First rehearsals begin for Tijana Bogićević, Nathan Trent, Jana Burčeska and Claudia Faniello

This morning the first rehearsals began for the artists in the second semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. You can read our live reviews as the rehearsals continue.

The first four countries to perform this morning are Serbia, Austria, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Malta.

Serbia

Tijana stands in the middle of the circular stage to perform her song, In Too Deep. Wearing a pair of slightly oversized white pants and a white top, she does not move around too much. The stage, which starts dark, ends up again, being dark blue with bubbles of water bursting out now and again. You can hear her backing vocalists off-stage.

In the middle of the song, the male dancer in her promotional video appears, but there is no sign of the female. He dances around her, also dressed in white  and at times seems to be getting more camera time than Tijana. He finally stands beside her at the end, back to the camera. A row of yellow light bulbs ends the performance. It is a competent performance, but with seventeen other songs to come, it may not be remembered.

Austria

Nathan starts Running On Air, sitting on what initially looks like a chair but ends up actually being a large silver crescent moon, made from the same material as a disco ball. He is totally dressed in white, save for silver boots and ends up standing on his moon to perform, what is a vocally perfect performance. Large clouds of smoke overtake the stage, first purple and white, then blue, and when Nathan jumps from his moon, orange. Twelve bright yellow lights beam from the back of the stage.

He walks to the front of the stage and you can see simply lit yellow lights around it. After a while he returns to his moon and you get the first sight of the four backing singers, also dressed in white.

A fourth rehearsal took place to practise the fog machine. A sufficient amount of white fog added to the visuals but they will need to be careful that it doesn’t overwhelm the performer.

This is one to watch, well regarded in the press centre.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Jana is dressed in a leather jacket and black boots right up to the knee. The back ground music of her song, Dance Alone is different  from the recorded version and there are lots of heys going on from the back ground singers. She is holding the microphone for the whole performance and doing lots of pouting on stage.

On the second rehearsal Jana removed the jacket to reveal a dark green lace dress. The performance starts out with black and white images of Jana on the video wall. As it continues there are lots of flashing lights and Jana struts across the stage.

The vocals aren’t too bad, but they are not remarkable either. Like Svala, Jana seems lost on the big stage, dancing alone.

The background has twirling red and white rectangles and at times it returns to black and white. Not too bad, but now seems to have only a marginal shot of qualifying.

Malta

A very elegantly dressed Claudia, in a classy white evening gown, with silver accessories. This is old school Eurovision but oozes star quality. There is nothing fancy on the stage, but guess what, the background is yet again, a very dark blue. Flashlights protrude from the back of the stage.

Claudia just stands on stage and performs the song. In the background there are images of Claudia singing the song from previous occasions. The wind machine is put to good use as the song progresses and Claudia looks a little like Gloria Estefan.

Stay tuned this afternoon for Romania, The Netherlands, Hungary, Denmark and Ireland

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