First rehearsals today for Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson, Jacques Houdek, JOWST and Timebelle

Today saw the beginning of the first rehearsals for the countries appearing in the second half of the second semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. You can follow our live review here.

The first four countries to perform are San Marino, Croatia, Norway and Switzerland.

San Marino

The duo, Valentina and Jimmie, start on stage walking towards each other. They are wearing flashy black outfits to perform their entry, Spirit Of The Night. Valentina is sporting a baseball hat as an extra accessory.

The thing about this entry is, it is jumping and alive. Jimmie is an exceptional singer, on a par with Luther Vandross. The chemistry between the two of them really works. The stage is ablaze with red, orange and purple colours. There are three backing singers who clap along at the chorus. Towards the end of the song, Jimmie removes his coat to reveal a black waistcoat.

On the second rehearsal Valentina has removed the cap and replaced it with a hand bag. The whole feel of the song, is that it takes place in a pumping disco. The singers interact with each other throughout the song.

A surprisingly really good rehearsal.


The song starts with a violinist and cellist, and then Jacques is right up at the camera with the opening dialogue. Dressed all in black with black sneakers, he is an imposing character on screen. There is a  black mountain at the back of the stage. The camera works different angles to portray the different keys he is singing in. At this point a dark blue sky is in the back ground.

The whole performance is a mixed bag of goodies. Three backing singers are on stage, but it’s not clear how much they are participating. It is Jacques who is the star here. Unfortunately the performance drew lots of laughs in the press centre. To top it off the cellist drops his bow.

As it seems, you can’t have enough Jacques, his image is portrayed on the backing wall.

As the song climaxes a row of sun flowers grow in the background, until the stage is taken over by them. A colossal performance, that may qualify , because you won’t believe what you see first time, you’ll want to see it again. The instrumentalists are frantically into playing their strings.

On the second rehearsal pyrotechnics are added at the climax to the song, first shooting up from the stage, and then later, the golden waterfall appears. The whole stage is filled up with something, and as the singing stops, the song ends with the violinist cooling it down. A rainbow encircles the whole stage. An extravaganza indeed.


Purple lights are on the stage at the beginning of the Norwegian entry, Grab The Moment. Singer Aleksander Walmann is at the front of the stage, wearing a white smock like T-Shirt, and Trilby hat. His microphone is attached to a white LED pole.

Behind him, producer, Joakim With Steen,(JOWST), plays along with his light mask and black hood, on the electronic keyboard and drums. Two other hooded members, also playing keyboards and drums, complete the act. Aleksander’s vocals are on key and the show has a very modern feel.

The stage lights are primarily purple for the whole show, although at one point a group of white squares and rectangles are also flashed on screen. Towards the end of the song the purple turns into flames and encircles the stage.


The Swiss trio, Timebelle were last to rehearse this morning with Apollo. The video didn’t start until they were well into the song, but it found lead singer, Miruna Mănescu standing a top an eight stair yellow spiral staircase. She was dressed in a long furled yellow dress. She performs the song for a while before descending the staircase.

She then joins her piano player, Emanuel Daniel Andriescu, who like drummer, Samuel Forster is dressed in pink. The instruments were also pink. The stage floor was mauve. Light purple images of feathers were displayed on the video wall. The whole package is a parcel of pastel colours.

Stay tuned this afternoon for Belarus, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia and Israel.

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