Eurovision 2015 rehearsals: Lithuania, Ireland, San Marino and Montenegro

Day 3 of this year’s Eurovision and it is time for Lithuania, Ireland, San Marino and Montenegro to take to the stage for their first stage rehearsal. Reporting live from the press centre in Austria’s Wiener Stadthalle, Eurovisionary will be updating this article with information as each country completes their rehearsal.

Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila
This Time

In a year where most songs have quite a somber tone, Lithuania is one of the exceptions. This Time is a light-hearted song about being in love and comes with lyrics like ‘My God, stop for a minute and think, how ‘bout we just go out for a drink’. Sung by Vaidas Baumila, a popular singer with the younger generation in Lithuania, and Monika Linkytė who has participated numerous times in her country’s national selection before winning with Vaidas this year, the Lithuanian duo will be the first to take to the stage on this third day of rehearsals

Lithuania’s first stage rehearsal:

Blue, pink, purple, orange and white are the colours for Lithuania and, yes, the stage looks very colourful and sweet. Monika is wearing a short white dress with a dark blue wide belt and an embroidered see-through tutu skirt while her top looks as if it’s made of white, pink, purple and blue petals; Vaidas is wearing light blue tailored trousers and a matching waistcoat. They are both smiley and look endearing together on stage; there might be some apprehension behind Vaidas’ wide smile, but most would be apprehensive when performing on the Eurovision stage for the first time. They are joined on stage by two male/female pairs of backing singers carrying out a gentle choreography. The main stage graphic is a schematic sunburst that changes colours and occasionally rotates in the background, outlines of flowers moving behind it. The duo pauses for quite a long kiss right in the middle of the song and, it’s either that they are naturals at it, or they have rehearsed the kiss numerous times already because they manage to find each other’s lips effortlessly – no awkward or jerky moments here. When they sing ‘round and round and round we go’, there is an overhead shot of them holding hands while …well, going round and round. Vaidas did a no-no found on my Eurovision faux-pas list, which is addressing the audience with ‘come on’s’ and ‘sing it with me’s’ – I find that it usually has the opposite effect to the one desired; in this case, we were treated to a ‘come on, Eurovision’. The performance closes with Monika in Vaidas’ arms, their heads touching. Sweet like a bag of M&M’s. It gets rounds of applause in the press centre.

Molly Sterling
Playing with numbers

Molly is a self-taught musician who, according to press releases, got the bug for performing when she entered her first music competition at the age of twelve. She co-wrote Playing with numbers as part of her upcoming album. The song, a melancholic ballad, is about ‘the risks people take every day in love and life and the experiences of taking the road less travelled’. The seventeen year old will be one of the youngest artists to be taking to the stage for their rehearsals today.

Ireland’s first stage rehearsal

It is the musicians that first get slowly lit: Molly playing the piano, a drummer, a double bass player, a cellist and two female backing vocalists. When the background graphics come on, we are suddenly found in the middle of a lush forest in between tree trunks and under swaying branches; warm oranges and golds are the predominant colours used both for the impression of the forest and the lighting, the rods framing the stage being lit mostly in gold. Molly’s vocal performance is good, she looks serious but relaxed in her leather sleeveless black jacket which is worn over a black lace top. The overall effect is classy and cool. During an overhead shot it looks as if Molly and her piano are standing on a clumsy wooden platform (that’s an impression on the stage floor of course). No tricks or gimmicks here. The song finishes with a shot of Molly looking into the camera and gets warm applause in the press centre.

San Marino
Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola
Chain of Lights

If you thought that Molly was quite young, wait until you hear that the duo (yes, yet another one) from San Marino have a combined age of 32. Anita represented San Marino in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last year while Italian Michele represented the country in the same event the year before. Chain of Lights is composed by Eurovision legend Ralph Siegel, the German composer who has created numerous Eurovision entries over the years including the German 1982 winner; in the last four years, Siegel has composed the San Marinese entries, managing last year to get the country to the grand final with Valentina Monetta and Maybe. Will Anita and Michele manage to take San Marino to the final for a second year running?

San Marino’s first stage rehearsal

The presentation starts with a shot of Michele singing his opening lines then a shot of Anita for hers (the camera misses her completely during the first run). Behind them there are four backing vocalists at the back of the stage. The Earth theme is back – by now I have lost count of how many times our beautiful blue planet has been used as a backdrop in this year’s Eurovision. The thing with San Marino, however, is that they use it consistently from the beginning: it looks like a tiny dot in the black background to start with, then, as if getting closer and closer, we can see that it is planet Earth moving towards the stage. When Michele and Anita sing the line ‘so light up the candles’, lights scattered across the globe come up at the same time as the tips of the stage rods light up too – this creates a beautiful effect. The stage is lit in warm orange by this time and, later in the performance, changes into blue. Michele is in a black leather jacket and Anita is wearing a short white dress with gold details. Later on, the globe is outlined only by the lights that came on earlier. The duo looks confident and their vocals are good but, somehow, the performance looks a bit loose to start with – this is not so much down to the way the young singers move on stage but mostly due to the camera work, which nevertheless improves considerably as the rehearsal session progresses. Yes, by the time of the last run this looks sweet. San Marino also gets a round of applause.


Montenegro is the only song with a truly Balkan sound this year. Adio is a love ballad with lyrics full of metaphors and similes about ‘rosemary’, ‘white lilies’ and the ‘mists of the mountains’. Knez, born Nenad Knežević, is a successful artist in all the countries that used to make up Yugoslavia, having achieved remarkable album sales in the 90’s.

Montenegro’s first stage rehearsal

The presentation starts with a shot of one of the female backing singers/dancers playing the violin. Knez is then shown walking forward between four other female backing singers/dancers who are dressed in black outfits and, to start with, are sitting on the stage floor. The dancers are doing a great job of carrying out a well worked routine as they later move around Knez. The stage is lit in blue and the outline of a mountain ridge under a star lit night sky is projected in the background. Knez himself is all dressed in black and sounds well vocally. At some point, Knez and his dancers dramartically spread their arms wide open and break into traditional dance while the camera is moving around them. The background mountains and the stage are bright red by this point. This is a solid performance; one wonders why Knez is looking so serious after each run – almost as if he is not happy with the way the rehearsal is going – but then again his expression might be purely down to him trying to remain focused.

Stay tuned for a report on the rehearsals from Malta, Norway, Portugal and the Czech Republic coming up next.

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