Yesterday morning, the Dutch delegation left for a boat trip to do some sightseeing in Helsinki. Only a few members of the press were invited to join Edsilia Rombley and her team, but esctoday.com got the exclusive ticket. We managed to have a word with several members of the Dutch crew.
It was obvious that the Dutch delegation was in a cheerful mood and that they were really looking forward to see something more of Helsinki. Because of the cold weather, the team was wearing identical hats.
One of Edsilia's backing dancers/singers, Thirza Solcer, sat down with us during lunch. Thirza was one of the three members of the female group Trinity, who participated in the 2005 Dutch National Final with the song Go. The group doesn't exist anymore, but she still sees the other members (Kirsten and Bianca) now and then. Thirza told us she was approached by Gerald van Windt to do the audition for this year' s Dutch entry. She was invited to Edsilia's and Tjeerd's place and they were really impressed by the skills of Thirza. After that they rehearsed for about a month. Gerald van Windt took care of the choreography, while Stanley Burleson was responsible for the direction of it.'We are really happy with the result', Thirza continues. 'However, when we saw back the first rehearsal on tape, we realised we needed some small changements in the choregraphy. Bram Blankestijn, the male dancer won't end the song anymore on the two step platform with Edsilia. When we viewed the tape we thought it was a little too much, Thirza explains. Of course, it was a small disappointment for Bram, but he agreed with the arguments as well. After the second rehearsal the direction of the show has been improved as well.' According to Thirza, The Netherlands have a good chance this year to qualify for the final.
We also got a chance to talk with Martin Gijzemijter, who co-wrote the lyrics of the Dutch entry.'It's really great to be here', Martin says. According to Martin, On top of the world is a funny song with a deeper meaning. The chorus is very catchy and that's what it is about in The Eurovision Song Contest. Martin doesn't believe people actually listen to the lyrics during the three minutes performance. It's about the melody of the song and of course the act. On top of the world wasn't the only English version he and Maarten ten Hove wrote. 'We had several versions, but in the end we all thought On top of the world was the most catchy one.' After the first rehearsal Martin felt really proud. 'The staging is really amazing and I' m so happy that Edsilia is singing our song. She's one of a kind and very professional. The way she plays with the camera; it really made me feel WOW! I really hope we will make it to the final, Edsilia deserves it.' We also asked Martin for his future plans. 'At the moment we're busy launching a new artist and I will start writing for him. His name is Hansen Thomas and the people behind Chipz asked me to write some Dutch songs for him.
Good to be the underdog!
Tjeerd Oosterhuis, composer of On top of the world and Edsilia's husband, told us that he's looking forward to the event. 'It's good to be the underdog, I think. In that case we won't feel the pressure. However, I'm convinced Edsilia will give a great performance this Thursday. She's very natural in performing and there's a great interaction between her and the camera. I'm very proud of my wife and of course the rest of the crew. We are really having a good time and there's a nice atmosphere in our delegation. Mostly we come together every evening and watch movies in the hotel. Until so far, it's great fun! In my spare time I'm still busy composing music in my hotelroom; some things never stop', Tjeerd laughs.
On the way back, the press was allowed to take some pictures of Edsilia Rombley and the rest of the crew. She took plenty of time to pose for the photographers, smiling and dancing the polonaise on the boat. Apparently she was having a great time. After that she had to prepare for a performance in the open air of the ESC village.
Check back soon for a video of Edsilia's Eurovillage performance!