The start of the second day of rehearsals for the Semi Finalists, saw Dima Bilan for Russia on stage for the first time with his song Never let you go. Also on stage are two female backing vocalists and two ballerinas. The most unusual addition is a girl who is inside a piano on the stage to the left hand side. During the song Dima stands on top of the piano and serenades the girl inside. The lighting effects on the background change during the song from gold lights effect, to a grey and pink colour. The song was well received by the fans and journalists in the auditorium.
The obligatory press conference followed shortly afterward. After the introductions were made by the Head of delegation, it was onto the questions.
What do you plan to do after the contest to promote your song?"Irrespective of the result, we have plans to release an album, in English. In the two months prior to the contest we spent time promoting the song in countries like Greece, Malta and Bulgaria, and met lots of people and made friends, a great atmosphere, and I hope that continues".
How do you feel about being one of the favourites, and who do you see as being your biggest competitor?"First of all I have to say all artists are great, its a big honour to represent your country, and I have met a lot of different artists like Anna Vissi, those from Armenia, Ukraine, Malta, Cyprus and Belarus. I would love if they could all win, they are all great performers and I wish them all the best".
Dima then went onto sing a very brief bit of the song "Everything"as well as his own song "Neverlet you go" and to demonstrate his vocal talents further sung an operatic song.
Are there any plans to do a Russian language version of the song? "Maybe, we have two albums near to release in English, as it is more easilyunderstood, so we hope maybe a Russian version, maybe even Greek, Armenian, Belarusian…."
Have your any surprises lined up, or is the performance we saw today the final version? "Well in the show we all be in our costumes, theballerinas too. Our hearts will be beating, the hall will be full, so it will all feel different".
What do you think of the bookmakers and your ratings? "I think its very funny that people are prepared to puttheir money on it".
What made you include classical ballet in the performance? "We have the tradition of centuries with Russian ballet, and at first it may seem odd that ballet can compliment a rock ballad, but once we saw it together it looked good".
The choreographer admitted he took some persuasion that it would work, but once he saw it on stage it looked good when combined. He added that Dima was very creative, and that it was Dima who had come up with the idea of having the girl inside the piano.
The conference ended with a photo call, as well as an invite for all journalists to attend the Russian party on the 16th May. Dima Bilan will have his second rehearsal on Sunday 14th May.