The Moroccanoil backstage stylists put on a show of their own this evening, working around the clock to get the artists ready and looking flawless for their second Semi-Final appearance.
We went behind the scenes once again to ask them about their experience preparing the 2021 participants ahead of their performances – one that determines which remaining artists join the other 10 finalists on Saturday 22nd May. This is what they had to say:
“I love the fact that we are a multicultural, international team here.”
Who are you and what’s your role at Moroccanoil?
My name is Franck Perez and I’m from France. I’ve been working for Moroccanoil for nine years now, but I have been using their products in my salon since 2007. Now, I’m part of the artistic team and my job is to take care of the education in Europe and South Africa.
What drew you to hair in the first place?
When I was 19, my hair stylist needed help during the summer so I applied for the job. After a few years, I started working in Paris and Barcelona which is where I fell in love with the Moroccanoil products for the first time.
You’ve worked backstage at fashion shows before. How does Eurovision compare?
During fashion shows we usually work as a team of 15-20 people but at Eurovision, we are working with a much larger team.
We work with models during fashion week and we receive a particular brief from Antonio (Global Creative Director) who is our lead stylist at fashion shows. He works very closely with the fashion designer and the makeup artists to make sure the whole look will fit. That means that we often repeat the looks multiple times.
At the Eurovision Song Contest, we work with a lot of different artists and their teams. Here, backstage, we have much more interaction with the participants. Before show week, we have a consultation with the artists so that we know what their desired final look will be and we divide into teams so that we can give each participant the attention they need.
I’m noticing that here at Eurovision there is a lot more individuality – you have to build that relationship with the artist very much like you would a client in the salon but with the added support and direction from their team too.
What’s the atmosphere like backstage with Moroccanoil ahead of the second Semi-Final?
It’s really cool! I love the fact that we are a multicultural, international team here. Just like the Eurovision Song Contest, we have people from everywhere! It’s really interesting to see how everyone contributes their different skill sets and personalities. We’ve got a really great group of professionals on the team. It’s really great to see how everyone is helping and managing their own artists.
What does your schedule look like for the second Semi-Final?
We are going to be very busy from 18:45 until 22:00 because the show starts at 21:00 and we want to make sure that everyone is looking impeccable. We will have participants, their dancers, backing singers, and so on coming in and out of the Moroccanoil styling booth all night.
What qualities do you need to have as a stylist working backstage for Moroccanoil at Eurovision?
You need to be able to work independently and also as part of a team. Sometimes you will need to work with another stylist – sometimes three. There are times when you need to curl an artist’s hair quickly but we also want the artists to be comfortable. You also need to be able to multitask and check in with them frequently to make sure they are feeling safe and looked after, while still being on time.
How did you prepare yourself for this?
We are here for two weeks so it’s important to look after yourself. When I have time here, I try to workout – go for a run – just to clear my mind. This also helps me to start the day feeling fresh and ready to go.
Actually, we have been working out a little bit as a team – it’s good to get out of the hotel and get some fresh air together and to start the day fresh.
What’s your experience so far?
I’ve had a lovely experience so far. Everyone has been wonderful and friendly. I was expecting a bit more stress but everyone is really cool, very smiley, and in a good mood. The artists are loving being attended to by us because they can trust us so everyone is feeling confident.
“After a long year of not seeing each other and your colleagues, it’s so nice to see everyone again. Everyone is happy – I think also because we are back at work, seeing new people and meeting new people again.”
Tell us about yourself and how you got the opportunity to join the backstage team?
I started a long time ago as a hairdresser. I worked in several salons including my very own for 20 years. Now, I am working independently as well as for BEAUTYDISTRICT (distributor) as the Technical Specialist and also as an Educator for Moroccanoil which led to being invited to work here at Eurovision 2021.
What qualities do you need to be a backstage stylist with Moroccanoil at Eurovision?
Wow, that’s a really tough question. I think you firstly need to be a nice person – you can’t be selfish, you have to be a team player. You can’t be afraid to ask for help. Of course, you need to have great hairstyling skills too but also it’s necessary to be a team player.
How did you prepare yourself before the event?
I paid extra attention to the participating artists including what their look and vibe was so I had a better idea of who they are. I also refined my skills and pushed myself so that I could really come in as the best version of myself.
During the event itself and particularly ahead of the more high-pressure days like tonight, I try to have some good rest and sleep. The days are really long so you need to have enough energy to last the day. I was recommended by one of my clients to listen to some nice music to help me stay calm as well. So now I listen to some binaural music before I start my day at the styling booth. It helps me to relax and gives me more focus and energy too.
How are you finding your experience at Eurovision so far?
Oh, it’s amazing! It’s a dream come true. Last week and over the last couple of days I was working pre-stage as well as the green room which was really nice to be a part of. Now I am working back at the Moroccanoil styling booth with the team which is also really fun.
What was it like working in the green room at Eurovision 2021?
The pre-stage is the area right before they go on stage. The vibe was really great. I was providing some final touch-ups there and also in the green room – but I was also making sure I was giving them a nice feeling because there was a lot of emotion there – a lot of these artists have been through a lot, like most of us, over the past year and it was such a huge deal for them to be back on the stage and performing – there were some happy tears for sure.
What does your day look like for tonight’s second Semi-Final?
I had a slower start in the morning so I had a nice breakfast and took the time to look after myself before I traveled from the hotel to Rotterdam Ahoy. It started to get a little bit busier in the afternoon, where I washed, blow-dried, and styled the Austrian artist, Vincent Bueno – he was very pleased. I also helped to style some of the Delegations working here at Eurovision to make sure they were looking great too.
After we were treated to some dinner, it was time for the artists to arrive for their appointments ahead of their Semi-Final appearance. By this stage, the artists have been at the Moroccanoil styling booth several times so when they return we check in to make sure they are happy with their looks and see if they have any comments or changes they would like to make. Then, we go from there and make sure they are feeling good, confident, and comfortable.
Can you describe the atmosphere at the Moroccanoil booth this evening?
We really work well together as a great team. We’re like family – it’s so nice. We are all helping each other and there’s a really good feeling here. There’s a little bit of stress of course because we are working with artists who are about to do the biggest performance of their life and we want to make sure we have them looking amazing and on time. But there is just really nice energy here.
After a long year of not seeing each other and your colleagues, it’s so nice to see everyone again. Everyone is happy – I think also because we are back at work, seeing new people and meeting new people again.
Meet the rest of our Backstage Stylist Team at Eurovision 2021 and watch the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest on the official YouTube page.