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First Semi-Final Winners Press Conference

23 May 2012 at 01:53 CEST

For each of the ten countries that have qualified for the Grand Final out of tonight's First Semi-Final, two delegation members were present at the press conference stage at the Baku Crystal Hall. For each country, two questions were being asked by the press, and after that, the starting positions in the Grand Final, to be held on Saturday May 26th, were drawn.

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The first delegation to answer two questions was Romania. "We are very happy to be in the final, we had some problems with the ear monitoring before", the delegation stated first. A Romanian journalist asked how Mandinga felt when she didn't hear her voice in the ear monitors on stage. "It was a very awkward moment not to hear anything, but I'm happy I managed to sing the song till the end, and even made it to the final", Mandinga replied. A journalist asked: "You are seven members in the band, but there were only six on stage. Did you make contact with the 7th member?" Mandinga replied: "The 7th one, Tony, was in the Green Room with us and the trombone was with him. Tonight we will celebrate with the other countries at the Euroclub, but we won't stay long, there's a lot to prepare for the final!" 

Romania was drawn to perform 14th in the Final.

The next country was Moldova. Pasha Parfeny stated: "I promised to make it to the Final, and I did! And now I'm in the Final, and I promise to do even better. I'll do my best to win!" Pasha said that he received a lot of congratulations messages from their broadcaster and press in Moldova and especially from his parents whom he will phone after the Press Conference is over.

Moldova was drawn to perform 26th in the Final.

The Icelandic representatives, Greta Salome & Jonsi, were asked if they, like Jedward, would come back next year with a water fountain. Jonsi replied: "We don't have plans for May next year, but we'd rather leave the water fountain to Jedward." Jonsi explained that the biggest difference to his 2004 participation is that "I didn't have to take part in the Semi-Finals back then, I was a direct qualifier and now this contest is bigger and we managed to reach the final. But the main difference is that I didn't have this talented and great companion as Greta Salome is." Greta was moved and thanked everyone that liked their song so much and voted for them.

Iceland was drawn to perform 7th in the Final.

The Hungarian representatives, Compact Disco, were asked about their goals for the final. They replied: "The first plan is done, we wanted to be in the Final. The next step is: if you are in Eurovision, of course you want to win it." The second question for Compact Disco was if they were ready to party tonight? "No, we will actually do what the fellow contestants from Russia, Buranovski Babushki say to us: Party for everybody... DANCE!"

Hungary was drawn to perform 2nd in the Final.

The Danish representative, Soluna Samay, was "super-excited", as she said. A Danish journalist asked her how she appeared so confident on stage. "It has to do with my background, I'm coming from a street musician family, and music is all that matters, not the show. I'm just happy to be here, just like my band. We're really enjoying our time", Soluna replied. As no questions from the International Press were asked, the Irish contestants, Jedward, raised their hands and asked: "What would you tell to your fans right now, how excited you are?"Soluna replied: "Oh guys... I have a really big company with you, it was so awesome when you guys were announced last! It's so important that people voted for us...and... well, I'm speechless - this is amazing!"

Denmark was drawn to perform 15th in the Final.

"The performance tonight was dedicated to all those poor souls that lost their lives tonight", Rona Nishliu stated, referring to the bus accident in Albania. When she was asked what message she wanted to give her fans: "I'm very happy that Eurovision is a platform that allows you to present what you believe in and in what you are best." Rona Nishliu then explained her feelings about this achievement: "With this type of song, it's important to go through, it's important to share my very sincere oppinion and to share my inner self and to share my inner voice with everybody, in every stage. To be able to share that with the audience here in the Crystal Hall, and with everyone that watched the contest at home. Not only for my music career but for this story of my life, my "personal" story. To everyone who believed in this story, thank you!"

Albania was drawn to perform 3rd in the Final.

Ivi Adamou from Cyprus was asked how it felt that there were "two Cyprus" in the finals, referring to the fact that the Greek singer also came from Cyprus. She said: "When I heard it I was shocked, it's so nice to have us both in the final. Greece and Cyprus are everytime one power!"

Cyprus was drawn to perform 8th in the Final.

The next questions went to the Greek delegation. Eleftheria Eleftheriou was asked for a message to the Greek people. "Eurovision is music, and we are here because we are talking through music. We are here to enjoy it. It's a honour for me to represent Greece, and tonight, I hope I made Greece proud." Eleftheria then confessed: "Actually I was very nervous today, and every day here, when I went on stage I couldn't believe that I worked this hard for this 3 minutes, so ok, I thought, I have to enjoy it, maybe I'm not going to the final after all! And I managed. It was really amazing, I wasn't thinking about anything else!"

Greece was drawn to perform 16th in the Final.

The Russian grannies, Buranovskiye Babushki, started by thanking everyone who voted for them. A Russian journalist thanked the grannies for taking Russia to the final, and asked her how the audience reacted to their performance. One of the grannies said: "It was a warm welcome, so much noise we could hardly hear our song. It was great!" A Swedish journalist then asked her if she knew the Swedish entry and if she thought they would fight for the victory, but she replied: "I really have no idea!"

Russia was drawn to perform 6th in the Final.

Ireland's Jedward were asked how it felt to be announced as the last finalist. They said: "It was exciting, Austria was right next to us, and in comparison to last year, when we went straight through, the excitement was definitely bigger. It was awesome to go to the Final!" A journalist from Azerbaijan asked Jedward: "When you were the last to be announced, did you think that with your hair change you wouldn't get through?" They replied: "That was evil, but everybody in Azerbaijan is wearing our quiffs on the streets... Tell me, what do you prefer? The hair down or spiky? Maybe will have it spiky for the Final!"

Ireland was drawn to perform 23rd in the Final.