Eurovision Event Supervisor Bakker: I think what was the difference in Azerbaijan was warm hospitality and excitement of all the young people

Vienna, May 22, AZERTAC

Event Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Sietse Bakker has hailed Azerbaijan`s “grandiosely” organizing the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 as he was interviewed by AZERTAC`s correspondent.

- Mr. Bakker, what can you say of the Baku show of the Eurovision Song Contest? And what about Vienna`s organization of the 60th Eurovision contest?

- I think what was the difference in Azerbaijan was warm hospitality and excitement of all the young people that were involved in the organization of the song contest. It was a very exciting year for us because it was the further away than ever. But I think we had succeeded, we had a great song contest with the great winner, and I am sure a lot of people still remember it. Apart from all the technology and organization here in Vienna in the press centre, but I really know this was the excitement of the volunteers. They have been very well trained, they are receiving everyone with warmth and passion and everyone can see this. I think this really adds to the excitement of the people who visit Vienna for the song contest.

- How do you see the chances of Azerbaijani entry Elnur Huseynov?

- Elnur Huseynov, of course, is really experienced. He participated in the song contest before. He is a strong entry and strong voice. Of course, he also won the Voice show in Turkey. He has the stage experience, and now it comes down to the three minutes on the stage. I am sure he can give a very good performance. It is true for this year we have a bit more ballads than temple songs. Producers try to build the show in such a way that it is still exciting for the audience. The great thing about the Eurovision is that every three minutes you get to see something else even if you have a couple of ballads, they can still be very different from ballad to ballad. I am actually sure that more people will watch and we can see that in the ratings at the end of the show during the announcements of the qualifiers, during voting in the final.

- What does EBU plan to implement in the rules in the years ahead?

- In the rules of the song contest we hadn’t made changes compared to the last year. But every year we evaluate, we talk with the governing body of the song contest and we discuss how we can improve the contest in the next years. And what we will do in the couple of weeks is to evaluate, I think, how we can improve, take quick decision because we already have to send the rules for the next year`s song contest in September. Every country also gets the opportunity to host the song contest, looks there for their own way to present themselves and sometimes that means big, sometimes they go little bit small and focus on the quality, they focus on the post cards, on the presentation of the voting. So every country puts their own identity in the way to host and I think this is what makes the song contest special.

- We would like to learn your views about the First European Games?

- I think it is great especially after having successful Olympic Games. We now have the European Games when sport talents from all over Europe, especially young people, can come together to show their talent and inspire other people and show what sport can change in their life. I think it is very great for Azerbaijan to host the first edition of this event because everyone will look at the first edition. But as I know the Netherlands applied to host the next edition. I think also that the fact that Azerbaijan hosted another big event, the Eurovision song contest, really helped them to build the experience and the European Games will be definitely next step for Azerbaijan, for young people there. I hope it will contribute to their development in how they organize the events and, to that extent, I am very proud that Azerbaijan applied to host the first edition of the European Games.

Anar Rzayev


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