The first dress rehearsal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 final has just taken place, giving fans a first look at the shape of the contest with the newly qualified semifinalists added.
Some of the finalists' presentations have changed very slightly from the last outing on stage; the most striking change is that Marija Sestic now sings on a frozen river, with multicoloured lights filling the stage as the song builds. Koldun is saving himself for tomorrow, missing out his big last note, but turning in a good, strong performance otherwise.
Glitches to be ironed out
The were a few technical glitches which need to be ironed out before the live show, and the most serious of these was a delay in bringing out Lithuania's set while the postcard was running. As the video clip ended and the hall came onto the screen, the stage hands were still bringing out the props as 4Fun's band members ran behind the screen in silhouette. Similarly, the large white screen was a burden to be carried off the stage afterwards, looking at one point as if it was about to break as it wobbled and swayed.
The screens did not function perfectly in the first full rehearsal, either. During the UK's performance, a big white block was visible, obscuring the actual graphics. Later on, the middle screen failed at the start of Hayko's performance for Armenia, flickering red lines, then freezing, before it was turned off. It was soon fixed afterwards, but the team need to safeguard against these kind of mistake before the transmission tomorrow.
Some of the camera work needs to be tightened, with a cameraman in shot at one point, and a couple of poor shots during Romania, for example: Todomondo's second vocalist had started singing but the camera was trained on one of his silent bandmates.
Reactions in the hall
The final is now a very different shape to what we have become used to over the last few months, with only fourteen songs before the semifinal took place. Asspectators get used to the newlayout ofthis year's final,different songsstart to stand outand receive attention, set off by the songs around them. In the hall, the biggest hands were forSlovenia, Serbia and Ukraine, but if last night's show was anything to go by, audience reaction means little in terms of final result.
The finalists rehearse again at 20:00 CET – stay tuned to esctoday.com for live coverage from the press hall!