We followed several delegations during their rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest to learn more about what actually happens during the event weeks.
Rehearsals at the Eurovision arena can be hectic and the artists have a lot to do during the day. It begins at the moment they leave their hotel, and ends several hours later after their press conference. We followed several different delegations every step of the way.
Caffeine at the ready
The day started at the hotel where the Sammarinese delegation stayed during their time in Kyiv. Participants Jimmie and Valentina grabbed a coffee before they travelled to Kyiv's International Exhibition Centre.
When arriving at the arena, the delegations get settled in and start preparing for their rehearsal. That varies from relaxing backstage to getting hair and make-up done and beginning vocal excercises. Ireland’s Brendan Murray warmed up with his backing singers and vocal coach Tine Verbeke, who joined via telephone.
Delegations are then given a safety briefing and taken to the in-ear monitoring room where they receive their microphones and test the sound. We chased down Norway’s JOWST whose performance includes a mask with over a hundred LED-lights. It is connected to a battery on his back, and becauses he moves a lot on stage, it has to be wired correctly. The final make-up is applied and then it’s showtime!
The show must go on
For the second rehearsals, the artists perform their song three times, one time with specials effects like fireworks or smoke. Bulgaria's Kristian complimented his team after he performed his entry: “They sing way better than me, so hopefully I won’t make a fool of myself.”
The viewing room
The viewing room is the place where the artists go after their rehearsal, to review their rehearsal. Eurovision.tv had the honour to join the viewing room with Croatia’s Jacques Houdek: "I love how the rehearsal went, the sound should have a little bit more atmosphere, but in general I’m very happy."
The goal is to make sure that the delegations are happy, says Mads Enggaard, who is the Viewing Room Producer in Kyiv. "We want happy customers here. After the first rehearsal, there are usually a lot of changes, but after the second rehearsal not so much. Only the fine tuning is left."
Meeting the press
The day at the Eurovision arena ends at the press centre, where the artists chat with the media and answer their questions. Estonia’s Koit Toome and Laura commented: "The most common questions we get are about our previous Eurovision experience and questions about our song," they said.
After the press conference finishes the artists leave the venue for their hotel. However the work doesn't stop there. There are more interviews, visits to Eurovillage and Euroclub and finally, some well-deserved rest!