Second day of rehearsals at the Globe Arena

The countries of the second half of the First Semi-Final and Sweden rehearsed on Tuesday in the Globe Arena!

First rehearsals at the Globe Arena
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Stockholm, Sweden

Ten more delegations had their first rehearsals at the Globe Arena in Stockholm on May 3rd: Czech Republic, Cyprus, Austria, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malta and Sweden. Check out this live article constantly updated throughout the day with photos, videos, quotes - all the information you need in one place. Let us know what you think.

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Summing up day 2 of rehearsals, our Daily Update!

Summing up day 2 of rehearsals, our No Comment video!

Sweden

WATCH: Sweden's first rehearsal with Frans

Malta

WATCH: Ira Losco's first rehearsal for Malta

Bosnia & Herzegovina

WATCH: Bosnia & Herzegovina's first rehearsal

Iceland

WATCH: Greta Salóme at the first rehearsal of Iceland

Sweden

WATCH: Backstage with Frans from Sweden

Sweden

Sweden: "I'm forced to hear every little mistake"

The host country's star Frans arrived at the Globe Arena. Today's main focus today will revolve around how his choreography works on stage. "Generally, it is also to get to know the surroundings in the arena", says Frans. 

The harder part of the day is actually after the rehearsals, according to Frans. That's when he has to go to the viewing room and look through his performance. "In the viewing room, we will go through the song second by second and that is tough. The sound in there is so good, I'm forced to hear every little mistake I made during my performance", Frans explains.

Frans performance will be similar to the one he had in the national selection. "I will just adapt my number to the new stage. Actually we want to create the same feeling we had when I performed it for the first time in Melodifestivalen. It should not feel too rehearsed, it should be relaxed."

Besides the emotion from the national selection, Frans took with him some good advice from last year's winner Måns Zelmerlöw during the final. "He told me: Don't worry, you'll get nervous", utters Frans.

This will be a short visit to Stockholm for Frans. He will return to his hometown in southern Sweden tonight. "I go home because I do not want to miss a family gathering" But he returns to Stockholm already on Friday to prepare for the final the following week.

Montenegro

WATCH: Highway from Montenegro at their first rehearsal

Malta

New technology for the Maltese entry

Ira Loco wears a long dress with a six metre long train. It uses real-time tracking technology and full 360 degree projection mapping that has not been seen before on stage at a Eurovision Song Contest. It means that Ira has the freedom to move about the stage where she wants, without having to worry about whether the various images projected onto the dress are there (or not).

The dress however does get discarded during the song, with the assistance of the dancer, Scorpion, to reveal that Ira is wearing a short black dress underneath.

The stage performance was worked out by Stefan Boko.

Malta

WATCH: Backstage with Ira Losco from Malta

Malta

“As the last song, hopefully it will be the one the audience remembers”

Ira Losco is one of the performers this year who has represented her country before at Eurovision, when in 2002 she finished in second place.

Overall it was a happy experience for her, but she admits it seems so long ago that she has almost blocked it out of her memory, it all passed it a blur and she was so nervous at the time.

In the intervening years she feels she has matured as a performer and has those nerves under control, that even performing last in the first semi-final won’t phase her, and she hopes it will be the song the audience remembers as it will still be fresh in their memories.

Ira will be accompanied on stage by the dancer Skorpion, plus four backing vocalists, Pamela Bezzina, Anna Azzopardi, Lars Safsund and Molly Petterson-Hammar. The latter is one of the five composers credited to the song Walk On Water, with Ira Losco herself being another of the co-composers.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

WATCH: Backstage with the group from Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia & Herzegovina

A call for love in difficult times

The entry of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ljubav je, is a call for love in the context of a European refugee crisis, and in memory of times when refuguees were fleeing Bosnia & Herzegovina and its neighbouring countries too due to the Balkanic wars.

This story is told in the stage act where Deen is separated by barbed wire from the other three artists, who are covered by metallic foil. In the end of the song, the difficulties are symbolically overcome, and all four singers stand together on stage without obstacles and barriers.

Montenegro

Listen to the acoustic version of "The Real Thing"

Azerbaijan

WATCH: Samra at the first rehearsal of Azerbaijan

Bosnia & Herzegovina

About Ljubav je

The song from Bosnia & Herzegovina – Ljubav je ("Love Is") – is about love overcoming all obstacles. It has been placed in the most contemporary situation of Romeo and Juliet in Europe today. On stage you will see four artists with their own distinct careers and backgrounds.

Dalal, one of the greatest Bosnian voices, is of Bosnian-Sudanese origin and as a young girl was a refugee herself. Deen, who already represented Bosnia & Herzegovina in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, has been an advocate of minority rights including LGBT rights. Ana Rucner, a Croatian modern classical sensation, is of Croatian-Serbian-Montenegrin-Albanian origin and plays this time for Bosnia & Herzegovina! Jala is a rising star of the coming generations in the Balkan region.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala: "Everything we do is spontaneous"

Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala will represent Bosnia & Herzegovina this year. How do the four artists prepare for a rehearsal like today's? "We are spending a lot of time together, talking, singing relaxing. We have no special routine - friendship is the key", Deen explains.

What will we see on stage today? "Only a little, we save the main parts of our performance for the dress rehearsal on 9 May but you will see some choreographic moments", Dalal says.

Ana Rucner plays the cello in the act of Bosnia & Herzegovina. "It's nice to be part of the team", she states. "The sound of the cello is an important element of the song, especially in the beginning. It carries the melody soul."

Jala adds some spice to the song with his rap parts. "Everything we do is spontaneous - it just happens", he explains the mix of styles. "Just go with the flow!"

Estonia

WATCH: Jüri Pootsmann at the first rehearsal of Estonia

Iceland

WATCH: Backstage with Greta Salóme from Iceland

Malta

“As the last song, hopefully it will be the one the audience remembers”

Ira Losco is one of the performers this year who has represented her country before at the Eurovision Song Contest, when in 2002 she finished in second place.

Overall it was a happy experience for her, but she admits it seems so long ago that she has almost blocked it out of her memory, as it all passed it a blur and she was so nervous at the time.

In the intervening years she feels she has matured as a performer and has those nerves under control, that even performing last in the first Semi-Final won’t phase her, and she hopes it will be the song the audience remembers as it will still be fresh in their memories.

Ira will be accompanied on stage by the dancer Skorpion, plus four backing vocalists, Pamela Bezzina, Anna Azzopardi, Lars Safsund and Molly Petterson-Hammar. The latter is one of the five composers credited to the song Walk On Water, with Ira Losco herself being another of the co-composers.

Austria

WATCH: Zoë at the first Austrian rehearsal

Montenegro

WATCH: Highway from Montenegro rehearsing backstage

Azerbaijan

WATCH: Backstage with Samra from Azerbaijan

Iceland

Iceland: "The graphics will tell a story"

Gréta Salóme and her team has arrived to Globe Arena, but it's definitely not her first time in Stockholm. "I have been here about 20 times and I love the city", says Gréta. She came to Stockholm yesterday and spent the day walking around with her crew, shopping and having some good food. "My first time in Sweden was actually when I was twelve years old, when I played the violin."

But the feeling of visiting Sweden is completely different this time for Gréta. "I am so excited being here and I hope everyone in my team will have a good time."

Gréta is looking forward to the rehearsals and see how everything falls into place. She uses big and dark graphics to express negative voices and influences.

Cyprus

WATCH: Minus One from Cyprus at their first rehearsal

Montenegro

Montenegro's Highway: "You will need to wear sun glasses during our entry!"

The Montenegrin pop-rock band Highway have practiced their Eurovision entry Real Thing for five months, so they can hardly wait to enter the stage today. "We will enjoy every second of it. And we hope that everything will be fine," said Petar Tosic, band's lead vocal. "The only thing I can think all these days is the stage," said Luka Vojvodic, guitarist and vocalist.

Highway gave us some details about their performance: "It will be very dynamic and energetic. The lights will follow our energy. It is going to be really unique and different. If you can't stand light effects, don't watch the performance. You will need to wear sun glasses during our entry," remarked Marko Pesic.

The Real Thing for the band is the feeling when they get to the stage and see the crowd the singers give their energy for.

Czech Republic

WATCH: Gabriela Gunčiková from Czech Republic at her first rehearsal

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan's Samra: "We want to create a bit of miracle for you on stage."

"I am so excited to see the big stage finally," said the Azerbaijani representative before going on stage. Samra will be accompanied by four dancers, who practiced their choreography just behind the singer. Samra will also be supported by a backing vocalist, Diana Hajiyeva.

"I want my fans to see and experience my entry on stage, not just to describe it", the singer explained and promised to create a miracle during her performance in the Globe Arena.

This year's Azeri entry is directed by Roine Söderlundh, who worked the Azerbaijani delegation in 2009. According to the director, the Azerbaijani act is based on the story of "Alice in Wonderland" but with a modern and futuristic approach to the novel. "Samra's dancers could be associated with the surreal Wonderland of broken relationship and at the same time they help build up the energy of the performance," Söderlundh explained, "Miracle is not only about a broken relationship, but also about healing. We aimed to create positive warm feelings around the song and give some hope to the viewers."

Estonia

WATCH: Estonia's Jüri Pootsmann speaks Swedish backstage

Austria

Butterflies and flower meadows

ZOË enters a fairytale world during her stage performance: Colourful sketches of flowers, butterflies and meadows are playing on the backdrop like an animated movie, reminding of the official video of her song Loin d'ici.

Before the last chorus a rainbow appears, "created" by ZOË with a hand movement, and a wind machine is used.

Cyprus

WATCH: Minus One from Cyprus comment on their future plans backstage

Austria

WATCH: Austria's Zoë singing backstage

Cyprus

Minus One rock and howl

"Finally some rock!" were the words that echoed around the arena from the man in charge of the proceedings in the arena, as the Cypriot group Minus One had their first rehearsal.

They have created a hard look image for their presentation, with prison cell type bars on the stage, and all are dressed in black in various different styles.

With lots of white light shining down on the group, dry ice, white light effects in the background, and the occasional switching the picture to negative all help to create a dramatic contrast.

There are also various shots on the screens of wolves. Perhaps not the first time we will see wolves in this year's contest? A particularly good effect tried out was when we see the outline of a wolf's head appear around the face of the lead singer, as he gives a loud extended howl.

Czech Republic

It's raining flowers for the Czech Republic

On stage Gabriela Gunčíková wears a long white dress. Her backing vocalists are not shown on the screens.

In the beginning the stage is dark with only spotlights on Gabriela. Then the floor LEDs and stage backdrop display pink patterns on a blue background, changing into raining flowers in the end. In the last chorus, a wind machine is used, letting Gabriela's dress and hair wave.

Estonia

Jüri Pootsmann on Twitter

Estonia

Estonia: "I'm excited to get started"

Jüri Pootsmann has arrived to Globe Arena for the first rehearsal and he is in good spirits. "It feels great being in Stockholm. The city is beautiful, it's sunny and I am excited to get started.", says Jüri. 

It's not the first time for Jüri in Stockholm. He has travelled several times to the Swedish capital and knows a few words and phrases. "Tack, skål, lycka till, lax", Jüri lining up. 

Estonia has brought last year's participant Stig Rästa with them. "Stig is one of the songwriters. He has given me some tips, like that I should relax and enjoy the moment".

Soon Jüri will enter the stage for the first time, in the same outfit that he will wear in the Semi-Final. But what he will have on is still a secret. "You just have to wait and see", Jüri concludes.

Czech Republic

Gabriela Gunčíková rehearses her song backstage

Austria

ZOË rehearsing with her Swedish backing vocalists

Austria

ZOË: "I do social media stuff to get distracted"

ZOË entered the backstage area in a traditionally inspired dress. "It's not the stage dress, that one will be much bigger. This one is only for the press conference", she explains.

"The last few days I was really relaxed, just five minutes ago I got very excited, I am so looking forward to going on stage - it's amazing! I am happy and I really wanna do this now", ZOË says. "Before going on stage I usually do social media stuff to get distracted from the stress. I try to train my voice a little, especially in the morning when the voice is not ready yet. I started warming up only a few months ago, before I didn't do it."

Cyprus

Minus One on the way to their first rehearsal

Cyprus

"We would love to organise the contest in Nicosia next year"

Minus One were in good spirits when they arrived at the Globe Arena for their first rehearsal, and were looking forward to going on stage.

They are a rock band who want to stay true to their roots, and aren't relying on any gimmicks in their performance. They will however, like all other artists, be using backing tapes.

"People will still notice if we play the wrong notes" they remarked, and for the drummer it is important that he keeps to the beat, "otherwise that would look very odd on camera."

When making a comparson Eurovision to one of their regular gigs, they remarked "of course we are aware it is a competition, so in that way it is different. We would love to organise the contest in Nicosia next year...perhaps even have it on a beach."

Czech Republic

Gabriela's first vocal rehearsals

Czech Republic

Gabriela Gunčíková: "I wanna look natural and enjoy it"

Gabriela Gunčíková from the Czech Republic is the first artist to rehearse today. "It's very early in the morning because we are going first on stage for the Czech Republic. I feel good because I rehearsed yesterday with my backing vocalists. They are amazing and I feel really supported by them and by my Czech and Swedish team. I feel comfortable, I feel relaxed, I just need to set up everything to work."

Then the team started preparing for the soundcheck. "We are drilling singing, and we always think about the message of the song. I get prepared for the cameras too - I wanna look natural, I wanna enjoy it." Watch our video later and see how the team prepares for their stage act!

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