The first day of rehearsals haven't ended well for Czech singer Mikolas Josef. Following his first rehearsal this morning, he reported an injury. The situation has deteriorated, and he is spending tonight in a Lisbon hospital.
Josef posted a photo on his Facebook page, along with an update: "I can confirm that I got injured during the rehearsal and the situation got worse after several hours. I can't even walk now. Got back from the first hospital and I am now heading to another one. Thanks for all your messages and prayers we are all doing our best to get me up on my feet soon. I will perform no matter what."
During 'Lie to me', Mikolas performs a backflip from a raised step. Today, he landed awkwardly during the first run-through and jarred his back. A doctor advised a hospital visit, and the scheduled press conference was cancelled.
The rehearsal was also dogged by concerns from the young performer about the stage, with him stopping things after a backing dancer complained his podium felt unsafe.
With well over a week until the first semi-final, the Czech place at the contest is thought to be secure, but it's likely that the backflips will go.
On Monday, Mikolas took to Instagram and thanked contest organisers and the Czech embassy: "I am feeling way better than yesterday. I have received great treatment, agreed to painkillers and was able to walk to get my lunch today. We are still waiting for feedback from the doctors, who are examining the CT scans to confirm the spine is OK and that the performance can go on without it being a risk to my health. As I said yesterday, I will do it no matter what. We have all worked so damn hard during these last months that stepping back now is just not an option." We wish Mikolas well and hope that he can pull through. If we don't see you on the stage next year, 2019 is always open!