The well-oiled machine at the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv results in a clockwork routine. Artists arrive an hour before their rehearsal and swiftly pass security before making their way to their dressing room, where they have time to dress up, to arrange their hair and make-up and do a quick vocal warm-up.
Before going on stage, each artist gets wired up with in-ears and receives the right microphone for their performance. As soon as they enter the stage, their 20 minutes of rehearsal time start, allowing each country to rehearse the entire performance a few times.
Unlike during the previous rehearsal round, press can now attend the rehearsals inside the venue.
Sometimes, the second rehearsal is very similar to their first. When the artist's team requested ánd was granted specific changes or improvements by the production team, a second rehearsal could lift a performance to new heights. The production team tries to be as accommodating as they can be within the limited time they have between rehearsals.
Right after their rehearsal, a delegation makes their way to the so-called viewing room, where they get the chance to review the actual recording of their performance. At the end, they choose which 30 seconds they wish to reveal online — a exclusive novelty introduced this year by Eurovision.tv.
From the viewing room, the artist makes their way to the press conference room, where eager journalists and bloggers are already waiting to fire off whatever questions they may have during a 20-minute meet-up.
This year, artists also record part of their so-called postcard during their second visit to the venue. The postcards are the short clips between songs, during which commentators have the opportunity to introduce the contestants to the millions of viewers at home.
Earlier today, Eurovision.tv spoke with Postcard Producer Marta Rodionova, who explained the idea between this year's postcard concept: "Each postcard will be different. We want to tell the personal journey of every artist," she said. As viewers often don't know the contestants from other countries, Postcard Producers traditionally try to give the best possible introduction one can give in 35 seconds — which is the amount of time they have between songs. This year, the postcards start as the artist enters the stage, following a flashback in time. "We will be showing the artist in everyday life, meeting friends, while they're sleeping on the plane, and so on," Marta said.
Marta Rodionova and her team have, together with Show Producer Stuart Barlow, worked on the concept for two months. Marta: "As part of the postcard, the artist will also do a video in mannequin style, but different from what people are used to. As we didn't want to disturb them shortly before their live performance, we decided to record it in advance."
The part of the clip that contains the journey to Kyiv has been filmed by each artist's team. "Our main concern was that these contributions would look very similar. But after receiving their clips, we realised everyone has a special story to tell. One country even has a big surprise. It is gonna to be a huge announcement," Marta revealed.