Dark and atmospheric setting for Serbia
Day three of rehearsals is now under way at the Crystal Hall in Baku. The first country to rehearse today are Serbia. Željko Joksimović and his team rehearsed Nije Ljubav Stvar on the huge stage for the first time.
Željko Joksimović spoke to Eurovision.tv backstage prior to his first rehearsal, and said "We arrived yesterday, we're ready for the first rehearsal. We're pretty tired but everything is fine and the atmosphere is very good."
This is Željko's fourth attempt at winning Europe's Favourite TV Show, so could this be the year he is victorious? He adds "Well, it would be great to have the first place pleasure, but it's about more than that, to make good friendships also."
The Serbian team have been busy promoting their entry Nije Ljubav Stvar with several different versions recorded, including the new video with sign language. Željko explains "It was a pleasure working with Nenad on the video, and we have had a very good reaction from all over Europe."
Former Eurovision winner joins Željko on stage
The stage setting is dark and atmospheric, resembling an outer space like feel across the backdrop. Željko is very strong vocally, and the performance is artistic and captivating.
Željko is joined by four musicians, two girls on violin, one of whom is a former Eurovision Song Contest winner herself, Ksenija Milošević who was part of the 2007 winning Serbian team with Molitva. There is also a drummer,pianist and flautist in the team.
There are some particularly impressive camera shots during the musical interlude, when the two violinist girls are playing together, and also at the climax of the song when the whole team join Željko for the finale.
In the first Serbian press conference, the summer version video of Nije Ljubav Stvar was played as the team took their seats.
Last time for Željko as a performer
The moderator asked Željko about how he felt on the stage, to which he replied "I'm very happy because I saw the great stage, light in the arena. I saw many perfect people around. It's my fourth time in the Eurovision Song Contest, every time i'm very proud as I represent my country in a good way. I have been host of the contest, singer and composer. This will be my last time as a soloist in the competition".
When asked if he is here to win, Željko said "Everybody wants to be in first place, but first place for me is good friendship. I met my wife in the Eurovision Song Contest and she will join me later in Baku for a few days."
Željko commented on the language of the entry and explained the reasons why he decided to perform in the Serbian language. He adds "It's tradition to sing in Serbian, I spoke to many people and they told me that the song will sound stronger, and more emotional in the Serbian language. Everyone can feel my meaning and emotion when I sing in Serbian."
Before they closed the press conference, Željko and his musicians performed a medley which included his 2004 entry Lane Moje and also Nije Ljubav Stvar.