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Beating hearts and drums for Romania

17 May 2012 at 15:17 CEST

It is lead singer Elena's birthday today, and backstage the whole band sang happy birthday for her prior to them going on stage.

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Elena is dressed in a black top with raised shoulder pads and a short orange skirt. The rest of the band are all dressed in white. We have a trumpet, saxophone, drum and accordion as the unique blend of Cuban and Romanian sounds are mixed together.

Feel good factor on stage

There are usually seven members of Mandinga, but only six can perform on stage according to Eurovision Song Contest rules. The other member, Tony is still in Baku supporting the band.

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The LED backdrop alternates between beating hearts, beating drums and shadows of people partying.  The choreography is very slick and well rehearsed. The whole effect conveys a feel good factor for the viewer and listener.

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Hopes are high in Romanian delegation

Mandinga arrived with a lot of colour, lead singer Elena in a multi coloured dress and the guys were all in different coloured suits.

The Romanian Ambassador in Baku attended the press conference. He said "I was really impressed with the show of the band today, the song is great. I think we have very good chances to win the Eurovision Song Contest this year."

"It was a good second rehearsal for Romania" said Head of Delegation Dan Manoliu. "I think that this year we will be in the top 5 in the Final, and have a chance to win the contest."

Elena and the group then sang another latino song in their press conference after a request from a journalist. The group said that they will be holding two concerts for their fans whilst in Baku.

Tenth anniversary of Mandinga

Mandinga were asked how the band started and explained "We started as a latin jazz group, just for playing music. In all of our concerts we always have musicians, I think it is the music that has kept us together. This month we will celebrate our tenth anniversary as a group."

A journalist asked what the next dance the group would show us would be. They answered "We have a lot of dances, if you come to our concert we will teach you at least three or four dances. We will have a lot of surprises for you."

There was also a surprise in store for lead singer Elena, when a volunteer brought through a large birthday cake and presented it to her. She then offered to share it with the press!.

The press conference was closed by the group making an acapella version of Zaleilah

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