Sunday, 1 May 2016

Rehearsals Day 1 - what can we expect?

Tomorrow morning sees the starts of the first round of rehearsals for this year's contest, and as always we begin with the first half of Semi 1. Now that we have our press passes safely round our necks and can stop panicking about the prospect of queueing up at the accreditation centre while half-hearing Sandhja singing it away to an empty Globen, we can contemplate what we're most looking forward to.

The most highly anticipated rehearsal tomorrow will probably be that of Russia, this year's favourites. Sergey is due on stage at 4:40 local time, so keep an eye on the blog and our Twitter account. There's rumours of a technologically advanced performance from the Russians, who have told us to expect a completely different performance from the live routine they've been doing around the preview circuit, and from that we saw in the video.

Earlier in the day, another country we've got our eye on is Croatia. Over the last month we've seen a wide range of performances from Nina Kraljić, starting with that performance on Serbian TV that sent 'Lighthouse' crashing down the rankings. We'll see tomorrow at 1:40 what the Croatians have planned, and if Nina can bring across the charisma she'll need on camera.

We're also quite looking forward to seeing how the Greek entry comes across in its first rehearsal. They're one of the few this year whom we haven't seen a proper live, televized performance from. They're rank outsiders to qualify, but if we've learned something from previous years, it's to never count Greece out, especially when it's with hopeless-seeming combinations of rap and singing in Greek and English.

The Netherlands are on directly after Croatia, and it'll be interesting to see if Douwe Bob's authenticity lends a breath of fresh air to proceedings, and they'll be followed by Armenia, the first of this year's highly produced entries. We're very curious to see if they can bring across the atmosphere of the studio version on stage, and indeed what they have planned for us visually - so far we've had no clues.

And then of course, we have San Marino.

Tell us who you're most looking forward tomorrow in the comments below - and let us know if you have any special requests for our bloggers to focus on when they're casting their expert eye over the rehearsals.

Just one more sleep! We can't wait.

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