The hall had filled out in anticipation for Turkey's first rehearsal, and it was clear that expectations from singer Kenan are very high from Turkish and non-Turkish fans alike. Would he deliver the goods in Hartwall today?
Kenan's four female dancers initially shroud the star in golden cloth at the beginning of the song, with much hip swinging as they perform an exotic dance routine around the still hidden singer. The choreography, reminiscent of Sertab's winning performance of 2003, continues in this vein throughout the song, providing an amazing contrast between the Eastern and Western elements of the entry, in an unforgettable and instantly catchy culture clash set against a energetic, gold-dominated lighting set.
R&B, Turkish style
There is a fair dose of the Justin Timberlake factor in Kenan's interpretation of the song, and this combines with the Eastern dance elements to create a kind Turkish-flavoured R&B on stage. It is infectious, and from the very beginning the driving beat is translated into impressive momentum in the choreography. Kenan himself joins in during the instrumental break, seeming to thoroughly enjoy himself at the same time as maintaining every bit the professional image.
There is no faulting Kenan's performance, and the guy oozes confidence from every pore on stage. He believes in the song, and you can sense that he believes he can be a winner; and as a spectator, it is not hard to start believing along with him after such a dynamic performance. Sustained applause greeted every single one of his performances; no doubt the next rehearsal will be even better attended.
The first Turkish press conferencetook place shortly after the rehearsal,and Kenan did a real one man show. His extremely likeable personality came through very well and there was a good mixture of information, humour, singing and a lot of Turkish charm.
He was thrilled to be here and excited about this very new experiencefor him. After being a big star in Turkey for the past 15 years he now has to tell people who he is, what he has done and where he comes from, because they don't know him. When asked who is his favourite singer in this year's contest his smiley answer was: Me! with a wicked grin and loud applause from the audience.
Some talk about his pre-contest tour in Germany, UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Romania and so on followed. During his visit to Greece he met up with Sarbel and the two became friends and a future musical collaboration is not out of the question. He also sang when requested toby the press.
He also told Shake it up shekerim wasn't his only choice for a song, and actually he presented nine to TRT initially, then cut down to three. Shake It Up Shekerim was chosen bythe channeland was also his own personal favourite. He is also working on material for his next album due to be released in September.
If he wins the Eurovision song contest 2007 what will he do? "Jump upto the ceiling first, then cry a bit" as he is a sensitive guy, he told us.Whatever happens in the near future, he has a Turkish tour planned before moving on to Europe later this year.Also, there isa new album to work on,so no holidays for Kenan before the autumn!
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- Clickbelow to view the rehearsal video of Turkey