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 act is coming together more and more and will look as intended. The idea of the paper background is to do something different than the graphics that are usually seen. She is therefore grateful for the two ladies who move all that. You see a pair of hands, so that is not a mistake, it is really the intention. Lesley has written a few songs with Sanne Hans (Miss Montreal). She really enjoyed working with her and really hopes that she will watch the performance next week.
14.34 Vasil enters the press room, dancing to the remix of his song. The rehearsal was much better than the first, he says. The team is ready. “This is not for me, but for you,” he says. His recent coming out as being gay has not changed much, he says, but it just proves that he is on the right track. It feels strange not to have backing vocals with him, but the Chicago Children’s Choir, which he knew from his youth, can now be heard on tape. That means something very special for Vasil. Still, he thinks the vocals should actually be live.
12.44 The second rehearsal went well, they enjoyed it more than the first. It went much better, of course there is still some room for improvement. Regarding support in Congo, where he originally comes from, he talks about his father who supports him in participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. His father is definitely his biggest fan. He says about his clothing style that he loves clothes. He tries to wear what he likes, bright colors. He likes fashion. He says about diversity that it has an impact on him if he can be a role model for people who recognize themselves in him.
12.20 Manizha opens with attention for the shooting at a school in Kazan, Russia. She urges people to ask for help if they need it. Manizha mentions the Russian women behind her in the act, they are very open according to her: open up! Now that she had the chance to be on the biggest stage in the world, she wanted to do it with a message. About people who were negative about her because they would rather have seen Little Big at the Eurovision Song Contest, she says that she is not here for hate. Yet she has a message: if you want change, you must first look at your own bad sides and do something about it.
11.56 Ana Soklič is happy with today’s rehearsal. She does feel pressure. Unfortunately, she cannot look at the beautiful graphics, as she has no time. The gospel choir that was not supposed to be in the Eurovision version has been added because of the many positive reactions. The background singer does indicate that she misses the rest on stage. Darja Švajger: (ESF 1995 and 1999) gave her advice: have faith!
11.31 The Roop was pleased that “Discotheque” had been translated into sign language. They thank Mirjam Stolk (the sign language interpreter) for this. The Roop chooses yellow because that is the color of hope, and we need it: hope, positivity, sunshine. The Roop says they aren’t really party animals. On stage they are very alert, after that they prefer to go to sleep.
photocredits: Instagram The Roop
11.05 Australia’s turn earlier; Montaigne will not be present live in Rotterdam. She is disappointed that she cannot follow the energy and the performances. She does not know whether she wants to participate again next year. She never says never.
photo credits: Montaigne