Day 4: Eurovision turns into a forest

Day 4 2015 Rehearsals

ISRAEL

Israel was the fans’ pre-favorite last year but they failed to even make it to the final. An uptempo song is the best way to stand out this year so maybe they have better chances this time? Three dancers and two backing vocalists fill up the six-on-stage rule. The performance is pretty much what could be expected. Pyros are being used as well.

– I’m super blessed to be in Eurovision as I’m only 16 years old, Nadav comments.

When asked if he thinks he has better chances over the ballads, he answers;

– Everyone’s allowed to bring Eurovision whatever music they want and I want to bring the party!

LATVIA

Picture: EBU

How many people are needed to help Aminata and her dress on stage? Three apparently. The performance itself is a upgraded version from national final. Red remains the dominant color and three backing vocalists stand on the side.

Next week Aminata will also have some tattoos on her skin which weren’t seen in today’s rehearsal.

– I will have a triangle tattoo on my arm which symbolizes air and maybe an owl on my chest.

Aminata’s mother is Latvian and father from Burkina Faso.

– Of course my background influences my music as well.

In her press meeting, Aminata together with the backing vocalists performed acoustic version of ‘Love Injected’ and received a standing ovation.

AZERBAIJAN

Picture: EBU

This time Elnur Hüseynov is on Eurovision stage without the angel wings. Instead, there are now two dancers in grey outfits, fitting this hour of the wolf -theme. The backdrop features a moon and nocturnal forest scenery.

– We had a very good rehearsal today. There are still some things we need to adjust a little.

Elnur represented Azerbaijan together with Samir seven years ago when Azerbaijan debuted. How has he changed as an artist since then?

– Lots of things have changed! In 2008 I was a young boy and now I’m much more experienced artist, that’s probably the biggest change. It’s great to be part of the 60th Eurovision!

ICELAND

Picture: EBU

A breeze of Icelandic air reached Vienna when Maria Olafsdottir climbed on stage. Northern lights, pink dress and barefoot are all there. Four backing vocalists join Maria.

Maria’s Eurovision memories may sound a bit different to others’:

– I watched Eurovision with my mom while my father was helping lambs to give birth. We then went to the barn to watch the baby lambs after Eurovision.

SWEDEN

Picture: EBU

The organisers had some troubles with the projection screen for Sweden causing a 20-minute delay. When the problems were fixed, Måns Zelmerlöw rehearsed and unsurprisingly his performance was identical to Melodifestivalen. The biggest difference is the slightly revamped graphics due to copyright issues.

– There’s still a lot of stuff that can be changed and that could be done better but I love the stage and lighting, Måns commented in his press meeting.

The singer also revealed his ‘routine’ before climbing on any stage:

– I was once playing in musical Grease and in the middle of my scene, I noticed that my zipper was open and I couldn’t do anything about it. That’s why I have to check my zipper for like ten times before I get on stage!

SWITZERLAND

Picture: EBU

Another forest backdrop and this time for Switzerland. Also drums have found their way back to Eurovision stage. The four backing vocalists bang the drums in their own choreography. Mélanie is wearing a white dress with a cape. Towards the end, smoke machines go wild.

– I was a huge fan of Britney Spears! But Celine Dion has influenced me the most, Mélanie told about her idols and sang a part of Celine Dion’s Eurovision winning entry ‘Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi’.

CYPRUS

Picture: EBU

Cyprus offers us an intimate performance under the starry sky. A simple performance with most of the action happening in the backdrop.

John is not yet sure how his album is going to be like as they are only starting to make first plans.

– I’m not sure about the genre of the songs but they will be lovely tunes!

Cyprus made a comeback this year and their pre-selection was a very long one with several different stages.

– It was a long journey – from 60 songs to one. I believed in my song since day one but when there are so many other contestants you don’t know what to expect. I was very pleased with the result, obviously! It was a long journey but I enjoyed it.

SLOVENIA

Picture: EBU

Maraaya, a duo consisting of Marjetka and Raay, rehearsed next. They are in Vienna with the identical performance as in EMA. And this includes their trademark – headphones. The LED screens are kept dark.

The duo is also a married couple, did the music collaboration come first or love?

– We met at a music academy in Ljubljana and we became a couple two months later at a freshmen party.

Maraaya’s trademark is to have headphones whenever they are performing, where did the idea came from?

– I used to be very afraid to be on stage. When artists record in studio, we have these headphones on and I feel very comfortable with them. Then I asked if it would be a good idea to have them also on stage and that’s where the idea came from.

POLAND

Picture: EBU

Last semi-finalist to rehearse was Monika Kuszynska from Poland. The backdrop feature – yes, that’s right – trees! Three backing vocalist and a pianist surround Monika. A simple, touching performance – a harmonic package.

Monika is the first artist in Eurovision who is on a wheelchair.

– Today was a crazy day! Everything is very well organized – even for a wheelchair user.

Monika reminds everyone to follow their dreams, just like she did after the car accident nine years ago.

– Everyone is different, we don’t need to be perfect. We are unique just the way we are – everything’s possible!

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