Today saw the start of the second round of rehearsals. Thirteen countries from the first semifinal rehearsed again, and also gave press conferences.
Montenegro was first, and singer Andrea Demirovic and writer Ralph Siegel said they were happier with the second rehearsal. The assembled press were treated to a rendition of the Siegel song, Moskau, originally recorded by Germany’s 1979 entrants, Dschingis Khan.
Czech.cz lead singer, Radoslav Banga, was again keen to stress the importance of his gipsy background, saying that for him to sing in the Eurovision Song Contest was a big step for the representation of gipsies all over the world.
The Belgian delegation were keen to reassure everyone that Patrick, whose voice was suffering from the effects of a cold during today’s rehearsal, will be perfectly ok by the time the semifinal starts next Tuesday. Patrick demonstrated how he manages to style his hair, with the help of plenty of grease.
Connoisseurs of ice-cream will want to stalk the Belarusian delegation. In answer to a question, it was revealed that they have brought 36000 ice-creams with them to Moscow. This equates to 20 ice-creams for every journalist.
Sweden’s Malena Ernman has to interrupt her preparations in Moscow to briefly return to Stockholm for a performance.
The Slovakians stage presentation is simple. The idea behind it is "everything genius has to be simple!"
Andorra’s singer, Susanne Georgi, was asked about the new voting system, "I’m happy about it, it’s a good thing to make changes to test this year how the half jury, half televoting will work. It’s a pity we don’t have the jury for the Semi-Final though." She also said that the sound in the second rehearsal was better than the first.
Lovebugs, who will represent Switzerland, are also happy that juries have been reintroduced to the contest. Switzerland has suffered poor results in recent years and they feel that juries will help improve their points total.
Details of Hadise’s outfit were given by the Turkish delegation. Apparently, she will wear a red costume in the semifinal, although exact details were kept secret. As the semifinal was specifically mentioned, perhaps we can expect a different outfit should Hadise find herself in the final.
In the Israeli press conference, Noa was asked about the political tones of There Must Be Another Way. She explained that since Yitzhak Rabin was murdered, she has been unable to ignore politics in her songs. She also said she is proud that her song is a song of peace.
Stories have emerged that the Bulgarian singer, Krassimir Avramov, had been in hospital as the result of an accident. He took the opportunity at his conference to deny there was any truth in these stories, dismissing them as “gossip”.
Yohanna has recorded versions of her song, Is It True, in many languages. The Icelandic singer won over the local media when she sang her song in Russian at her conference.
Unlike the Turks, the Macedonians are keeping tight-lipped about their outfits for the big night. They had asked for the LCD screens on the stage to display lighter shades than were on show during the first rehearsal. This had been done, in addition to a bit more colour being added to produce a less dark effect.
You can see photos of some of the press conferences by following the links below, or by visiting the Photo Albums section.