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Israeli diva back on the Eurovision stage

04 May 2011 at 14:08 CEST

Preparing prior to her first rehearsal, Dana International arrived backstage in sunglasses and a shiny white jacket. When all was ready for rehearsing, she had plenty of time to wait, and sat down in a sofa, eating a banana. She was focused on the rehearsal and didn't comment on her preparations.

However our photographer from managed to take a few pictures of the Israeli artist.

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Similarities in visual presentation

On stage, Dana was accompanied on stage with five female backing vocalists, who are standing in two rows, on the left of the stage. They are wearing very classy mid length dresses. Dana Internatonal was still sporting her sunglasses throughout the performance. She was wearing a white jacket, jeans and black boots.

The background images on the LED screens comprise red and blue circles that pulsate and move around the screens. There is minimal choreography, and the presentation is not unlike her performance in 1998, in that Dana enters on stage from the left hand side, and once inposition centre stage, she concentrates on the vocal delivery, with some small dance movements.

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There is new backing track arrangement of Ding Dong,  Hear and see how the song is presented below.

Unfortunately due to a delay in her flight arriving in Düsseldorf. The planned press conference for Israel had to be cancelled. However after coming off stage she had a short interview with

 I'm sure this will be the best Eurovision ever.

"I was number one in the UK thirteen years ago. Then I was very young. Now, I'm much older, and I care nothing for number one. Of course it would be okay, but I'm here for the adventure, because I know that Germany will make the best sound, lighting and screens. The Germans are leading the world in so many areas."

She implies that this is her final time to do something big.

"In three years I'm going to look like a grandmother, and I just told myself that I had to do this once again. This time just for myself, without the tension and all the bad things that has happened to me. Without giving a damn whether it's number five, fifteen or twenty. Que sera, sera!"

As a former winner, Dana has plenty of experience. She is critical to people's attitude to the Eurovision Song Contest.

"People don't treat Eurovision with respect. When you're going to represent your country, they say that you're going to be number twenty-five or so. But when you're coming back with good results, everyone's cheering and say that they knew that you would do good. If you don't come back with top five, they don't care about it."

She sees a lot of change during all the years since she last participated in the Contest.

"I'm just happy to get to go through these ten days. Thirteen years ago, we were far fewer countries, and I was just there for four days: A few rehearsals and the show. Now, it's like military order."

More about Dana International

Dana was born in Israel and grew up in Tel Aviv as a boy named Yaron Cohen. In adolescence, he started to feel that something was different about him. That he's not like everyone else. He started to discover the Tel Aviv nightlife, and there, in the dark nightclubs that allow everyone to be who they really are, the transformation started; a transformation that began with a recognition, an understanding, and ended three years later when the shy teenage boy became a beautiful girl, Dana.

Dana's victory in the 1998 contest had a strong impression on the world, and she became a cultural icon. In Israel, on the night of the victory, thousands of people celebrated on the streets, and Dana has been a star ever since