First rehearsals are meant for getting used to the sound, the cameras and the stage. But with the world’s press watching it all via the press centre screens, delegations are sometimes forced to view rehearsals as showtime. That can add a lot of stress…and result in some rather unflattering press coverage. As a result of this, the EBU has questioned whether these rehearsals should actually be behind closed doors.
Cue the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Poland. The EBU decided to close off all first rehearsals. On top of that, the press centre only opened the Thursday before the final instead of the Monday preceding that. Given that JESC is often a test ground for the Eurovision Song Contest, it led many press to worry about what might happen in Rotterdam.
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Junior Eurovision and Eurovision Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand spoke about this development during a press conference in Poland. He mentioned that having private first rehearsals would probably not be repeated in Rotterdam for Eurovision.
“We’ll still have an open first rehearsal like we’ve had over the last years,” he told reporters. “I know that for some artists it’s a bit challenging and uncomfortable to know that journalists, bloggers and other people are watching while they go on that stage for the first time.”
And while it’s clear that he wanted to shield children from that pressure Junior Eurovision, the Eurovision Song Contest itself is another matter.
“We have decided to keep rehearsals open [at Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam], because we know that, for everyone travelling to the host city and in the press centre, that it is really valuable.”
He rightfully acknowledges that the presence of the press can make artists uneasy. It’s not unusual to see the odds of a country rapidly change after a rather good or bad response from journalists in the press room. So the Executive Supervisor suggested tweaking the first rehearsal slightly.
“We might have a little adjustment when it comes to the very first time they run through the song. It might be that we give them that moment alone, but [the press] will be able to see everything when it comes to the latter run-throughs.”
What do you think? Should first rehearsals be private? Or should the press still be able to watch and comment on them? Let us know in the comments below!
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Picture: EBU/TVP: Thomas Hanses