This morning, STV, the Slovakian broadcaster, held a press conference where the details of the country's preselection for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest final were presented. The Slovakian final wil be held in Bratislava on 8 March and may be preceded by a number of semi finals.
An open call for songs was launched today during the STV press conference to present the media with the details of the Slovakian preselection for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. The deadline for the submission of songs is 20 January. There will probably be a number of semi finals leading to the final, the exact number of which will depend on the number of entries received by STV.
Roman Lipták, program director of STV, stated: "If there is increased interest from artists we will also organise a number of semi finals, but the exact number is unknown yet. We would like to hold the semis in our studios in Košice and Banská Bystrica and the final in Bratislava. We will not make a selection among those who will submit an entry, anyone submitting a song will compete in the semi(s)."
The budget for the final amounts to about €100.000. "We could have opted for an internal selection" Mr Liptak said, "it would have been a far cheaper solution, but we did not want to do it this way. We want to open the contest to the Slovakian people and show the good artists we have". The winner of the final will be chosen by a mixture of televote and jury vote. "This is not just about choosing a winner for our final, it is about the dignified representation of Slovakia", he concluded.
Mr Liptakappeared very optimistic about the result of the STV call for songs: "I am an optimist", he stated, "there are many good authors and artists in Slovakia and from the moment we announced we will be returning to the Eurovision Song Contest we have received many queries from interested artists. We aim to select a successful representative!"
When asked by local reporters why STV decided to return to the Eurovision Song Contest he answered that although there had not been any cooperation with the EBU lately, they are now back in the EBU family. "Eurovision is for us the most important EBU project", he said " we will cooperate in other projects as well but not all as our budget does not permit it." Another reason which led STV back to the contest, according to Mr Liptak, was pressure from local artists who felt at a handicap not being able to participate.
Details about the submission of the songs can be found here (in Slovakian)
Very special thanks to Miloš Hozda for the report.