Roll on rehearsals! Today the remaining acts in Semi-Final 1 rehearse, along with five from Semi-Final 2 and the Big 5 plus Portugal. It’s going to be a long day. So let’s not waste any time and jump straight into the next three rehearsals from Norway’s Alexander Rybak, Romania’s The Humans and Serbia’s Sanja Ilic & Balkanika.

Reaction: Norway, Romania and Serbia

Norway: Alexander Rybak with “That’s How You Write a Song”

Two days ago Alexander tweeted that he’s come down with the flu. Singing on a massive stage — even at full health — can be a draining experience. So to feel ill on the Eurovision stage is another level of unfortunate. But as ever Alex pushed through, delivering another sound performance. While it was obvious he wasn’t feeling his best, he still oozed charisma. With a bit of rest — please, get some sleep and drink lots of fluids — he will be returning to health at just the right time.

This performance was already polished and ready for primetime. There wasn’t a pressing need to switch things up. But still there were a few tweaks, the most notable of which is the presentation of Alex’s on-stage strumming with the violin. The dancers sashay away and the camera quickly gets to him, creating a high impact change of pace that really works.

Alexander Rybak, “That’s How You Write a Song”: Performance Preview

Romania: The Humans with “Goodbye”

Romania’s mannequins continue to give us life! The Humans’ message — about how humanity is losing its sense of feeling and compassion — comes through loud and clear as Cristina sashays through her now iconic black mannequins. The white mannequins that were placed at the front of the stage previously have been moved to the back, providing less of a distraction.

Cristina has been battling a cold in recent days, but it didn’t show. She sounded great and seemed to rock harder this time around. In fact, she re-introduced her signature hair whip from the national selection, reminding us that she’s got sass in spades. A good act remains very strong indeed.

The Humans, “Goodbye”: Performance Preview

Serbia: Sanja Ilic and Balkanika with “Nova deca”

For their second rehearsal, the female vocalists added black jackets to their dresses, looking less Greek goddess and more Greek goddess with a rocker edge. It’s more interesting visually and fits with Balkanika’s history of taking traditional sounds and making them pop. This is how you update, guys!

They sound great and look sharp. But unfortunately the stage feels somehow empty. The atmosphere isn’t intimate, but instead diffuse. As a result the energy seems to lag and about two minutes in I’m rather bored.

Sanja Ilic and Balkanika, “Nova deca”: Performance Preview

Check out all of our rehearsal news here

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

Norway: …This is the exact OPPOSITE of a glow-up, and no matter how hard I try, I just cannot get past that. I’ve seen him give better performances, I’ve seen him make way better songs. Just…WHY? Why THIS ONE to represent your country? Why THIS when literally EVERYONE knows you are fully capable of providing something much better? This will qualify JUST because its him but…if this ends up in the top 10 or something it’s only because people are blinded by his name. Romania: It’s acts like these that make me wish that they would just abolish the 6-person… Read more »

Cleopatra
Guest
Cleopatra

He might be able to write better songs, but i think pple are giving him way too much negative feedback. He has a catchy song and deliver on stage. On this rehearsal he had the flu, so i’m pretty sure it’s not easy to give it your all. It’s not only tha name that makes him deserving to be on top of the list. It’s what he gives.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Norway’s is interesting, because they have choreography, and no one else has it this year. s/

phillis
Guest
phillis

You need to see Moldova.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

S is for sarcasm.

fugu
Guest
fugu

The only reason Norway’s choreography is getting so much attention is that Rybak never really has any and is sometimes so non-moving you wonder if someone glued his shoes to the floor. Here he is actually dancing a bit and people are shocked.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

I still can’t get Romania. Norway as good as the first time. I heard Alexander is ill so I hope he gets well soon. As for Serbia, I didn’t quite like the new outfits the ladies wore.

adriana
Guest
adriana

The jurry will score Romania and Albania high so no problem there.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Not Romania, me thinks.

Alex
Guest
Alex

The juries always rob Romania. Seems unfair.

ninasublatti
Guest
ninasublatti

alexander rybak really seems like that annoying guy you really wanna punch in the face

noel
Guest
noel

1.) HaHaHa, I love that Alexander Rybak doesn’t want to give interviews. Journalists are mean.
2.) Can anybody tell me why everybody loves Albania and hates Romania when these two acts are exactly the same (charisma, good rock voices, same genre)
ESC fans are so biased, I respect your taste, but you will have to respect that Europe+Australia will not agree with you.

Cleopatra
Guest
Cleopatra

I’m sure he wants to give interviews, but he struggles with the flu these days.

phillis
Guest
phillis

Another one that is ill, just like Mikolas. Probably they go to the same hospitals. Salvador effect, illness works. I don’t blame Alexander. Press was cruel with him.

Gav
Guest
Gav

But I love both Romania and Albania… I hope that’s OK?

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Maybe because that’s the charm of Albania, bringing these “dated” entries because of their long running and very traditional NF and sometimes they hit gold like with Eugent. Plus, I think this is the first time that Romania has sent a song like “Goodbye”, although I don’t see it that different than let’s say “De la Capat”.

namename
Guest
namename

For me Albania and Romania are not the same. It’s not always that people hate something, I liked Romania last year, but I don’t have to like it now just to show that I have no problem with this country. Goodbye sounds like several songs badly sewed together (for me). I don’t like all pop songs, I don’t like all rock songs etc.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

Romania is yet another rock entry in english like we ear every year and Albania is pure gold in native langage.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

One interview is fine. But they keep asking the same questions over and over again. It’s just pointless.

“ESC fans are so biased, I respect your taste, but you will have to respect that Europe+Australia will not agree with you.” Or they might.

phillis
Guest
phillis

Is true that for some unknown reason Eugent is a fanwank. Really want him to do well and not be disappointed.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Norway: Everything is well thought and polished. And it’s much warmer and friendlier than most performances on this year’s contest. It’s not my thing, though. It doesn’t distract me enough from what I feel about the song.
Romania: It looks good. They really found a way to elevate the song and showcase Cristina as a powerful frontwoman.
Serbia: It’s always a horrible feeling when you know something’s off but you can’t point exactly what it is.

drag kvinna
Guest

go get some lsd to relax, it will bring you back to your teenage dream

Ally
Guest
Ally

Norway- Junior Eurovision
Romania- 1992
Serbia- 2005
All have beautiful voices and good performances tho.

Mammamia
Guest
Mammamia

Exactly 🙂 Norway song belongs to junior eurovision and kids can vote for him :):)

Mammamia
Guest
Mammamia

Even my 12 old daughter said that song from Norway is not for her anymore because it is too childish :):)

Mammamia
Guest
Mammamia

In this very weak semifinal even cannot pick up somebody. Maybe Sweden only- and place in the final between 7-12 . Winners in total will be Estonia or France or Cypros or Bulgaria

Eric
Guest
Eric

Norway is amazing. Alexander really brings somwthing extra on stage

Mr Gold
Guest
Mr Gold

Sweden is most certain winner in history (both semi-final and final)

Eric
Guest
Eric

Yes Sweden will rule this semifinal.

drag kvinna
Guest

hi eric saade, is that you

fugu
Guest
fugu

I like Ingrosso – with other songs he did. This one is weak, weak, weak.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Norway:Haters gonna hate but this will do superwell. Fun song, he owns that stage and he has charisma.

Eric
Guest
Eric

A possible winner

Mr Gold
Guest
Mr Gold

Top 10 but not even close to Sweden.

Cleopatra
Guest
Cleopatra

Can’t even compare the two, different genres. Sweden is overrated as they often are. Yes they have done well many times – but that doesn’t mean they should be called amongst the best every singel year. It has become a “thing”. 😛

kkk
Guest
kkk

spain, the winner

Ivy
Guest
Ivy

hope not…. cringe on the highest level

fugu
Guest
fugu

No. Credit to Spain for bringing something far better than they have in recent years, but it is a middle of the pack finisher – which Spain should rightly celebrate with parades for days.