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Preparing for the Final – concentration and gravity backstage

29 May 2010 at 16:02 CEST

The rehearsals for the Final is the only time when all the artists are gathered before the big night. At this point, there are many concentrated faces backstage, but there's also room for jokes. checked the temperature with the artists backstage at the first rehearsal for the Final. Here's what they have to say.

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1. Safura, Azerbaijan

“Everything is exactly under control. I feel really confident. It's very great to be number one in the running order, I'm very happy for that.”

2. Daniel Diges, Spain

“There's a big competition going on this year. I cannot mention a clear favourite, as many of them can win. I feel this is the most difficult year ever!”

3. Didrik Solli-Tangen, Norway

“It isn't necessary to be nervous all the time, so I try to avoid it. I also need a lot of rest in order to perform well.”

4. Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira, Moldova

“We had some problems with the sound on the first rehearsal for the Final. Sometimes everything went quiet in the in-ears. We will try to sort it out. We've had some sleep now for the Final, that's very important.”

5. Jon Lilygree, Cyprus

“I try to take it as it comes, have a relaxed attitude and chill out. If you're too stressed out, I think it affects the performance. The best thing is to relax and see what happens. I had a bit of a hiccup on the first rehearsal for the Final, the nerves kinda got to me. But I think we can get some good votes from the juries, fingers crossed!”

6. Vukašin Brajić, Bosnia & Herzegovina

“You can never have too much rehearsing. I feel in good shape, I'll try to be as relaxed as I can be for the Final.”

7. Tom Dice, Belgium

“I have to be careful with my voice right now, I'm beginning to get tired in the throat. That's why I'm doing very few interviews at this point. I don't believe the people saying that Belgium is the favourite now, I think there are more great artists here. But I'll give everything I have in the broadcast.”

8. Milan Stanković, Serbia

“There are always things to improve in my performance. Sometimes, it's just a question of luck – if you manage to transmit the right energy. We are really sure of what we actually do on stage technically. I have a huge wish to show everyone what we are doing and sing this special song for them in the broadcast.”

9. Robert Wells, pianist, Belarus

“Most of the time I play live, but here, I'm just the one playing in the pre-recorded music. I think that the team made the performance very good looking. I think it's a wonderful idea with all the rehearsals. I've been around in big venues myself, but many artists here don't have that experience. And if you don't, you can get the chills from walking out on that big stage if you don't feel comfortable.”

10. Niamh Kavanagh, Ireland

“I feel good. My throat has been a little soar though, so I'm not supposed to talk too much. But no worries, it will be fine for the big night.”

11. Giorgos Alkaios, Greece

“Greece had done good in past years, but we'll see. We have good energy, and are cool – except in the performance. This is the first time for Greece in 12 years with Greek lyrics. Our first aim was to pass through to the Final. Now, our aim is to finish in top 10. I originally wrote this song for another artist, but I didn't manage to find the one I wanted. Then, Greek TV told me that I had to come up with a name, and in the end, I took it on myself. In all my life, I haven't believed in just luck. I believe that everything is written. We don't know what will happen in the Final, so we must live every day like it's the last.”

12. Josh, United Kingdom

“As a pre-qualified country for the Final, I think that we are still pretty well prepared. There are pros and cons of being pre-qualified. It's a good thing because we don't have to worry about the Semi-Final, but it's a bad thing that the 120 million people will only hear the song once. I hope this is the kind of song that people know the vibe of immediately when they listen to it. We're really fortunate with the running-order, because Greece is just before us, and that's a really good song to warm up to. I also warm up for 30–40 minutes before the performance.”

13. Sofia Nizharadze, Georgia

“I was so excited after passing through from the Semi-Final. But when I was supposed to go up at 7:30 the next morning, I had had so little sleep and felt so tired so that I was ready to kill myself. I'll do my best now to do the show as good as in the Semi-Final, or perhaps even a little better. It's very bad for me with all the rehearsals, because I haven't had all the time I need to rest. The artists passing through from the first Semi-Final had two days off, we from the second Semi-Final aren't as fresh, since we had to have the rehearsal for the Final right on the next day.”

14. maNga, Turkey

“The large amount of rehearsals allow us to calm down on stage. But actually, we don't need all the rehearsals for the Final. And with an almost empty arena, it's a different thing. With a crowd, it makes more sense.”

15. Juliana Pasha, Albania

“It was good to get to relax for two days after the first Semi-Final. Right now, I'm just wondering when this show is gonna end, because we're doing so many rehearsals. The rehearsals here are only to make us a little more confident. We have a lot of confidence already.”

16. Hera Björk, Iceland

“Everything is fine and as it should be at this point for me. We have our performance, and we won't even try to make it better now. You can't put all the decorations you have on the Christmas Tree. We want the viewers to feel that we are feeling great. If something happens on stage, you have to be able to improvise, and that's why I have all these professionals with me. We're meeting new artists backstage for the Final, because Semi one doesn't know Semi two, so we've been saying hi to everyone. In time, the air will get more tense, that's just how this competition is. The most important thing is to stay centered and connected to yourself.”

17. Alyosha, Ukraine

“I feel okay for the Final. The hardest part, the Semi-Final, is already behind us. I feel really good being alone on stage in my performance, this song is self-efficient and very close to people. It doesn't need any backing singers or props.”

18. Jessy Matador, France

“I feel good for the Final. It's an up-tempo song with a very agile performance, but we know our show well, so it's no problem.”

19. Paula Seling & Ovi, Romania

“We're fine, but we had a little accident on stage with the pyro in the first rehearsal for the Final. Ovi was playing the piano and accidentally pushed the button for the fire, and we couldn't stop laughing. Probably, we wouldn't laugh as much if it was in the live broadcast! We have good faith in our song.”

20. Peter Nalitch, Russia

“We'll probably be nervous for the performance on the night, as well as for the voting, but we've been pretty cool in the preparations. The rehearsals are very useful, they make us understand what to do in different moments. We have no special preparations before walking on stage, we just prepare by singing the song one time to get warm.”

21. Eva Rivas, Armenia

“I'm happy all the time here, happy and excited. For me, the most important thing is what my team and my country feel. I want them to be happy with me. I think that the show is going to be very hard. Most of them – not all of them – are very strong, and the show is very good. But I'm sure that the best song will win.”

22. Lena, Germany

“I hang out with a mix of all the other artists quite a lot. I'm good, the rehearsals feel good. But I'm so nervous.”

23. Filipa Azevedo, Portugal

“I really feel that this is the Final. I'm not nervous, but it's a big responsibility. Before I walk on stage, I pray and I sing a little bit to get the voice warm.”

24. Harel Skaat, Israel

“I feel great for the Final, I'm really excited. We were so nervous in the Semi, I think it was the most difficult Semi-Final ever. I really needed sleep more than rehearsals on Friday, that what's most important for the voice.”

25. Chanée, Denmark

“We've had so many rehearsals, so now it's almost like coming home when you go to stage. It's great. For the Final, we've got to know a lot of new artists backstage that weren't in our Semi-Final, which is very nice.”

The Final is opened by Alexander Rybak singing a version of his winning 2009 entry Fairytale. Alexander is honoured with a private dressing room backstage and hangs around a lot with the other artists. found him by the dressing rooms.

Alexander Rybak, Norway

“I'm just fine – I'm not even participating! As a winner, you get tons of responsibility. Many people will want to invite you to their country. And that's a golden opportunity, so you have to take care not to say no. And everyone are looking right at you all the time. I'm supporting Germany this year.”