Oleksandr Skichko (2017 host): ,,I’ve listened to all this year songs and still can’t decide for whom I will vote”

As the Grand-Final comes nearer and nearer, the hosting trio for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 should be getting more and more excited. Time to get to know the presenter Oleksandr Skichko who kindly answered our interesting questions.

Please, describe your excitement in front of hosting this very big show with a very large audience.

It was a long time ago when my neighbours heard a happy scream of a person that has just received an invitation to be a host of Eurovision. Many days were spent in rehearsals, but I still want to be on the stage of this song contest as much as 3 months ago. 

I have an experience of hosting a live show. But I’ve never hosted something in English. Eurovision is the biggest song contest in the world. That’s why I’m feeling excited. It is a big honour for me to present our country in front of the whole world, to let the world know that there is a new generation of Ukrainians, who speak English, who are European-oriented, who are modern and fashionable.

We all know the ESC is a very complex show. What do you need to rehearse at the moment as a host?

The script is written. I’ve already had 5 suits for the show (I would like to say for the whole life). There is a good interaction between me and my colleagues on the stage. I can start the joke and Tim or Vova will make a punch line. We have 10 backups for the emergencies. We even know what to do if the electricity will turn down or the line with the country will be lost. Many people have asked if we’ve prepared some surprises. Well, now I am preparing my dance. My outside-scene dance ))

We really want to astonish and amuse the Europe, we have rehearsals every day and night and we will make a really good show.

What is your opinion regarding the stage?

When I made the first step on the stage I was amazed by its size, by lights and, firstly, couldn’t even imagine how I will say a word staying there. I like it and try to do my best to impress the Europe.

Have you listened to all songs which will compete this year? If yes: what is your opinion?

Of course, I’ve listened to all this year songs and still can’t decide for whom I will vote at intermission of the Grand Final. All the staging are very impressive and can totally change your opinion about the performance.  Among the songs of previous years, I like the „Molitva” of Marija Šerifović and „Euphoria” of Loreen. Both of them are very sincere and I am sure that the winner has to tell his or her own story and be in a contact with the audience share with it his/her beliefs, thoughts, even secrets. The mystery and the magic must happen between the fans and the participant.

Most fans are coming to Kyiv in order to attend the event, but we are sure the city has much more to offer. Which place should people visit in any case?

Of course, our city has much to offer! I would definitely recommend to go to Andriivska church and walk around Podil. Also, I recommend everyone to taste Ukrainian food and visit Ukrainian restaurants and I’m talking not only about Ukrainian traditional food. We have plenty of good French, Italian, Japanese restaurants. We call that Ukrainian-French/Italian/Japanese food. It’s really tasty and also it’s cheap.

Please tell us one very interesting thing about yourself which you would like people to know

Well, have you already seen the performance of the „Sunstroke project”? I could be a part of this year contest not as a host, but as a saxophonist. Actually, I can even be a participant and perform instead of „O.Torvald”. No, I can’t. But I started my career as a singer. I even have an album.

As the Eurovision Song Contest is a music festival: which type of music do you listen to in your own free time?

Whether I like it or not, listening to music, I often pay attention to some accents or special features of the artist’s voice because I am not only a broadcaster but also a parodist. But, of course, there are some singers who can make me stop analysing and creating new scripts. Music inspires me a lot. I like different styles.

How much have you followed the contest before? Have you always been interested?

I started watching Eurovision after Ruslana won it in 2004 with „Wild dances” and from that moment I heard quite a lot about Eurovision, about its history. Since that times I’ve been watching every show every year and it’s like a tradition to have something tasty, to sit down on the sofa and watch Eurovision song contest on May.

As you know the slogan of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest is, „Celebrate Diversity”: What does this slogan mean to you and how is it connected to the host country Ukraine?

When it was announced that we (three males) will be the hosts, we thought about top-5 questions „What is wrong with this year Ukrainian hosts?”. The first is how to celebrate diversity with three white males on the stage. But beautiful and talented Ukrainian women Jamala, Ruslana, Onuka  will take part at this year song contest as the guests. We will show the diversity of our country and, I think, will surprise a lot of viewers from the Europe.

What is your message for all the Euro fans who will attend the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine?

The message I would like to share with all the world is ” come here to Ukraine”.   Our country is in heart of the Europe, it`s easy to get here. Our country is full of traditions and interesting historical places to visit. it`s a great idea to choose Ukraine as a destination to your next touristic trip. Our country is tasty, with great cuisine that combines modernity and authentic ancient dishes. People here are hospitable and friendly. Ukraine is strong and beautiful country. You should definitely discover it. So my main message is “Welcome to Ukraine, and be sure you`ll fall in love with my motherland”.

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The Ukrainian broadcaster sent us a short description of the host, containing additional information:

He is tall, stylish and handsome. Even real British dandies would be jealous of his masculine charm, British accent and elegance. However, Oleksandr comes not from London but from Cherkassy. He owes his perfect English to his gymnasium with in-depth study of foreign languages and two summer language trips to the UK.  As it turned out later, his remarkable British accent, confidence and subtle homour became his thing which helped him to get a convincing victory at the ESC 2017 host casting among dozens of candidates.

After graduation from the gymnasium, Oleksandr studied International Economy. He was also infatuated with stage. This dream inspired the 18 year old to make an impressive performance at Ukraine’s Got Talent and win the hearts of millions of Ukrainians with his parody. It was a big start of his professional TV career. Later he passed an audition for a TV host of the morning show “Wake Up”. Today the whole country knows Oleksandr. At his 25, he is a successful actor, show man and host of Star Way programme on “Ukraine” TV Channel.

The first time when he got to the Eurovision Song Contest as a regular viewer was in 2009. It took him a lot of effort to get a ticket. The grand show impressed the boy a lot. It was the time when the seemingly impossible wish to get onto that stage originated. But how could he do that? Indeed, Oleksandr is a great parody actor but not a singer. “I could not even hope then that Ukraine would win the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time and the Eurovision would be held in Ukraine again, and I would be a host of the coolest show in Europe!” he shares.

When Oleksandr got the offer to participate in the ESC 2017 host casting he did not hope too much for the victory. However, European producers liked him.  Now Oleksandr Skichko is part of the team of the most remarkable hosts to hit the stage of the greatest shows in Europe.

His male tandem with the host Volodymyr Ostapchuk will become a memorable part of the Eurovision Song Contest. The two eye-catching and talented boys will introduce the best voices of Europe in their unique and original style to add improvisation, homour and creativity to the celebration of music.

What do you think about this year’s hosts. Let us know in the comments below and on social media.

Reporter: Matei Ruta

Source: UA: PBC



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