What an incredible day we had yesterday for rehearsals, with several underdogs really coming to the forefront and delivering stellar performances, potentially changing the game for overall qualification. Today it is time for the acts competing in the second half of the second semi-final to take to the stage in the PalaOlimpico in Turin for the first time. Personally, my nerves are all over the place for my home country (Ireland) which is first up on stage today. My thoughts on that and all of today’s rehearsals will be below so be sure to keep reading.
We hope that later in the week we will have far better access to rehearsal footage, likely when second rehearsals kick-off. We have 3 online press passes this year, which is due to your incredible support from reading the website and engaging with us over social media in the last 12 months. We are so grateful! Again, we will be following the EBU live blog and looking at the bare minimum rehearsal footage that we get on TikTok. Here’s hoping for another great day.
All pictures used in this article are the property of the EBU and we give credit to the wonderful Nathan Reinds.
🇮🇪 Ireland: Brooke – That’s Rich
Brooke is dazzling in blue on stage today! A playful and energetic performance, which is the perfect start to the morning. Brooke commands the stage, and her confidence has significantly improved over the past few months. This will be even more electric with an audience in the PalaOlimpico during the live shows I am sure. I should also mention the fact that they have PYRO? It’s a really nice touch for the performance and a potential stand-out in the recap.
Brooke is no stranger to performing on live television and has always been a wonderful ambassador for the place she calls home; Eurovision will no doubt be a walk in the park for her.
In her Meet & Greet Press Conference, Brooke was asked how she found the jump from The Late Late Show studio to the Eurovision stage and she had this to say:
If I hadn’t gone on the Eurotour, I wouldn’t be fit for this right now at all. The jump from Late Late to this stage is insane but at least I got to use an LED screen onstage in Tel Aviv! My confidence just grew throughout the tour and if I hadn’t have done that I don’t know what I’d be doing right now.Brooke Scullion, Eurovision Press Conference, Tuesday 3rd May 2022
Brooke also revealed her rather…unusual way of making sure she and her vocals are fighting fit for the competition:
I’ve been running and singing – not on the treadmill by the way, on my road where I live. Apparently the neighbours aren’t too happy about it!Brooke Scullion, Eurovision Press Conference, Tuesday 3rd May 2022
Now that’s dedication! Here’s hoping it pays off for Brooke next week!
🇲🇰 North Macedonia: Andrea – Circles
Proving yet again that she just wants a healthy conversation, dressed in black and keeping it fairly simple. The goal here is to clearly emphasise the simple yet emotive quality of ‘Circles’; it’s not an overly complicated production with fairly basic pulsating graphics in the background, but this in turn allows Andrea to serve vocals and focus fully on that. We also have confirmation that the lift bridges feature in this performance, North Macedonia being only the second country to use this feature after Moldova.
When asked about the fairly simple production of the track Andrea had this to say:
The melody sings my emotions, we just wrote lyrics to verbalise it.Andrea, Eurovision Press Conference, Tuesday May 3rd 2022
Representing North Macedonia is no easy task; the country has struggled in recent years. In 2019, Tamara Todevska did herself and her country ‘Proud’ when she became the first North Macedonian act to qualify for the Grand Final in 7 years, ultimately placing 7th and winning the overall jury vote. Andrea admits to seeking advice and wisdom from Tamara and two-time participant Kaliopi:
Tamara said this will be the greatest experience of your life [Andrea] so LIVE it!Andrea, Eurovision Press Conference, Tuesday May 3rd 2022
Will their advice and guidance be enough to push Andrea through? That remains to be seen.
🇪🇪 Estonia: Stefan – Hope
Stefan has ditched the cowboys! Opting to remain alone on stage this time, while still maintaining the spaghetti western vibes that fans of ‘Hope’ have come to love. We see Stefan through the lens of a retro filter, which adds new dynamism to the performance. Movement is really emphasised here, starting from the B-Stage, but eventually working it all in its entirety. The retro filter adds to the cinematic feel of the song and overall seems like a very good addition to the performance. Despite being on stage alone, Stefan manages to make it full and this is a testament to his energy while performing.
Stefan has attempted to represent Estonia at Eurovision several times and is clearly moved just to be here. He made reference to his staging director and two time Eesti Laul finalist, Jaagup Tuisk who is joining him in Turin. It’s clear that a lot of passion has gone into this.
During different points of the press conference, Stefan appeared to be teary-eyed when asked about the necklace he is wearing and the significance this has to his Armenian grandmother. He also credits his sister as being his biggest musical inspiration. There were some lighter moments as well, with Stefan joking with the host about his accolade of being voted the sexiest man in Estonia by a leading publication; he seemed truly flattered.
When pushed on how satisfied he was with his first rehearsal Stefan said:
We wanted to add more movement, more energy. For a first rehearsal it was very good.Stefan, Eurovision Press Conference, May 3rd 2022
When asked what the best piece of advice he had received in his career so far was, Stefan had this to say:
To be myself, as you are, sincere, and to not let the fame hit you.Stefan, Eurovision Press Conference, May 3rd 2022
🇷🇴 Romania: WRS – Llámame
What a great first rehearsal! Wrs oozes confidence, and this – despite some limitations because of the kinetic sun (blocking out several prominent lyrics) – clearly stands out well in this running order. Here we also have an exciting outfit reveal – the first of the year so far! Wrs is bringing the pure party vibe to the second half of this semi-final and it is needed! The styling here is also on point, with a special flamenco feel, and also a shout-out to the wet-look pants.
Wrs looks so comfortable on the main stage. It’s fair to say Selectia Nationala isn’t known for being a big-budget event and this is clearly an elevated product now as a result.
🇵🇱 Poland: Ochman – River
Well, this is a world away from the more colourful graphics they provided at Tu Bije Serce Europy!. For ‘River’, Poland has opted for a darker staging, that is a lot more fitting to the vibe of the song. The LED (from what we can see) has a video of Ochman singing the song, which then fades into what seems to be a forest-looking setting as soon as the chorus hits. He’s looking sharp in his black suit, which also has some elements of blue on the shoulders. As always, his vocal is pitch-perfect.
He’s joined onstage by dancers dressed in all black, including having their faces covered. They dance around the B-stage before joining Ochman on the main stage. This is certainly a stronger, more refined staging than what we saw at the national final. In Eurovision’s official TikTok, Ochman says that there’s ‘still some work to be done’, but overall seems pleased with the first rehearsal.
🇲🇪 Montenegro: Vladana – Breathe
Vladana looks beautiful in a long blue dress, which seems to have some sort of disc prop potentially attached to the back of it. We know from previous performances that Vladana loves her quirky fashion so it’s not a surprise that we’ll be seeing it at Eurovision. She has said that we’ll only see this in action on the night of semi-final two so her fans will definitely be waiting to see what exactly it is that she’ll deliver.
The staging is also very blue and sees Vladana stood in the middle of the B-stage surrounded by smoke. The LED’s show a person who seems to be falling backwards. It seems understated but fitting from what we can tell from the current content we have of ‘Breathe’s first rehearsal, but it’s a lot more polished than what Montenegro provided us with when they last participated with ‘Heaven’.
🇧🇪 Belgium: Jérémie Makiese – Miss You
We’re feeling the 2000’s vibes with this one! On stage, Jérémie is casually dressed in a black shirt and jeans, with a metallic silver jacket. At the start of ‘Miss You’, he’s solo on the stage, with the lights solely focusing on him. Later on, he is joined by four male dancers dressed in all black (a running theme for this rehearsal day with the dancers it seems) and they do some simple choreography towards the end of the song. From both the TikTok footage and official images, we can’t see much of the LED, but it appears as if it could be glitter/stars moving in some kind of formation.
After coming off stage, Jérémie seemed super excited with his performance – could Belgium qualify once again?
🇸🇪 Sweden: Cornelia Jakobs – Hold Me Closer
There certainly isn’t much difference between Cornelia’s staging at Melfest and her staging at ESC but this is something we’ve come to expect from the Scandinavian nation. She’s also in the same outfit she wore at Melodifestivalen but everything does look more scaled up and the colours on the circle prop are a lot more vibrant. For ‘Hold Me Closer’, the trick is in the camera work, which we’re likely to see in action for the second rehearsal. There seems to be the addition of red lasers at one point in her performance but aside from that everything remains the same.
🇨🇿 Czech Republic: We Are Domi – Lights Off
‘Lights Off’? More like lights on! We Are Domi has made the most of the lighting provided, which is likely to elevate the song from previous performances we’ve seen. The group are all wearing similar outfits featuring black, white and beige details. Dominika is the main focus and Casper and Benjamin are playing their instruments in the background but are still visible. The staging set-up seems to show the inner workings of their instrument. This is a great way to close semi-final 2 and one that might just see the Czech Republic back in the final.
The camera work for this will be interesting, especially with the volume of strobe lighting they’re clearly using. We’re certain they’ll bring the Eurovision semi-finals of 2022 to an energetic end.
We Made It!
Woo! All semi-finalists of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest have now rehearsed on stage for the very first time. Who were your favourites of the day? Who are you excited to see tomorrow? Who do you think is qualifying from semi-final 2? Let us know in the comments!