02. Cameras go crazy: Tense press conference after Israel rehearses UPD

by Richard West-Soley 104 views

Israel's second rehearsal in Hartwall this morning was characterised by a lot of stage discussion, and little time for actual run throughs; the Teapacks only managed two performances of Push the Button in between deliberations on the presentation.

The camera work is appropriately crazy for Israel, weaving in and out of the band during the verses and then going mental for the Push the Button choruses. The whole entry seemed to be presented through a single, mobile camera shot at first, and there were no cuts in the screen version. This seemed to work well, but by the final performance cuts had been introduced, and the continuity of the shot was broken.

The madness, off the wall nature of the song is really coming through on the screen, although some of the movements are being lost through this, for example, when the band line up in front of one another. This is clear in the hall, but on screen comes across as a rather random arrangement of bodies.

Performance put on ice
There seemed to be a lot of deliberation on the stage, and the band only managed to get through two performances of the song. For the last one, copious clouds of dry ice were pumped onto the stage.

Frontman Kobi seemed a little clumsy on the mic during the first run, and the vocal came across less smoothly than on Wednesday. However, the last run was at least a solid performance vocally.

(Steve Holyer)

Kobi Oz, the Teapacks frontman, began their second press conference complaining about discrimination and saying that Israel may withdraw. " The show directors made terrible mistakes about our song, we had no chance to perform it live in the right quality", Oz said.

Later in the press conference he clarified that he believes that the discrimination is against the artistic nature of their song and not against them for being an Israeli or Jewish band.

"They are not discriminating against us because we are from Israel – they are discriminating against us because we are a hop hop group. They are not used to this music in Eurovision," Oz said.

The band claims that the show's director has chosen to shoot the song with a single camera over the objections of the band.

The band also complained that YLE is not using the computer generated graphics Israel sent to them for the stage. They claim YLE objected to the content of the graphics Israel sent, substituting their own (which the band says are badly done) from the Teapacks promo video. According to Teapacks, the graphics sent represented an 80's arcade style war game. They claim that they didn't know about YLE's substitution before the first dress rehearsal.

Oz said the band was happy after the first rehearsal because the show's producers accepted their notes. But the group says they were very upset during the second rehearsal because the director didn't act on any of the notes given.

Noam Yankelevich who plays accordion on stage with Teapacks said, "It's not a techincal problem. We don't demand something special. Just do what we asked."

"We are not looking for trouble. Just push the buttons for us."

Oz says, if it's in their contract that they must perform then they will only stand on stage and hum their song softly. He also said they were negotiating with the Finnish broadcaster and may have the chance for a third short rehearsal to check if their notes have been followed.

The group will definitely perform in the dress rehearsal. They will see what happens after that. The group will not have an opportunity to give notes after the dress rehearsal.

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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.