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ESC Reporter | December 17, 2017

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Semi-Final 1 qualifiers' press conference

Eric Nocito

Directly after the results were announced, the qualifying artists of Semi-Final 1 rushed off the stage and into the press conference room of the press center.

Seated along a long table spanning the room, each artist was welcomed by the hostess before she opened up the floor for two questions, one from national media and one from international media.

Here are some reactions to each country’s qualification:

Birgit from Estonia:  “I am really, really happy.  I can’t say anything else.  It was a surprise for me because Latvia and Finland were not in this semi-final.”

Emmelie de Forest from Denmark:  “I was so happy and I think the audience was amazing.  I couldn’t stop smiling.”  When asked about why she sings barefoot:  “It has been something I have always been doing:  singing without shoes.”

Dina Garipova from Russia:  “We are very happy!  It was really interesting and really exciting.  I am really happy.  I can’t find words for right now, I am just happy.  This a song about all of us and when I sing, I am thinking about all the people.  The words are very important to me and the message is for all of us.”

Zlata Ognevich from Ukraine:  “In my head, like always, is only music and love for each other. Sitting here right now is a big surprise. I was so nervous in the greenroom and I was almost crying. I was so nervous that my backup singer, Cleveland Watkiss, had to carry me to the stage.”

Anouk from the Netherlands:  “It sounds a little bit arrogant, but I wasn’t worried.  When number 9 came, I was like ‘Oh my God,” but I then saw the camera crew coming near me.  Then I was announced and there they were.” When asked about her performance:  “I was quite nervous of course, but then the chorus came, and everyone was waving the flags.  It felt good.”

Roberto Bellarosa from Belgium:  “It was just amazing what happened to me.  I am 18-years-old and it was a great surprise for the whole team.  I am very happy for us because we have worked very hard for Eurovision.  It is just amazing because I did my first casting with a song of Anouk one year ago, and now I am sitting near her.” When asked whether he prefers to sing in French or English: “For Eurovision, it is better to sing in English, because it is the universal language.  But I prefer really to sing in French.”  Roberto also spoke of the promise that he would cut his hair if he makes it to the final.

Alyona Lanskaya from Belarus:  “My song is about happiness and love and today, during the semi-final, I was thinking how much I missed my family.  My main goal was to bring people to this moment and make them feel warm inside, like when I think about my family.  I love my country and my motherland, and if we win, we will hold Eurovision 2014 at a high level.”

Aliona Moon from Moldova: When asked about the weight of her dress: “My dress is very heavy.  We don’t know the weight, but when taking off the dress, I can feel the pain in my back.” “This year, there are a lot of countries that can make it to the final and many that deserve the first place.”

Andrius Pojavis from Lithuania: “I dedicate this to Lithuania.  I am doing this for my country. I was expecting the 8th position, because of my album ‘Eighth.'”

After each country’s reactions and Q&A session, the hostess allowed each artist to draw what place they would be in the Grand Final.  The options were for “First Half” or “Second Half.”  Here is the draw:

  • Estonia – First Half
  • Denmark – Second Half
  • Russia – First Half
  • Ukraine – Second Half
  • Netherlands – First Half
  • Belgium – First Half
  • Belarus – First Half
  • Moldova – First Half
  • Ireland – Second Half
  • Lithuania – First Half

When the press conference ended, artists had the option to stay for photos and interviews.  Zlata Ognevich from Ukraine, Alyona Lanskaya from Belarus, Aliona Moon from Moldova, and Emmelie de Forest from Denmark were among the ones to stay for the press.





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