The Winners' Conference

by Richard West-Soley 56 views

Join live from the press conference hall in Moscow, as the ten winners from the first semifinal answer the journalists' questions.

The mood in the hall is jubilant as groups of journalists from the winning countries celebrate. Spirits are high as the collected press wait for the ten acts, as the songs are played over the PA system.

The artists now make their entrances as the journalists stand and the Eurovision theme Te Deum is played.

The artists now take it in turns to take a draw number and answer two questions.

Sweden pulls out draw number 4 in the final.

Malena is asked who she thinks the sexiest, most charming male contestant is. She answers that the girls are actually quite sexy this year, illiciting a round of applause… Before admitting that Sakis is the man who she would pick! She was then asked if she would try the Eurovision Song Contest again after a successfull semifinal experience this year – she answered that she might, if she gets really drunk next year!

Armenia draws number 9 in the final.

The girls are asked to describe the five minutes before they step out onto the Eurovision stage. They answer that they meditate with a special breathing technique. They were also asked about the creator of their stage image – and the girls thanked Fresh Art for their work (who were also in the audience at the press conference).

Turkey draws number 18 in the final.

Hadise was complimented on her beauty by a member of the press, who then asked her to mention another artist more beautiful than her in this year's contest. Hadise simply pointed out the other women in the top ten next to her, before saying that the question was not a fair one.

Hadise also admitted that she had doubts about whether she would reach the final at all. And she admitted that being drawn first made the experience too fast and not tense enough… But added that it was an honour to be the first country drawn out.

Israel draws number 2 in the final.

Noa said that despite being number two in the final, they hoped they would do well. But they hope that the song will stress that there must be another way for two peoples to live together in peace. They were also asked for a response to criticism that Israel sent the song as a piece of pro-Israeli propaganda. Mira defended this by stressing that the messages from both her and Noa are their own, personal messages – real and true, and not dictated by anyone else. Noa added that the two of them represent millions of people in the world who are moderates, who choose life over death – which won a round of applause from the audience.

Iceland draws number 7 in the final.

Yoanna talked about how nervous she felt for being drawn last – and confessed that she cried with relief when the country was called out. She added that she thought the winner might be in the room right now. Quizzed about the current economic crisis in Iceland, Yoanna said that the country could really use some good news right now, and thanked everyone who voted for Iceland.

Romania draws number 22 in the final.

Elena told the press that she is not superstitious, but rather believes in God and believes that God will help you. After thanking all her voters, and God for being with her throughout this time, she thanked the journalists of Europe for helping to promote her song. She is excited for the final night, and said that her thanks to the people will be through her song.

Finland draws number 24 in the final (after asking the Romanian interpreter to open the Matroshka doll!)

Waldo's People admitted to losing complete control once their envelope was read out. They are looking forward to a couple of days off now, after ten days in Moscow and a lot of hard work. They also thanked Moscow and Russia, and added that they have really enjoyed their time here – and can see even more of the place over the next two days.

Portugal draws number 6 in the final.

The tears at the end of the performance were due to the emotion of a performance after singing with the band for just eight months, Daniela Varela explained. When the envelope was drawn, the singer explained that it was a huge, emotional moment, and added that thanks should go to all the song's fans. And she pointed out that this support was part of what made her cry, especially hearing people chanting Portugal in the audience.

Malta draws number 14 in the final.

Chiara said that she was proud to take Malta's name back into the Eurovision Song Contest final, and thought that the island would be going crazy by now. But asked whether victory was so important to her after a 3rd and 2nd place, she denied that this attempt is just promotion – actually she is just a very stubborn person, and wants to try and finish the job properly!

Bosnia & Herzegovina draws number 12 in the final.

The delegation was asked which song is their favourite (excluding their own) – the answer was simply ABBA's Waterloo overall, but Patricia Kaas's entry from this year. Challenged over the staging of the song and its communist connotations, this was defended by the retort that the song is a love song, and the longing in it is for love, not a bygone regime.

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site