The EBU/NRK press conference was hosted by the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU, Svante Stockselius and the Executive Producer of the host broadcaster NRK, Jon Ola Sand.
A country missed out on the final by 3 points
Mr. Stockselius disclosed that both the EBU and NRK are very pleased about the first Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place last night. It was a true success, and they'd be very happy about the production. The Executive Supervisor revealed that there was just a margin of 3 points between the song that came 10th in the Semi-Final and the one that came 11th. The televote went well, apart from one country where the security level of televotes wasn't reached, so only the jury result was used in that specific country. Jon Ola Sand added that it had been an exciting night, but now the preparations for the Second Semi-Final and the Grand Final would be ongoing.
Svante Stockselius then went on to explain the changes in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. 39 countries are taking part this year, with Georgia returning. Apart from the participating countries, the shows will also be broadcast in Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Montenegro and Kosovo.
A former Eurovision Song Contest winner in one jury
This year, NRK opted to have three hosts, with one of them being a special voting host. For the first time, a mixture of 50% jury-vote and 50% televote will be used in all 3 shows. Mr. Stockselius revealed that many former Eurovision Song Contest participants and one former winner would be part of the various national juries this year.
For the first time, an extended voting window will be used in all the three shows, with the possibility to vote from the first song onwards. Furthermore, graphic televoting information during the last 25 seconds of a song was implemented. Also this year, three so-called "Countdown" shows were produced by host broadcaster NRK.
Mr. Stockselius explained that there would be a tougher approach if participating TV broadcasters would violate the rules, especially concerning political disturbances.
This year, there are three pan-European Sponsors: Telenor, Nivea and - for the first time ever - the Eurovision Song Contest has its official airline, Norwegian.
The preliminary dates for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest were announced: the First Semi-Final 2011 will most probably be on the 17th of May, the second one on the 19th of May and the Grand Final is set to take place on the 21st of May. However, Mr. Stockselius stressed that these dates would be preliminary for the moment.
The floor was then opened for questions. It was asked if Italy would return to the Eurovision Song Contest. Svante Stockselius explained that the Italian broadcaster RAI is approached by the EBU every year, and that everything is done for a possible return of Italy. When asked if there'd be any concerns that certain countries would not be able to afford to host the Eurovision Song Contest, Mr. Stockselius said that he is sure that every country would do whatever it could to host the contest. He explained that a host broadcaster could even make money from hosting Europe's Favourite TV-show.
Alexander Rybak as a guest
The press conference was then attended by the winner of last year's Eurovision Song Contest, Alexander Rybak who disclosed that his new album would be released on June 21st, and that he would feature in the opening act in the Grand Final of this year's Eurovision Song Contest. He then continued to reveal the trophy of this year's Eurovision Song Contest.