Join us in ongoing coverage of the Moscow Day 7 rehearsals live from the hall. First up today, it is the second semi final rehearsals for Azerbaijan and Greece, and then the first of the Big Four countries, to enter the arena as Patricia Kaas of France holds her first rehearsal.
View our gallery of today's rehearsals live from the hall at this link .
After Putin's surprise visit to Olimpijsky, the Azerbaijani team took to the stage for their final individual rehearsal. AySel and Arash turn in some strong performances during today's run-throughs, which is really starting to come together on stage and perhaps more importantly, on the screen. The routine is looking very together now, and the pair look as comfortable as ever. The pyros really are red-hot (especially in the auditorium, which they heat up nicely!), and they cannot fail to stun on screen. Between takes, the chemistry evident in their interviews comes across really well, and they look confident and happy.
There is a strong Greek presence in the hall to support Sakis, and his fans cheer loudly as he takes to the stage for the first run-through. As expected, the performance is vocally and choreographically top-notch. Sakis makes use of a moving walkway and some gravity-defying acts in the unveiling of his prop, a raised platform which turns and eventually opens on a hinge at the end of the song, raising him, hand held high, into the air for the finale. Inside the Pandora's Box, glowing white and blue, is a neon Greek flag. The moderator joked on stage that it will be sold on eBay after the contest – as a sunbed!
Pyros are added in the final run-through, punctuating the high notes in the chorus, and the culminate in an explosion of sparks from the sides of Sakis' platform at the very end of the song.
The stage is bathed in red for France's debut on the Moscow stage, and French lyrics from the song in film noir style fill the band of screens circling the area above the stage, the display screens moving into various formations as they do so. There was a slight technical glitch during the final run, when they failed and the performance had to be restarted.
With the artist in simple black top and trousers, Patricia Kaas' first mic check illicits a ripple of applause from a supportive rehearsal crowd, anticipating the popular singer's performance, and there is a big cheer from the assembled onlookers after the first run-through, during which various instructions were given by the singer herself regarding levels.
Patricia ballet-steps into the big dramatic finish of the song after a clear-cut, simple, but emotional performance, finishing in bow. Again, great support from the crowd at the end of each performance. By the end of the rehearsal, the French delegation had experimented with different colours for the set, and seemed to settle on a warm gold on black, instead of the original red.