Humperdinck a name not easy to forget
This afternoon in the press centre of the Crystal Hall, the six automatically qualified finalists held their second press conferences. First up on the platform was Engelbert Humperdinck who is representing the United Kingdom, and who will also be the first artist to perform in the Final on Saturday.
Support from the British press
There was quite a large gathering of fans and press in the conference hall, and BBC Head of Delegation, Andrew Cartmell, said that he was delighted with the press coverage this year, and that there had been great support for Engelbert Humperdinck.
Cartmell has been involved with the contest for several years, mainly on the BBC3 coverage of the Semi-Finals, and has been in the situation where the British press has perhaps not been as positive towards the British entry, but this year it was different, they were totally behind the choice of Engelbert Humperdinck.
Humperdinck himself talked about the preparations for tomorrow night, and that there was no slacking, and that they were constantly making tweaks to the sound and the lighting, before he goes on stage in front of the huge audience, both in the arena, and for the millions watching the music extravaganza at home.
A present from Presley
Two huge names in the music industry featured in questions raised during the conference. The first was the Russian star Philipp Kirkorov, whom Engelbert knows very well, and is a good friend of. In fact Kirkorov has said that Humperdinck was a big influence on his own career, as when he was younger he had listened to Humperdinck's music. The Russian star has told all his fans to vote for Humperdinck in the contest on Saturday.
Another journalist wanted to know if Elvis Presley had ever acknowledged any debt towards Humperdinck, (probably referiing in part to the trademark look of the jump suit and sideburns, popularised by both artists).
"Me influence Elvis?" replied Engelbert "Elvis influenced me!". He then stated that he had been good friends with the late star, and he had been given a token of a necklace from Presley, which he carries with him everywhere, and appropriately enough he then produced the necklace from his pocket for the press and fans to see.
A few days ago he met two of his fellow competitors, Sabina Babayeva from Azerbaijan, and Jedward from Ireland, and he had been impressed by both of them, and wished them well in the competition.
At the end of the press conference he was given a large British flag, which he used in a variety of poses for fans and press to take their pictures.