25. Bringing down the house: Slovenia rehearses

by Richard West-Soley 43 views

Alenka Gotar was looking confident and sounding more than ready to take on the semifinalists when she rehearsed at Hartwall Arena this afternoon. Slovenian fans will be rallied to hear that the reception she received from the assembled press was one of the warmest of the day.

As the team filed onto the stage, the delegation appeared to be deliberating between a Romanesque classical backdrop and a more contemporary blue sound level bar animation to serve as a setting for Cvet z juga. In the end they appear to have adopted the funky electric blue interface, and this would seem to fit the song's crossover opera-dance genre well. The stage is bathed in neon blue, with Alenka at centre stage, appearing today in a black and white gown. Behind her are five vocalists.

Spine-tinglingly good
As would be expected for a seasoned performer like Alenka, who is used to performing in front of packed auditoriums, the vocal is pitch perfect and amazingly powerful. She enters the stage, triumphant from the beginning with raised arms, alone. Gradually she is joined by the support vocalists as the song builds, and the camera circles around Alenka at the key change, as the music reaches its spine-tingling climax.

The hall reaction is tremendous; at the grand finale, the press and fans erupt into cheering, with the odd cry of Go Alenka! Already a fan favourite after strong OGAE voting, interest in Slovenia appears to be as high as ever, and with an impressive performance, Alenka looks likely to sail through to next Saturday's final.


Alenka Gotarbegan her press conference shortly after the performance on stage. The Slovenian HoD introduced Alenka and the backing singers on the podium. Many of dancers have performed as backing vocalists for other singers at the contest.The delegation said that they were quite satisfied with the vocal performances and the audio levels, giving only a few notes to the organisersabout camera placement and lighting.

The Slovenian delegation explained Alenka held a white light in her hands (made of LED's) during the performance in order to represent the white flower of the South. They chose not to bring flowers onto the stage, but still wanted to represent the southern flowers of the song.

When asked, the Slovenian flower herselfsaid that she is quite happy to perform to a pop / dancetrack rather then the orchestral instrumental that Slovenia made for her.

Alenka also loves the Finnish band Nightwish. She heard they had an opening for a new singer – but she was too late to apply for the job.

Then Alenka turned the tables on journalists who ask the performers to sing a cappela during the press conferences. She recognized George from Greek Radio, who had emailed her a video of himself singing, so she asked him to sing "Flower of the south" for the gathered journalists. Which he did. Rather well.

The performer spoke about protecting her voice from the cold weather in Helsinki (she is not going out to the parties at night – and she is wrapping up warmwhen she does go out). She warms her voice up for at least thirty minutes before she tackles the more then two and a half octave range of the song. "And if all that fails," the multi-lingual singer laughed, "I have have the whole Apotheke pharmacy with me."

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the esctoday.com team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site Polyglossic.com.