France joined the Eurovision Song Contest rehearsals today with early problems during the sound check. These were soon corrected and Ortal and her backing singers improved their performance quickly during their 40-minute time slot. In the press conference, the leader of the French delegation talked about France and Eurovision, Ortal discussed her heritage and sang in three languages.
France�s first rehearsal was plagued with early sound problems. It seems that Ortal could not hear the start of the backing tape, missing her cue and having to restart several times. Once this had been rectified, she completed her sound check and moved onto the stage show itself.
The first run of the dance routine looked good, and was very popular with journalists and fans in the hall. The camera makes full use of the reflective glass stage and the choreography gets visibly tighter with each run through. The crowd of fans and journalists were clapping along and gave Ortal a rousing ovation at the end of each run-through.
The leader of the French delegation opened the press conference by talking about France at Eurovision. He said that it was the wish of France TV to sing in French. Criticising many of last year�s delegations, he said that �last year there were 24 songs in a row in English. It is impossible for the French to understand�.
Ortal then had the chance to speak. She said �I am very happy to be here. It is a big time for me and the team. We changed the time of the rehearsal and didn�t have much time to prepare, but we hope to be ready for the big show. Thanks to my team and everyone helping me and supporting me�. She then asked the audience to sing her song Chacun pas a soi which they were happy to do.
Ortal was asked about her Jewish heritage and being born an Israeli, and whether she was accepted in France, she said �I care about music, I don�t care about that. I was born in Israel, it is my country, but I live in Paris now. I also have Moroccan and Spanish blood too�.
Asked about her inspiration for writing the song, Ortal said �When you have a dream to be successful, you have to focus on yourself. That�s what it�s about. When you really go for something, you put yourself first�.
The head of delegation then introduced the backing singers and choreographer before Ortal gave a brief performance of a couple of lines of the Israel song Yerushalaim shev zachav and their 1979 Eurovision Song Contest winner Hallelujah.
Ortal mentioned that her song will be released as a CD single in France tomorrow (May 17th) and that she hopes to perform shows when she returns because �performing show is my life�. She also admitted to liking former French entry C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison by Amina, and sang the first verse for the audience. Finally, she spoke a little in Spanish and then sang a song in that language too before moving across the room for a photo shoot.