At 9:30 local time, the arena opened its doors to the press as the first participant, Andre from Armenia, rehearsed on stage. Esctoday.com collected some opinions about Without your love, the stage and the venue itself as well!
The "Armenian Sertab", as some journalists referred to him during Andre's first rehearsal, brought four female dancers to Athens, as well as a backing singer. While Andre is standing on a big box, his four dancers are dancing around doing a "Houdini-alike chain act", as Peter Walsh from the Irish Sunday World referred to the performance.
It took Andre a few times to get his ear monitoring right and to get used to the stage. At his second try, things went much better and he got awarded a nice applause from the present fans and journalists.
The spy cam, which is being used for the first time at the Eurovision Song Contest, surprised the audience as well. The camera, connected to the four corners of the venue with four metal cables, can not only move to the left, right, front and back of the arena, but also up and down. There are only two of these spy cams in the world.
"If we are allowed to joke here…"
During the first press conference at the Olympic Indoor Hall, all people involved with Armenia's first ever participation took a seat behind the table. Asking how popular the Eurovision Song Contest already is in Armenia, Head of Delegation Diana replied; "We're broadcasting the show now for two years in a row and more and more people are watching it, even though it starts around midnight! We received a lot of calls and letters from people asking why we didn't join the competition. So, here we are".
Some journalists referred to the similarity of Without your love with Ruslana's winning song Wild dances (2004) and the Turkish elements in the song. The song writer admitted that he never heard Ruslana's song, while the choreographer, who's originally Russian, replied; "If we are allowed to joke here… we took the rythm of Ruslana, the arrangement from Turkey… we're just doing it better".