Eurowizja.org had the pleasure speaking with Sietse Bakker from EBU about Eurovision 2014, Polish comeback and…one song from our National Final! 

How are the preparations for ESC 2014 going? Fans are worried cause there is no news about B&W halls renovation…

The preparations for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest are on schedule and the works on the B&W Hallerne are proceeding so everything will be ready in time. It’s a different venue than people are used to, but it will surely contribute to an unforgettable and unique experience.

Are you happy with results of this years allocation draw?

The aim of the Semi-Final allocation draw is to add suspense to the Semi-Finals, by spreading countries that have a tendency to vote for each other. I believe we now have a good balance in the shows. Now we hope that the Semi-Finals will be equally exciting, but for that we need to hear the songs!

We hope that it won’t happen, but is it possible to reduce Eurovision format to one semifinal only due to low number of participating countries?

Our aim is to keep enough countries in to have two Semi-Finals and a Grand Final. If the amount of countries drops, we will have to adapt. Of course we have scenarios drafted should that happen, but our focus is to keep participants on board, especially now that we are nearing the 60th anniversary of the contest.

Was it hard to prompt Polish TVP to come back to Eurovision?

We were very eager to get TVP back on board and of course made the necessary effort to convince the right people. We’ve always understood TVP’s arguments for not participating, but also believe that Poland should be part of this pan-European cultural tradition. We’re very happy that TVP also came to that conclusion.

What should we do to achieve good results at Eurovision 2014. Do you have any advice?

There is a lot of talent in Poland, both new young artists as well as established stars. Show Europe the best you have to offer! That doesn’t just apply to Poland, but to any country represented in the Eurovision Song Contest.

You were involve in Leonie’s entry „Love is what we all need” which participated in Polish National Final 2006. Do you have any nice memories from this „adventure”?

I have fond memories of my involvement in the Polish national final, just months before I was asked to join the EBU. What helps a lot in my day-to-day job is that I’ve been in the position of a participant and can hopefully see things through their eyes.

Rozmowę przeprowadził Maciej Błażewicz, fot. SietseBakker.com

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