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Mika Newton (Ukraine) 1st press conference

05 May 2011 at 22:29 CEST

The Ukrainian delegation was thrilled by their first rehearsal. “It was amazing, the sound was great, the team in the arena too, we’re very happy to be here,” says Mika. “We had a lot of work to do to coordinate Mika’s singing and Kseniyas art. It is our mission to show the audience the best that is possible,” says Alexander, a member of the delegation acting as interpreter.

Alexander calls it a “no-brainer” to come up with Kseniya as partner for Mika in the Eurovision. The sand artist had won the 2009 ‘Ukraine’s got Talent’ contest. “So I sent her my song and asked her if she would illustrate my story through her art,” says the singer. Kseniya agreed.

Even though she’s one of the most popular artists in the Ukraine, Mika is still awestruck by the Eurovision Song Contest: “After Ruslana had won in 2004 – practically all singers in the Ukraine dream of coming to the Eurovision – so this is a great experience and an opportunity to present the Ukraine from a new angle.”

Both being celebrities at home, they are fully aware of how privileged they are. Mika was awarded the title ‘Woman Of The Third Millenium’ for her social and charitable work last year. “I love working for kids who are less fortunate, there are ill children who deserve health”, she says. Together with her partners, she’s developed talent contests for those who usually wouldn’t have the opportunity to participate in such events.”

Like her, Kseniya is also a philanthropist. She and her husband founded a charity organisation in 2009, the artist also cares for children in an orphanage on the Crimean Peninsula. With ‘Sand SOS!’, she has created calls for donations for children suffering from cancer. She draws their story in sand and posts the video on the internet.