It’s the hunky TV doctor and the world famous DJ who are bring music with a message to Eurovision. Finnish stars Darude and Sebastian Rejman may sing about looking away, but we are not even close to even letting our eyes wander away from their amazing personas. After their second rehearsal, William caught up with the dynamic duo, outside Expo Tel Aviv, to discuss fame, Darude’s “landing strip” and adjusting their act to the stage in Israel.

It is acknowledged around the globe that Darude is indeed a superstar, but Sebastian is also a big celebrity in his native Finland. When asked if the Eurovision bubble is different from their day-to-day fame, they both agree that Eurovision fans are out-of-this-world amazing!

“They’re so supportive and this has been great in every single way I can think of,” Darude says. Sebastian adds that he just loves the bubble and most of all, he loves Eurovision fans because they actually have the courage to come and talk to him. Darude also takes the time to applaud all the Eurovision press for their deep and profound knowledge of the subject that is Eurovision, and how well prepared everyone is when taking their interviews.

As we all remember, the “Look Away” staging from UMK showed Darude standing inside a glass box with his DJ-ing gear, whilst Sebastian was outside, sort of looking in. They’ve made some big changes to the act, and left Darude’s box at home in Finland.

When asked if this big change was for the better, Darude was hesitating to answer, because the two stages are indeed quite different from each other and what works on one, doesn’t necessarily work on the other.

He explained, “I liked our setup in Finland, but this is amazing. The staging is bigger and we got Ethel, our Mother Earth on big screen! I’m very happy now. We knew we couldn’t let the box happen the same way as we did in UMK, so we went with another solution which I think brings out the story even better”.

And everything flows a lot more freely and both Darude and Sebastian seem relaxed and ready to give it their all. Sebastian describes it as “time to put on the hockey helmet which takes me into this concentration tunnel” and  threatens to become anti-social whilst he’s in his zone.

We’re not buying it though, and neither is Darude. He feels like he has a little bit of a vantage point from his placing on the stage, because he can see and hear everyone else on the stage, opposed to Sebastian who says he didn’t even see what was on the LED screen behind him, because he was (in is own words) “singing his ass off”.

The Eurovision fortnight is a jam-packed event, with a lot going on, and not much time for family and friends. Sebastian has a three-year-old son and became a father again to a baby girl a few months ago. He admits that the time away from his wife and children is rather difficult, especially when he’s looking at photos on his phone. But he is also aware that this won’t last forever, and his place right now is in Tel Aviv, representing his country in Eurovision.

His kids are too young to join him in Tel Aviv tonight, but he hopes that they will at least have a viewing party back home in Finland. Darude on the other hand, will have there, but says that he won’t have much time to spend with them until after the semi-final.

Those two are indeed a Finnish national treasure, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have their goofy personas and Nordic charisma with us here in Tel Aviv. Despite rumours that the population of Suomi can be a gloomy bunch, both Sebastian and Darude disprove that theory without so much as breaking a sweat in the scorching Israeli sun. And in the spirit of their message in “Look Away”, it is important to stay hopeful.

“There’s always hope. Don’t look away. Look around!”

What do you think about Darude and Sebastian? Will we see them again in the Grand Finals on May 18th? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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