- Title: Eurovision Song Contest participants hit the red carpet in Kiev
- Date: 7th May 2017
- Summary: VARIOUS OF GEORGIA ENTRANT, TAMARA GACHECHILADZE, POSING FOR PICTURES WITH HER TEAM
- Embargoed: 21st May 2017 21:36
- Keywords: opening red carpet ceremony Ukraine Kiev Eurovision Song Contest
- Location: KIEV, UKRAINE
- City: KIEV, UKRAINE
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA0056FUBVWT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A ceremony marking the official opening of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest was held in the Ukraine capital on Sunday (May 7).
Entrants from participating countries showed off their singing skills and fashion style on the red carpet.
Slavko Kalezic representing Montenegro sported a long, thick braid on the red carpet. The 31-year old actor and singer said talents like the 2014 Eurovision winner from Austria, Conchita Wurst, and himself had brought art to the singing competition.
Italy's Francesco Gabbani, who is placed among the top three favourites to win the competition by bookmakers' predictions, said he was focusing on his performance. The singer added he hoped his spontaneity and perhaps his moustache would propel him to victory.
The youngest participant at this years competition is Kristian Kostov who is representing Bulgaria. The 17-year old talent told Reuters he thought his age would give him a leg up on the competition.
"I have more energy than the others for sure," he said.
Festivities for this year's Eurovision competition are shadowed by a dispute between Ukraine and Russia, after Ukraine barred Russia's entrant to the contest because she had performed in Crimea after it was annexed by Russia in 2014.
Russia vowed to boycott the competition, saying Ukraine's move had tarnished the event. Ukraine hit back by saying that Moscow had deliberately tried to provoke Ukraine.
Russia's proposed entry, Yulia Samoylova, is due to perform in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Tuesday (May 9), coinciding with the first semi-final of Eurovision.
Ukraine expects about 12,000-14,000 spectators to attend the competition next week with millions more watching on television. It will be the second time that Kiev hosts the event.
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