The second semifinal dress rehearsal has just finished at OAKA, and this time saw a set of performances running more smoothly to a slightly fuller arena.
The biggest change of the night was to the Andorran presentation. Jenny has ditched the basque after the negative criticism it received in the first rehearsal, and now sports a silky little black number instead.
Belgium's Kate Ryan turned in a muchimproved performancefrom the initial rehearsal, although still needsto concentrate onachieving greatercontrolin the lower-pitched verses. At one point one of the neon stand microphones failed and her vocal was lost to the audience in the hall, although the purpose of the rehearsals is to throw up problems like these in order to minimise them on Thursday.
Séverine Ferrer raised her game by turning in a very capable performance of La coco-dance. The Monegasque team have managed to pull their act together after some disappointing initial rehearsals, and many people are again beginning to think that the Summer hit vibe of the song may be a hit with televoters.
Audience highs and lows
The biggest cheers by far from the arena, which was filled to around 50% capacity, were for Finland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the other hand, Silvia Nightwas booedby a number of people in the audience both before and after her performance. This time, however, no obscene reaction on her part was observed!
Cyprus' Annet Artani was extremely warmly received after a perfect vocal performance. As expected, some may say, since the audience was largely Greek; but many others are beginning to think that Cyprus may be one to keep an eye on tomorrow.
Splitting the vote
During the fifteen second reprises, again Finland, Bosnia and also Cyprus won great audience support, while Iceland and notably big favourite Sweden received a mixed response, with cheers and even some heckles fromopposingcamps. It is another sign ofa contestwhich clearly divides audience opinion this year, which should make for an exciting finale to Thursday's show.
Although charming on stage, it is clear that Sakis and Maria need to spend some time rehearsing their lines if all is to go well. At one point, Sakis dropped his cue cards, which may explain why a couple of lines were skipped later on in the show. Maria has a tendency to giggle wildly at mishaps, and generally both presenters need to work harder to get their act together.
Tomorrow's dress rehearsal is expected to be even busier as the big night approaches.