With the preparations for the contest well underway, artists continue to take to the Athens stage for their first rehearsals in the venue. Belarussian performer Polina Smolova and her four dancers appeared in front of an enthusiastic audience of press members and fans waiting to catch their first glimpse of the song Mum.
The rehearsal kicked off with a small vocal warm-up before Polina and her dancers went through the beginning of the performance, which sees a very dynamic street dance on stage before Polina steps over two of her dancers and launches into song.
Unfortunately, problems plagued the rehearsal from start to finish. The sound levels were off with the backing singer being considerably louder than Polina herself, but the sound issues did not stop there. During a run through of the performance, Polina again requested her sound level to be turned up.
The final rehearsals began with Polina's mic box coming loose and swinging wildly around until the performance had to be abandoned. The next run-through faired little better, as Polina began to step over her dancers and her foot caught a dancer, sending Polinatumbling to the stage. She did however get straight back up and continued with the song. At the press conference later on, Polina told the room how she had been learning the energetic dance routine for the last 4 months. The dances' choreographer said that the whole dance has been set up for those watching and he hopes that they enjoy to watch it.
Despite all of the problems encountered, Polina and company had high spirits during a disastrous rehearsal and managed to laugh off each mishap.
Kseniya wishes Polina good luck
A short time after the rehersal, Polina and her entourage arrived in the press centre for questions. The big one on everyone's lips was whetherthe 2005 paticipant, Angelica Agurbash, had given any advice to the young performer in preparation for her Eurovision performance. Polina replied that she had not been given any advice from eitherthe 2004or 2005 acts,but she is backed by a team of professionals and is hoping for a good result for Belarus. She did however tell us that she had been wished luck by the Belarussian winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2005, Kseniya Sitnik,who gave her a small talisman tobring the delegation luck in Athens.
An emotional performer
Polina admitted to being a very emotional performer having cried at one of her own songs, dedicated to thegrandfathers and grandmothers lost in the Second World War. She then gave the room a taste of the song.
Rumours of the song being changed to another composition shortly after Mum was selectedwere quoshed by both Polina and the song's composer, and theyexplained that although they did make changes to the original version, they are now happy with the song, and they hope that we too enjoy it. Polina also told how proud she is to be representing her country at a competiton which she thinks is interesting for all ages and nationalities.
Polina added that to be successful as an artist, you have to both beautiful outside and in. We can expect her to be paying close attention to her appearence on semifinal night. The press confrence ended with Polina thanking everyoneandexpressing her wishfor it tobe third time lucky for Belarus.