Five down, nine to go

by Richard West-Soley 65 views

Five of the finalists have now had their final outing on stage before two days of rest and reflection, and then the dress rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, which begin on Friday.

Switzerland
Switzerland was first in line this morning, and composer Ralph Siegel stood in the firing line for questions with the rest of the delegation after another very strong, although perhaps fairly staticrehearsal.

With five foreign performers and only one Swiss, it could be suggested that Mr. Siegel is hankering after easy votes from the singers' respective lands. "Are you insecure about votes?" he was asked. The answer was a firm no, and this was backed up with simple maths: five douze points makes sixty, which is hardly a winning score.

Moldova
The act now contains the almost obligatory clothes-shedding as Natalia loses various items to finish in a bikini. The presentation of Loca is still not looking as together as it should be at this stage, and the reception it received in the hall was luke warm to say the least. Although looking slightly under-rehearsed, Arsenium and co still have the dress rehearsals to tighten their performance.

Israel
Eddie and the girls appeared in full costume today, and dressed in white and silver they shine on stage. On top vocal form as yesterday, the gospel element is as strong as ever, and amongst the comments in the hall it was noted that "it gives me goosebumps". Eddie was holding off on the high notes this time round, presumably to save his voice for when it counts.

The routine does smack of the hackneyed Israeli strut, yes; but for this song, it seems to work well, even up to the'piano player leaves to join the rest of the group'cliché. Pianist and former teacher of Eddie's, Elisabeth Butler, remains the star of the last part of the song, with some fabulous ad lib vocal fills.

Later today you can watch the Israeli rehearsal and exclusive esctoday.com interview online!

Latvia
The boys are vocally as together as ever, and sounding great in the hall. Some observers remain sceptical of the robot gimmick, while others think the effect sweet; either way, it has divided opinion.

The press conference once again gave Cosmos the chance to show off their harmonic prowess, with another rendition of Te deum, the Eurovision Song Contest theme tune.

Norway
Christine has attracted a lot of attention after an extremely successful rehearsal yesterday, and today was no disappointment to the fans and press who assembled in the hall to watch Alvedansen for the second time.

Again, a set of flawless performances for the young singer / songwriter; once again in full costume, wearing virginal whites against a light set of rings and gold, which seems to have been taken straight out of a scene from Tolkien's classic trilogy. The wind machines top this off, and Christine glides around the stage with her support group, hair and clothes gently blowing in the breeze.

Stay tuned for more rehearsal reports live from OAKA in Athens!

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the esctoday.com team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site Polyglossic.com.

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