Explosive start for the British boys in Blue

Rehearsal - Four LED screens and pyros

The first thing that is noticed as the props are being set up on stage for the United Kingdom's first rehearsal is four equally sized  LED screens that show the images of each of the band members, Lee, Simon, Duncan and Antony. 

The light rigging surrounding the stage was lowered ahead of their performance to compliment the LED screens. 

The boys were wearing very striking outfits, all made from the same Blue material but in different styles. Duncan was wearing a black shirt underneath his suits whilst Simon's suit jacket is sleeveless and Lee is wearing a waistcoat. Antony's outfit is the blue outfit with a black t-shirt underneath. 

In addition to the band there were also two backing backing singers, wearing black outfits, standing adjacent to the band. 

The rehearsal started with the obligatory sound check. There seemed to be a few issues with the sound to start with but they were sorted out quite quickly and the band had a quick vocal run through the harmonies before the backing track into play. 

The first run through of I Can revealed quite a significant change to the song with quite an explosive start. Blue are obviously wanting to make an impact using pyros during the first chorus. The huge LED screens are abstract images in shades of green that alternate during the song, in addition to the four smaller screens brought on stage specifically for Blue's performance. 

In addition the performance had an extremely powerful and once again explosive finish with pyrotechnics, including a firework that made was so loud it made people in the arena jump! 

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Video of the first rehearsal for the United Kingdom:

Backstage - Impressed by the stage

Blue arrived backstage in Düsseldorf Arena for the first time Saturday afternoon. Simon Webbe of the group grabbed a bit of snacks on the way to the in-ear rehearsal and had a chat with Eurovision.tv.

"I'm good, excited for the first rehearsal," he says.

He is just going to see the stage for the first time, on his way to the in-ear rehearsal room.
"I haven't seen it, only a diagram of it. It's not gonna hit home until you step on top," he explains.
Then he goes through the gate into the arena.

"Woow! God damn!" he exclaims.

Despite having performed in a large number of major venues, Blue is still impressed with the construction built for the Eurovision Song Contest. And on that stage, a lot of things are supposed to come together for the group.

"We hope to learn that we know what we're doing today! We don't know yet, since we've only had two rehearsals in the last three months, and the routines keep changing. But we have a week to sort it all out," he says.

*Have you planned something complicated?*

"Not too complicated, but we're not really dancers. We're more of a vocal group. But we decided that we will do a few steps here and there, and I have two left feet! We want to be entertaining for the crowd and the people at home."

Arriving on location in Düsseldorf revealed more of the Eurovision Song Contest experience to Simon.

"Now, I feel the buzz. For myself, I'm the kind of person that's kind of laid back about things, it's my way to relax. If I think about it too much, I'll get too nervous."

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You may know them already - But who are Blue?

Between 2001 and 2004, Blue were Britain's premium pop export to Europe. They enjoyed 40 number one singles across the continent. 

Blue sold 13 million albums, from their precision-tooled debut All Rise, to the more contemplative parting shot, Guilty. Their individual journeys over the last six years have taken in some heady heights. Opening the West End original cast of Legally Blondeand two starring stints as Billy Flynn in Chicago for Duncan.

A recent stretch in Blood Brothers for Antony. Two solo albums and a trip into movie stardom alongside Vinnie Jones for Lee. And a further two solo records that clocked up over a million sales and No.1's across Europe for Simon, the lead track on the Fantastic Four movie, alongside three weeks with Whoopi Goldberg in the West End inSister Act. And now the foursome is back for more!

Press Conference - Jumped on the opportunity

The United Kingdom press conference began with the official video for I Can being played before the boys entered room. 

The boys introduced themselves and the first thing they did was to compliment the stage. Duncan said, "It is absolutely massive. We were just picturing ourselves performing there". 

Blue were also asked about their participation and Antony explained the reason they entered Europe's favourite TV show was, "we were given the opportunity and just jumped on it". 

One journalist asked the guys why the stage was green, to which Simon replied, "we want to represent the Matrix". 

Lee explained how the guys have had their hand in everything from their own record label to choreography and the stage show so that they want to make the show perfect. 

Duncan was asked about the decision to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest and said, "we want to do our country proud and get some douze points instead of nil points. Eurovision is one of the biggest opportunities we have ever had and we want to grasp it".  

The moderators asked Blue if they know all the journalists in the room as they seemed to recognise people in the audience at the Press Conference. Lee said, "Most of the time people are good to us so it is great to see some familiar faces here". 

One question asked was if Blue win, would they defend their title the next year to which Lee said, "If we were given the opportunity we would probably do it again". 

Anthony spoke of his previous attempt to enter Eurovision to which he said, "I have always loved Eurovision, growing up in a Cypriot household where it is very popular". 

The guys sang a vocal version of I Can towards the end of the press conference that went down well in the hall. 

They also complimented many of the other entries from this year, saying that they were very humble to be there. Lee said, "We are very blessed to be able to take part here". 

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