Turin, 04 May 2022

The second group of countries have turned up for rehearsals… all but one :o. Check out our reports on Ukraine, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Moldova and Portugal!

Note: Images and videos will be added once they go online on the official channel. 

Country: Ukraine
Act: Kalush Orchestra
Song: “Stefania”
Semifinal: First (10/05/2022)
Position in Running Order: 06/17

Kicking off the post-lunch rehearsals is odds leader Ukraine. Will Kalush Orchestra fulfill the high expectations?

Ukraine’s rehearsal marks the best up to this point. The Kalush Orchestra bust out an energetic yet dramatic performance about Stefania (the mother of one of the band members). The dark rainbow of doom doesn’t bother them, as their colourful costumes and clever use of the floordrop hoover up most of the attention. The choreography and camerawork frame everything nicely, in sync with the song’s chords. The breakdance at the end is an especial highlight, providing a fun closer to an overall entertaining experience.

By the end of the song, the Ukrainian identity of this song becomes impossible to ignore. “Stefania” gradually but steadily transitions from a song about motherly love into a yellow and blue-tinged nationalist anthem, underlining which country they are representing here.  The way they achieve this (via a myriad of yellow and blue light beams) isn’t exactly subtle, but it avoids being cliché and cloying, for which we’re grateful.

Overall, this was the first rehearsal of the day that felt like a truly finished product. Ukraine’s changes, if any, need to be miminal to ensure their success.


Country: Bulgaria
Act: Intelligent Music Project
Song: “Intention”
Semifinal: First (10/05/2022)
Position in Running Order: 07/17

Bulgaria were up next, with the band Intelligent Music Project taking the stage.

The start of the Bulgarian song is promising enough – split screens between the first guitar player and the bass player herald the coming of a rock song. The actual performance itself is very simple. The drum player (2007/2013 representative Stoyan Yankoulov) and the keyboard player are on small elevated platforms, and a loudspeaker prop has been placed in front of the inner sun.

Orange and white lights bathe the song as Ronnie Romero busts out gravelly vocals. The climax of the song is a grand guitar solo, flanked with pyros.

The intent for Bulgaria is clear – they want to make an impressive showcase of pure rock music. The reality of it however is, despite the pyros and clever lighting that Ronnie & C° have a subpar energy level during these runthroughs. Going forward, they will need to engage themselves more with the audience, nailing the vibe. Right now they’re not doing this enough.

We’ll see if the third rehearsal sees an improvement on their end.


Country: Netherlands
Act: S10
Song: “De diepte” (The depth/the chasm)
Semifinal: First (10/05/2022)
Position in Running Order: 08/17

After Bulgaria it’s time for  S10 to have her runthrough.

After Ukraine, the Dutch are the second act that feel like they’re ready to go as is.  S10 is located on a small, diamond-shaped platform on a completely dark stage. The border of the platform shine in the darkness, creating the image like she’s on an island by herself. For several rehearsals, the darkness was a problem. For “De diepte”, it’s an advantage.

During the chorus the spotlights from the arch lurch forwards, which combined with her chanting convincingly mimic the effect of S10 calling out from the deep. Her’s vocals are a bit on the thin side throughout, but she remains in tune. It comes across as very brittle and fragile.

An effective performance from the Netherlands whose native language proves to not be an impedipent for their chances.  Their stage director did their homework well. A few augmentations to the camerawork, and they’re ready to go.


Country: Moldova
Act: Zdob si Zdub & the Advahov Brothers
Song: “Trenuletul” [The train]
Semifinal: First (10/05/2022)
Position in Running Order: 09/17

Eurovision veterans Zdob si Zdub have arrived in Turin for their third Eurovision attempt, this time flanked by the Advahov brothers.

Moldova’s rehearsal confirms that the Folk/Rock fusion we saw at the pre-parties is the new canonical version of “Trenuletul”.  The defunct stage hits Moldova hard, as most of their background was snatched away from them. Roman & C° didn’t let this setback discourage them however, prancing energetically up and down the stage during their song.

Unfortunately for Moldova, there is an apparent lack of staging gimmicks beyond the “Wacky Hijinks In Funky Clothes” portion of the song, which makes the whole feel a bit amateuristic. The rumoured train prop Zdob si Zdub were attempting to incorporate into their act ultimately did not make the final act, and the group is left to scrounge with what they have. The end result is fun, but also all over the place.

To improve their odds, Moldova will need something to bind their act together, and tame the inner chaos. Maybe a few references to trains?

Overall, a very jolly performance and one not without its charms, but we won’t lie to you – in terms of potential success at the contest, Moldova currently lag a bit behind.


Country: Portugal
Song: “Saudade, saudade” [Nostalgic yearning]
Semifinal: First (10/05/2021)
Position in Running Order: 05/17

As one of Portugal’s delegation members tested positive for Covid, MARO’s rehearsal has been delayed to later today. We’ll provide you with a report once we’re able.

For more coverage, join Matt & C° on the today’s livestream!


What do #YOU think of  these rehearsals? Did Albania grip you? Did Latvia excite you? Did Lithuania move you? Did Switzerland make you cry? Did Slovenia entice you to dance? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, on our forum HERE or on social media!

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