- Title: GERMANY: Eurovision fever grips Germany
- Date: 9th May 2011
- Summary: ***CONTAINS STOBE LIGHTING*** VARIOUS OF PEOPLE DANCING
- Embargoed: 24th May 2011 01:45
- Location: Germany, Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA8247BHSNMLHDTPL9A0NS4GJ1G
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: There is just one week to go before the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final on May 14. As many as 43 nations will be represented in Dusseldorf, this year's host city after Germany won last year's song contest.
The mayor of the western German city, Dirk Elbers, put on a big show to welcome the singers and laid out a red carpet at the concert hall donned with each participants' national colours.
"Duesseldorf has been looking forward to hosting Eurovision 2011 for months. Duesseldorf's heart beats for our guests," he told the thousands of guests and delegates.
The reception was meant as an ice-breaker for the competitors who will be vying for the top slot next Saturday in front of an estimated world audience of 100 million viewers.
Rehearsals have already begun. Tuesday May 10 is the first of two semi finals with the second one following 2 days later.
"Everything is great. I feel excellent. We have had two rehearsals both were very good and I can hardly wait to get onto the stage," said Bosnia's hopeful, Dino Merlin.
"I'm going to enjoy it. I think it's going to be great. Sound is perfect, the arena is nice, the stage is beautiful," one of the singers from the Slovakian group TWiiNS told Reuters TV.
The first rehearsal mark the start of intense speculation about which entry could become a winner.
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