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Backstage: The tension is growing among the artists

16 May 2009 at 03:03 CEST

Sasha Son, Lithuania (starting as number 1)
"We just had a little celebration after the Semi-Final, on our way back to the hotel. It's very important for me to be in good shape. It's definitely a privilege to be the the one to open the Final. And it's good, because then I can just sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of the show. It's said that to be first is a good starting position, but I don't think that this matters. If people like your song, then people will vote for you, and if they don't like you, they will just forget you after your performance."

Noa & Mira Awad, Israel (2)
"We get in a nervous mood before going to stage. We really want to avoid doing stupid thing like stepping on the dress and falling. We are both very connected to the lyrics of the song. The presentation is not only a show but a try to connect to the lyrics. We are constantly connecting and separating on stage, like our two nations. And in the end we hold hands, which is our hope for the future."

Malena Ernman, Sweden (4)
"I'm fine, the rehearsals are fun. I don't have to prepare to get into the right mood, it just happens when I go on stage. I'm starting to feel used to this situation now. Things are relaxed, so now it's just about loading the batteries."

Daniela Vares, lead vocalist, Portugal (6)
"In a way, I'm really willing to go home now. I miss my parents and my friends and all of that. But on the other hand, this has been so cool. The cultural exchange, the friends that we've made. It's hard to leave. The best thing I will take with me is the meetings, the persons and smiles that you've met. Maybe you will not meet this people again, but at least you've seen them once. My voice was not so good before, and now I'm better, so that's the best preparation for me. Otherwise, we work on the energy. I think that people like our song for being different, since it's not really a common pop song. But I like the pop songs as well, so I'm not criticizing."

Yohanna, Iceland (7)
"I think that it's amazing that we are held as one of the favorites among some, we don't always get this much attention on Iceland. People at home are very happy for the attention, we really need it right now. I've been in this business for a long time, but never with this many people watching."

Sakis Rouvas, Greece (8)
"The rehearsals are going excellent. We always fine tune things and keep in shape, so it's no problem with three dress rehearsals for every broadcast. And it's no problem to dance and sing at the same time, I've been doing this for eighteen years."

Chiara, Malta (14)
"I think that I do this better for every time, so I like to do all the rehearsals. When I prepare to go on stage, I have to believe that I can do it. For the second Semi-Final I was sitting in the arena. It was good, and I'm happy that my friends went through – the people that I've known for a long time, like Sakis Rouvas and Svetlana Loboda."

Brinck, Denmark (16)
"I think that I had about four hours of sleep after the Semi-Final. We had a small celebration, but it was so late in the night Russian time. I was dissatisfied with the performance in the broadcast of the Semi-Final, since our sound mixing that went out wasn't as good as it should be. We are turning the choir down a bit and the lead up a bit, and hopefully it will be better for the Final. But anyway, I had some fun. It was great to share our song with a live audience. What this contest needs is a song that can sustain over time, but of course it's hard to recognize that kind of song in three minutes. That's my challenge – I have to be there with a million percent. I really sing with my life, with everything."

Oscar Loya, lead vocals, Germany (17)
"The mixture of songs that went through from the Semi-Finals was good. I think that it's really bad to be pre-qualified for the final. You get fewer rehearsals and get to perform the song one time less for the viewers."

Hadise, Turkey (18)
"I'm okay, a little bit tired. I long for Saturday when I get to do this, rather than Sunday when I can rest. We have worked so hard for these three minutes, so I think that it's time to have fun on stage for the last time in the Final."

Kejsi Tola, Albania (19)
"I think that it's good to have even more rehearsals, you feel more confident on stage. I've worked so much for this, so I think that I will represent myself and my country in a good way. In a few weeks, I just want Europe to think “Kejsi Tola” when they remember my participation."

Elena, Romania (22)
"I had a little problem in one of the rehearsals for the Final – I fell, but was caught by the backing vocalists. I changed my dress for the Final, which was why I tripped. But this shouldn't be a problem again. After performing on stage, I always feel great energy and confidence, it's a great feeling."

Waldo, lead vocalist, Finland (24)
"I was too lazy on the stage in the first dress rehearsal for the Final and missed a few cameras, so I was really angry at myself. But that's a good sign, cause I know that there's a lot of adrenaline running in my blood then. I still have the flu, but I don't mind doing all the rehearsals. This is just a psychic thing. The schedule is tight, but that's nice, it gets the energy high and helps me to stay focused."

Soraya, Spain (25)
"It could be both good and bad to be the one to close the show. You have to wait in an hour and a half, which is hard, but on the other hand, you're the last in the competition that people see. I have a tight schedule, but on the free spaces of time I try to breathe and be with my people. I'm thinking of my parents, that gives me a good feeling. In the rehearsals, there have been some things to change on the production side. I'm always saying that it's not good to be pre-qualified to the final, because we have less rehearsals and less promotion."