The EBU and the Host Broadcaster of the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, BTRC, invited the press at the Minsk Arena earlier today. Attending the press conference were Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the contest, and Ivan Eismant, chairman of Host Broadcaster BTRC.
After the end of second rehearsals, Jon Ola Sand welcomed everyone: “We have had a great week of rehearsals, and we have seen a fantastic opening ceremony. I am so impressed with what I have seen. The effort that has been put in this production, and the talent from this country and city are great. It has been a very good week for us so far. [...] I want to thank everyone for the time up and until now and we are looking forward to Sunday.”
BTRC chairman Ivan Eismant explained how he and his team have been able to pull of the production of the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest: "Compared to 2010, we have an almost entirely new team working on the show. We have heard that the previous show has been fantastic and it has been a challenge for us to do it better than last time. We have had tremendous help from the state, they helped us out in any way they could. We have a strong and competent team of managers who made this whole event happen and that is why we have not faced any difficulties. Of course, this all happened in close collaboration with the EBU. So thank you to Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand and Project Manager Gert Kark."
Will Junior Eurovision 2019 have Semi-Finals?
This year, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest hosts a record amount of 20 participants. When asked if the contest will be able to grow even bigger, Jon Ola Sand said: "Most broadcasters are limited to a time slot. So if we expand, we might not be able to schedule the show. But, more and more broadcasters are interested. Should we then open up for Semi-Finals? What would that do with the format, and the costs for example? We have to ask ourselves all these questions when we are dealing with the future of this contest. It is not easy, but we have a steering group of members, who can help decide on these matters."
Recipe for success
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest is a contest for children, and they are very well looked after by their teams and the BTRC team. But even though it is a children's contest, they must know how to talk to press and how to work with cameras. But is it not important for a child to remain a child? Jon Ola Sand: "In all kinds of competitions, you have to have the ability to get the votes in from professional juries, you have to be able to create a moment, that juries would vote for. In some cases, that can be a very advanced act, or it can be a more fragile act. When I look at the winners from past years, they all created a moment. They reached me and the audience emotionally, one way or the other. But there is no recipe for success."
Before wrapping up the press conference, Ivan Eismant said: "I want to thank everyone who came to Belarus for this contest. We made sure we did our best to make it comfortable for everyone. I also want to thank the EBU for the assistance with organizing this event. And I would like to say to the entire team that I am very proud of them."