Today kicked off the first set of second rehearsals for Eurovision 2022.
For the first time press were invited to watch the full performances - giving us our first real good look at the entries. Most participants ran through their entries three times.
Aussievision has the delight of being present in both the online and in-person press centres this year.
As part of the press centre we view the full performances as seen 'down the lens' as they will be seen on television.
The second rehearsals today featured the bulk of semi-final 1:
Now down to the nitty gritty - which entries rose, which dropped and which delivered essentially what we expected from the performances tonight:
Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra - 'Stefania'
These men delivered one of the most impactful Eurovision performances to date. So much symbolism in the staging from the patterns to the colouring and imagery. The use of LED shadows on the floor is clever and memorable. Vocally their last two runs were the best I've ever heard from them. Starting the crowd clapping will be a *moment* and a half. Surely this is right up there in contention to take the contest.
Greece: Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord - 'Die Together'
A very tidy package here from Greece. Amanda delivers a great vocal and the staging is impactful. It has a lovely colour palette, the lighting works well with the "sun", the camera work is excellent and the chair prop use works. It may not make you go WOW, but it does leave you very, very impressed.
Bulgaria: Intelligent Music Project - 'Intention'
A very neat, tiny and professional performance from the Bulgarian supergroup this evening! Vocally on point with some well executed harmonies. The staging although simple elevates the song to the best ability possible with sharp camera work and lighting. Certainly a grower from the studio.
Lithuania: Monika Liu - 'Sentimentai'
Perhaps a bit of a victim to the staging issues at Turin this year - overall Monika's vocal performance was good and the dress dazzled under the arena lights. The staging itself however lacks a strong memorable component and can lose some steam after three minutes.
Netherlands: S10 - 'De diepte'
Going in as one of the favourites always leads to high expectations. I think the team is in agreement that the vocal and staging is very good! But perhaps with the inflated figures we had it ours heads, it fell short in overall impression. The staging is very dark, aesthetic and minimalistic.
Moldova: Zdob și Zdub and Frații Advahov - 'Trenulețul'
This is only in this section because we had high expectation on the staging. It's still fun and with colour but maybe doesn't bring the energy impact of the music video or previous staging from Zdob și Zdub in other Eurovision years. It does finish strongly though and isn't out of the running for a good result.
Delivered about what we expected
Albania: Albania: Ronela Hajati - 'Sekret'
Ronela is such a consistent performer and she brought everything we expected from her today. There are some elements that we would change but she brings enough power and energy to see it through.
Latvia: Citi Zēni - 'Eat Your Salad'
The performance is very similar to what we saw at the National Final - just dialled up 20%. The colourful suits are back, we still have an epic sax solo and there is plenty of use of the LED floors. Surely one of the most colourful performances of Eurovision 2022.
Slovenia: LPS - 'Disko'
This stayed about where though it would, struggling to get through. The disco ball prop is a talking point but maybe doesn't have the impact they were hoping for.
Croatia: Mia Dimšić - 'Guilty Pleasure'
A very solid performance with the use of dancers to tell the story of the song. The addition of the Croatian language is really nice but not sure these new elements has risen it further than the borderline qualifier it was before rehearsals.
Denmark: Reddi - 'The Show'
They have brought their national final performance to the Eurovision stage in Turin. However, that big bright colour palatte is impacted by the dark rainbow sun.
Austria: Lumix ft Pia Maria - 'Halo'
Depending how much you've followed Austria may depend if you think it's risen, fallen or stayed the same. It's certainly not as strong as the studio version BUT the vocal and overal impression is much better than recent pre-party performances. It's a fun party song that will need that televote to come strong for it on the night.
Portugal: Maro - 'Saudade, saudade'
Impacted by one of the supporting singers testing positive for COVID-19, Maro put on an always impeccable vocal. The use of the smaller stage for this intimate performance works and delivers what it says on the tin.
Watch our reactions to the rehearsals with Mike and Dale on the ground in Turin.