic: Mikolas Josef with “Lie to Me”

Mikolas clearly was not at full health during his rehearsal today, and it took some time for him to get in to his groove. He seemed to be in pain, holding his lower back throughout the first run-through (which was aborted twice for various reasons). And with his back injury, the choreography has changed considerably too.

Some elements remain, including his backpack flip (but not the Mikolas flip)— which looked a little laboured, for obvious reasons. However, the Czech team have certainly worked to hide his injury as best they can. The intro is now filmed in a widescreen letterbox format, with cuts between Mikolas and his two backing dancers — which means Mikolas can dance a lot less too.

Similarly, the backing dancers have been changed up. Instead of the two male dancers, it’s now a male-female duo. The female backing dancer didn’t seem to be in full costume though, so whether this was a permanent change (or a very late addition) is unclear. Obviously there’s a lot more work to do on this given the changes needed to the choreography, but Mikolas will have time to get that in check.

In our interview afterwards, he told us that performing in the second semi final is not an option. Doctors say he needs to rest his back for several weeks to avoid worsening his injury.

Mikolas Josef, “Lie to Me”: Performance Preview

Lithuania: Ieva Zasimauskaite with “When We’re Old”

It was a case of tidying up things from a successful first rehearsal for Ieva today. The superimposed images of couples of all ages playing and dancing together have had their opacity turned down. They now blend in with the stage and look particularly good on the smaller HD screens around the press centre. They also seem to appear for a lot shorter time though, so it could be a case of “blink and you’ll miss them”.

The Lithuanian team also seemed to be testing a different opening shot. Previously, the stage was in darkness and the first shot was that of the audience. That was the same in Ieva’s first run-through, but on later ones they ran with a moving shot of Ieva sat down on the stage. Otherwise, this was more or less the same, with Ieva in great voice and the touching moment at the end with her husband on the bridge remaining.

Ieva Zasimauskaite, “When We’re Old”: Performance Preview

Check out all of our rehearsal news here

Footage: Courtesy EBU/RTP

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Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

Everyone is talking about Belgium, so do I. I don’t know if it’s just me, but in the “exclusive rehearsal clip” during the part when she’s lit by that strong light, she looks a bit off-putting (maybe due to the amount of make-up) and it’s unnecessary, I would say. She sounded fine, but overall it’s not enough for me, and I’m really worried, cause I love the song and Laura.
Anyway, I wish Belgium all the best, and I hope, that “Blanche effect” is still possible.

Ted
Guest
Ted

In the video she did not even sing… How did she sound fine if she was not singing? 😀

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Belgium looked better hopefully! Still don’t like her outfit.

Maria
Guest
Maria

Belgium has a great song. But something is going wrong with the singer’s voice in live performances, So pity,
I would be happy if she won, but the staging and her voice destroyed her chances.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

If I were the guy, and Ieva my girlfiend, I’d probably start laughing during that shot, and ruin the entire performance.

Caption
Guest
Caption

I already talked about Belgium. If she gets to the final it will be mainly because of the great song it is. Rest of things are far from a deserving finalist. Lithuania is getting to the final. The sensitivity that demands this song is right there. Well done Ieva. Czechia. I’m happy to see him in good spirits. This is a finalist just for the catchiness and quality of his song (as Israel) strong top 10 contender, but as Israel, I fail to see how this could win. Right now I’m bidding on Czechia finishing higher than Israel in the… Read more »

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Belgium: I think the provided clip is a bit unfair to her. She can sing her verses just fine. It’s honestly only the high notes in the chorus that she struggles with but still- ….we have to acknowledge that that’s still a big problem. On the other hand though, Blanche wasn’t a very good live singer either but she still placed 4th in the final, so maybe there’s still hope for Sennek. But…as much as it hurts to say it since this song is my 3rd favorite to win, …I’m struggling to see this qualify because the staging could be… Read more »

Curve
Guest
Curve

Sennek sounded pitchy. I am worried.

ted
Guest
ted

3 songs worthy of progressing to the finals.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Sennek STILL needs to change that dress

It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t look like it was too big for her…

She should wear something more like in her music video. Her music video was fantastic.

Gtyhygf
Guest
Gtyhygf

Yes, she would look so much better in more flattering dress and makeup, she’s very pretty

Filip
Guest
Filip

Every year the same crap about Belgium. What the hell did we ever do wrong to you guys to deserve all that hate. She’s getting better and better deal with it… But no the crap from Israel, she’s not that good, Finland, way too overrated and live not so great and Czech Republic, who is actually a bad copy from James Derulo are fantastic. But I give you this Bulgaria and Lithuania… They are damn good.

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

I guess there is a higher expectation of Belgium given recent years and your general output of top music to the outside world. But I agree with you regarding your points 🙂

David
Guest
David

Damn right; it’s our country and I will always defend it. If we can’t win this contest anymore, at least we can win the Worldcup :). You don’t need ‘friends’ for that.

Thiago
Guest
Thiago

I like the line in Lithuanian! Can we have more of it?

Gtyhygf
Guest
Gtyhygf

Lithuania is sooo sweet and pure and authentic, I really really hope it will go through

I felt so sorry for Mikolas, he seemed so sad that he won’t be able to do everything we wanted on stage. But still it was very good

Belgium – great song and voice, but the staging seems so simple? Maybe that was the idea, but it might not stand out as much for the viewers

filipko54
Guest
filipko54

one of the dancers had to go back to CR for a while because of Maturita exam (high school leaving exam) but he will come back 🙂

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Well, Belgium has improved, but I think the performance isn’t going to develope its full potential. The performance look very empty, maybe it is because there’s no public, but I don’t know. Some of her high notes are still unconfortable to listen to.

I’m glad Mikolas is good, I don’t like “Lie to me” as I found it very annoying, mainly because of that trumpet. The staging looks good thought.

I like Lithuania a lot, maybe it’ll be a competition to my own country, but I hope they qualified, along with Albania.

Karl Fradgley
Guest
Karl Fradgley

Lithuania is just GORGEOUS …….. I have this in my top 5 !!!

gunner
Guest

where is a review? what takes so long to leave finally a review??????????

Tani
Guest
Tani

Lithuania and Spain have some similarities …one of them isnt reaching top 10

kkk
Guest
kkk

Belgium…what a mess. But she’s going to the final because it’s belgium.

David
Guest
David

Belgium is looking better and better and has never qualified because it’s Belgium.
Check you Eurovision history

kkk
Guest
kkk

Yeah, i checked and it’s called Blanche, she was the perfect example.

David
Guest
David

If we would have ‘friends’ like the Nordic countries helping each other, we would have won this contest not once but three times; check, double check and cross check.

Denis
Guest
Denis

maybe you should check your ESC history. Belgium has in fact qualified every year since 2015.

Nicholai
Guest
Nicholai

Because they sent good songs. The point is that Belgium has never qualified simply on the basis that they’re Belgium, unlike Russia or Romania if they qualify this year.

David
Guest
David

Thank you; at least someone who gets it.

Biibba
Guest
Biibba

Out of topic: Celine Dion is back with a masterpiece: “Ashes”

Jake
Guest
Jake

Sennek is looking too much like Ieva which I think can hurt her and create confusion. They should’ve not performed so close together. I do think she’s close to not qualifying in this hard to predict semi.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Oh Belgium, always sending good songs. But not good singers.

Hanne
Guest
Hanne

Uhm, what? She is a good singer.

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

Fan Loic and Blanche here!

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Belgium: I’m afraid that my favorite song on this semi may not qualify. There’s an intense feeling of disconnection about this performance. The stage looks empty, Sennek is not interacting with the camera. What’s going on?
Czechia: Mikolas still has time to recover, but it’s obvious that they’ll have to change the choreography and they can’t rehearse some of it until he gets better. Those next days will be tense for the delegation. I wish them the best.
Lithuania: Beautiful use of lights to create shadows over the couple. I guess we’ll see these lovebirds again on the final.

Nieuwszoekertje
Guest
Nieuwszoekertje

The winner of last year wasn’t even interesten in a great performance and closer his eyes all the time moving not an inch.So what could be the problem ?

Danny
Guest
Danny

I have only one question to Lithuania – what the hell is she wearing?!

Tommy
Guest
Tommy

I read somewhere that this outfit is just for rehearsals.

Ally
Guest
Ally

Omg, Ieva, you sweet weirdo, please qualify!!

Caption
Guest
Caption

It’s a shame that Belgium has one of the best five melodies of this year (along Greece, Spain, Bulgaria…) but they can’t make anything out of it. The staging concept doesn’t add anything to the performance and the way she acts doesn’t give me chills. The overall package is probably not enough to qualify, as it fails in the ‘first impression’ (we all love the song, but you need to impress with the rest of things)

Vrede
Guest
Vrede

This is the first time I see a close up of Sennek in performance, and honestly, it scares me. She’s a remarkably beautiful lady, but this snippet doesn’t capture that at all. I’m fearing for them…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Lithuania is the surprise of the year, they’re a classy and heartfelt version of Spain’s entry. I need Lithuania in the final so they can put Spain’s telenovela song to SHAME.

Music is Art
Guest
Music is Art

Every single time you mention the same…. and Im going to answer you the same. Both entries are beautiful, moving and touchy…. But there is no need to undervalue other excellent contestants to praise your favourite. Alfred and Amaia are great performers, Amaia’s voice is one of the most charismatic this year together with Eugent, the song is personal, made specially for them by an unknown songwriter, the song has beauuuuuutiful lyrics both in Spanish and English and the song has an excellent production. They are both very nice and humble people and represent the Spanish diversity too (Alfred is… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Said no one ever. Tu canción is crap.

Music is Art
Guest
Music is Art

OMG… better not answering to that… those manners are out of my league

Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.
Guest
Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.

Czech Rep is very crange, awful beat, crange dance.
Lithuania is maybe cute but the song is very boring and bad.
Belgium: very boring melody and now it should not go to the final. There are better like Albania, Finland osv…
Netta was very good today, she will be in top 10.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Is there anything you actually like?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

exactly haha. 2 of them are going to the final i think. 1 are going to struggle.

Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.
Guest
Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.

Michael: yes! Finland, Israel, Denmark, Albania, Hungary and Bulgaria. I also like many others.
Thanks for 16 likes!

Sera
Guest
Sera

Those are dislikes lmao.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Belgium: It’s professional but to cold, I can’t connect to it. It’s like Belgium is copying itself
Czech Republic: Top 10 matieral.
Lithuania. It’s a strong semifinal. Can be difficult for her!

Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.
Guest
Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.

Good opinion but Czech is so bad. I hate the awful song.

Mr Gold
Guest
Mr Gold

I have three great enemies:
1) Wieslaw
2) Grze?
3) Hela
They all are much closer to be my enemies, than any family…

Mr Gold
Guest
Mr Gold

Wieslaw is worst, but Grzes and Hela do not want to do anything with it…

Dan
Guest
Dan

WTF????

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Mr Crazy is back.

please
Guest
please

Belgium by far the worst of the 3.there is nothing i like about this performance. Is soo bland and her vocals are just not where they should be.

Talentina Monetta
Guest
Talentina Monetta

Lithuania is so cute. Almaia WHO?

Music is Art
Guest
Music is Art

Leva’s favourite contestmates…. if this means something to you hehe

CZ-Monkey
Guest
CZ-Monkey

FYI the female dancer was the team’s choreographer Angee, she was substituting for one of the dancers who had to fly back to Prague for one day to write his school leaving exam. There will be two male dancers in the official performance :).

Danny
Guest
Danny

Wouldn’t be easier just to find a dancer that finished school? Or he just likes em young?

zzxxz
Guest
zzxxz

Belgium no final!

alsomike
Guest
alsomike

I hope you are wrong