Albania: A pedestal, cloudy skies and smoke effects
"Keep calm and think twice", that's one part of the chorus of the Albanian Eurovision entry, sung by Hersi. And indeed the young and charismatic singer appeared to be very calm when we met her backstage before her rehearsal. "I thought I'd be nervous but I am not!", she told us just before moving on to her soundcheck.
On stage in her first rehearsal today, Hersi performed in front of a dark blue backdrop, which was later displaying cloudy skies. She was standing on a pedestal, with her backing vocalists and drummer on stage level behind her. On the TV screens, the song starts with a close-up of Hersi, and then goes to wide screen.
Today Hersi performed in an elegant dark blue dress but she had already told us before that this is not the stage costume for the First Semi-Final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Smoke effects were used today, covering the stage floor and well visible in the wide camera shots.
Hersi proved her vocal abilities, showing both her classical musical edication and her experience in pop music. It was a very convincing performance that looked great on the screens.
A relaxed team backstage
"I love the international atmosphere here", Albanian representative Hersi told Eurovision.tv before her rehearsal. "I'm always curious to find out what people do differently when travelling somewhere. For example I learned that people here in Denmark kiss once when you meet, while in Albania it's four times."
The singer was in a good mood while mingling with the other delegations backstage: "I've been relaxing mostly since I arrived here. Now I'm getting excited, but I'm surprised that I am not nervous. I thought I'd be nervous but I'm not." Refering to her own song, One Night's Anger, she added: "It's like in the lyrics - keep calm and think twice. For now I really feel calm."
What can we expect in the rehearsal, what will the stage look like? "I've seen it and it's beautiful but I don't want to reveal it yet. You have to see it yourself", Hersi added before proceeding to her soundcheck.