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Eurovision: Israel, Azerbaijan, Malta stand out on day two of rehearsals

Eurovision: Israel, Azerbaijan, Malta stand out on day two of rehearsals
Nine more countries have their first rehearsals for this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.

Nine more countries took to the stage at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam on Sunday for their first rehearsal at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The rehearsals programme got underway on Saturday with the acts due to perform in the first half of the first semi-final - and today was the turn of those competing in the second half.

The current bookmakers' favourite for the win, Destiny of Malta with her song 'Je Me Casse', delivered arguably the best performance of the day, combining flawless vocals with colourful staging and a dance routine celebrating body empowerment.

Also impressing with her vocals on Sunday was Eden Alene of Israel, who dropped some Mariah-esque falsettos on 'Set Me Free' after taking part in a slick, energetic routine with her five male dancers.

Meanwhile, Elena Tsagrinou, one of the early fan favourites this year with 'El Diablo' for Cyprus, appeared to find her session troubling - with one take being cut short after she dropped her mic pack - while Romania's Roxen delivered a lethargic performance of 'Amnesia', which was accompanied by an interpretive dance routine.

Belgium's Hooverphonic offered up a simple and effective pared-back performance of 'The Wrong Place', with vocalist Geike Arnaert singing in the centre of the stage with four musicians on individual podiums around her.

Azerbaijan were one of the other surprise standouts on Sunday, as 'Mata Hari' - an ode to a Dutch exotic dancer accused of spying during World War I - was performed effortlessly by Efendi, who emulated the song's namesake with a seductive routine accompanied by the distinctive sound of Azeri instruments.

Elsewhere, Albina - representing Croatia with song-title-du-jour 'Tick-Tock' - enlisted a five-strong doppelganger effect and a clan of hunky male dancers for her routine, which included an obligatory lift, and Go_A of Ukraine put on a frenetic feast of audio-visuals with their song 'Shum'.

Norway's TIX also got his first taste of the stage on Sunday, donning a sparkly silver catsuit and angel wings for 'Fallen Angel' - a ballad accompanied by the strange sight of various chained-up demons who appeared to eventually redeem themselves.

Media Mole is covering events in Rotterdam live over Eurovision fortnight - stick with us for continuing updates!

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