Welcome back! Eurovision 2022 rehearsals continue in Turin today, with eight more countries taking to the PalaOlimpico stage for their first run-throughs.
We’ll get our first glimpse at semi-final one contenders Portugal, Croatia, Denmark, Austria, Iceland, Greece, Norway and Armenia before the live shows begin. Who will live up to expectations, and who will leave us wanting more? Stay tuned to wiwibloggs for our first reactions.
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1 May: First rehearsals at Eurovision 2022
Listed below are the countries having their first rehearsals today. All times are listed in CEST (BST + 1).
- 10:00 – 10:30 Portugal: MARO “saudade, saudade”
- 10:40 – 11:10 Croatia: Mia Dimsic “Guilty Pleasure”
- 11:20 – 11:50 Denmark: REDDI “The Show”
- 12:00 – 12:30 Austria: LUM!X feat. Pia Maria “Halo”
- Lunch break
- 13:40 – 14:10 Iceland: Systur “Með hækkandi sól”
- 14:20 – 14:50 Greece: Amanda Tenfjord “Die Together”
- 15:00 – 15:30 Norway: Subwoolfer “Give That Wolf a Banana”
- 16:00 – 16:30 Armenia: Rosa Linn “Snap”
First rehearsal footage will be exclusive to the official Eurovision TikTok account for 24 hours.
Each video will be a maximum of 90 seconds, and will include:
- Artists getting ready backstage
- First reaction to seeing the stage
- Wide shots of the first rehearsal
- A short interview about their first performance
Eurovision 2022: Press Meet & Greet times
Shortly after their rehearsals, each act will be available for their first press meet and greet. Things will look a little different today as no press is allowed inside the arena.
All press conferences will be available to watch on demand via Italian broadcaster RAI.
Here’s the list of times for each act’s Meet & Greet. All times are listed in CEST (BST + 1).
- 12:00 – 12:20 Portugal: MARO “saudade, saudade”
- 12:40 – 13:00 Croatia: Mia Dimsic “Guilty Pleasure”
- 13:20 – 13:40 Denmark: REDDI “The Show”
- 14:00 – 14:20 Austria: LUM!X feat. Pia Maria “Halo”
- 15:40 – 16:00 Iceland: Systur “Með hækkandi sól”
- 16:20 – 16:40 Greece: Amanda Tenfjord “Die Together”
- 17:00 – 17:20 Norway: Subwoolfer “Give That Wolf a Banana”
- 18:00 – 18:20 Armenia: Rosa Linn “Snap”
🇵🇹 Portugal: MARO “saudade, saudade”
Rather than singing on the main stage, MARO and her five dancers gather on Stage B, which is located just in front of the green room. (You’ll remember that Eurovision 2017 winner Salvador Sobral also chose the remote stage for his performance). They form a circle, looking into each other eyes. This conveys the intimacy and atmosphere of the song, which is about the pain of losing a loved one (in her case, her grandfather). It also conveys how we can and indeed should lean on those who remain to help us celebrate those who have left us and the life we have left to live. This is a circle of trust and an engine to heal. MARO’s final run-through included fog at ankle-level, adding to the atmosphere of her presentation.
The Online Dictionary defines “saudade” as a Portuguese folk culture term for a deep emotional state of melancholic longing for a person or thing that is absent, common in Lusophone literature and music.
Speaking to Escbubble after FdC semi-final one, MARO said: “[saudade] is about longing, and this song specifically is about my granddad who is no longer with us, and was a big big part of my life and me. I’m talking about how much I miss him, and I guess paying homage to him”. (William)
🇭🇷 Croatia: Mia Dimsic “Guilty Pleasure”
“Guilty Pleasure” tells an intricate tale of a possibly quite controversial topic. Mia describes being with a spouse but thinking of another lover in her dreams. She says “timing has never been our thing” in terms of them only coming in her dreams, which leaves questions about whether the this person is a real love in her life, or a past relationship that she is thinking about.
Given that she’s in a complicated love situation — mentally, anyway — it’s appropriate that she’s brought three dancers with her…perhaps to suggest a very crowded relationship, or maybe her inner struggle and turmoil. Her pink dress, which leaves me craving watermelon, has gone down a treat with our followers on Instagram. Besides praising the design, they’ve suggested it looks gorgeous set against the blue lighting behind her.
The song begins laying out what to expect, explaining the situation, and telling of the secrecy behind her lusty fascination – “Five nights in a row of dreams I’d never share”. Sharing with who? Well, she’s left with the “souvenir” of guilt, as she’s laying in bed with her spouse, and she is “with him until the death do us part”. She describes her husband as devotion, whilst the man she is fantasising about is just a “secret treasure” and the titular “guilty pleasure”.
Our Lucy is a huge fan of this. Writing in our Wiwi Jury review, she said: “Oh boy, is “Guilty Pleasure” drastically underrated this year or what? I’ve heard people say they don’t find it interesting etc., however I couldn’t disagree more. The lyrics tell such an emotional story of forbidden lust, set to the dreamiest melody I’ve heard this year. There’s something so sensual about the way Mia describes her object of desire coming to her in her dreams to then wake up next to her spouse.” (William)
🇩🇰 Denmark: REDDI – “The Show”
Ida Bergkvist on bass, Mathilde “Siggy” Savery on guitar and vocals, Agnes Roslund on guitar and Ihan Haydar on drums. These fantastic four – brought together as a group by drummer Ihan and Danish music industry legend Chief1 – together make up REDDI, who won the Danish ticket to Eurovision 2022 back at the start of March.
“We’re all inspired by seventies music and rock in general,” Siggy told us at the London Eurovision Party, “we’re trying to combine the rock of the seventies with the punk pop of the nineties, which is a nice hybrid I think. It works. We’re all rock pop musicians and that’s what we like to do together.”
Given their bold attitude and outlook, it’s no surprise they chose to fill the stage backdrop with neon blocks of colour. They added some literal pop with on-stage fireworks.
“The Show” is an impassioned rallying cry to be true to yourself when others would doubt you. Turning your back on the doubters can be a challenge, but in the song REDDI insist it will be worth it in the long run, “I’m not sorry, this is all me, and I will never let it go, I will keep up with the show.”
As well as calling for people to keep up with the show, the lyrics also offer a direct challenge to haters too. The second verse, for example, reads as a direct rebuke, “You never followed and now you’re blocked. And now and forever, I’ll show you what I’ve become.” (William)
🇦🇹 Austria: LUM!X feat. Pia Maria – “Halo”
Talk about getting literal! To bring life to their song “Halo”, LUM!X and Pia Maria have shipped in a ginormous circular lighting rig. This electro-halo gives off light and gives the stage an arresting centrepiece to help them stand out from the field. Flames and plumes of smoke add even more drama — dance floor on fire!
Pia has consistently struggled with her vocals during the pre-party season, so we’ll be interested to listen to the TikTok audio if the teaser includes live vocals. Hopefully earlier performances helped her move past any and all nerves.
Luca Michlmayr, better known as LUM!X, is only 19 years old but has a lot of musical success already to his name. The Italian-Austrian DJ is best known for his collaborations with Eiffel 65 member Gabry Ponte. In 2019, they released “Monster”, which was certified Platinum in Austria, Germany, France and Poland. His early success earned him an award for Meilleure révélation (Best revelation) at the French Fun Radio DJ Awards. Last year, they worked with Italian dance musicians Prezioso to release “Thunder”, which was certified Platinum in Italy. An electronic musician with connections to the host nation and with big home support – he has a lot to prove in Turin!
Pia Maria is even younger than LUM!X, at a raw age of 18, but has youthful energy to match. In addition to being a songwriter herself, she has a lot of musical theatre experience and spent three years training in special effects make-up. She currently works at the Tyrolean State Theatre in Innsbruck.
The song opens with the central theme of finding inner strength and collaboration: “Let me be your halo, cause we’ve been through hell and back in only one night”. The lyrics refer to Ancient Greek figures Hercules and Socrates to establish an image of inner strength, “We don’t need a Hercules to bring a man to his knees, philosophers like Socrates said find yourself, think on your feet”. Then the next verse flows through the theme of rising to challenges, “We can be the CEOs, yeah you already know, we’re not under control and no, no, not anymore”.
These themes continue throughout the song, with strong vibrant imagery of angels, “I’m stronger than angels, I’m fearless in danger, and I will bring dark to the light”, and stars, “we’re gonna be written among the stars, posing so we’re hustling young queens”. (William)
🇮🇸 Iceland: Systur – “Með hækkandi sól”
No longer staggered, Systur now stand in line with each other, showing that each of them is equal in this sisterly trio. However, each of Sigga, Beta & Elín have their own style of clothing, meaning they can still bring some individuality.
The Icelandic team have chosen warm amber tones for the lighting, which very much matches the theme of the song – a rising sun bringing light at the end of the long winter.
The three Icelandic sisters have a long history with many different styles of music. They’ve released folk, pop, even EDM music — but always together, all three of them. They have released their music under many different names, but Eurovision viewers will know them as Systur, the Icelandic word for sisters.
The exact title of the song, “Með hækkandi sól”, does not appear in the song’s lyrics — which is unique to only Iceland and Moldova out of all of this year’s Eurovision songs — but the motif is still very clear throughout the song. The chorus expresses that feeling of looking forward in hope, as the three croon: “The darkest winter waits for the sun to ease away the longest nights with light. The darkest winter waits for spring to warm our embraces again”. (Jonathan)
🇬🇷 Greece: Amanda Tenfjord – “Die Together”
Amanda is alone on stage, dressed in a flowing dress with a silver shimmer to it. She sits on a chair, with further fallen-over chairs placed around her. The focus in on Amanda, but the chairs provide a presence of other people who the Greek entrant might have wished could be there with her – corresponding with the lyrics about a dying relationship.
Blue and white is the chosen colour palette for the lighting, giving this a nice contrast from Iceland that proceeded it.
Amanda Tenfjord — full name Amanda Klara Georgiadis Tenfjord — is a Greek-Norwegian singer and songwriter. Born in Ålesund, Norway, to a Norwegian mother and Greek father, she spent parts of her childhood in both of her countries of origin.
“Die Together” explores a number of perspectives of a dying relationship. The first verse paints a picture of discontent, suggesting this could be the beginning of the end. This is emphasised as Tenfjord sings, “We don’t laugh anymore and when we cry we do it on our own.”
As the chorus kicks in, a different viewpoint is explored. Rather than allowing the relationship to crumble, Tenfjord considers conflicting feelings. She points out that “if we die together now, we will always have each other”. She promises to “hold you ’til forever, if we die together”. There is a suggestion that this relationship can’t survive this life but could thrive in the next. (Jonathan)
🇳🇴 Norway: Subwoolfer – “Give That Wolf A Banana”
When something’s yummy does it set off sparks for you? Well it seems to do exactly that for Keith and Jim — the wolves from outer space who are representing Norway. Their rehearsal of “Give That Wolf A Banana” really came to life with fireworks at the end as they brought things home with their lyrics yum, yum, yum.
The identity of Subwoolfer remains a mystery. But fans have suggested the duo includes or at least has the involvement of everyone from Norwegian Idol runner-up Gaute Ormåsen to A1’s Ben Adams. What’s clear is that humour and irony underscore all of what they do. Their name combines the words Subwoofer and wolf, a melding of two specific attributes: the former a reference to the duo’s heavy bass sound, the latter putting the animal theme at the heart of their identity.
The group’s retelling of Little Red Riding Hood fits neatly with the pandemic. The Wolf (coronavirus) preys on everyone young and old — both Red and Grandma. But it’s Grandma who is most vulnerable, since, according to the wolf, she “tastes the best.”
Little Red, who we take as the narrator, knows there is a solution: “Before that wolf eats my grandma, give that wolf a banana.” (William)
🇦🇲 Armenia: Rosa Linn – “Snap”
In “Snap” Rosa-Linn opens by saying “it’s 4am, can’t turn my head off.” The idea of insomnia driven by her incessant thoughts comes to life in the beautiful staging. She sits in her bedroom, which is covered entirely with Post-It Notes. These notes — on which people typically jot down their thoughts — completely surround her. Trapped in her head, she has no choice but to sing in an effort to let it all out. The paper notes resemble tissue paper or toilet sheets — suggesting the delicate nature of her emotions in a song about evicting someone from your heart. The performance finishes with the stage rotating.(William)
Which act are you most excited to see? Do you think we’re in for any surprises? Let us know what you think in the comments below!