LATVIA: Pirates of the Sea
The moderator greeted the Latvian delegation in their native language. “We are always happy.” “Serbia is sunny, it has nice weather” – Roberto, one of the Pirates, said. “The steering wheel wasn’t on the stage because it is still in the airport (customs),” as the pirates clarified. Pirates of the Sea attended the press conference in their costumes. “The transformation is that last year we were six boys, this year instead of cylinders we have pirate hats” – a member of Bonaparti (last year ESC participant) said. When asked if they thought their song would only appeal to children, they answered: “Every person is a child in its heart.”
“Our song is for everybody” – questioned what would happen when children went to bed when the voting time started. When asked will there be more pyro on the stage: “We have so many things and we are waiting, we are under control” (their stage material is in the customs). “We visited Ukraine, and in Ukraine we found a big treasure, that big treasure is our new song.”(regarding the promo tour)
CROATIA: Kraljevi ulice & 75 Cents
“We had a very early rehearsal. We got here yesterday but not all of us, we are still waiting for some of our colleagues.”
“We have a couple of versions of the song – one is in Russian which is very unusual for Croatia and we also have a club version of the song which is unusual for this type of song.” - HoD said starting the conference.
He also announced a special performance on Tuesday in front of the Belgrade Arena with a surprise guest from Australia.
“The song is very romantic- it's called Romance - and it's about life” “There is a lot of melody and everybody can sing it – it has only 8 notes.” (regarding their song)
75 cents performed the beginning of the song in Russian live at the press conference. The lyrics of this part translate to english as – “Do you see my friend, there's no difference between this song and so many others.”
When asked how they felt in Belgrade, they said “We feel very good in Belgrade, it is our neighbourhood.”
“I think that the rehearsal went very well regarding it was our first rehearsal. We had very good communication with the crew” - the director Ivan Miladinov said when asked about the rehearsal.
BULGARIA: Deep Zone & BALTHAZAR
The moderator greeted the delegation in Bulgarian.
“We are here to present our vision of interesting, modern music.” “We wanted to have a mixture of sounds that's why we put in some reggae, house, hip hop etc.” - they stated.
“Every song needs to be remixed so that the remix could show another vision of that song.” “That's why we have 10 versions of our song.” “We want to share our music with all the people in the world” – they said when asked about the possibility of remixing one of the other songs from this year's contest – “Our main idea is to make ESC richer with these type of songs.”
When asked about the rehearsal and the performance, they said –“It will be something like this, but we still have to deal with some problems so it could be smoother and more dynamic.” “We have some more surprises which will be in the final version.” (of the performance)
The performers also announced they will be using two very special instruments. One is the laser harp which was constructed by a friend of theirs, and the other is the scratch guitar – a cross between a guitar and a DJ turntable.
Simon Mathew was dressed in the Serbian national football team uniform. "This is very big experience for all of us, we are having good time, everybody are taking care of us, all looks good on the stage. It was excellent, it was wonderful just to see the stage where to perform, we are happy and excited" – Mathew said (about the rehearsal). "My favorite song is Turkish song" – he continued. "I can only do what I do and I try to give my best hopefully I am good enough" – speaking about if he will be able to bring Eurovision to Denmark. He sang the chorus of his ESC 2008 entry "All night long" and later he sang a Danish song. Mathew is currently attending a course for policemen. "In the future I would like to join police academy, but now I am only focusing on the music. I used to travel to schools in Denmark and to teach who treat yourselves nice, I did that for couple of years and now I doing only music" – Simon answered.
Entering the press conference the Georgian delegation preformed their entry live a cappella. The moderator greeted them in Georgian.
“Thank you for coming. We are very happy to be here with you. We hope peace will come and that you will like our song” – they greeted the journalists.
When asked how it is like for her to perform at ESC as the only blind contestant, Diana said: “It is important not to be blind by heart and soul and I'm not. I can see everything like a mirror in my soul. I am very grateful to be able to feel the sensation that singing in front of 20,000 people brings.”
Regarding the message of the song Diana said that peace on earth was the dream of everyone in the world and that she believes it is possible.
“We have just arrived from Hungary and we are going back today so I might consider taking it” – HoD Mrs. Lidia said. (they joked about the moderator’s sentence ‘the microphone is yours’) The title of the song in Hungarian means “Heart” and translates to English as “Candle Light”. She sang “Candle Light” in Hungarian. “I asked many people whether to sing in English or Hungarian and many of them said to sing in English” – Csézy said (when asked why did she decide to sing in English). Her director made all the decisions in making the video clip (at the question why she turned the artistic beginning of the clip into a “car promotion”). HoD stated that they were doing their best to make the ESC popular in Hungary. She sang a traditional Hungarian song at the end of the press conference.
“This is my dream and you are all part of it” – Morena said. “Vodka is not about the drink, vodka is a code and I am a spy, a very naughty spy.” “Vodka means voice of dark agent.” “My outfit will have mirrors and it is gonna be black, black with mirrors” – Morena said when asked about her stage outfit. “My real name is Margarita and later I was nicknamed Morena which means dark one.” “I had a chance to hear a few of them, and I promise I will listen all of them, and my favorite is Finland” (answering the question what does she thinks about other 42 songs). “Between Casanova and Vodka I preferred Vodka, it is more crazy, it is me.” (she had 2 songs in Maltese national selection). She sang Vodka at the end of press conference.
“I’m happy to be here. I don’t wanna be very formal, this is the festival of the music and music speaks directly from the heart. We are at home (Belgrade), we thank you for warm hospitality and beautiful people we meet, we feel like in Cyprus, like we didn’t leave Cyprus” – Evi Papamichael, HoD Cyprus said. Evdokia sang her ESC 2008 entry at the press conference. “She (Evridiki) is much more experienced and she passed me some advice, we talk, and Evridiki said it is most important to enjoy what you are doing” – Evdokia said when asked if Evridiki gave her any advice. Evdokia said she was singing in Greek because “the song sounds much better in Greek than in English, in English it would lose meaning.” A member of the Cypriot delegation said “I think this year is going to be perfect for us.”
Cyprus will host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2008.
FYR MACEDONIA: Tamara, Vrčak & Adrijan
“I think you will enjoy all six versions of “Let me love you” enormously.” “Three of us decided to sing it in English in Belgrade” – Tamara Todevska said. They made “Let me love you” in six versions, in Serbian, Macedonian, English, Turkish, Russian and Albanian. Vrčak is the author of the song. Milanka Rašić, Head of Delegation for FYR Macedonia, said: “This is a great combination (the three of them) of different kind of music and energy.” When asked if they would continue their careers together they said: “It depends if we are still friends after Eurovision. Maybe we do something together.” Tamara added: “We believe in ourselves.” They are successful artists in FYR Macedonia and this is the first time they got together in order to represent FYR Macedonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade.
PORTUGAL: Vânia Fernandes
Vânia won “Operacion Triunfo” “The reason why we are not wearing shoes is to feel good, I think you must feel good while singing” – Vânia said. “This song has many emotions you just have to feel it, to feel the music and emotion gets out naturally; I didn’t have to do anything special I just had to hear it with my heart and let my emotion flow” – she added. “I think Eurovision is really like cultural mix and opportunity to take a little bit of your country for other to know. I am very happy to be in Eurovision and sing Portugal, and this song is Portugal, it sings about losing someone on the sea” – she continued. “I am aware that we have good quality song, I am really proud of it, I am honoured that Portugal chose us to be here”. She sang a song in Portuguese. After singing the song, she was asked where she would like to hold the ESC 2009 – Porto or Lisbon; Carlos (a member of the Portuguese delegation) said “Porto, because it is my home town, I’m joking.” She also sang the Portuguese ESC 2008 entry.