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First Semi-Final qualifiers talk emotions at Press Conference

09 May 2018 at 01:12 CEST
The 10 qualifiers of the first Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest at their press conference. Andres Putting & Thomas Hanses
After a thrilling first Semi-Final, tonight's ten qualifiers gathered for a press conference to talk about their experience. They also drew from a bowl to find out whether they would perform in the first or second half of the Grand Final on Saturday, the 12th of May.

The ten qualifiers were ecstatic after tonight's victory!

Austria: Nobody But You by Cesár Sampson

"The stage is the best view." 

During the press conference, Cesár was asked what it was liked to be named as the first qualifier: "After coming off stage, I was so happy, everyone was happy, to be done and have done well. We were all so busy being happy that we didn't notice when the camera came over, we were still waiting because we were just so busy being happy."

Austria drew to perform in the FIRST HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.

Estonia: La Forza by Elina Nechayeva

“I think that love has an amazing power — maybe enough to win!”

What made Estonia qualify this time? From Elina's point of view, she thinks “the most important thing is to sing from the heart, so you can reach people’s souls, and get the emotions that produce goosebumps and maybe even tears”.

Who are her favourite Opera singers? “Oh, we’d have to sit here until midnight: Anna Netrebko, Nadine Sierra, Plácido Domingo, [Luciano] Pavarotti, Maria Callas, and so on…!“.

Estonia drew to perform FIRST HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.

Cyprus: Fuego by Eleni Foureira

“I’m going to try and make history!”

Eleni thanked the audience for all the love and support, and was asked if she is going to make history as Cyprus’ best result in the Eurovision Song Contest - which they reached three times - was 5th place: “I have no idea. I wish I could change that, so I’m going to try and make history. But if I don’t, I’m going to be happy too.”

Cyprus drew to perform in the SECOND HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.

Lithuania: When We’re Old by Ieva Zasimauskaitė

Are the emotions in the performance real? 

"I really wanted to work with my husband. And in my video [are] my parents, my friends, and my grandparents. So the emotions are real". Ieva then gave the crowd advice to find true love: "[My husband and I] are eight years together. All people have struggles in life; the most important thing is not to give up. If your heart is saying it is the right person, look at the positive things and don't give up."

Lithuania drew to perform in the FIRST HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.

Israel: TOY by Netta

“I guess the golden cats brought me lots of luck! It was an idea of the writer of the song, Doron Medalie, and we decided it’d be great fun”.

On a more serious note, Netta was asked what she might say to a younger, bullied version of herself if she had the change to speak with her. She replied, "That everything is okay. I wouldn’t change a thing, because what I’ve been through made me who I am. But I’d love bullying to stop; it ruins people’s lives. I have amazing parents, and they supported my dream, but many people don’t have the tools to deal with bullying. And, I love myself, and I love everybody else!“

Moving the attention back to the contest, she told the press how she felt about being a fan favourite and the pressure that has created. “I think it’s a matrix; you decide what path you are taking. Between making music and enjoying the greatest musicians sitting here in this table. The placing doesn’t matter to me. For me, the most important is to do a good job and to reach people.”

Israel drew to perform in the SECOND HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.

Czech Republic: Lie To Me by Mikolas Josef

During Mikolas’ first performance, we saw him doing a front flip on stage where he injured his back. He was dancing earlier tonight, but the press was curious whether he will bring the front flip back for his performance on Saturday: “We came here wanting to do flips, but just being able to perform was a special moment. I do take it even more seriously than before. Maybe I’m going crazy and I will do a flip. I was adviced not to, but we’ve been practicing it for five months.”

Czech Republic drew to perform in the SECOND HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.

Bulgaria: Bones by EQUINOX

EQUINOX is a collective that was put together specifically for Eurovision. What was the atmosphere in the green room with so many different people coming together? "The atmosphere was fantastic, we were cheering for everybody, and feeling good about how we performed. We felt the love. This is a team effort. We really have a spirit of love about the project."

Bulgaria drew to perform in the SECOND HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.

Albania: Mall by Eugent Bushpepa

Regarding his performance on the big stage, Eugent shared: "As long as you can convey emotions, it’s the same singing either in a small pub or in front of this enormous crowd.” He went on to dedicate the song "to all the people that I love, it’s about missing the people that you care for the most, so I dedicate it to all Albanians.”

Albania drew to perform in the FIRST HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.

Finland: Monsters by Saara Aalto

Saara Aalto was named second to last, but how nervous was she as the cameras were not around? “I was so, so, so nervous. It was terrible. The cameras were so far away, and they were not coming to me. I’ve been waiting to be here for the last twenty years, it is my biggest dream ever. Once that happened, I screamed more than I ever screamed in my life.”

Finland drew to perform in the SECOND HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.

Ireland: Together by Ryan O'Shaughnessy

Ireland's Ryan O'Shaughnessy was asked about the message he is sending with the two male dancers he used to tell a love story through his music video and live performance. "My intention was to help people who don't see already that love is just love, that there is no difference. I think it's really important because not everyone is as liberal as everyone in this room, so its an important thing. I am proud of my country for making that change a few years back and proud to bring energy back to this topic."

Ireland drew to perform in the SECOND HALF in Saturday's Grand Final.