A large crowd of several hundred accredited attended the first rehearsal of My Heart Is Yours. Both Norwegians and foreigners in the production team and among the press were eager to see the Norwegian stage show.
In the performance, Didrik Solli-Tangen started alone on stage in a single spotlight, smoke slowly whirling around his legs. The performance takes place inside a high half circle of theatrical curtains, a backdrop similar to the one used for the Latvian and Belarusian entries.
After singing alone for a while, a choir appears to Didrik's left. Then, simultaneously with a steady cam spinning around Didrik, the choir moves outside of the frame to a spread-out position behind Didrik. The curtain begins to whirl.
After testing the smoke for the performance, the Norwegian delegation went on to ask for a rehearsal without it. Seeing the result, they felt that this was better than before and decided to drop the smoke altogether.
For the last run through of the rehearsal, pyrotechnics were used. These appear at the end of the song, in the far back of the stage, where moving cascades of silver spray appear.
Eurovision Song Contest fans will note the Norwegian backing singers. These contain members of the house choir from the national selections Melodi Grand Prix, with experience from several Eurovision Song Contests. Most noticeably, Jorunn Hauge and Karianne Kjærnes in the choir also appeared on stage with Alexander Rybak in the winning entry of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Now as then, they are wearing lilac dresses.
"A great load of fun"
Entering the press conference later in the afternoon, Didrik said that he was pleased with his first rehearsal.
"It was a great load of fun, I got a flashback from the Norwegian final," he smiled.
A Norwegian journalist asked when he decided to go from an American accent to a British accent in the performance of the song.
"After the Norwegian final, some newspapers pointed out that I pronounced the word heart with an American accent. I like to improve, so when we discussed this, I decided to change it into British," Didrik said.
The interest for the press conference, as with the rehearsal was very high. The Norwegian journalists present asked critical questions on several different topics, and it appeared to other attending journalists that they eagerly wanted to have something to put in tomorrow's paper Even the backing singers got a question regarding the fact that after the national selections, a song without backing vocals had won and would go to the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo.
The journalist noted that they had said that they would do anything to get to the Final, and apparently they succeeded. However, backing singer Jorunn Hauge, who got the responsibility to reply, declined to give a full answer. "We can't say that," she replied with a secret smile.
Didrik ended the press conference with performing a version of Queen's Don't Stop Me Now.
Didrik Solli-Tangen was born on a summer day twenty-two years ago outside of Porsgrunn, a town situated a couple of hours south-west of Oslo, Norway. He had a typical Norwegian childhood and among his interests were off-road biking, skateboarding and of course, music. When he was 15 years old, Didrik formed a band with some friends and became a drummer. One day, the lead singer wanted some back-up harmonies, and he turned to Didrik. Didrik then discovered his voice; he started performing in front of classmates and family, and joined the local "high-school musical."His father got Didrik a professional voice coach, Anders Vangen, the best vocal coach in the area. Didrik’s father wanted his son to move in a classical direction, but Didrik adamantly refused; he was heavily inspired by Robbie Williams and his likes. However, his coach slowly introduced him to great operatic singers and it didn`t take long before Didrik learned to hit the high "C". Didrik is currently a full-time student at the highly acclaimed Barratt Due Institute of performing arts in Oslo.