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Reporters in Rotterdam

Update on Ukraine’s Kateryna Pavlenko

After feeling unwell on Wednesday morning (12 May), the lead singer of Ukraine’s band Go_A, Kateryna Pavlenko, had a PCR test for COVID-19, in accordance with our Health & Safety Protocol. As a precautionary measure, Kateryna did not perform with her band in their 2nd rehearsal. We are pleased that today was confirmed  the COVID-19 test has come back negative. Kateryna is feeling better and looking forward to performing on the Eurovision stage next week.

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Liveblog: press conferences 13 may

Today, we will also attend the press conferences again. We will keep you updated with this liveblog. Find out what the artists have to say. 16.52 Hurricane singer Ksenija says that the rehearsal was much better than the previous one. They had made some small changes, some new things. But this is just a minor thing compared to what we’re going to see in the semifinal. The ladies have just had an interview with Nikkie Tutorials, and have enjoyed it. She has the same energy as the ladies and they could imagine that Nikkie would be the fourth group member. As inspiration they cite Knez, participant in 2015 and the father of Ksenija. Furthermore, the ladies indicate that they see each other so often that they are just like sisters from time to time. They say something about each other’s clothes, for example.  16.24 Tv-presenter Koos van Plateringen, who is hosting the press conference, asks Daði Freyr’s wife Maria how Laura is doing. She is fine, says Maria. This needs some explanation: Maria is pregnant and the baby would be called Laura. “It’s a working title,” Maria adds. Minor changes have been made to Iceland’s performance, Daði Freyr explains. The camera is looked into at different times than before. The members of Gagnamagnið are not normally dancers except in Gagnamagnið. When asked about his favorite video games, he says that three Playstations, a Nintendo and a Nintendo Wii have been brought along. The secret of the green jerseys dates back to 2017, when the group took part in the Icelandic national final. Live instruments may not be used, so old computers were put on stage. The jerseys are a result of those computers. Daði promises new music in the near future. An album will be released in 2022. 16.00 The Moldovan Natalia Gordienko is feeling much better than after the first rehearsal. Everything went better, she is satisfied. With the first she was much more busy with all kinds of other things, now she could focus. She and Filipp Kirkorov drew attention to the fact that the song contains the longest high note ever (17 seconds). It must be said that every question put to Natalia was partly answered by Kirkorov. Natalia still gets the chance to thank everyone for all the support. She’s been dreaming about this for fifteen years; she shows a picture of her child and says that all dreams can come true.  15.29 Rafał notices that things are getting a bit more serious. He says he is almost ready for the semifinal. Rafał’s father was a wrestler, and he wanted to do that too. A few injuries forced him to quit, and he switched to the music. Yet he has no regrets: he would do it again rightaway. Talking about the rehearsals: moving a lot and then singing is difficult. If you keep moving, you feel like you need to take a deep breath. That is the biggest challenge for him. The timing for singing and dancing is also different, which makes it extra difficult. He also says that he is a man of the 80s and was inspired by it. There are several retro songs on his album, and this had to be a retro song as well. 15:07 The stage and act are fantastic according to Vincent Bueno from Austria. As far as he is concerned, there are still small details, but in fact the whole team is ready for the semi-final. Of course you are nervous, but that is part of the deal. Vincent enjoys every moment. Of course he goes for gold, but in his opinion it should also be enjoyed. The song is about a situation such as a funeral, breaking up, letting go. Vincent has three children, one of which is no longer with us. She is like an angel in heaven who is always with him. Vincent also plays “Amen” on guitar. That is typically how they like it in the Philippines: simple, with a guitar. So his background as a Filipino certainly helps him in his musical career. He also cites Filipino fans as very loyal fans. One of the journalists also draws attention to the fact that many Filipinos in Europe work in healthcare.  13.43 The Greek / Dutch Stefania says she is very happy with the second rehearsal. The first time she was still nervous, that was now gone. The dancers also did everything well. She says this act was exactly what she and her team wanted. She is the youngest participant. She doesn’t care, she’s in Rotterdam to have fun. She is 18 years old and this is her dream. In her outfit she feels like Jennifer Lopez. She feels Dutch because they go shopping but then don’t buy anything and then do it online. She feels typically Dutch because she is open and hospitable, inviting people to dinner immediately. She keeps her voice good by not worrying. That’s advice she got from her vocal coach. They work hard: Stefania practices her Greek, the dancers practice a lot, because in her opinion nothing goes without saying.  13.19 We try to get to know the stage, Benny Cristo from Czech Republic says. Benny is much more satisfied with today’s performance than the first rehearsal. Benny is vegan. He does not want to shout that out loud, but he does want to say that he thinks the food in Rotterdam is fantastic. There is a very good vegan restaurant next to the hotel. Another thing he brings up that he enjoys is sprinkles. Back to the song “Omaga” he announces that it will definitely be a party. He is happy with the rehearsals, which give him the chance to keep it going! A painful moment comes when he is asked about his Angolan roots: the marriage of his parents ended in a fight divorce and his mother especially did not want to be reminded of everything that is Angolan. Now Benny Cristo has renewed interest in

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Day 6. Live Blog 2nd Rehearsals

Today we will follow the 2nd rehearsals again in Ahoy, and will keep you live informed  .                                               In Cooperation with: Eurovision Artists. Photo & Video Credits: EBU 14.45 – Serbia Hurricane puts on an okay rehearsal again today. A bit smoother in dance, but a bit more unstable in terms of vocals. With a 25th place in the polls it could just be that we will see the ladies back in the final. 14.20 – Iceland During the first rehearsal, Daði & Gagnamagnið already put down an act that was rock solid. The clumsy moveming and dancing … everything is part of the act, well thought out and perfected down to the last detail. Today they do that again. Singing and acting are rock solid. After the first rehearsal, they rose up to 5th place in the polls. They have a good thing going! Have we just looked at the winner of the festival? 13.55 – Moldova During the first rehearsal, Natalia Gordienko (except for the vocals) came across as a bit uncomfortable and ot at ease. Her high heels in particular seemed to be playing tricks on her. Apparently hard work has been done in recent days. Great act, Natalia shines, and the vocals were again more than okay. With 22nd place in the polls, it should be possible for Natalia to qualify for the final. 13.30 – Poland Rafał Brzozowski puts on a slightly more stable rehearsal today, a bit more organized and less chaotic. In terms of voice, he is by no means stable. With a 35th place in the polls, it doesn’t look like we will see Poland back in the final. 13.05. Austria Vincent Bueno impressed during the first rehearsal, with his sober act and staging, which fits perfectly with his song. Today he does that all over again. No change in his act, it is rock solid. With a 26th place in the polls, it should be possible to get a place in the final. 11.40 – Greece The Dutch-Greek Stefania surprised friend and foe with a spectacular act during the first rehearsal. Vocally  she stood firm in her high-heeled silver-purple boots. Today she admits some finishing touches. After the first rehearsal, she rose to tenth place in the polls. It is expected that her performance in the 2nd semifinal will certainly not be her “Last Dance”. 11.15 – Czech Republic During the first 2 runs Benny Cristo appears on stage wearing glasses today. Act and clothing are otherwise the same. Although the vocals are fine, Benny does not convince. Is he still holding back for the live show? As it looks now with a 32 place in the polls, a final place seems a long way off. 10.50 – Estonia. Uku Suviste sounds more stable in the second rehearsal. No changes in the act, sober and calm. Nothing wrong with that, but with a 36th place in the polls we do not see a place for Estonia in the big Final.     10.25 – San Marino Also today the big question was: will Flo Rida appear on stage. The answer was again: No. Rapper Don Jiggy performed again on stage. It was striking that Senhit has a photo of Flo Rida in the icon she wears at the beginning of the act, and half way she shouts out to the audiance: “Hello Rotterdam, are you ready to Flo Rida with me?” Singing and dancing are fine again. With a 13th place in the polls, there is a good chance that San Marino will qualify for the final again   10.00 – Malta Destiny appears onstage today in a different outfit. Silver colored top with pink stockings. The act has also changed. All this looks more dynamic than the first rehearsal. The vocals are again rock solid. Destiny received a lot of criticism after the first rehearsal, regarding her outfit, to which she countered sharply: THIS is exactly what my song is about: I do not have a size zero, but I wear what I feel good and okay in , and what YOU think about it: Je me Casse !! With a second place in the polls, making it to the final will not be a problem … but will she win the contest?    

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G0_A will perform 2nd Rehearsal with a stand-in singer out of precaution

The lead singer of Ukraine’s band Go_A, Kateryna Pavlenko, reported feeling a little unwell this morning. In accordance with the health and safety protocol she has undergone a PCR test for COVID-19 and, as a precautionary measure, Kateryna will miss this afternoon’s rehearsal and press conference. We wish her good health and will share more information when we hear the results of the test. The other members of Go_A have all tested negative for COVID-19 and will perform with a stand-in singer. They will also attend Ukraine’s press conference later, as scheduled.”

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Live blog press conferences

We will also follow all press conferences from today. We also do this through a live blog. We will keep you informed all day long. 18.48 Ukrainian head of delegation Oksana Skybinska explains that singer Kateryna Pavlenko did not feel well, had undergone a PCR test and is now waiting for the results. The other band members have done a daily quick test. Kateryna is doing well, she is taking a rest. The neon circles in the act represent “cyber tambourines”. The ancient Ukrainians believed that all rituals should take place in groups. These cyber tambourines are to help Kateryna awaken the spring. The band members indicate that it was quite difficult to reduce the 4-minute version of the song to 3 minutes. Actually, it felt like starting all over again. After talking about the bookies, band member Taras Shevchenko remarks sharply: “Yes, but we are not here for money, we are here for music”.  photo credits: EBU 18.18 Efendi says she was nervous but gave everything to show what she was worth. One sentence in the song is in Azerbaijan. It means “You don’t give up, you are a liar”. It’s in the song because it’s about Mata Hari. The eye in the act is in it because Mata Hari means “eye of the sun”. After “Cleopatra” and “Mata Hari” she might want to sing about another woman, but there are so many strong women in the world that she can’t choose. However, she says that in addition to songs about strong women, she also wants to convey other messages. photo credits: Efendi 17:58  Roxen from Romania says this is the first time at an event like this and she is enjoying it. She says that she had practiced in the hotel. “Amnesia” is really a song that suits her, because her mental state has not always been good, but now it is. She knows what it’s like, she says, asking for help and no one hears you. She wants to convey the message that you are no less if you are different. You are special! The act is to depict a fight of Roxen with her thoughts. Roxen does indicate that she is enjoying herself in Rotterdam. Sometimes she feels like she’s in a Netflix movie, and she even likes the Dutch rainy weather. Roxen chose her stage name because her actual name is Larisa Roxana and says that Roxen can do things that Larisa can’t. 17:31 Eden was more focused on the camera than before. She is proud of herself and her dancers. The crown can now no longer be seen only in the last take, but throughout the entire show. It’s good enough for the semi-finals, she says. She is impatient, she said earlier, but can wait until the semifinal very well. She learned a lot during the talent show “Hakohav haba”, for example how to dance. She indicates that the mix of different languages belongs to her: she is Israeli, she has Ethiopian roots. Step Vaessen from Al Jazeera wanted to ask a question about Eden’s feelings about the political situation in Israel. EBU did not allow this question. photo credits: Itay Bezaleli 17:08 Alex Callierfrom Belgian Hooverphonic says the band is satisfied with the exception of a few small things. Joking helps the band members to keep it relaxed. Even if you have a tour you should do that. The men do not want to say what jokes they are. Geike says she is in the Netherlands a lot, is happy with the directness of the Dutch and remembers immediately being helped when she had a breakdown. Geike had a lot of reasons to be in The Netherlands, she had a big hit with “Zoutelande”, together with Bløf. Alex says that there are many influences. He mentions a composer who made music without instruments. “The wrong place, if it were a movie, would be a Tarentino movie.  What band members Alex and Raymond love about Geike is that every performance with her is different. Geike herself experiences her return to Hooverphonic as a victory. She loves to look for an interpretation for all those songs by other singers that she now has to perform. Her return actually started as a joke, but it soon turned out that the band members were serious about it. 16.18 The composer of “Tick-tock” wanted to make something cheerful, cathy. He may have found his inspiration both in and outside Croatia. Albina, the singer, dedicated the song to her grandmother. Her favorites for this year are France, Italy and Russia. However, she believes that everyone has something special to bring, everyone has something different. They are asked about the fact that she went to the national final by bus. She thinks that is much more environmentally friendly.  15.51 TIX enters dancing and jumping. He jumps on the table to loosen the press a bit. “I am ecstatic,” he exclaims. He admits he hates the big white fake fur coat because it is way too warm. TIX says that at Christmas and New Year’s Eve he was alone to perfect the song. TIX does not want to tell about who wrote his song, because he wants everyone to identify with it. Asked for a message for children in need, he has tears in his eyes. “Whatever you experience, it will either be better or it go away. I myself have turned my greatest weakness into my greatest strength. ”  15.26  When asked how the second rehearsal went, Cypriot Elena Tsagrinou sings “Better than the first, so I’m very happy”. All problems that arose with the dancers have been solved today. Elena reveals that she has been practicing the difficult choreography every day since January. There is a connection with Lady Gaga: one of the song’s composers also composed for Lady Gaga. But, she adds, there are also a lot of differences. Recently, Elena has completely mastered the song and the act.  14:59 Lesley Roy says that everything in the

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Day 5. Live Blog 2nd Rehearsals

Today we will follow the 2nd rehearsals in Ahoy, and will keep you informed live.                                                 In Cooperation with: Eurovision Artists. Photo & Video Credits: EBU 17.15 – Ukraine Last of the day Go_A, performs with a stand-in (Emmy) for singer Kateryna Pavlenko. Kateryna did not feel quite fit this morning, and in accordance with the security measures, she remains in quarantine pending a Covid-19 test. Whether the stand-in Emmy sings live, or whether the tape recording from the first rehearsal was used, is not entirely clear. Fact is, whether you like this genre or not … the act is rock solid. With a 9th place in the polls, Ukraine will undoubtedly easily qualify for the final. 16.50 – Azerbaijan Also today, Efendi puts down a solid rehearsal. Here and there some minor flaws in song and dance, and a little more conviction than last Sunday. 21st place in the poll. A place in the final is certainly not excluded.   16.25 – Romania Roxen performs in the same comfortable as last Sunday. Although vocally a little bit stronger than during the 1st rehearsal, Roxen comes across as nervous and anxious, which does not help her voice and the strong message of her song. 16th in the polls … Final perhaps , if she manages to recover. 16.00 – Israel During the first rehearsal it became clear that it is sometimes difficult for Eden to combine singing and dancing. The whole act looks energic and modern, but also today, Eden has trouble with the combination of singing and dancing. 17th in the polls, but will Israel make it to the final?   15.35 – Belgium. Hooverphonic still impresses today with their modest, sober and well-thought-out act. A welcome change from all the visual violence. Only a 20th place in the polls, but hopefully thanks to the professional jury we will see Belgium back in the final. 14.45 – Croatia Vocally, this rehearsal sounds a lot better than the first. The act is well put together, Albina herself still seems a bit insecure and nervous. Hopefully she will get over that before Tuesday. Own the stage girl!! With a 19th place in the polls, a final place should certainly be possible. 14.20 – Norway Today TIX puts on a much better rehearsal than last saturday, when the nerves seemed to be playing tricks on him. TIX has a high favor- and sympathy factor, and with a 15th place in the polls, we would like to see him back in the final. 13:55 – Cyprus Elena once again puts on an okay rehearsal, occasionally she sounds a bit out of breath. With seventh place in the polls, Cyprus will reach the final without too much trouble. 1.30 pm – Ireland Hard work has been done in the Irish camp in recent days. The whole thing seemed very messy last Saturday, during the 2nd rehearsal all the graphics come into their own much better, and it seems as if Lesley is running barefoot through a book, turning the pages. Vocally, there is still some gains to be made. With a 24th place in the polls, the question is whether it is all good enough for a final place.   13.05 – North Macedonia While there were some minor flaws in his vocals last Saturday, today Vasil puts down a solid rehearsal, although it seems that, especially at the end during the last blow, he is holding back to spare his voice. North Macedonia ranks 32 in the polls. It is very doubtful whether Vasil will be able to qualify for the final.   11.40 – Australia Just like last Saturday, no rehearsal in Ahoy , since Montaigne is not present in Rotterdam, but an exclusive preview 11.15 – Sweden Tusse had still some problems with his voice last Saturday, this now seems to have recovered completely. On stage there was an apparently self-assured, radiant Tusse, with a well-thought-out, slick act as we are used to from Sweden. Sweden ranks 10th in the polls. We will certainly see Tusse in the final   10.50 – Russia No changes in the act here either. Solid and stable act and vocals. The powerful message / ode to the Russian woman is very clear! Russia is ranked 14th in the polls. Finals should not be a problem. We would not be surprised if Russia managed to get a top ten, perhaps even a 5 position  in the final 10.25 – Slovenia. In the second rehearsal for Slovenia, Ana comes out better than last Saturday. More confident in her singing and movement across the stage, although it seems her shoes are killing her. Slovenia is in 35th place in the polls. A final place will be a challenge. 10.00 am – Lithuania. The Roop shows  a solid,  dynamic act again in the 2nd rehearsal, with little or no changes. The Roop is ranked 8th in the polls. A top ten listing should certainly be possible for the Roop.  

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Recap of the 4th rehearsal day

Today was a day of pleasant surprises. Georgia showed us a beautiful act, although we still don’t get Tornike’s behaviour during the last performance. Albania and Portugal surprised with great performances. Finland and Denmark did exactly what we expected from these countries: Finland gave a rock performance and Denmark brought us back in time. The performances of Bulgaria and Switzerland made us gasp, nothing more, nothing less. Biggest disappointment? Maybe Latvia. The Latvian performance is okay, but it did not stand out, especially not in this strong field of participants.  

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Rehearsal Denmark: eighties coming back

With lots of blue and purple graphics that remind you of the disco of your youth, with glittering suits in purple and silver and with the song “Øve oss på hinanden” you are completely back in the 80s. miss, with singer Jesper Groth halting the rehearsal. Soon the duo started again. Jesper’s vocals were unfortunately a bit poor. It should not spoil the fun: the song of Denmark remains the guilty pleasure of the year for a large group of people. in cooperation with Eurovision Artists

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Rehearsal Switzerland: no Duncan Laurence imitation

No Duncan Laurence act with a piano for Swiss Gjon’s Tears. He stands on a scaffold of white stone (or just styrofoam). Dressed in black trousers and a black glittery blouse, he sings his song. In the background we see black and white graphics. The vocals are perfect: Gjon hits every note, even the very high ones. Gjon’s Tears impressed very much with his performance.   in cooperation with Eurovision Artists

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Rehearsal Latvia: of green and gold

The color that Samanta Tīna and her backing vocals wear is green. It is remarkable that the backings wear the same mudguards they had when they won the national final last year. In the background, we see golden graphics that are a cross between a snake print and a turtle shell. Then two pairs of hands rise above that, also gold. Samanta has a strong voice, with which she brings this song perfectly. The song itself is and remains one for the connoisseur.

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