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Tanja: "For two months, we rehearsed every single day"

06 May 2014 at 16:30 CEST

You have had two rehearsals already - how do you feel after that?

After the first rehearsal we asked for some small adjustments, and the second one was already brilliant. I was blown away because when I am on stage I don't see anything, we are kind of spinning around, just feeling the wind in the end of the song. Only in the viewing room I realised how great it looked. It was exactly how we wanted it, to keep it more intimate and maybe cleaner, just very simple.

One thing is definitely not simple: All that singing and dancing you do at the same time. How do you manage to do both live?

It's a huge compliment when people actually debate over this, but I am pretty sure I cannot sing playback during Eurovision (laughs). I really do sing and dance live, of course. I have my backing vocalists who sing as well, you can actually hear them, but it's not like they are singing for me and I am just moving my mouth. It's me doing both things.

How long does it take you to prepare yourself for a performance, including the choreography and vocals?

I perform a lot in Estonia, and it's always live - I don't even have full playback versions. I do a lot of musicals and on my concerts I have my dancers - we do everything in heels, we are dancing in them all the time. So the main strength is coming from my work, my experience. Particularly for Amazing, I did the choreography with Argo who is my dancer also on the Eurovision stage. For two months we rehearsed it every day, for three or four hours each time, and we skipped some days only when I had musicals or concerts. So, we've been working very hard, and it hurts a little bit when people say that it's not live. For me this was a great challenge as I have never danced like this before - usually I do different things, I have been dancing contemporary since 2001 and I have been singing like forever but I had never put them together like this before.

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Before you go on stage, do you do vocal training or some kind of warm-up like in sports?

Of course we are stretching - I cannot go without that. This actually takes more time than my vocal exercises. It is like sports in many senses because it takes a toll on you. For the rehearsals we had to do the act four or five times in a row, but in the viewing room they show you only the last time. You have to do everything 100% but you can hear that some notes are not pitch perfect and you notice my breathing. And even our stylist had to take into account our stage act because I have two body packs hidden on my stomach - I simply have nowhere else to put them. So it was very hard to create an outfit that is both a costume and sportswear.

Apart from sports and singing, one of your favourite pastimes is cooking?

Yes! I like cooking and I love to eat good food - I am a very curvy girl because of that (laughs). I don't have that much time to prepare meals at home but when I do I invite friends over. I am very good at the salads department, and I bake a lot. I have one dessert that requires a whole day of preparation. But that's why I do it only about once a year, usually around Valentine's Day. However my friends ask me for it all the time - 'when do we get the dessert?' 

So, back to Eurovision: What are your expectations?

It's easy: some people do like your song, some people don't. I am singing my song for those people who actually love what I am doing. I am just doing what I love to do, it's not someone else who's telling me what to do. I'm not even under management - I manage myself, every decision I take is mine. I cannot blame anyone else. I'm just expecting myself to do my best, and everything else is out of my hands.