The blindfold (or ‘la venda’) has come off and we have seen the first rehearsals of the Big Five plus host country, Israel. All six artists got to make their first impressions on the press today and we saw some fantastic performances throughout the afternoon. But what did you think? Let’s have a look at each rehearsal.

Israel – Kobi Marimi “Home”

First up is Netta’s successor as the Israeli representative, Kobi Marimi.

The pressure is on for Kobi, representing his country on home turf, but he brought seriously incredible vocals today along with a pyro shower.

Kobi will be performing in the 14th slot in the grand final on May 18th. Will he pull a late 70’s Israel and win them back to back trophies?

France – Bilal Hassani “Roi”

Next up it was the turn of French media darling Bilal Hassani with his message of empowerment and hope, “Roi” (en Anglais, “King”). It was rumoured before today’s rehearsal that Bilal would rock an extra long wig and this proved to be true. The staging elevated Bilal’s message by featuring two incredible dancers promoting tolerance and acceptance. Bilal certainly created a frenzy in the press centre. With an impressive run of quality songs over the last few years, will Bilal finally snatch the Top 5 result France have worked towards?

Spain – Miki “La venda”

Following swiftly on from France were their neighbours, Spain, with the brassy party anthem “La venda” (“The Blindfold”) from Miki. The fan favourite track had some setbacks with its epic and colossal-sized staging featuring 6 ‘rooms’ built like a doll-house. Can the cracks be ironed out and will we be headed for a fiesta in España next year?

Italy – Mahmood “Soldi”

Make it raaaaain! Mahmood has recovered from a nasty fever earlier on this week to bring a fantastic performance of his track “Soldi” (“Money”). The modern hip-hop-tinged entry is hotly-tipped by the bookies as one of the favourites to win the whole contest and the first rehearsal had moments of grandeur. Will he be victorious when he performs in the grand final on May 18th?

United Kingdom – Michael Rice “Bigger Than Us”

BIGGER, BIGGER! Michael Rice gave us his first rehearsal of “Bigger Than Us” today, bringing an on-point vocal performance. The BBC have managed to bring something great in the last few years with staging to elevate their entries, and this year they have some good elements in their performance. With this year being the 10th anniversary since the last time the UK saw a Top 10 result, will Michael bring the goods?

Germany – S!sters “Sister”

Laurita and Carlotta in the house, y’all! Germany’s S!sters served us harmonies, inspiring feminism and all the feels. Their staging is based around the ladies being located on different sides of the stage and moving towards one another as the song progresses. Will the ladies outshine Germany’s epic Top 5 finish from last year’s representative Michael Schulte? 

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64 Comments
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bryan soullier
bryan soullier
1 year ago

Il a juste bien géré arrête avoir le seum

Roger Rabbit
Roger Rabbit
1 year ago
Reply to  bryan soullier

En español por favor

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
1 year ago

Voted for France, Israel and the UK 🙂

Roger Rabbit
Roger Rabbit
1 year ago

I see the full rehearsal from Spain .just amazing .I find from the best performs this year absolutely .18 May go to be a big surprise
Bravo Spain this time yes .Siiii.

WhiteSox
WhiteSox
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Rabbit

I would soooo much like to be there to see your face on may 18th 🙂

Nikola
Nikola
1 year ago

Pure emotion and focus from North Macedonia’s Tamara

Étoile
Étoile
1 year ago

Israël: staging too dark, I need to see the camera angles. France: good staging, backdrop and clothes are white and it’s refreshing (same for Spain with lots of colours). So many countries are using black and wearing black this year, happy that some don’t. The lyrics and the dancers also make the song less about the singer and more about everyone who may be discriminated. They were able to make the story understandable unlike last year, they improved. Spain: I need the camera angles too to see if it’s not too messy and want they give more freedom to Miki.… Read more »

David F
David F
1 year ago
Reply to  Étoile

I’m sure the backing dancers are themselves great dancers but I agree with you that for a performance of ‘Soldi’ they are useless. I really hope Team Italy see sense and backtrack on them.

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago

This time after first rehearsals before the actual shows is perhaps my least favourite moment during Eurovision season. Everybody is stressed out, because the decisive moment is approaching, nobody really has seen the stagings, yet, and everybody is acting as if the song and the performer didn’t matter anymore, just the stage show. For me, nothing much has changed, I have seen some not so meaningful snippets of the stagings, I have heard performers rehearsing probably only at 75% of their abilities, and that’s about it. Out of the automatic qualifiers, I’m still rooting for Italy. And I can’t wait… Read more »

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Tibor

Well put, Tibor! We have concepts rather than executions. Many artists have “weaker” vocals in order to save their best for the show. I still root for the similar top favorites, although my mid-list has somewhat changed due to some neat / weak stage concepts and (lack of) conveying the message. Still, nothing will be certain until the show.

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

And the mid-table is what staging is most important for, because a spectacular show can push a borderline qualifier into the final – or the opposite. If you have a great song, you don’t have to worry about qualification, this constant bickering about Duncan Laurence is really getting annoying. Of course he will qualify and finish top 5, that’s just a given and anyone should make their peace with it. No staging can ruin this song, it is not a divisive entry and he is a competent performer. Same goes for Mahmood. That doesn’t mean they’ll win, they could come… Read more »

Eurofan
Eurofan
1 year ago

Spain and Israel – yes they are very different songs but can see both in the top 10, Spain for the energy and Israel for the voice.

Kobe
Kobe
1 year ago

France first in this poll..whahaha…

Elsa
Elsa
1 year ago
Reply to  Kobe

Exactly what I was thinking…. 😀

Grftn
Grftn
1 year ago
Reply to  Kobe

And if you watch the reaction videos, France got the most acclaimed rehearsal, so it’s pretty logical 🙂

NickC
NickC
1 year ago

Whether you like it or not, France is a contender to win now.

Morten
Morten
1 year ago
Reply to  NickC

So is dmol

Honeyboooobooooo
Honeyboooobooooo
1 year ago
Reply to  NickC

I wouldn’t say the staging or song is ordinary – it has a very contemporary LGBT and ‘outsider’ message to it that I don’t feel we’ve seen presented in this way at Eurovision before, certainly not from such a young singer. The deaf dancer, the plus size ballet dancer, the empowerment of the song is very touching. Not only that, but the staging has a very contemporary aesthetic, with clean white and gold that I think will stand out. Also, it’s a bit petty to say you won’t watch just because France might win. I bet you’d say that but… Read more »

I want to see the robot
I want to see the robot
1 year ago

I must be blind. I see no robot, and I’ve seen the whole Spanish rehearsal. What robot? Where it is, at what minute and second?

laika5
laika5
1 year ago

By “robot”, they probably mean “wood mannequin”.

Lloyd
Lloyd
1 year ago

when is the allocation draw?

Puzzled
Puzzled
1 year ago
Reply to  Lloyd

During the orange carpet thing

Miguel
Miguel
1 year ago

Lastima de coreografia patetica , tema mediocre sin el alma de txarango, que lo dejan en la irrelevancia…. puesta escenica aparte que no pasa de ser audaz para justificar lo que te cuesta de tus impuestos.

Una
Una
1 year ago
Reply to  Miguel

Y los cinco que acompañan a Miki … Corren por las escaleras como si fueran unos niños durante el recreo. No puedo creer que todo esto costo tanto dinero. Digo, Miki habló en una oportunidad sobre el director pasando mucho tiempo estudiandolo y practicando para que todo quedara perfecto. Esto es lo que he entendido ya que Miki metía demasiados “en plan”. A mí el tema me parece bien. Está bien. La presentación por otro lado … Seguro que España no quedaran de últimos o entre los últimos pero esto no significa que la presentación no pudiese ser mejor. Bueno,… Read more »

David F
David F
1 year ago

It looks and sounds like they all deserve their spot this year. A lot of hard work and passion on the stage!

David F
David F
1 year ago

Wow, France and Team Bilal have really improved the staging, vocals, and overall performance. It’s very impressive, and looks set to be impactful and powerful. Kobi and Michael both sound like they’ve given stellar vocal performances, which they consistently have done. Miki’s rehearsal looks like it’ll really bring La Venda to life on stage, I do want to Spain to do well this year, and they’re in my Top 10. I’m surprised to see backing dancers behind Mahmood, but he’s still my personal winner, right now, going into Eurovision Week. I really hope he’s fully recovered and that he sings… Read more »

YourMum
YourMum
1 year ago

Mahmood and Conan, my ship of eurovision 2019 😀

Jo.
Jo.
1 year ago
Reply to  YourMum

Did you build this ship to wreck? Hope not.

YourMum
YourMum
1 year ago
Reply to  Jo.

No way. I love both songs and I would love see mahmood and conan together!!

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
1 year ago
Reply to  YourMum

Please no, shipping real people is disrespectful and kind of gross…

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 year ago

For me, it is a tie between France and Spain. France won on creativity, Spain won on slickness. 🙂
Now the ideal top 3 for the ESC final that would annoy a fair few of you would be:
1. France
2. Sweden
3. Montenegro 😛

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Ha ha ha… not bad. Now, Top 3 which would make *me* happy, but at the same time, majority on this site furious:

1. Estonia
2. Norway
3. United Kingdom

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Awesome! 🙂

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

You guys are so sadistic that I’m picturing you both wearing Hatari’s outfits. 😛

My making-people-angry-while-making-me-happy top 3:

1) Australia
2) Austria
3) Serbia

David F
David F
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Ah, if it’s specifically a “making-people-angry-while-making-me-happy top 3”, mine would be:

1. Iceland
2. France
3. Australia

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago
Reply to  David F

How about:
1. Poland
2. Latvia
3. Romania
?

Una
Una
1 year ago
Reply to  Tibor

1. Romania.
2. Norway.
3. Poland.

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

UK deserves to be somewhere in the Top 10

David F
David F
1 year ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

1. Italy
2. Netherlands
3. Sweden

It’s so tough though, because there have been so many strong rehearsals. It’s coming down to whiskers.

EmmelieDarlineFrancesco Fan
EmmelieDarlineFrancesco Fan
1 year ago
Reply to  David F

1. Switzerland
2. Denmark
3. Norway

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

1. Austria
2. Cyprus
3. North Macedonia

I have a funny suspicion that the UK though will make top 5 in the juries while France could easily get top 3 with the televote. I see Germany like 15th with the juries and like 20th with the televote, and Israel likely getting last with maybe a few jury points. I could also see spain in televoting top ten, but the juries probably won’t like it as much. But who knows?

Hey
Hey
1 year ago

ONE WORD : ROI.

Xhd
Xhd
1 year ago

BILAL !!! IS SO INCREDIBLE !!!

Jo.
Jo.
1 year ago

just read the comments, I guess Italy is staying in the semis this year…lmao
I’m happy Mahmood is doing his thing and that what matters to me.
😉

Jo.
Jo.
1 year ago
Reply to  Jo.

would prefer without the dancers tho

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
1 year ago

I think the UK and France are the two best auto qualifier rehearsals for me.
France has always been a favourite for me, and with this staging I am loving it, if Bilal holds it together Top 5 finish is I think a very real prospect.
The United Kingdom, vastly improved since the You Decide final, they just need better camera angles and make the galaxy staging pop a little more but a Top 13 finish is realistic with this. It will be a Austria 2018/Australia 2017 situation loved by the juries but crucified by the televote.

Serhatari
Serhatari
1 year ago

Israel – Decent staging, but dated song
France – Amazing staging, but not too keen on the song
Spain – Bright and colourful, but get rid of that sodding robot thing wtf!
Italy – Masterpiece of a song, slightly bland staging
UK – Great performance but staging lacking something
Germany – Poor song, terrible staging (big contender for last place)

Ezal
Ezal
1 year ago

Noone impressed me tbh
Still hoping for Italy tho, very good song
Israel was decent

Ksenija
Ksenija
1 year ago
Reply to  Ezal

me.
germany has the worst staging which fits with the worst song. i think they will be last.

Io1
Io1
1 year ago

OK somebody please make it clear for me. One of my favorites this year was’ Bigger than us’ the song is so melodic and moving. But i don’t really get it how it comes last on surveys… the vocals are epic!

Otto
Otto
1 year ago
Reply to  Io1

People have different tastes and yours is different then the majority in this case 😉
For me it’s just an overproduced cheesy “the Voice” song. Sorry.

Skiwalko
1 year ago

The main staging themes for Eurovision 2019:
– mirrors (NMC, RUS, ISR, EST)
– stars (SLO, UK, AUS, LAT, HUN, IRE)
– lyrics on the screen (ITA, FRA, SMR, CZE)
– fire (POL, ICE, ARM, GEO)
– wide shots (everyone)

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 year ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

You forgot norway and romania in the fire section

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

Don’t forget the thigh high boots!

Raoul
Raoul
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

And large projected faces: Poland, Italy, maybev Israel as well? Did I forget someone?

Sonam
Sonam
1 year ago

Team Italy here, but also voted for Spain. Spanky Miki with spanky staging

Miguel
Miguel
1 year ago

France was a pleasant surprise for me.. Bilal with a new hairstyle. Their staging works very very well.
Italy is a dark horse. They have a much more contemporary stage than usual. Mahmood live vocals are not so great unfortunely.

Israel delivering. I don’t see them having a great result though.
The same goes for Spain. There is too much happening. Its distracting.

UK is boring and oldfashioned.
Germany has a nice staging. The problem is the song.

startaglia7254
startaglia7254
1 year ago
Reply to  Miguel

Mahmood has been sick for the past few days and had taken a lot of antibiotics to bring down his 39 C fever

bryan soullier
bryan soullier
1 year ago

La France a vraiment gérer au niveau de la mise en scène. En plus le beau message de la tolérance est bien mis en avant. La France est la surprise eurovision 2019.

Una
Una
1 year ago
Reply to  bryan soullier

🙂

Gabriel
Gabriel
1 year ago

Spain the best

Redgrave
Redgrave
1 year ago

Even a mediocre staging shouldn’t steal the victory away from Italy. The song and singer are just too good not to win! I also like Germany (have done so from the very start).

Roger Rabbit
Roger Rabbit
1 year ago

I agree Spain bring really beatiful and interesting staging

Kosey
Kosey
1 year ago

To answer the specific question, it has to be Bilal, I think he surprised a lot of people today. In terms of who will do best in the final, I am still backing Mahmood.