At 13:00 CET, the first semifinal dress rehearsal takes place at the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall in Athens, Greece. While some esctoday.com editors will attend the rehearsal inside the venue, others will provide you with continuous coverage of what's happening in the show. Stay tuned for more!
13:48 CET: She used the f-word! Although it's unlikely she will give it a chance and do the same during the live show, it's something to look after! Imitating her colleague Carola from Sweden, she ended her performance with a nice efcharisto.
13:43 CET: Keep things small, Zeljko probably advised Bosnian singer Hari Mata Hari. Because of its simplicity, the ethnic ballad stands out, especially after a long train of up-tempo songs.
13:39 CET: Sandra and her backing vocals/dancers are one hell of a unity! Both vocally as well as choreographically, the team gives an excellent performance of Through my window. The blue and white colours of the costumes already become a trade mark here! Estonia to the final? Possibly!
13:35 CET: Carola gives, as usual, a strong stage performance. Near the end, her vocal capacity seems to be limited because of the choreography. A nice efcharisto (thank you, in Greek) and a good performance she received a loud applause from the journalists and the audience in the hall. We are slightly suspicious, though, that Carola will not wear jeans on stage like today during the live show..
13:31 CET: Portugal on stage. The girls look good, give a modest performance and the entire picture looks colourful on stage. Unfortunately for Nonstop, the silence from the audience and the press centre was nonstop as well…
13:27 CET: A lot has been said about this song, but it cannot be denied that LT United's voice performance is simply strong. One might not like the lyrics, but seen from a vocal point of view, the six gentelmen clearly have the experience they need to qualify. If they will? Tomorrow…
13:23 CET: The Netherlands on stage… Both Nina as well as Djem have vocal problems and ease down a bit during their first dress rehearsal. It is not very difficult to hear this and things got even worse when Caroline almost loses her head microphone. She also seemed to have problems with her microphone pack, which includes the transmitter of the audio signals.
13:19 CET: A lot has been said about the Lordi monsters, but after seeing the outrageous reactions from the press and the audience in the hall, it seems inevitable this song qualifies for the final. While Mr. Lordi unfolds his wings and the pyrotechnics start to light up, the audience simply goes crazy.
13:15 CET: Tina Karol from Ukraine and her dancers (there they are again!) are giving a strong performance and Tina seems to be in a perfect vocal conditions. She gave one of her best performances today! The white sexy dress of Tina and the red costumes of the backing singers/dancers give the song some extra power.
13:11 CET: Sibel gives a good, strong performance, but it doesn't get the press and the audience. The fact that an overwhelming amount of entries have dancers on stage doesn't help much and it might even start to disturb the audience. Nevertheless and on itself, the Turkish super-star gave an acceptable performance.
13:07 CET: With this performance, Russian singer Dima can easily qualify for the final. The entire stage performance looks professional and Dima's vocal conditions seem to be very well, even after last night's Russian party where he performed.
13:02 CET: Ich Troje (Poland) gives a good performance and impresses the audience with their outrageous costumes. However their performance was not as good as during the regular rehearsals, last week, there is no reason to be worried.
13: 58 CET: Elena Risteska, representing FYR Macedonia, looks absolutely hot and stage and gives a good performance, but in terms of act as well as vocally. She's wearing a red top and blue hotpants jeans.
13:54 CET: Severine, representing Monaco, looks stunning in her rainbow coloured dress, so do the tropically dressed backing singers/dancers. Vocally, she can do better as we've heard earlier this week, but for a first dress rehearsal she has no reason not to be proud.
13:50 CET: Vocally, Annet gave the best performance today so far. The way she and her backing vocals work together simply works and the director seems to have found his way as well. Annet is wearing a mustard-yellow coloured dress on stage. The Greeks inside the venue give the Cypriot representative a big applause!
13:46 CET: Time for a small commercial break. Where commercial breaks in programmes are not allowed, a video about the preparations for the contest is being aired.
13:42 CET: Ireland might, against all odds, qualify for the final with this simple ballad, performed in an excellent way by Brian Kennedy. The camera work looks good and he received a warm-hearted applause from the audience! Chapeau!
13:37 CET: Kate Ryan gives a disappointing performance of Je t'adore. Although the camera work looks better already and Kate's dress looks stunning on stage, she might just need the excitement of a live show and a large audience. Nevertheless, the first song that has a good chance to qualify.
13:34 CET: Albania's ethnic ballad might appeal to a large group of eastern Europeans. Vocally, Luiz' performance was close to perfect and he received a modest applause from the audience.
13:30 CET: Polina Smolova's (Belarus) dynamic stage act and sexy costumes might appeal to a large audience. Volume-wise she has to work on the balance in her voice.
13:26 CET: Jennifer (Andorra) on stage in an ehm… remarkable costume. She's wearing a basque with a lace throw. Apart from a quite good vocal performance with some balance problems with the backing vocals, she deserves to be nominated for the 2006 Barbara Dex award…
13:17 CET: After a video of the 2004 Olympics we're going to see Bulgaria on stage. After a weak vocal kick-off, Mariana improves, as well as the director seems to have made up his mind.
13:23 CET: Anzej from Slovenia seems to miss the excitement of a large audience, as his performance looks rather weak. There are still some vocal balance issues to solve.
13:14 CET: Armenia on stage. Andre's voice sounds rather weak, apparantly struggling to combine his stage act with singing Without your love. It seems the director and the camera operators are still trying to find the right shots to show the performance. A modest applause at the press centre and inside the hall.
13:06 CET: The dress rehearsal started! The show opens with a group of ancient Greek statues singing the song Welcome to the party, one of Anna Vissi's entries for the Greek national final. From there, it switches to Nel blue, di pinto di blu, L'amour a blue, Save your kisses for me, Making your mind up, A-ba-ni-bi, Dschinghis khan, Diva, Waterloo, Wild dances, My number one and finally Love shine a light, peformed by Maria Menounos and Sakis Rouvas.
13:00 CET: The first semifinal dress rehearsal will start at 13:00 CET, 14:00 local Athens time.