A week into rehearsals and finally the five countries already in the final took to the stage. Before that, it was the turn of some of the remaining countries in Thursday’s second semifinal to rehearse for the second time.
It was Denmark’s turn first. Black is the colour for Brinck and his backing musicians. Brinck plans to release an album after the contest. The highlight of the press conference was possibly a video of Ronan Keating, who is one of the composers, wishing Brinck well for the big night.
The Slovenians are using the same stage presentation that won the EMA earlier this year; they are silhouetted behind screens before walking through those screens. In an effort to make up for the lack of time to play more music at their first conference, Quartissimo had a quiz during today’s conference. They played the tunes from previous Eurovision Song Contest entries and whoever guessed right received a t-shirt.
No contest would be complete these days without at least one of the acts wearing less at the end of the song than at the beginning. Hungary maintains the tradition this year, with both Zoli and his dancers losing clothing along the way. The conference was interrupted by none other than Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, who met the Hungarians and asked the journalists how everything was going. Zoli did have time to reveal that after the contest, he will start working on his role in the Monty Python based musical, Spamalot.
Not content with interrupting the Hungarian press conference, Prime Minister Putin walked on to the stage during the Azerbaijan rehearsal to meet the singers, AySel and Arash. At the press conference, information was given about the outfits. Aysel will wear a white, gold and silver dress adorned with black Swarovski crystals.
Sakis Rouvas’ choreography includes moves which could go badly wrong on the night. In his conference, he said he was happy with how things are going and, when asked about why he has returned to sing for a second time, he replied, "I don’t know why I decided to come back this year, let’s call it instinct."
French singer, Patricia Kaas, is the biggest international star competing this year. The French Head of Delegation insisted she was in Moscow to win. Patricia herself said that her participation in the contest is not a sign that she is about to adopt a more international style to her music. Dima Bilan, who is the reason everyone is in Moscow this year, wished Patricia good luck.
The hosts were next and darkness is the order of the day. The film to be shown on the video screens during the song is still being produced. It will feature Anastasia face as it develops from a young to an old woman. It was explained that the song is being performed in Russian and Ukrainian because of Russia’s close links with Ukraine and also because Anastasia is half Ukrainian.
Rumours have been circulating that burlesque star, Dita von Teese, would be one of the stage performers and during their conference, the German delegation confirmed that the rumour is true. They also revealed that former German Eurovision entrant, Jane Comerford, has also made a contribution to the presentation of the song.
After Germany, it was the turn of one of the most talked about entries this year, the United Kingdom. No sign of Andrew Lloyd Webber yet, but Jade appears on steps on the stage, flanked by very smartly dressed violinists. A piano is also used. Jade did confirm that she will be joined on stage by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and also said in answer to a question about the return of the juries, "Some of my biggest idols like Celine Dion started with the contest so I’m very proud to represent my country. I would have still participated whether there were juries or not. There is a pressure because of Andrew writing the song, but I put myself under the most pressure, as long as I can please myself I hope that I’ll please everyone else." She may have been taking advice on public relations, saying about her promotional tour, “I enjoyed Barcelona as the food was great! But Moscow I think is my favourite of all of them."
Ending proceedings for the day was the country that Jade sees as one of her biggest threats, Spain. La Noche Es Para Mí has been changed a bit for the contest which has given the production team a few problems. The new version was not given to all the necessary people who led to some of the background images being out of synch today. In her conference, Soraya said she is also having small problems with her shoes. As for her chances of winning, “It’s not in my hands to win, it’s only in my hands to make a good job. You just saw some things here, but we’re hiding the clothes.”
You can see photos of the press conference by following the links below, or by visiting the Photo Albums section.