Live Report: The Second Semi-Final dress rehearsal

Live Report: The Second Semi-Final dress rehearsal
Baku Crystal Hall. Photo: Andres Putting (EBU)
Baku, Azerbaijan -

Starting from 15:00 CET today, the first dress rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in the Baku Crystal Hall, and the whole show will for the first time be rehearsed in running order, including all the performances! Stay with Eurovision.tv and read what is happening in the arena in this constantly updated article!

At this moment, the Second Semi-Final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is being rehearsed in full length for the first time, presented by Nargiz, Eldar, and Leyla. As in the First Semi-Final, the postcards introducing each song show impressions from Azerbaijan, covering all eras of history up to the contemporary life in modern Baku, the capital of the Caucasian country.

First on stage was the Serbian representative Željko Joksimović, who sang his powerful ballad Nije Ljubav Stvar in a warm setting of yellow spotlights in front of a dark blue and purple backdrop. He and his backing artists were all dressed in elegant black outfits.

The next singer on stage came from neighbouring F.Y.R. Macedonia, where Kaliopi is one of the biggest stars. She presented Crno E Belo, a ballad that turns into a rock song, in a professional and artistic way. Also here, all artists on stage were dressed in elegant black clothes.

Joan Franka from the Netherlands performed again with an Indian headdress made of feathers, which symbolizes her beautiful childhood memories. Her song, You And Me, has influences from country music, and she confidently performed it with her small band.

The fourth entry was the Maltese one, sung by Kurt Calleja. He and his band wore black outfits, and Kurt was interacting well with the public and the cameras while dancing to his uptempo pop song This Is The Night.

Leather biker outfits with chains and nets attached were the stage costumes of the Belarusian rock band Litesound. With specially designed microphone stands and technical items displayed on a blue LED backdrop, and pyrotechnical effects in the end of the song, the visuals fit the song We Are The Heroes very well.

After a short break it was time for the sixth entry, which comes from Portugal. Filipa Sousa sang her fado-influenced song Vida Minha in a long black dress, shimmering in golden colour. She delivered a fabulous vocal performance in front of a backdrop showing images from Lisbon.

One big LED backdrop was not enough for the Ukrainian representative, Gaitana - she brought four more smaller LED walls with her on stage, displaying dancers making similar movements like her backing artists. She wore a white fringed dress and a floral wreath while singing Be My Guest, a true football hymn!

Sofi Marinova from Bulgaria presented her dress for the Semi-Final for the first time today - it was a white leather dress, combined with a golden belt and white boots, and she was wearing her long hair in a ponytail. Pink was the main colour of the backdrop, and the gypsy artist showed a splendid vocal performance of Love Unlimited, even though she was alone on stage.

The youngest artist of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, Eva Boto from Slovenia, was next to perform her song Verjamem, and despite her age, her vocals were flawless, and she worked well with the cameras and the audience. All artists on stage wore long white dresses, and Eva's had flowers attached.

From Slovenia, the show went on right to neighbouring Croatia, whose representative Nina Badrić sang her self-written ballad Nebo in an elaborately designed black dress. With a dark blue backdrop displaying clouds and landscapes, the melancholy of the song came accross very well.

One of the favourites with the bookmakers this year is Loreen, the Swedish representative, who made extensive use of the wind machine during her performance of Euphoria. The flickering spotlights, the camerawork and the snow effects used towards the end of the song gave the song a very special appeal, and the audience rewarded Loreen with a big applause.

Georgia was next, with Anri Jokhadze and one of the most entertaining stage acts this year. With him on stage were four backing artists in skimpy dresses, supporting him vocally during the performance of I'm A Joker. During the song, Anri is changing his outfit, playing drums and piano, dancing, and singing.

Can Bonomo's song Love Me Back is all about ships and seamen, a fact that can easily recognized already from the LED backdrop, displaying waves, and from the sailor costumes of the artists on stage. Later on, they formed a figure resembling a ship with their capes.

Kuula is the title of the Estonian entry, sung by Ott Lepland, and the charismatic artist delivered a heartwarming performance of his piano ballad. The stage was kept dark, and only towards the climax of the song, bright red images were displayed on the LED backdrop.

After another break, it was time for the only hard rock song in the contest, Don't Close Your Eyes by Max Jason Mai from Slovakia, so rock fans - listen up now! With a charismatic performance and strong vocals, the versatile artist and his performance came across very well on the screens.

Norway's intoxicating act - Tooji singing Stay - got a warm welcome from the audience in the Baku Crystal Hall. Warm colours, red and yellow, dominated the LED backdrop and the lighting, and the song doesn't hide Tooji's Iranian roots.

Maya Sar from Bosnia-Herzegovina wore an elegantly designed black dress while singing her ballad Korake Ti Znam and playing the piano along with it. In the middle of the song, she stood up and walked to the front of the stage, and from then, a wind machine was used as well.

Another ballad was the last entry of this Semi-Final - the Lithuanian song Love Is Blind by Donny Montell. He was wearing a blindfold which he took off in the very moment his song picked up tempo and turned into an uptempo pop song. He didn't only show that he's got a strong voice, he also proved his dancing abilities!

The interval act of the Second Semi-Final was the so-called "All Star Band", where the last five winners of the Eurovision Song Contest performed together: Marija Šerifović, Dima Bilan, Alexander Rybak, Lena, and Ell & Nikki. Each of them was accompanied by traditional Azeri instruments - a tar, a kemancha, a naghara, a saz, and a balaban. In the end, the five acts teamed up to sing Waterloo together, the song which brought the victory to Sweden's legendary ABBA in 1974.


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  • Posted on 25 May 2012 at 17:04
    Bravooooooo Macedonia
    You deserve it report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 17:35
    I hope that Belarus get through to the final and win. Love their song. =D report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 17:35
    I hope that Belarus get through to the final and win it. =D report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 16:41
    vote for macedonia serbia and sweden report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 10:49
    NETHERLANDS are perfect!

    Anri, Pasha are also super! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 10:48
    NETHERLANDS are perfect!
    Pasha, Anri we're with you! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 09:50
    I hope we can make the final this year. Go turkey!!!! Voye for nr. 13!!!! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 08:58
    Please vote .... NETHERLANDS this year!

    WE NEED IT SO AFTER 7 YEARS, AND JOAN IS REALLY UNIQUE THIS YEAR!

    - HER SPECIAL VOISE,
    - HER FRIENDLY AND SHINY APPEARANCE,
    - WROTE THE SONG HERSELF,
    - THE SONG AND THE STORY SHE IS TELLING
    - THE INNOCENCE OF IT.

    GIVE JOAN A CHANGE THIS YEAR PLEASE....BELIEVE AND L.O.V.E....
    CLOSE YOUR EYES AND LISTEN. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 05:32
    ToriBorn: I think it is not true. Emin who will act in the final is not the son of the president. As far as I know his son is around 17 years old. But the singer is above 30. you must have wrong information. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 02:42
    @ 15davy09 bitte sehr! ;-] don't want to see slovakia missing next year ,so let us hope she will pass tonight,win ,and host next year . you have the best song this year ,congrats and good luck and i cross my fingers for bratislava 2013!! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 01:35
    Guaranteed to qualify to the Finals without much doubt for sure:

    Sweden
    Serbia
    Ukraine
    Lithuania
    Turkey

    The other 5 who will qualify is very hard to determine. But I hope that Malta, The Netherlands, Estonia, Croatia and FYR Macedonia does. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 May 2012 at 00:01
    WHAT WHERE THEY THINKING WHEN THEY PUT THE INTERVAL ACT IN THE SECOND SEMI FINAL???? THAT SHOULD BE IN THE FINAL, BUT INSTEAD THEY ARE USING THE PRESIDENTS SON THAT MOST OF EUROPE HAS NEVER HEARD OF, YEAH THAT IS GREAT........ report to the moderator
  • Posted on 23 May 2012 at 23:51
    Maya Sar from Bosnia has a nice and decent song about love which deserves to be in the final, not some ridiculous stuff like Russia for example. Their song is trash and they are through just because the nannies are singing it. Its a shame taht switzerland didnt make it they were better then Russia or Moldova, but it is what it is...If you ask me, I predict finals for Bosnia, sorry I cant be objective, but none here is.
    To all the other countries good luck, wish you all the best!...:) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 23 May 2012 at 23:00
    SERBIAAAAAAAA!!!! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 23 May 2012 at 22:40
    I really hope people will vote for The Netherlands :)

    Just because she wrote the song herself and it will give the Dutch people some hope after a long while !

    So please vote !! :) report to the moderator