The fourth and final day of Eurovision 2021 first rehearsals over and done with, it’s time to review the competition.
Today, eight acts took to the Rotterdam Ahoy stage for their first rehearsals. We got our first glimpse at how the acts from Georgia, Albania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland and Denmark decided to stage their songs.
Tornike had lyrics projected upon him, Victoria showed us the sands of time and Gjon’s Tears gave us avant-garde. But who gave the best first rehearsal? Take a look at all of our reactions then vote for your favourite in our poll!
Scroll down to vote in our poll.
Eurovision 2021 rehearsals: Day Four (May 11)
Click on each entry to read our reviews, watch our reactions and see the rehearsal snippets.
- 🇬🇪 Georgia: Tornike Kipiani — “You”
- 🇦🇱 Albania: Anxhela Peristeri — “Karma”
- 🇵🇹 Portugal: The Black Mamba — “Love Is On My Side”
- 🇧🇬 Bulgaria: Victoria — “Growing Up Is Getting Old”
- 🇫🇮 Finland: Blind Channel — “Dark Side”
- 🇱🇻 Latvia: Samanta Tīna — “The Moon Is Rising”
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland: Gjon’s Tears — “Tout l’Univers”
- 🇩🇰 Denmark: Fyr & Flamme — “Øve os på hinanden”
Poll: Who had the best first rehearsal on May 11?
As always, you can vote for as many songs as you like. But you can only vote once, so make it count! This poll will close on May 12, with results publishing shortly after.[crowdsignal poll=10829452]
Who did you vote for? Did your favourites live up to expectations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.
Read more Eurovision 2021 rehearsal news here
Photos: EBU / THOMAS HANSES
My favourites from this semi final according to the reahearsals are Finland, Switzerland and Albania, followed by Iceland and Bulgaria. San Marino was a little bit disappointed.
It´s very difficult but here are my prediction for the qualifers (in alpabetical order)
But it could be Czech Republic and Portugal instead of Austria and Denmark.
The countries without any chances are Estonia, Georgia and Poland.
I really wish Russia wins this time round. You cannot imagine the mountain of racism and hatred against Manizha in Russia. Even the Government did an inquiry on her song. She is not a Russian but a beautiful Tajik. Europeans ! lets show Russia a lesson and help Manizha win. This is the only way she will make the voice of many heard on racism in her country!
Tornike is such a moment, I’m loving it.
I openly admit that the stage show is of minor importance to me (a bad or mediocre song is a bad and mediocre song no matter what) – a good song, however, can be complemented by a good staging: Hence five favourites of mine (based on the musical quality): France, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, Italy
As for now its Bulgaria, Ukraine and Russia for me. I keep a little spot in my top places for Italy, but I’ll have to wait for their rehearsal (i know they’ll just perform but for me this song alone is winning material). I’ll also be ok with Iceland, Switzerland or France taking the trophy, or literally everyone as long it’s not Sweeden, Moldova or all the sweedish and kirkorov’s spin offs (poland malta etcetcetc) and its not some kind of hate against Sweeden as a country or kirkorov in personal, i just can’t handle anymore pop mass produced songs… Read more »
Eurofans are so rude really, this has to stop!
How can yall vote Portugal over Finland I-
I don’t get how everyone is ranking these based on the small clips. I get nothing out of the 20 second clips.
It’s peak Eurovision—even if the rehearsal clips are brief they offer a tantalising few seconds to see the contestants on the main stage.
It’s like the release of press photos for the new Game of Thrones spin-off last week. Four photos might be very very little in comparison to the final production—but they offer a window for fans and journos to get a sense of the aesthetics and the trajectory.
Sure I agree they give us something. But how can you possibly rank the different countries based on these clips? I have no clue who is better than anyone else except for maybe their outfits.
so y’all finally woke up on Bulgaria?! The bookies got all wrong this year, I can’t see France winning…
In this semi, I like Bulgaria, Switzerland and Albania.
But let’s get off-topic for a second….
Can we all agree that this year’s Eurovision is a bloodbath of epic proportions this year?
Ngl I want Bulgaria to win this year
Welcome to the party haha good of you to join us Vanilla haha
If it can prevent Malta to win I’ll take it.
At first I preferred Imaginary Friend, but wow! They really pulled of a winning entry with the staging, I’ll be really happy if they win this year.
impressions: Georgia: I wasn’t expecting much so I’m not too surprised that it’s underwhelming Albania: Her music video dress looks a lot nicer and would work much better with her chosen background Portugal: The song’s kind of bland, but I’ll give props to the classy staging. One of the best today Bulgaria: This is the one i’m the most interested in seeing the rest of. She might be a serious contender for the win even Finland: It’s about what I expected. The red finger thing was clever Latvia: I…don’t understand any of the choices made here Switzerland: The staging is… Read more »
idk, I’m underwhelmed by Switzerland’s staging, don’t get any winning vibes and it’s kinda overrated
At this point I would qualify:
SF1: Malta, Lithuania, Belgium, Ukraine, Cyprus, Russia, Croatia, Sweden, Israel and Ireland, Azerbaijan or even Slovenia for the last spot.
SF2: Switzerland, Iceland, Bulgaria, Portugal, Greece, San Marino, Finland, Serbia, Moldova and Albania. I could also put Czech Republic or Latvia for the last spot but they didn’t convice me during these first rehearsals.
Not Austria? It was a GREAT rehearsel 🙂
I agree with you !
Good qualifiers though I definitely think Slovenia ahead of Azerbaijan and Czech Republic ahead of Latvia haha but other than that we have the same qualifiers.
Whoever thinks Azerbaijan will not qualify is delusional. Romania will be the “shock” NQ from SF1, no Moldova to save it. Belgium will need a jury top 5 to qualify
And Moldova will also NQ from SF2, no Romania, Russia and Ukraine to save Natalia.
San Marino is also border qualify, will need top 5 televote because it will be likely jury bottom 3. Austria and Denmark will qualify
Azerbaijan isn’t for me but you’re probably right in that people will vote for it.
I personally find it tacky though
I am on board with most of this except perhaps the Austria part
I don’t think it’s necessarily delusional because although Azerbaijan has fans, there’s a lot of up tempo songs particularly in the first semi and I people will like it but it won’t be there favourite so they won’t vote for it. Just a thought.
My Q right now:
My ranking on semi 2 after the rehearsals:
7) San Marino
9) Czech Republic
From today’s rehearsals here’s my ranking: 1) Bulgaria (What an innovative performance. I really enjoyed both her vocals and the staging. It seems that Bulgaria wants really hard to win Eurovision after they were so close in 2017, and I think that they could last year.) 2) Albania (This is unpopular opinion but Anxhela SLAYED! This time SJB did the right work. The song needed Anxhela and only Anxhela and here she is.) 3) Switzerland (Thankfully this isn’t Arcade vol 2 staging, but I think that it is kinda too much for Gjon. He just needs to sing with his… Read more »
Tbe one and only total winner.
No financial issues
No political corecteness cancer
No supposed messages
No special effects and fireworks
No…tones of detailed critique from supposed specialists
No sasha, basta, masta
No EBU mafia system
No stress about corrupted juries and block televoting
No damn…about what world is saying
JUST PURE HEART !!!
WE ARE HERE TO SING BY HEART AND HAVE FUN
This is the esc I loved once…!!!!
Who cares about…the trophy ???
You’ve already won inside.
Thank you guys !!!
You know, it is possible to support Denmark without shading literally everyone else.
I don’t understand why this comment is down voted lol it’s pretty accurate and relatable
Finland get’s my vote here
Is there a way to watch the rehearsals? Or are people voting based on 20 second clips? I can hardly tell anything from these small clips. I would love to see the full rehearsal online – am I missing something?
I’m guessing people are voting on a combination of the 20 second clips, the pictures in eurovision.tv and livestreams where the press centre reacts and give their verdicts :).
I would say Bulgaria was the big winner of the day, because they moved from a closer outsider to a serious contender position. But considering how frontrunners are normally scrutinized, the press poll is very encouraging about Switzerland’s chances, this one probably looks good on camera. Besides them, most will probably agree that Finland, Greece, Iceland and San Marino seem safe, as already predicted before the rehearsals. I believe Serbia is also safe by this point, taking a lot of aspects in consideration (voting pattern, vocals, the way it stands out from the other upbeat songs, etc). And I personally… Read more »
Completely agree! I’m always looking forward to your reviews as you so often speak my mind. I guess we share a similar music taste. You would make a great wiwiblogger. And so would Colin. Respect to you both.
Thank you for your kindness, Jana. 🙂 Since you mentioned we share a similar music taste, I wonder if Lourdes is still around and just not commenting, because I believe you would agree a lot with her too, it was almost scary how me and she would agree about most entries in 2018 and 2019.
Thank you very much, Jana. Such a nice thing to say. Sending you my best wishes. 🙂
So far, my objective projection about who’ll qualify is:
SEMI 1 – MALTA, CYPRUS, UKRAINE, SWEDEN, RUSSIA, LITHUANIA
SEMI 2 – SWITZERLAND, BULGARIA, ICELAND, GREECE, FINLAND, most likely SERBIA, SAN MARINO
So, there are probably 4 open spots in semi 1, and 5 (or 3) open spots in semi 2.
I hope to see ROMANIA, CROATIA, and NORWAY making it in semi 1, but I’m not sure.
Now, how is interested in how BIG FIVE + THE HOST will fare tomorrow? 🙂
Certainly looking forward to seeing what Jeangu’s team brings to the stage!
It’ll be interesting to see how much or little France changes from the NF.
My expectations / hopes are: Netherlands – A few musicians / dancers with Jeangu, creating that hopeful and vibrant atmosphere from the video. Germany – Perhaps his video crew joins him too? Or at least the lady in the hand costume? And of course, lots of color, smoke, instruments and random dance moves. I expect it to be jolly! France – More or less the enchanting staging she had in the NF. Italy – Reminiscent of their Sanremo performance, but I’m unsure whether they’ll use onesies or suits or something else entirely. United Kingdom – I am hoping for more… Read more »
I hope France doesn’t try anything fancy, because they already have the perfect staging. I also hope that the Netherlands takes their video as an aesthetic inspiration, because it looked beautiful.
I don’t want France to change, but I also think it can help excitement when people see something they haven’t already seen.
I feel that too.
It’s tricky. On one hand, bringing something new could renew the enthusiasm for the entry, on the other, what if they change and lose part of their current fanbase (I feel most of them are attracted by the performance more than about the song itself) without gathering support from those who were already rooting against it? Maybe the best case scenario is doing like Lithuania and keeping the performance, but throwing a little new things here and there. I hope at least they mantain the lighting, the frame rate change during the climax and the big “Voilà!” in the end.… Read more »
Maybe just little changes or the big arena will be enough. I hope so.
Let’s be honest here… The percentage of people who have already seen all contestants performance out of all finale viewers/voters is very low… so for the majority this would be new
I never thought any differently, they are not who I was worried about. More the importance of odds, what commentators say, news stories, rehearsal reactions… we’ve seen how suddenly people are taking Bulgaria more seriously.
I agree with you Sabrina on both! Jeangu’s video is a vibrant celebration, I hope its joyfulness and diversity can be translated on stage.
Oh, so the reruns of semis are before the automatic qualifiers are on? Okay… And I said, I objectively think that the last 4 spots from semi 1 are still wide open, so Ana might take one of them. It’s all very exciting.
Cool, thanks! 🙂
Whilst I would like to see both Russia and Ukraine qualify, I am not sure Russia is a sure thing. It’s on really early, in the true statistical death slot for a semi and I think the juries will tank it. I can see Russia coming 11th. I hope not. I also see a path for Sweden not qualifying, I dont think it will happen but I wouldn’t be surprised. It sounds like Tusse’s vocals are not quite back to normal yet, there are many jury friendly songs in this semi and also many song that are more televote friendly,… Read more »
Agree re Denmark Una but no Albania? I’ll be devastated if she doesn’t make it. I don’t get Czech but perhaps will on the night. I’m thinking Iceland possible winner now. It was on BBC Radio 1 today but still no James Newman. I know there is some “legal” clause or other but seems ridiculous/sad.
12 from? Maybe Malta pre 2016, but…..
This is the closest year ever! I can’t believe how good today has been. 1= Bulgaria, Switzerland These were both SPECIAL. If I had to choose a winner from these two I’d not be able too let alone if you add in the likes of France, Malta, Iceland and Ireland plus certain others. The staging from these two both had my jaw on the floor. Gjon’s “Paul Rey Melfest 2021 meets Sergey 2016” moving set was immaculate and Victoria served arguably the best spinning platform of the semi and the sand!!!! 3= Finland, Latvia Finland left the performance very similar… Read more »
Most open Eurovision ever! Like a Eurovision where even Ireland can get a good result is definitely a contest to watch.
I just hope the winner isn’t such an anti-climax to what is probably the closest contest ever!
They weren’t wrong when they said Open Up.
Lucky the lockdown deciders are starting to agree, though.
Which is good. When I heard the first 5/10 seconds of Arcade I knew it was a winner. To a similar extent Only Teardrops, Fairytale (yuk), Molitva (!) and My Number One.
It’s been a LONG time coming since we had an unpredictable ESC Vanilla
I’d prefer it for sure
idk, Switzerland’s staging was quite decent, but I don’t get winner vibes in it and I think it’s a bit overrated
Does anybody know if there will be snippets from the second rehearsals as well?
Yeah there’ll be TV quality camera footage of the 2nd rehearsals for 30secs if it’s like previous years : )
Thank you Teddy and Whisker!
Any time ^_^
The camera angles and AR!! Especially Greece! Very exciting
How many u-turns can the human body take in one day? 😉
I’m sure you took more than two in Berlin last summer.
Those are who I think will qualify from Semi 2 after rehearsals.
I agree. I had my doubts about Albania, Czech Republic, and Moldova. It’s not that I don’t want them to qualify (Czech Republic is in my overall top ten, and Moldova is in my top twenty), but I can see them missing out by a little. In that case, I can see Denmark or Austria filling the spot. Still, I would bet on the ten you listed to go through.
Denmark could be a shock Q, I don’t know about Austria though, that could go either way.
Denmark is this year’s Say Na Na Na but significantly better (sorry Una)
Portugal Bulgaria Suiza
I wouldn’t be certain about Albania, Moldova, Czech republic or Serbia. I think this semi is harder to predict as many countries are bringing their a game.
I dont think Georgia or Estonia will qualify but I wouldn’t be surprised to see any other act qualify.
I think Czech Republic will be grand all the same, Benny is a charismatic performer, probably one of the most instantly recognisable characters in the 2021 class.
While the song may be quite bland, he does manage to inject some oommph into it and give it life. That will translate well on stage
If people could stop sleeping on Latvia and Albania that would be great.
Folks, overall who got more points from press poll after 4 days?
I can’t find statistics
Bulgaria—beautiful to listen to and look at on stage, and the design looks like it may capture the poignancy of the song. All the rest can obviously sing and belt out a tune—it really comes to down the memorability and likability of the staging and songs. Switzerland obviously stands out in this semi on both counts. I think Black Mamba are great in their genre, and the guys seem fun—serious about their work but not about themselves—I see the simple beauty of it, but their vibe on stage in Rotterdam doesn’t give me gig, it gives me band at a… Read more »
Definitely VICTORIA (Bulgaria) !
Wow, I must admit that I underestimated this semifinal (Im not saying it was bad by any means, the level this year is incredibly high but, for some reason, my eyes were more focused on semifinal 1, the bloodbath. And, my goodness, there are so many great stage shows that I cannot, for the life of me, predict who is gonna go through, so exciting! so, lets go with my opinions: GEORGIA: Simple and minimalistic staging, something that wonderfully suits the song, the lyrics on his body is a pretty nice touch. ALBANIA: Wow, this looks very promising, I think… Read more »
Here what I think about today’s entries: Georgia – I’ve already forgotten him until now. Very poor chance to qualify, sadly. Albania – She can sing, obviously. But there are so many moments to create a visual pleasure. I am not sure if she can fill the stage and the song, standing alone. But, she will qualify. Portugal – Wrong competition, they will never like and vote this. Sorry for them. Bulgaria – Staging has elevated the song so much. A great contender for the crown. This is what Roxen should have done as well. Finland – Well, they are… Read more »
Today was MUCH better than I had expected. Aside from Georgia, every country nailed the rehearsal today in my opinion. Some are not perfect, particularly Latvia’s staging could be a bit messy, but I think this semifinal will be much tougher than people give it credit for!
(PS – Me and my mom got tickets for the live show of semifinal 1 :D)
Stay safe , wear masks , sanitize and have fun 🙂
Switzerland has won the press poll 🙂
And three spots for semi 1 countries ?
As in since you don’t like 10 songs from Semi 2. And 20 songs should be in final , three spots go to semi 1 songs ?
Bulgaria was the most emotional, however Switzerland surprised me with dynamic.
Malta is so manipulating everything this year. Odds, Youtube views, press….
Malta 7.4K likes on Youtube video from 2 days ago with 500K views mostly fake
And Switzerland already 6.4K likes in just 2 hours with 9 times less views LOL.
Cyprus is not manipulating the views . It still has higher views and likes than Malta.
That said , Malta had a lot of hype and it’s getting quite decent dislikes. I think the views here might not be fake.The dislikes also add to views.
That’s because toxic drama queens massively downvote it instead.
500k views is a logical number for the (former) 1st in the odds. What did you expect? That nobody would check out the favorites to win?
And explain why when you have something like 40% of negatives reactions you can be still 2nd on the odds ???
For the same reasons they were 1st in the odds . Lol
Well the simplest explanation I can offer you is look at the past: Jamala 1944 and Netta toy were also massively disliked. Dividing songs can still win.
Yeah , but their dislike ratio was like 15% and not 40%.
I think here the dislikes have been more for the not so widely acceptable color and clothes
Also not really 😉
Jamala’s first rehearsal: 3’3k likes vs 1’7k dislikes
Netta’s first rehearsal: 9’1k likes vs 7’3k dislikes
Ah , the rehearsal dislikes , that o don’t remember. I can’t confirm or deny that . I meant the music video like/dislike ratio .
Yes exactly. Love injected, viszlat nyar etc. When you hate it you despise it and when you like it, you love it and vote for it.
The total number is not suspicious according to me , but 220k on day 1 and 280k on day 2 is a weird pattern.
Having known that Malta manipulates YouTube views and the ESC youtube channel has to mention “we have subtracted those views” , I guess Doris’ reaction is not blasphemous.
I don’t think it’s that weird considering Malta was the last one to rehearse and get her video uploaded that day 🙂
I don’t know much about malta’s youtube manipulation history but I like to give the benefit of the doubt unless something is really sketchy. Like senhit’s views in comparison to her likes on her freaky trip to Rotterdam video’s haha
I’ve only noticed them now. Well San marino also bought views in 2018 , see where it led them
I’ve read on other websites that they might have been taking that advice .
This is too much coincidence though you know , France on top of odds , a very divided contest and possibly shady business takes away the win. 2011 flashbacks
Indeed Azerbaijan and Sw*den have been into shady business with juries
Wow , Latvia is even below denmark here . I reckon we won’t see Latvia in the final.
For the second rehearsal , they release 60 second clips from the actual recording screen . However most of the exciting parts are usually not included in this. Like don’t expect to see Greece’s green screen effect .
What impressed me most: Bulgaria
What intrigued me most: Switzerland
What gave me hope: Portugal , Albania
What gave me no hope: Georgia
What gave me qualifier vibes: Finland , Bulgaria , Switzerland
What didn’t meet my expectations: Latvia
I agree 100%.
Denmark really left no impression huh?
I had watched the DMGP on TV live. I think there performance is pretty much the same. Hence , nothing changed for me after their performance. I still think they are on the fence.
So , my perception of Denmark didn’t change that’s why it’s not on my feedback list .
Same for Finland , except I think they are Qualifying with certainty.
Reaction from Bookies:
Mostly positive: Bulgaria , Portugal
Non-chalant: Georgia , Albania , Denmark
Mixed: Finland, Switzerland
No reaction: Latvia
Mixed for Switzerland? I would likely say nothing changed
Exactly , there are 4 green movements and 6 red movements. Nothing changed hence in overall percentage
I think Malta will start to drop down the table now. Wouldn’t mind having a few quid on her NOT wearing that “outfit” ?
Bulgaria was unmatched today, but she is closely followed by Switzerland and Finland. Portugal was a nice surprise, and I also didn’t mind Latvia or Denmark. Albania was super disapointing, I expected something classy but we got something lacklustre. They might lose their spot to Austria or Portugal (or maybe even Latvia).
Qualifiers of Semi-Final 2 (my predictions after 1st rehearsals):
• San Marino
• Czech Republic
Depends on the mood (but I see as not qualifying)
From what we’ve seen so far nothing screams WINNER. Malta is definitely not going to win, but has probably secured a place in the top 3. I was glad to see that Switzerland didn’t not just bring a piano, as they feared the Arcade 2.0 effect. Bulgaria gave me some winning staging vibes, but I’m not so sure that this song is the one (Victoria’s vocals were on point!). So I’m thinking that Italy might be in it to win it after all, so long as they up their game (but still I don’t think I could see Måneskin win).… Read more »
I don’t see Italy as winners tbh, this is their most overrated entry in years. I say this despite me liking Måneskin myself.
Bulgaria (by miles)
Switzerland in 2nd
The As Expected:
its becoming a trend to downvote anything positive about Switzerland on this website and WOW I am excited to see your salty reactions when he wins
Win them round, Ashton. Win them round!
Same with greece.
Albania was the best alongside Switzerland! Two Albanian eagles ?
Oh boy, if Albania doesn’t qualify, Anxhela will be robbed, I loved her! Switzerland, Finland and Bulgaria will qualify for sure! Portugal’s performance was underrated, they might qualify. I think Denmark will be the surprise qualifier! Georgia won’t qualify, sadly. I’m not sure if Latvia qualifies, it’s underrated too!
Switzerland, Serbia, Bulgaria, Iceland, and Greece should be “safe” qualifiers. I absolutely loved their stagings and vocals.
Victoria and the bulgarian team did an amazing job !