The first dress rehearsal of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest has just stated. Esctoday.com will be reporting live coverage from this afternoon's rehearsal.
Marija Serifovic provided the opening for the show with a remix version of Molitva. She is joined on stage by 14 female singers dressed 50/50 in white dress and black suites. A very bisexuals look! Marija also sings her new song Why. After both song she introduces the hosts for Eurovision Song Contest< Zeljko Joksimovic and Jovanna Jankovic.
Nico and Vlad get the show off to a strong show with more of the fantastic harmonisation we have seen all week from the Romanians. This is time Nico is dresses is a very elegant silver dress which is wore subtle than the green outfit she wore in the first dress rehearsal. This is a perfect opener to the 2008 show.
Andy sings his entry will strong vocals and plenty energy, just as we would expect from the former X-Factor contender. This is a very charismatic performance from Andy and his 5 piece band. They look to be very proud to be representing the UK and are having lots of fun on the stage. He connects well with the both the camera and the audience. Good job Andy!
This first rehearsal starts on the wrong foot for No Angels as they manage to get on tune and in sync when well into the song. Not much has changed since their previous rehearsal and not much has improved. All 4 angels are on stage and the show is ladden with far too much, a heavy background, dress changes, wind machines, pyros etc.
The same show for Armenia in this first dress rehearsal for the final but Sirusho's performance is nowhere as good as in the semi, she is often out of tune and maybe too loud at times. But this is just a first rehearsal so things should improve in the ones to follow.
Dressed in the same black outfit, Olta Boka gives another good performance of her song. The youngest singer in the competition has grown in confidence during the two week of rehearsals and this is one of the strongest we have seen from her. Olta always sing with emotion and this is also the case today. She has a positive reaction from the audience.
Once again Laka is joined on stage by his sister for this eccentric stage performance for Pokusaj. Throughout the performance we see plenty of energetic movement from Laka, who is often see running around the stage. Certainly an entertaining and bizarre rehearsal from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the staging works and the song has become a firm favourite with Eurovision fans during the last.
Another emotive performance from Boaz Mauda. There are no changes from the routine we saw last Tuesday in the first semi final. Again, he sings the first verse on his own and is latter joined by five male backing singers who harmonise very well with Boaz's vocals. Perfect connection with audience and camera by Boaz.
This will be short and sweet but Terasbetoni just gave another professional and flawless performance of their entry.
Many were surprised to see Croatia qualify in the final but Kraljevi Ulice and 75 cents go ahead and give one more great performance of Romanca, identical to the one that got them through.
This is another controlled and polished performance from Isis. She performs her entry with breathtaking vocals and and strong emotion. It obvious that this song means so much to Isis and she seems to be very proud to be representing Poland in this contest. She certainly provided the most outstanding female vocals we have seen so for in the afternoon rehearsals.
Regina and Friedrik were cheerful and energetic during the final but now they seem happy. At times the song sounds slightly weaker at times but that should be fixed in the rehearsals to follow.
Mor ve otesi follow with one more flawless performance of Deli.
Once again Vania belts out an strong and convincing performance of her entry. Again she receives the biggest reception from the audience. Unlike meny other entries the use of the wind machine compliments the song and enchances its final verse. No changes in outfit or choreography and non is needed.
The Latvia Pirates take the stage and it is pure energy. The same performance we watched last night, happy and rhythmic, if out of tune at (many) times. Funny thing is that does not really matter given the nature of the song.
Let's see if number 15 will be lucky again for Charlotte. This certainly wasn't as good as yesterday, she seems to be shouting her way through the performance as opposed to singing. However she did the same thing in 2nd round of technical rehearsals before the semi final. Nevertheless, camera angles catch the sleek choreography of the Swedes.
One thing we can tell about Simon is that he is thoroughly enjoying this and that shows well on camera. He is the same as last night only a bit more tired.
Diana was vocally perfect this afternoon. She is now delivering consistent performances removing any doubts that she showed when she first performed in Belgrade. Choreography is exactly the same with the effective transition from black to white. She does and amazing job of transforming a bleak routine into a positive one by changing the group's outfits.
There is just no stopping Ani Lorak from delivering an A class performance of Shady lady. The vocals are superb all through the song, the dance routine gets better with practice and she does not seem to be holding back at all.
This is a confusing one to watch on the television. It looks as if the director is deliberately showing the worst possible angles to present the song. Could it be that Sebastien is making a statement there? Previously we have only seen sleek camera angles and presentation of this entry. Sebastien gets huge reaction in the hall. During an amusing moment in the presentation we see the driver of his golf buggy attempt to perform a three point turn
Heaven and Hell hit the stage now, Elnur and Samir's vocals take off although Samir (devil) seems to be overdoing it at points.
Unfortunately Kalomira provides the worst vocal performance of this afternoon. For some reason the voices of her backing vocals have been turned down whilst hers have been increased. Nevertheless vibrant dancing provides great energy for this song.
Rodolfo is holding back it seems. Without his trademark glasses on he performs Chiki chiki with less enthusiasm than usual. Although the song can be hardly called demanding vocally, this leaves room for improvement.