Yesterday we brought you the first of our three-part interview with Vladislav Yakovlev the Executive Supervisor of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision Young Dancers and Eurovision Young Musicians. Yesterday we talked about Junior Eurovision, the struggles it has had, the effort that is being put into the contest as well as whether the contest is still relevant. If you missed the first part you can read it by clicking here.
In the second part of the interview we discuss Vladislav’s other contest’s Eurovision Young Dancers and Young Musicians and the challenges and differences in running those events. Here is what he had to say:
Now looking back, we note that you have also been in charge of Eurovision Young Dancers and Eurovision Young Musicians before taking on Junior Eurovision. Could you explain how these two contests fit in with the rest of the Eurovision projects?
I am still in charge of those contests and keep on assessing their formats too. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to supervise three Eurovision events at the same time – it gives me a vast field for lots of experiments and testing different TV elements, most of which have now stayed in the format permanently. It also provides possibilities to cross-promote the Eurovision events and their participants.
Young Dancers was brought back in 2011 after a six-year break. You were put in charge of that contest; what was it like bringing a contest back after such a length of time?
A disaster! Countries were hardly interested in joining the event after the last unsuccessful edition in 2005. The six-year period was not a long-enough time for them to forget about it. So, after long negotiations and discussion, we managed to get ten countries on board by a miracle – the required minimum for the format.
Young Dancers is a contest that has had ten countries in it each year, but it is not broadcast live in all of those countries. Is the scale of the contest something that makes it easier for a host broadcaster to organise such as the case of Junior Eurovision?
Well, I always encourage members to broadcast it live, and in 2013 we had more countries doing that than ever. However, we are more flexible with Young Dancers and Young Musicians as we don’t have any televoting involved, just a professional jury vote.
For those who don’t know, the Young Dancers contest was hosted in Poland by TVP in 2013. Do you think that TVP hosting Young Dancers made them take a look at Eurovision again, convincing them that returning was a good idea?
Definitely! TVP did a fantastic job producing the event, and our Steering Group and I were very impressed. Obviously, that gave them an opportunity return to the Eurovision family and we also hope to get them to back to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest too.
There are things that Young Dancers did in 2013 that I noticed had made their way over to Junior Eurovision such as the livestream commentary. Are there things between these formats that can be learnt from one another and used in them?
Yes, we had an idea of not just broadcasting the show for our online viewers, but using the technology to explain what it is all about. Therefore, we invited an EYD 2011 participant from Croatia, Grigor Bazdar, to give his professional input on each performance together with our editor-in-chief Luke Fisher. It was well done – not perfect – but definitely gave us the possibility to improve certain elements for the next events.
Young Musicians is a contest that many people will have never come across before. It’s taking place this May a couple of weeks after Eurovision. For someone who has never seen it before, how would you explain it?
It was a well-known event in the classical music field. Most classical musicians are aware of this contest. However, my aim was to bring it to the youth audience who are not professional musicians but like classical music. The show was established in 1982 and the format had changed over that time. Therefore, it seemed appropriate to implement another set of changes (like genre, common performance, cross-promotion etc), which was approved by the Eurovision Young Musicians Steering Group – and you’ll see these new elements in Cologne on 31 May 2014.
Young Dancers and Young Musicians are not on the same scale as Eurovision or Junior Eurovision, are there any plans to grow these contest in scale with more countries taking part?
With the both new formats we have now, I don’t think we’re aiming for a vast participation. Both formats allow a maximum of 14 countries and it is definitely the limit in order to deliver a nice entertainment programme for youth. And we don’t need to search for the countries any more, they are very willing to join: we even have waiting lists.
Tomorrow we will bring you the third and final part of our interview in which we discuss the perks and challenges of being an Executive Supervisor, as well as what he feels is his greatest achievement so far.