First Semi-Final Winners' Press Conference

First Semi-Final Winners' Press Conference
All of tonight's winners. Photo: Dennis Stachel (EBU)
Malmö, Sweden -

Right after the First Semi-Final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, a press conference with the ten winners has been held in the press centre next to the Malmö Arena. Read the statements of the qualifying delegations in our article!

When the First Semi-Final had finished, the ten qualifying delegations were led to the press conference stage in the press centre next to Malmö Arena. Then, the journalists could ask them questions, and in the end, each artist had to draw in which half of the Grand Final they would perform. The exact starting position will be determined later on by the production team of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.


The first delegation to be asked a question was Estonia. Birgit started by stating: "I’m really really happy."
"It was 50/50, now we are really excited", Mart Normet, the Head of Delegation stated about the expectation. The first question was how she felt without the support of neighbour countries. "Of course I am happy because we had to make it without the support of Finland and Latvia, but this shows that Eurovision is not political", she answered. Estonia was drawn to perform in the first part of the Final.


The next question was for the Danish delegation, and Emmelie de Forest was asked if she felt pressure tonight. "I’m so happy and the audience was awesome," she said. She was asked if she believed in victory: "I believe in my song, I love the melody and the message. And for now I am just happy that I made it to the Final." How many questions she got about not wearing shoes on stage was the next question. "I didn’t make it up for Eurovision, I just feel natural without wearing shoes", Emmelie explained. Denmark was drawn to perform in the second part of the Final.


The Russian representative Dina Garipova started by saying: "I’m really happy and excited, it was a great feeling." A Russian journalist asked Dina about her talisman that was visible in the green room. "It’s a little gift from my fans. They gave it to me to wish me luck – it’s a little Tatar grandma", she told. Dina was asked how she felt and if she was emotional tonight. "This is a song for all of us, and when I sing I think about all of us people. It has a important message that’s valid for everyone", she told the press. Russia was drawn to perform in the first part of the Final.


The next question went to Zlata Ognevich from Ukraine. She was asked about her feelings. "I was so nervous in the green room, waiting for the results, I almost cried. Igor said today he is the happiest person ever, he never felt that happy before", she said about the gentle giant on stage. She went on to say: "I lost my boots. Cleveland Watkiss, one of my team, carried me to the stage in the end. It felt like Cinderella." The next question was why Ukraine never sent male singers to Eurovision. "Of course we have also men, like Verka Serduchka. He is like ten beautiful girls", Zlata said. Ukraine was drawn to perform in the second part of the Final.

The Netherlands

Next was Anouk from The Netherlands who received a big round of applause from the press in the arena. The country made it to the Final for the first time since 2004. "Maybe it sounds arrogant, but I wasn’t worried. When number 9 came, I thought – no way! But I already saw the cameramen walking past me, and I thought maybe there is a slight chance, and there was!" One journalist asked: "Is it important to be a gay icon to win Eurovision?" – "It doesn’t matter if you are gay or not, you just need to perform well in Eurovision", Anouk replied. When asked how much the audience reaction meant to her, Anouk said: "A lot, because I was quite nervous of course. At the moment the chorus came in, I already saw the flags and the people cheering and it was just amazing." The Netherlands were drawn to perform in the first part of the Final.


"It was a very big surprise for all of the team, and I am very happy because we all worked very hard. It’s just amazing what happened to me, and now I am just happy to sit next to Anouk", Roberto Bellarosa, the Belgian representative first stated. "All I was hoping for was the whole of Belgium to be proud of me", Roberto said. When asked if he was the new Justin Bieber, the Head of Delegation, Leslie Cable, went on to state that Roberto had promised to cut his hair if he went to the final, but she insisted that he would do it after the final. "I couldn’t do it – I already checked in front of the mirror", Roberto admitted. "To understand the lyrics, it’s better to have it in English. But I really really prefer to perform in French", Roberto explained his choice of language for his Eurovision song. Belgium was drawn to perform in the first part of the Final.


Next was Belarus, and Alyona Lanskaya was asked what she wanted to bring to the audience. "My song is about happiness and love. Mainly I was missing my family and I was hoping that everyone was feeling happy when listening to my song", she said. One journalist asked about the planet Alyona christened after her song, Solayoh. "It helped me to make people happy, and this was my goal when I gave the name to the planet, Solayoh", she said. Belarus was drawn to perform in the first part of the Final.


Aliona Moon from Moldova was the eighth artist to be asked question. "We found the artists‘ performance very good and we thank the organisers for their support", Vitalie Cojocaru, the Head of Delegation first stated. When she was asked about the weight of her dress, Aliona said: "Unfortunately the dress is very heavy. We don’t know the exact weight, but my back was hurting when I took off the dress." Which country was her biggest competition was the next question to Aliona, and she answered: "What I believe is that there are lot of countries that deserve to win. Let’s see when the Second Semi-Final has passed." Moldova was drawn to perform in the first part of the Final.


The next delegation to be asked questions was Ireland, and first some cheerful backing dancers of Ryan Dolan made an appearance on the press conference stage. Michael Keely, the Head of Delegation was asked how he would prepare the artist for the Final: "We’ll make sure he gets plenty of rest and eats well, and tomorrow we’ll take a day off." About a priest that supports him, Ryan said: "He gave me his blessings, and he gave me a small medal that I keep in my pocket." Ireland was drawn to perform in the second part of the Final.


The last delegation in the line-up was Lithuania. "I didn’t handle anything, I just went on stage", Andrius Pojavis said on the question how he had handled his nerves during the Semi-Final. A journalist asked to whom Andrius dedicated his victory. "I’m doing this for my country", he replied. "I was expecting the eighth position because my album is called eighth", he jokingly answered the question if he had expected this result. Lithuania was drawn to perform in the first part of the Final.

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  • Posted on 17 May 2013 at 18:11
    Emmelie sing very well with soul, feeling, strength and passion.
    You have a very beautiful song and your performance on stage is spectacular
    I'm rooting for you to win.
    Force razes Emmelie report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 15:00
    I do agree that all of them worthy to sing in the final and i so happy for one of my favourites Alyona from Belarus to be there also! wish good luck to her in the final)) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 12:02
    BELGIUM <3 <3 I adore this song <3 TEAM: #Belgium #Netherlands #Montenegro report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 06:58
    Every country is worty to be in the Final because of hard work and strong preparation for the contest. But it's not possible, so let's just keep our fingers crossed for this lucky ones:) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 06:49
    Yes, Cinderella from Ukraine and her fairy Gravity should be in the top three places! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 06:14
    Ukraine, please, don't send boys for Eurovision! Your girls are so fantastic)) Continue to do good work!))) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 04:41
    @woman33 we should open some group,or petition for balcan countrys to make our own contest ...
    slovenia,romania,bulgaria,serbia,frym,montenegro,greece ,bosnia,croatia,greece (did i forgot some one)? for sure i did,cuz its only 10,never mind...
    so ,if they humiliate us ,never mind...this shamless juries can injoy and vote same system,we dont care...
    we can make FAIR competition (juries,i know u dont know meaning of the word fair ,but never mind) not like this silly things....
    from last night im calling this contest " political bookmaking ballads contest of ex soviet".... nice one ,or u can remove this"ex soviet" ;) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 01:32
    I'm pretty sure it has already been posted by someone here but, ... here's again and finally the official clip of 'Birds' by Anouk - The Netherlands!! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 01:15
    All my favorites are in the final. Now when Austria was mentioned a few times, I youtubed the song and, you are right, it's a beautiful song, but it didn't catch my attention during the concert, Lithuania and Belgium - the most criticized in this forum - did catch our attention, my little girl is mumbling the Belgium song at the moment. But the bottom line is - the songs where all good. Best of luck to the finalists and non-finalists. They were all great. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 00:32
    And after yesterday's first semifinal I hope, that Slovenia will not compete anymore on the ESC. Is the waste of time and money. A lot of EU countries are in the crises, so we should spend money somewhere else. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 00:20
    Slovenia came in the final only twice. With Alenka Gotar and Maja Keuc in 2007 and 2011. Alenka was 15., Maja 13.
    So, you should not compare Slovenia with Serbia. Serbia won and have a lot of succes on the ESC with Željko Joksimović and Marija Šerifović. Slovenia has no big succes on the ESC yet.
    I still think, that could be this event (ESC) organised on one evening, not three. The songs are three minutes long. In three hours could all songs be presented.
    I dont know why semifinals? Could be just one evening.
    I am sorry also for Austria, not only Slovenia. Natalie had great performance.
    Definitely she deserves more the final then Lithuania, Belarus, Belgium or Moldova.. This year are competing from former Soviet republic:
    Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Estonia, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Latvia. 10 from 33 competitors. That tells all. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 16 May 2013 at 00:13
    1. Austria and Slovenia = deserved to take place in the FINAL.
    2. Ex-Yugoslavian countries (Croatia, Muntenegru, Serbia, Slovenia) didnt make it.
    EX-Soviet (Rusia, Ucraina, Lituania, Belarus, Moldova) did it !
    3. The Netherlands = she really her?!? nobody's wife ;-)))
    4. Montenegro = STAR TREK=space the final frontier ;-))) ...neah
    5. Rest of the countries: Belarus, Danemark, Belgium, Russia, Ireland ... TOP 10 places in the FINAL. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 15 May 2013 at 23:03
    Denmark, Russia and Belarus deserved it 100%... The Netherlands was great ,too and I'm glad that Anouk made it...I don't like the Ukranian song as much as other people do but still it deserved to qualify..Moldova and Estonia were just good....So, I don't disagree with Ireland, which is an ordinary song, Belgium which is one of the most boooring songs I've ever heard. Lithuanian song is not that bad as a song but the performer killed it.......

    Cyprus should have qualified and I'm not saying it because I'm Greek. Probably it's because we have same similar cultures or because I could understand the meaning of the lines...At least Despina sang it perfect and I was moved by her performance....Austria and Montenegro should have qualified,too!! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 15 May 2013 at 21:50
    Russia's song got all of us (7 girls..!) quiet. We were so happy Anouk didn't have to perform right after that song :)
    Loved Croatia as well, I like a bit of nostalgia in music. And maybe not all of these 10 deserved to be in the finals, but hey, less competition ;)
    Thanks for al your support, we needed that! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 15 May 2013 at 21:27
    I like Moldova, Ukraine, Denmark and Russia (their level in one head above others). The song from Lithuania is very interesting as well, but the singers' style is very similar with style of Morten Harket (A-HA). Disaapointed from Serbia (usually this country demonstrated very interesting songs, but not for this Year). The songs from Belgium and Netherlands are not bright and not interesting. report to the moderator