I am live (a Little delayed) in the Arena to bring to you coverage of the first rehearsal!
The hosts are on stage to get the show started after a flag ceremony featuring Jamala and a brief Verka interlude
They have announced the return of Luxembourg to great (not greasy) cheers in the arena.
🇦🇹 Austria are first up, with the perfect opener. The arena loved this last night and they do again. Just outside the top 10 seems likely.
🇵🇹 Portugal get the ‘just happy to be here’ slot and perform admirably. They’ll take their lower half place with charm and entertain us in the meantime.
🇨🇭Remo is so sweet and he performs flawlessly. Happy to see Switzerland keeping up its final run with this one. Chills at those big notes
🇵🇱 You’ve all seen it on stage, but Poland really executes the song excellently.and use the stage very well. Blanka is gorgeous and I’m glad her Eurovision story has some joy after the rocky start.
🇷🇸Serbia will be on after a presenter time-filling spot thanks to the big prop!
🇫🇷 La Zarra gets wheeled on stage on a giant doughnut while they are clearing away Luke Blacks mess.
The Sarah Dawn Finer prop looks less impressive in real life but she nails it like the pro she is. This might do better than I previously feared.
Another break after France, with a VT to come on Charles and Camilla.
🇨🇾 Then we have Cyprus. The front rows will get a suntan from the fire on this one, he’s selling the song well even though it’s clearly very difficult to sing.
I’m not sure whether putting Andrew between La Zarra and Blanca undermines him or makes it feel like the ‘vocal powerhouse section.
🇪🇸 Spain isn’t the best for arena viewers, but she of course nails it and it fills the entire arena even when it’s half empty.