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Exclusive details on Moscow 2009!

16 March 2009 at 18:51 CET

All delegation heads presented themselves and their entry for Moscow. Take a guess who made the following statements:

"We are not sending a turkey this year, nor a ballad!"

"We are happy not to send another ABBA-tune!"

"We hope this year it is our time!"

Details about Moscow 2009

Channel One Russia, Host Broadcaster of the 54th Eurovision Song Contest, unveiled its plans for the upcoming competition to the delegation heads of the participating countries. Executive Producer Yuri Aksyuta highlighted that the event will take place in the Olympiyski Arena. Tickets for the event went on sale at noon Russian time today. Multi-camera Director Andrey Boltenko presented the concept of the postcards, which will feature Miss Russia, who also won the title of Miss World in 2008.

The opening act of the first Semi-Final will feature the winners of the 2006 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, the Tolmachevy Sisters. The interval act will feature Russian choirs, that will finish with t.A.T.u's song Never Gonna Get Us. The two former Eurovision Song Contest participants are not expected to perform themselves, but anything is possible..!

The second Semi-Final will feature an entertaining opening act with matrioshka-grafiti painted on stage, carnival elements and folk orchestra performing pop music. The interval act will see Russian ballet in a surprising form.

The Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest will feature a performance of Cirque du Soleil, and Dima Bilan featuring ice skater Evgeni Pluchenko, who also accompanied last year's Eurovision Song Contest winner on stage. Channel One doesn't reveal much about the interval act of the Final, just that the arena will most likely be turned into winter wonderland!

2,000 square meters of LED surface will be implemented. All equipment together will take a rough 6,000,000 watt.

The Opening Ceremony has been moved from the 9th to the 10th of May, and will take place at either the EuroClub venue or on the Red Square. Channel One is looking into obtaining the necessary permits for that.

42 contestants taking part

The Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest announced that 42 countries will take part in this year's competition. Georgian broadcaster GPB decided not to take part in the competition. At the moment, the 42 entered songs are being reviewed by the Reference Group to make sure they all comply to the Rules. The complete and official list of participants will be presented to you later today.

New voting rules

The EBU's televoting partner Digame presented the new voting procedure, featuring a 50% influence of televoters and 50% influence of national professional juries. Later on, will reveal more details about the jury regulations.

Reference Group elections

The session ended with the election of new Reference Group members. For the first time, three members in the contest's governing body were up for election by the Heads of Delegation themselves.

For two of the three positions, four people were up for election; Dejan Kukric (BHRT), Julian Vignoles (RTE), Petar Radovic (RTVSlo) and Christer Björkman (SVT). On behalf of the so-called 'Big Four' (France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom) two candidates were available for one position in the group; Federico Llano (TVE) and Manfred Witt (NDR). The outcome: Federico Llano maintained his position as representative of the 'Big Four', so did Julian Vignoles stays in his position. Christer Björkman will join the Reference Group as new member.

Stay tuned for more news from Moscow!