Channel 1 Russia press conference11 May 2009 at 18:02 CEST
The General Director of Channel 1 Russia, Konstantin Ernst opened the press conference by saying that since 1994, when Russia first participated, it has been the aim of the country to one day host the Eurovision Song Contest. He also added "We knew from the beginning we wouldn't make any money, or profit. It's more expenses than profits. It's more about the image you create. We would like to dispel the image that some Europeans have about Russia and Russians."
Alsou represented Russia in the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest, and finished in second place. She said of her role as host of the final "It's a very honourable task for me to host the finals. Eurovision played a very important role in my life, i'm directly connected with it. I have a wonderful partner, it's very interesting for me to be a host as I have participated as an artist in 2000."
Miss World 2008, Ksenia Sukhinova, is the face of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. She was also present at the press conference and explained about the concept of showing 42 different countries in an original way, using Ksenia to represent them.
Themes of the three shows
Executive Producer Yuriy Aksyuta told the press "The First Semi-Final is to based upon famous Russian fairytales, and the Second Semi-Final based upon modern people and will have a comedy effect, an irony about the stereotypes people have of Russia."
Yuriy added "The theme of the Final will be different, the Canadian Cirque Du Soleil team will help with the introduction, the history of a singer, a little boy who grows up, the challenges in life he faces and transforms himself in to the Eurovision Song Contest winner, this of course being based upon Dima Bilan. During the interval act, this will be very emotional and some colleagues from Argentina will help Channel 1 with that, but that's all we can tell you."
Examples of some of the 42 postcards were then shown to press.
A question was asked about the back up juries. Executive producer Yuriy answered that it is true that Philip Kirkorov will be the chairperson of the Russian jury but would not disclose any details of the remainder of the jury.
A lot of appreciation for the United Kingdom entry
A journalist asked the panel who they would vote for out of all of the competing songs on the big night. All of the presenters answered this question. Andrey Malakhov liked Norway best but Alsou, Natalia Vodianova and Ivan Urgant said that they will definitely be televoting for the United Kingdom entry, as did Ksenia Sukhinova, Miss World 2008.
The only person to disagree was Executive Producer Yuriy Aksyuta who said he would vote for Patricia Kaas from France. Yuriy then added that these were just personal opinions and that nobody on the panel would have time to televote during the final anyway!
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