Today was the second day of rehearsals and press conferences. The first country to rehearse was Poland, although the press conference didn’t take place until this evening.
When she did speak to the assembled media, Isis said that the song is about her husband. She first started singing in public in church at the age of seven.
Ireland up next and Dustin the Turkey drew the biggest attendance of the week so far. It would be true to say that the conference wasn’t conducted in the most serious fashion. He commented on being described as a novelty act and said "Can you believe the British said I was a novelty act, what about Andy Abraham their singer! He used to collect rubbish now he sings it!" He wasn’t even fazed by a question about his sexuality, “Whatever gets me the votes I’ll take it any way.”
Gisela and the Andorrans said they were happy with their first rehearsal, although the sound is not ready yet as the stage is not what they are used to. They also have to make some changes to the choreography. They had better get on with it then.
In a statement that may have sent shivers of fear through the Irish delegation, Laka from Bosnia said that as the chicken seen in the preview video wasn’t allowed on stage, they made soup out of it. He expects to receive 12 points from the UK as he had such a good time in London during his promotional tour.
On a day when two of the favourites took to the stage, one of them, Sirusho from Armenia, told the press that ‘Qele’ means ‘Come On’ and this is the message of the song. Her parents are also famous in Armenia and it is they who influence her the most. The expected pyrotechnics could not be used in the first rehearsal as the necessary paperwork could not be completed in time.
In one of the most sycophantic of the conferences so far, Hind from the Netherlands declared herself happy with everything and she has always wanted to sing in the contest.
Finnish representatives Teräsbetoni, when asked why they were singing in Finnish instead of English, revealed that it is because they want to stand out from the other Finnish bands singing in English.
Romanians Nico and Vlad said they were singing in Romanian and Italian as they are both Latin languages and therefore combine well. They revealed the problems they had filming the video. After waiting all day for the sunlight to be right, they had about four minutes to shoot a key part of the video.
The bookies favourite, Russia, were up next and Dima explained the concept behind the performance, in which he is joined by a violinist and a champion ice-skater. "We are three friends, like in Heroes; the idea was born one year ago. There has never been a pop singer, violinist and Olympic Champion on the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest before"
Kalomira from Greece felt she had no problems at all during her rehearsal. She said that her dress for the Semi-Final had been designed by Jenifer Lopez‘s company.
There will be more press conferences tomorrow, when the first nine countries competing in the second Semi-Final rehearse for the first time. We will, of course bring you a summary.