The first round of rehearsals finished, today, it was time for the first 13 acts of the first semi-final to rehearse for the final time before the first run through of the semi-final itself on Monday. After each performer had come off stage, they held another press conference.
Poland’s Magdalena Tul was asked how the contest is perceived in her country. "When we first took part in 1994, and Edyta Gorniak finished in second place, there was a big interest in Poland. In recent years, it hasn’t been so big but we got a lot of support in the Polish national selection, so we hope to change that this year." Is she worried about being drawn to perform first? "I like going first, I was first in the national final in Poland and won, and now I’m pleased to be first here. The only disadvantage with going first is that you have to get up so much earlier than everybody else."
Early bookies favourite, Stella was next to talk about the Norwegian entry. She said of her song, "My aim of the song is to spread joy and for people to learn the dance, which people to seem to do.” She was also asked how she manages with her hair, "I have a lovely stylist with me who curls my hair. I also want my hair to be as big as possible on stage so that it moves during the performance."
Hair was also a feature of the next press conference, held by the Albanian delegation. When asked about it, singer Aurelia said, "The hair style is special for today, not for the rehearsal. I had some flowers in the back of my head, so that’s why." She was also asked about the ethnic influences in her song. Her response was, "The song has something from Albania included. We all breathe the same in this big world, but we still grew up in different countries and have our small differences that make us individual. I don’t wanna push it too hard, but I’m from Albania, and I love my country."
In her conference, Armenian singer, Emmy, said of her song, "The song is me: Positive, full of energy and love." She also revealed some health problems she has been experiencing, including being sick, a nose bleed and the removal of a wisdom tooth.
At the Turkish conference, Yüksek Sadakat performed an acoustic version of their song. They were also asked about the fact that Turkey has recently shown a propensity to send rock bands to the contest. They believe that it is because rock bands write and arrange their own material instead of relying on a team, as pop singers do.
At the Serbian conference, journalists had the opportunity to ask questions to composer Kristina Kovač. She said of the lyrics, "The song I wrote is real, because the magical man is real, but I left him at home this morning! The other magical moment I had was finding the wonderful young Nina to sing my song."
Fresh from a successful rehearsal, Russian singer, Alexej Vorobjov, revealed that he is feeling tired after taking advantage of the opportunity to party.
Anna Rossenelli from Switzerland was asked how she prepares before going on stage. "Breathe, breathe, breathe…although I’m a little nervous, but once on stage it’s better." She was asked about her Dusseldorf ambitions. "It’s nice to be here and in a competition you want to win." Their first goal is to try and reach the Final, and after that it would be "cool to be in the top ten…or even win."
The Georgians treated the press to traditional dance to a live drum, which was performed by three children. Singer Sophio said that they were happy with how things are and that they will not make any major changes. She is more used to singing more gentle styles and had to learn how to sing rock when she joined Eldrine. "The guys helped me a lot, and it gives me a great experience," she said.
For Paradise Oskar, his song for Finland isn’t just about a Eurovision song, but that it was written for a reason. "I felt it was very childish that everyone was talking about those problems and nobody was doing something about it, but I don’t do anything either, that’s why I dedicate the chorus for myself. da da dam, da da dam…"
As had happened in their first conference, sunglasses featured prominently. Glen Vela was happy with how the rehearsal had gone, "I’m here to give a good vocal performance on the 10th of May. That is my aim and my team’s aim to, then it’s up to the voters."
Senit’s outfit at her rehearsal was viewed as very stylish, but she said that it wouldn’t be the semi-final outfit, this hasn’t been made yet. Ever the diplomat, Senit said of her competitors, "They are all amazing."
The last rehearsal and conference of the day was the Croatian delegation. Daria said, "I feel very good on the stage. It’s a huge stage; I have four backing singers and I hope I get to the final." But does she think she will qualify for the final? "There are 43 countries and they are all good, all good singers and great backing vocals. It will be hard for us."
Tomorrow, the reaming countries in the first semi-final, plus some of the second semi-finalists, will rehearse again and meet the media for a second time.