Marija Sestic gave the first performance of the day in Hartwall this morning, delivering with her team a beautiful, emotive piece of performance art to rousing cheers.
The river symbolism is still evident, but has been turned down to faded aqua clouds on the centre screen, rather than the busy ripples of yesterday. One major change is the absence of the tambura player at the beginning of the song, who now enters as the song build to the instrumental break, appearing through clouds of dry ice before kneeling before Marija. At this point, the colours of the stage change to the hot orange of a burning furnace, as Marija's river becomes one of fiery lava. The effect is much stronger because of the changed lighting, almost ethereal as the player appears as a ghost through the mist. As he appears, the audience cheer, acknowledging their approval of the change and build.
Marija and her principal backing vocalist brought their gowns onto the stage this morning to test them on camera. They performed one run through with the dresses pinned to the front of their casual clothes, which looked slightly odd, but Marija's floaty mustard number should look a lot better on the night.
After a short performance of her entry, Marija spoke a little of her joy to be in the beautiful country of Finland, amongst the stunning buildings and churches. The delegation from Bosnia and Herzegovina also gave us an insight into the shooting of the promo video: 'For two days they were fetching the ball from out of the water because it kept going in. It was two very very cold days'.
- You can find the photo gallery here