Ell/Niki (Azerbaijan) 2nd press conference

The man behind Nikki’s dress is no other than Lars Wallin, the world famous clothing guru who has tailored dresses worn in Miss World and Miss Universe pageants. He’s also done the tailoring for many celebrities in Europe and the USA. “The dress is absolutely gorgeous! It totally reflects the mood and sensuality of the song,” says a delighted Nikki.

Rumour has it that Running Scared is among the songs favoured to win the Contest this year. Asked how the duo would feel about winning and possibly defending the title again next year, both smile contently: “Sure, I’d like to do that every year. It’s like a fairy tale here,” says a beaming Eldar aka Ell.

However, both know full well that there are many good entries that they’re up against. “The songs from Turkey, Israel, Sweden, England and Malta, all of these are good entries,” Ell admits modestly, speaking for Nikki too.

To top off the press conference, a special guest comes onto the podium. It’s guitarist Svyatoslav Starush, he’s from the Moldovan entry Zdob și Zdub. The duo knows the band from their promo tour in Kiev last month. Together, they perform an unplugged version of the tender Running Scared, for which they received prolonged applause.

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