20 May 2006

Giorgos Fantis reporting live from Athens

The first dress rehearsal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 final is taking place today at 14:00 local time (13:00 CET). There will be a full show with the new introduction and the Greek Eurovision logo. The 14 participating countries will also be joined by the ten qualifiers from last night's show. It is expected to rise the interest soon. We also expect Anna Vissi to appear on stage at 14:00 CET (15:00 local time). The interest here is also big for Sweden, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom.

opening act
The opening act includes a choreography combined with a song, while just after that, the two hosts, Maria Menounos and Sakis Rouvas arrive on stage through air!! They fly above the audience and get on stage, where the dancers are. Next on stage is last year's winner, Helena Paparizou. Dressed in white, surrounded by male dancers, Helena sings "My number one" and she reminds us her victory last year.

First participating country is Switzerland. The group six4onen perform their song "If we all give a little". In fact they started singing it, but due to a technical error they repeated their song. A simple choreography, with the girls at first being at the back, then they all come together. They take a few steps forward and continue with the refrain of the song. They had a good rehearsal, despite the few minor problems occurred.

Up next is Moldova. The sail is on stage and the word "Loca" is written on it. Natalia wears something like a swimming suit, but later on she changes and she wears a gold short dress. Arsenium wears a black suit and underneath it he wears a white shirt. The stage is colourful and you get the feeling that they are on a beach. The choreography is simple and the lights create an impressive atmosphere.

A very good performance by Eddie, dressed in white. In fact they all are dressed in whit, and there is a piano on stage, just like in then rehearsals. The backing vocals have a nice choreography and they will sure give their best for the best result possible. For this entry, the stage gets blue and for another time, we get a magical feeling. Afterall they had a really good rehearsal.

The group Cosmos had their rehearsal and it was a good one! They were dressed in white, just like in previous rehearsals. They were lined up on stage and at some point one of the boys took a small robot and moved from one side to the other, while they continued singing. There are no special graphics on the beckground for this entry. Afterall they sing without music. Nevertheless they have a special act on stage.

Norway on stage. Christine guldbrandsen performing the song Alvedansen. Dressed in pure white long dress and 5 women supporting her. Two of them play violin and the other three are backing vocalists. All of the surrounders, are dressed also in white but mini dress this time. The stage seems to help the norwegian performance as long as the video coverage. Also, air makes it's presence to alsmost all the songs in this final.

Las Ketchup perform their song "Bloody mary" firstly sitting on four moving chairs. They are all dressed in red and two dancers are with them on stage, a male and a female. The main colours on stage is red, and the whole act brings in mind a bar -the whole concept with the chairs and above all the title of the song. They sung really well, without any problems and they impressively finished their act.

The Maltese one was nice. He's presented as an old fashioned "casanova" with a yellow flower at the heart side of his suit. Four women dancers and the vocalist Alex Panaghi. While the song was approaching it's peak, fireworks came up. Also the cubes were raised up to different levels.

The German participants have a similar performance as the one in the German final. At a point Jane stands up and sings "No no never" in the center of the stage. We have some cactus on stage, afterall Texas Lightning are on stage. The lights are mostly green and yellow and in general their performance is very nice, without any problems or difficulties.

The Danish rehearsal went really good as well. Pink, green, yellow, blue and black are the colours of the background, and a colourful atmosphere for Sidsel's act. They are dressed in beige and they have a nice choreography. At the middle till the end a break dancer, perhaps Johnny, joined the girls on stage.

The performance of Russia is like the one we have seen in the semifinal. Without any changes, Dima sings "Never let you go". He didn't have any difficulties and he is surely ready for Saturday's final.

Mihai sings "Tornero" without any particular problems, while the graphics on the back were in red and the cubes were brought up. We have four dancers on stage, along with Mihai, dancing on the rhythm of "Tornero". At some point one of the dancers gets on a cube and starts dancing spinning around his head, like a breakdance.

Bosnia Herzegovina
Sakis and Maria come on stage and after a while the show continues with Bosnia Herzegovina. The act remains the same, so does the lightning and the background colours. It seemed to be a minor problem at first, but it was almost unnoticed, so in general the rehearsal went really well.

Their act is the same as yesterday, the graphics, the clothes, everything! There was a problem with a microphone in the beginning of the song but it was soon solved. Lithuania was participating in the semifinal last night so they didn't have any particular problems.

United Kingdom
Daz wears an orange jacket and jeans. We have five schoolgirls on stage, singing perfectly, while the props convert the stage to a school! In the end of the song, the girls move their desks together and Daz sits in the center, while the girls sit around him.

Anna Vissi came on stage and sung "Everything". At last we had the chance to see her dress for the final. As we had already informed you, she is wearing a black and white dress, with lace elements, combining tradition and modern times. She had a very good perfromance and the audience was very thrilled watching Anna on stage. The graphics were really good - graphics with lightnings were included and in the end, when Anna kneels, the background gets the colours of a rainbow.

Lordi gave the same performance as yesterday and they didn't experience any problems during their time on stage, singing "Hard Rock Hallelujah". The will have also fireworks on stage and then stage colours remain the same. Of course the costumes are the same!

Ukraine proceeded to the final last night and they decided not to change anything to their stage appearance. So we have the same dresses as last night, the same graphics and the same choreography.

Virginie is dressed in white and a cello is on stage. She has a great voice and there wasn't a special choreography since she is alone on stage with the celloist. Nevertheless the song seems to be just fine with Virginie giving her best. She had a good performance on stage, performing this ballad.

Severina wears a long red dress and is accompanied by a group of musicians who wear traditional outfits. She sings and dances at the same time and towards the end of the song she removes the tail of her dress revealing a red short. Since the song has traditional elements, the choreography is inspired by Croatian traditional music.

The country with the most wins in the contest follows. Brian Kennedy appears on stage wearing a white shirt. He performs his song "Every song is a cry for love" and there aren't any changes in the way the Irish team presents their song on stage.

In position 22 Carola is appearing, after her successin the semifinal. The Swedish singer performed her song "Invincible" as she did last night, in the semifinal. Since there is no much time for any changes, the Swedish team also did the same act as last night. Carola had no difficulties in singing her song and her rehearsal was fine.

Sibel Tuzun came on stage next to sing the Turkish entry to this year's Eurovision Song Contest. As it happenned with almost every song that proceeded from the semifinal, Turkey had not visual change in their song. The only thing different is that Sibel sung in Greek, English and Turkish, while yesterday she sung only in Turkish!

Andre sung "Without your love" in the same way he performed it in the semifinal. The last entry of the final is the tenth country proceeding from the semifinal and there are no changes in the choreography or the graphics-lightning of the song.

After the 24 participants, Sakis and Maria came on stage and later on Nana Mouskouri joined them and along with Sakis, they turned the clepsydra and the voting started. The recap of the 24 participating was shown and then Helena Paparizou appeared on stage to sing her hit "Mambo". The interval act followed. What started as a mystic combination of movements and sounds developed into a walk through Greek music and dance. Mpouzouki, karagkiozis and many other elements of the Greek tradition are represent on stage during this interval act. After the interval act, the two presenters came in order to start the voting procedure. At that time the first dress rehearsal for the final ended since no communication with the participating countries was established.

Site: www.oikotimes.com 20/5/2006

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