The first dress rehearsal for the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 is over, and the collected journalists and fans in the hall have had the first taste of what Tuesday night's show will bring.
As expected for a first run, there were some technical glitches during the introduction, which had to be started again from the beginning. But soon, the show got going and the transition between each entry went smoothly, with pyros, lighting and routines running well for the most part.
The microphone did not work for the first few bars of the Czech Republic's entry, and Bulgaria's Krassimir sounded particularly quiet in the hall as he began to sing, but there are still two full rehearsals to sort out these problems. That also goes for the presenters, who are still have a couple of times to get their lines completely right, both of them relying heavily on their cards today!
As expected for the first dress rehearsal, the hall was not particularly full at all despite ticket sales, although the journalist enclosure was particularly well-attended by the visiting press.
The biggest rounds of applause this afternoon went to Sweden, Armenia, Turkey, Iceland and Bosnia-Herzegovina – whether subsequent audiences will favour these entries remains to be seen!