In a press conference in Tel Aviv 2002 Latvian winner reveals what she has been going through since her victory and explains her love to Israel.
Ms Marija Naumova, her real name, described her post-ESC everyday life as hectic, exhusting, but exciting. “The morning after the contest was a bit difficult for me. I realised that my life would never be the same again”, she says. Since the ESC May, Ms Naumova has been touring Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Estonia, and Lithuania. From Israel Marie will leave for Byelorussia.
Ms Naumova, a law school graduate, had other plans for May 2002: “I was planning on travelling in Tibet. I didn't even think of participating in the Latvian pre-selection” she says, “When I won the preselection, I never expected to win the ESC as well. My biggest hope was to arrive within the top 10, ensuring Latvian participation in 2003 contest”.
When asked whether she is going to use the outfit used in Tallinn, she answers: “That outfit was made just for the ESC. Although it is a song contest, I don't regard it as just a 'song contest'. Had it been one, it would be broadcast on radio. Truth is that the ESC is a TV show. Viewers do not care just for lyrics, music seperately. When they see an entry with a good overall act, they like it. Denmark finishing last should be studied. Denmark had a great video and one of the best songs in the contest, but still ended last”.
Ms Naumova is to record her song “I Wanna” into different languages, e.a. Spanish, German and Finnish, although she says Finnish is going to be difficult for her…
The rumours of her bad English are totally false as she speaks English almost fluently.
When Ms Naumova arrived in Riga, her, “car was then escorted by two police vehicles to the town square, where a huge crowd were singing, crying and shouting with joy. Our president greeted us there, I shall never forget it. Afterwards I was taken to put flowers on a national monument in Riga” -this was obviously very emotional for her as she was in tears telling this.
In the organization of the 2003 contest in Riga, Ms Naumova states that, “when a country participates in the Eurovision Song Contest, it also has to bear in mind the possiblity that it would win it and host it. Eurovision is very important to small countries. It gives them the chance to be exposed to the world”.
The organization of the whole week in Tallinn and the ESC 2002 itself were incredible, Ms naumova says and hopes Latvia will be complimented likewise.
Marie also talked about her love for Israel ever since she visited it this April. “I never used to read the Bible before my first visit, but after being in Jerusalem and many other places here I got more interested.” Is Ms Naumova the slightest scared of coming to Israel? “I am a fatalist”, she says. “I believe that if something is to happen to me, it will happen no matter where I am. Apart from which 'the show must go on' – you can't be frightened to the extent that you change your life and your plans.”
Despite her long and intensive day in Israel, Marie N is also to meet with the 1998 winning composer, Mr Tzvika Pick, and later on take part a reception given to her by Tel Aviv's leading figure, Simon Shirazi, in his night club – a gay club.
“I'd be happy to be there. I don't have anything against gays, it's OK with me”, Ms Naumova underlines. She will be performing on the opening night of the Carmiel Folk Dance Festival tomorrow night and then leave for Byelorussia.