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Backstage host: I'll be a friend for the kids

10 November 2009 at 13:50 CET

This year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest has one new feature – live Internet-broadcast from the backstage. Kateryna Tymoshenko and Artem Nikiforov will host the broadcast for everyone who wants to see what's going on behind the scenes of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. 

Currently Katya and Artem are preparing for their international debut. Yet in their tight schedule the hosts found the time to talk about themselves, their participation in the 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest and their preparation for it.

From her very childhood, Kateryna Tymoshenko knew that she would be an English teacher and would work with kids. Having grown up, she understood that TV is the best public leverage that can be used to help the children at risk. That is why now she dreams of creating her own social talk-show for Ukrainian kids. 

How did you decide to take part in the casting for the hosts?

First of all, I like children very much, and my first degree is a teacher of English language. Secondly, I think I will be a good host because I have hosted events at several Ukrainian TV channels and have certain experience of TV audience. I am very interested in this format – it combines work with children, usage of English and live broadcast. Combination of these components helped me to make a decision to attend the casting. 

How are you getting ready for the 21st of November, for the Final?

I studied the data on every participant of the 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, available at the official site of the contest. I also pay much attention to my English – watching films, programmes, talk with the Americans who help me to improve my language level. And I am thinking how to build my conversation with kids the best, how to find the appropriate words. 

You will be hosting the contest together with Artem Nikiforov, and your synergy is very important. Well-balanced mutual support and understanding will pave the way to success. Do you have any plans to train as a pair, together?

Currently we do not communicate and are preparing separately. But during the casting rounds we talked, had coffee together. After winning the casting, we’ve been recommended to start team training, because it is highly important that we understand and feel each other. I am certain that we have time to talk and to get to know each other. But I can say that we'll find common language easily.

Do you remember when you’ve found out that this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Ukraine? 

I found out at the same time when I read about the casting for the hosts on the Internet. I was very glad as I saw it as a chance to join the contest, to see and feel the Junior Eurovision Song Contest from within, to socialise with the participants and the organisers. In 2005, when Ukraine was welcoming the “big” Eurovision Song Contest, when I watched the contest, its hosts, I started thinking that I want very much for our country to host it again, and to host it myself. And my dreams came true at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Do you link your career with TV?

Yes I am thinking about creating my own social talk-show, where we could discuss important and delicate issues yet without being obsessed with the negative things, search also for something positive in the life of the Ukrainians. But I want to focus on children. As a child I dreamt of being a teacher and dedicating my life to the kids. And precisely because of the TV I can influence the Ukrainians, helping them to pay more attention to both their own kids and orphaned children. 

What would you focus on as the host of 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest?

I am yet to discuss this with the producers of the contest. But as for me, I see this contest as a celebration for children. And this is why I must behave not as a teacher, but rather as a friend, supporting the participants in any possible way. I shouldn’t accent their attention on competitive streak of the contest, on the fact that there will be only one winner. I must create the atmosphere of celebration. 

Please tell a bit more about yourself. What are your hobbies, how do you spend your free time?

I am a volunteer for an international human rights organisation. I am working on such important social problems as human trafficking, prevention of cruelty to children, gender inequality issues. In the past I was very serious about ballet. But when I had to choose – foreign languages or professional ballet, I chose studying languages. But every year on the 31st of December I visit the Opera Theatre for the Nutcracker ballet show, this is my tradition. Ballet will always be in my heart. Apart from English language I also know German, but I thought this isn’t enough and I recently started learning French, too. I have an active life – sports, dances, education, I also dedicate much time to my lovely pet dog Umka.

What do you expect from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for yourself?

I want new impressions, socialising with kids, and experience in hosting such a massive event. I want to experience back-stage Internet broadcast. This year this will be a new feature of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and I am very keen on seeing it in process. 

What does it mean for you, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest?

When I worked at one of the TV channels, we were visited by Nazar Slisarchuk, the very first participant from Ukraine on the Junior Eurovision. We had a conversation and I thought, such a young kid, he’s already been through such a large-scale event as this contest. I do not remember exactly his age at the time, but he conducted himself very much unlike a child, he was self-confident, adult-behaving singer who knows what he wants from life, who already sees his future and links it to music. At that time I thought that the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is a perfect chance for children to blossom, to discover leadership qualities. This international contest helps young gifted singers to open up to the world, to show their talents and, possibly, to choose their future profession. 

On the 21st of November, Kateryna Tymoshenko will work at the backstage of the 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest and you can follow here right here at!