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A song and a dance about a Russian girl for F.Y.R. Macedonia

04 May 2011 at 13:19 CEST

Before their first rehearsal, the F.Y.R. Macedonian delegation prepared calmly backstage. "We are prepared to go on stage and to see that all we have in mind functions on the stage. I think it will be okay," Vlatko Ilievski said. "We do this rehearsal to feel the stage for the first time and see how deep, high, see where the stairs are, those kinds of things. This is a technical rehearsal. But I always go 100%, I will do the same thing here as on the 12th of May."

Vlatko Ilievski reveals that he previously hasn't sung the song for a long time. "We haven't prepared much. I've just tried the song for the first time, I haven't sung it for two months. I would just make some mistake if I sing it over and over again. When you do that, you're trying to find new things, and I don't think there's a need of new things in the song."

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In the rehearsal, the F.Y.R. Macedonian team showed a lively stage act fitting the cheerful song Rusinka, the lyrics of which talk about the love of a Russian girl, in fact. Vlatko Ilievski sang the biggest part of his entry in his native Macedonian language, with only the first verse being changed to English.

Vlatko Ilievski was playing the guitar during his stage performance, and at one part, he entered the catwalk with a megaphone, singing parts of the chorus with it. However, the catwalk was not being used during the final camera rehearsal.

On stage, he was accompanied by five backing dancers wearing white tracksuits. Four of the dancers were male, with one female dancer. Vlatko's stage clothes for the Semi-Final were also shown to the cameras, a white formal suit.

The LED screens in the stage background displayed the Macedonian word "Музика", which means music in English, within a turning cube. The main colour of the stage lighting was red.

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In the press conference, Vlatko Ilievski explained the fact that he is both a professional singer and actor, having starred in several theatre plays and in the first ever TV series shot in F.Y.R. Macedonia. When he was asked if he preferred singing or acting, he replied: "Musical!"

"Everything I do, I do in the last few minutes before completing a song", Vlatko explained. "When I called the hiphop artist to write the lyrics to my song, he called me back after twenty minutes and said he was ready. He decided to tell the story of a Russian girl he met before, as one motive of the melody reminded him of Russia," he added.

When Vlatko Ilievski was asked about his previous statement saying he loved to perform in small venues in front of forty people, he stated that he would do the same even during the rehearsal weeks: "We can have a gig anywhere! When I have a guitar with me, we can sing until the morning."

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Vlatko Ilievski, one of the most popular pop rock singers in F.Y.R. Macedonia, is well known for his many talents: he is a musician, an actor, a composer, and a TV host. His fascination with music began when he started playing the guitar and the piano at the age of nine.

After performing with his band at rock festivals, he was offered a lead singer role in the hard rock group Moral. He was only 15! During that period, due to his voice and looks, Vlatko was called the Macedonian Jon Bon Jovi.

Their album Koga Patuvam, released in 2003, was a big success. Vlatko launched his solo career with the hit Ušte Si Mi Ti and has since made numerous successful appearances at many festivals. His latest album Najbogat Na Svet, released in 2010, still tops the national charts.