It's Engelbert's smile bathed in light
All the Semi-Finalists have now concluded their second rehearsals, leaving just the six automatically qualified finalists to complete their second rehearsals on stage. The first of these is Engelbert Humperdinck from the United Kingdom who has the unenviable task of being the first performer on stage in the Final on the 26th of May with the song Love Will Set You Free.
The 76 year old singer has a career that has spanned over 45 years in the international music industry. But, even with all this experience, he still requires time before his rehearsal to prepare himself physically and mentally to get himself focussed and into the zone, prior to going onto the stage.
We took the opportunity though to get some photographs with him, as he made his way through the corridors into the arena,
The man in black
With less than 24 hours since he was last on the stage of the Crystal Hall, there was very little that had changed in the presentation of the United Kingdom entry. Engelbert Humperdinck was dressed all in black for today's rehearsal.
The lighting is particularly effective during the song, as initially Engelbert is silhoutted in the spotlight in the centre of the stage, and then the lighting gradually increases as the guitarist and the two dancers take their roles in the song.
As the song progresses their is some black and white lighting on the LED screens, before it change sinto a blaze of red as the song reaches it's climax. The pyrotechnic effects that were used in the final run through yesterday however weren't used today.
There is a particularly effective shot of Engelbert as he looks straight down the camera lens on the key change, raises his arm and points with his finger on the word 'you'.
Known around the world (except for Sweden!)
When it came to the press conference which followed shortly afterwards, which was well attended, Engelbert showed that he was in fine form, especially when one of the first journalists from Sweden admitted that she hadn't hear of him prior to the contest, to which Engelbert replied "that's alright, I've only sold 150 million records worldwide."
He continued to play on this throughout the conference, joking that he was known everywhere, (except for Sweden), and amused everyone who was present. He was delighted to have the opportunity to have a new generation of fans, as a lot of people had not heard of him for a while, and was pleased that Love Will Set You Free had been number one in the Amazon download charts, and that this was a great start to try and win the contest on Saturday.
Engelbert thought that Love Will Set You Free has a great storyline, it's a love song, about a girl who is not in love with the guy, and that people can relate to it, as they may have gone through the same. He praised the two songwriters for the quality song and hopes the song will become a standard, by achieving the same sort of longevity that some of previous hits have enjoyed.
He considered it a great honour to be representing the country, and a great thrill as an artist to be on stage in Baku. Every venue he has been to is a new experience, such as when he was in Australia, where he performed in a huge park in front of 125,000 people. He particularly loves Australia, as his son lives there, who also happens to be his manager.
Following the press conference, to the delight of everybody he then went on into the press centre to meet and chat to press and fans.