Late Thursday night, 10 more countries qualified for the Grand Final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Shortly after the live show, they gathered in front of hundreds of journalists representing the world's media.
Each contestant was asked two questions before drawing their position to perform either in the first or second half of the Grand Final. The press conference was broadcast live on YouTube from Kyiv’s International Exhibition Centre.
Kristian Kostov thanked everybody for voting and said that he already received congratulations from his mentor, 2008 winner Dima Bilan. "I can’t believe that I am here! Thank you so much for voting. I received a message from Dima Bilan saying he supported me and he also posted my picture on instagram. I am happy that he's happy. My family supports me here too," an emotional Kristian said.
The Bulgarian participant will perform in the 2nd half of the Grand Final.
Naviband is convinced that singing in Belarusian helped them to make it to the Grand Final: "Our language is amazing. It helped us to get to the final. People heard our message," Artem said. "We will try to do our best, but anyway we just have fun on stage," Ksenia added.
Belarus will perform in the 1st half of the Grand Final.
"I just would like to say a massive thank you! The song says do your best, take a chance. We took a huge risk but I believed in the song My Friend and was so proud to sing it right here in Kyiv, Ukraine. Especially in these times. We are so happy”, Jacques Houdek said.
Jacques will represent Croatia in the 1st half of the Grand Final.
Joci Pápai feels very proud of being the first gypsy representative in the Grand Final. "I am so proud that, in the history of Eurovision, as a gypsy I managed to get to the final. It's such an honour to be there. Today, I did not sing just for Hungarians, gypsies or minorities — this is for everyone who has ever felt oppressed. I left a piece of my heart here in Kyiv," he said.
Hungary will perform in the 1st half of the Grand Final.
Anja feels extremely lucky and proud of getting to the Grand Final. The singer shared her feelings: "I feel so lucky to be here, this whole opportunity has been incredible, I couldn’t have done it without your support, thank you so much!"
She also said: "It means so much for me to bring Denmark back to the Grand Final. And especially that it was me who did it, having an Australian background, I feel so accepted and that now I had the chance to prove myself and also make people in Denmark proud," Anja concluded.
Anja will represent Denmark in the 1st half of the Grand Final.
IMRI thanked everyone and promised to do his best in the Grand Final. "I feel alive. I am so happy and grateful and honoured to be here as a finalist. We are going to do the best performance we can. I love you guys, thank you," he said.
IMRI will perform for Israel in the 1st half of the Grand Final.
Ilinca and Alex said to Eurovision.tv: "At first we didn’t know what to expect of the people’s reaction. Who brings a yodel-rap song to the Eurovision Song Contest!? But the reactions have been amazing from the beginning. Everybody yodels!"
In the press conference, they said: "Thank you for your support tonight and we hope for your support in the Grand Final. Yodel it!"
The duo will perform for Romania in the 2nd half of the Grand Final.
"Singing for Europe is the best way to put your nerves in the coffin. The crowd was amazing. Our song is about about grabbing the moment what we are actually doing now. Thank you so much, now we are going to party," said JOWST.
JOWST will represent Norway in the 2nd half of the Grand Final.
The girls from OG3NE are happy that they could empower so much people with their song. "We already spoke with our mum — she was so happy. She was happy that we could do this tonight and empower so many people. We felt so strong on stage. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times," the trio said.
OG3NE will perform for the Netherlands in the 1st half of the Grand Final.
"Going last and waiting was really nerve-wracking. I’m extremely overwhelmed to be in the final, I am deeply thankful and extremely happy," Nathan Trent said.
He also made a tribute to the 16 contestants who didn't make it to the Grand Final: "It has been an amazing experience to share with the other candidates — also with the ones that didn't get through. They were amazing and they should be proud of themselves, because they did great." At Eurovision.tv, we couldn't agree more!
The singer will perform for Austria in the 1st half of the Grand Final.
Waiting for the running order...
Tonight's ten qualfiers will join the ten qualifiers that were selected on Tuesday, the so-called 'Big Five' — France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom — and host country Ukraine. In total, 26 countries will compete in the Grand Final on Saturday, 13th of May, when the winner of the 2017 Eurovision Soong Contest will be chosen.
The running order for the Grand Final will be based on the draw for the first and second half and will eventually be determined by the producers of the show. The running order will be approved by the EBU's Executive Supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, and the Chairman of the contest's Reference Group, Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling.