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Interview: talks to Diana Gurtskaya

17 May 2008 at 15:05 CEST

You have been in Belgrade for a few days now. How did you experience your stay so far?

Diana Gurtskaya: "I like it a lot here because it's very warm, and the people have shown me a lot of warmth, too."

How satisfied were you with your performance in your rehearsals? Will you change anything for the Semi-Final?

Diana Gurtskaya: "Frankly speaking, every individual is self-critical and I am not an exception to this. I hope everything will work out fine for the Semi-Final."

When and why did you decide to take part in the Georgian national selection for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest? Did you feel confident that you would win?

Diana Gurtskaya: "I was quite self-confident at this moment, as every human would be self-confident in such a situation in a wider or lesser scale. However, I think that it is always a matter of luck and support from God in a competition like the Eurovision Song Contest. I decided to take part in the Georgian national selection because I am Georgian, and I felt confident and proud of my country."

Last year, you participated in the national final in Belarus, and you reached the top three there. Now you represent another country – Georgia. Does it matter to you which country you are representing?

Diana Gurtskaya: "Belarus gave me a lot in my life - it was a big school for me. It gave me a lot in terms of all the contests in which I participated in Belarus. But after all, I am Georgian, and therefore I am proud to be representing Georgia in this Eurovision Song Contest."

But imagine you had won last year's national selection in Belarus. How would you have felt in that situation? Would you have been proud of that country as well?

Diana Gurtskaya: "If I had won last year, I would, of course, have taken the responsibility that victory would have given me. But most probably God just wanted me to represent Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest and not Belarus, and that's why I am here!"

As you are blind since your birth, it must be an extraordinary challenge for you to take part in a television show, where a big part of the final result depends on the visual impact of a performance. How do you plan your stage performance?

Diana Gurtskaya: "I don't think I am the first or the last blind person performing on stage. For example, Stevie Wonder is a great performer! I think, God gives and God takes. I am happy that I can sing."

But how do you manage to find the cameras so well and to look so brilliant on stage during your performance for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest? It's amazing!

Diana Gurtskaya: "Thank you for your comments. Frankly speaking, this is not the first time for me to perform on stage in a big television show. I am a singer, an artist, and on stage, I do not need any support or company. I just show what I feel, sing and perform the way I feel it should be."

You have personally suffered during the war in Abkhazia, and you had to flee from your home. How did this influence your further life and your music?

Diana Gurtskaya: "This experience is unforgettable, and it's the reason why I am performing Peace Will Come in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. It talks about what I heard, what I felt. What I sing in my song, I experienced practically on my skin during the war."

We have already heard you sing in English, Russian and even Hebrew here. Do you also sing in your native Georgian language?

Diana Gurtskaya: "I was raised singing Georgian songs, and I am singing them all the time! Do you want me to sing one for you now?"

Yes, that would be very nice - thank you very much for taking your time for this interview, and the best of luck in the Second Semi-Final of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest!

Watch Diana Gurtskaya perform a song in Georgian language in the video clip below!