First Semi-Final Winners' Press Conference
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.
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.