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Welcome to the live blog for the first dress rehearsal, keep refreshing the page for more about the show:

  • Quick opening to the show straight into the introduction of the countries
  • Nice jokes about what you expect from Eurovision staging
  • Lithuania is a bubbly and full of fun way to start the show, gets the energy going in the arena, good pick from the producers.
  • Ireland has a stunning backdrop, Molly sounds great, Ireland have staged this well, it works on camera and Molly is connecting with them.
  • San Marino, they’ve used the lighting rig well for this, not convinced by this, in places it just doesn’t mix well.
  • Montenegro, exactly how you want a Balkan ballad to be staged, this has to be going through to the Saturday night.
  • Malta, brave move to perform as a solo artist, Amber connects well with the camera. The staging does look very much like Conchita last years winner in places.
  • Conchita goes on to interview Ireland and San Marino
  • Norway, a very simple but effective staging, this works so well, vocals are brilliant. First performance of the night to give me goosebumps.
  • Portugal, a solid performance, nothing wrong with the vocals or the staging, just have a feeling this will be left behind.
  • Czech Republic, the camera work at the opening is good, vocally Vaclav had some issues but recovered it by the end. The climax of the performance is really good, lets see if the Czech’s can make their first final.
  • Israel, this is the injection of fun and energy that was needed at this point in the show. It’s a slice o 00s pop, whether it can work is another question.
  • Latvia, this really is a marmite song, you either love it or hate it. I do like the camera angles they’ve gone for on this and Aminata’s voice is great through out. What will happen?
  • Azerbaijan, is vocally very good, only issue is the dancers who are incredibly distracting. Can’t see this winning, but it will qualify and give them a decent result.
  • Iceland, the visuals have sold this performance for me, camera effect of throwing golden confetti looks interesting. Yet another song that could qualify for Saturday night.
  • Conchita now talks to Norway and Portugal.
  • Sweden, this is exactly the same as Melodifestivalen and yes this does have a winning feel to it. Went very big in the hall, it is going to be the staging that really sells the performance to the audience.
  • Switzerland, a song that has really improved since the national final, no real changes from the rehearsals, this song will be fighting for one of the last spots in the final.
  • Cyprus, this is charming on the screen, it’s simple and it doesn’t need anything else other than John on stage. With the audience using their torches on their phones, it looks stunning.
  • Slovenia, this is a qualifier, really good vocals, it’s a song that is very memorable, like this one a lot.
  • Poland, interesting to see them use clips of Monika before she was paralyzed, vocals are good, interesting song to end on.

We’re gonna end the live blog there.

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