- Title: Eurovision Song Contest participants hit the red carpet in Kiev
- Date: 7th May 2017
- Summary: CAMERAMAN AND PHOTOGRAPHER (SOUNDBITE) (English) MONTENEGRO ENTRANT, SLAVKO KALEZIC, SAYING: "(2014 Eurovision Song Contest winner) Conchita (Wurst) is really in love with everything I did for Eurovision, so it is a big compliment, you know. We brought art to Eurovision and that's the big deal for everything, because like this year's Eurovision theme is 'Celebrate Diversity', I think I prepared... There is a big difference between Conchita and me, but I am a professional actor - this is my character." MONTENEGRO TEAM ON THE RED CARPET (SOUNDBITE) (English) ITALY ENTRANT, FRANCESCO GABBANI, SAYING: "I don't know, because of 'Occidentali's Karma' maybe is a good song. I give all my spontaneous way to dance and sing, maybe with my smile (REPORTERS SAYS 'OR MOUSTACHE?) or moustache, dancing moustache." (GABBANI MOVES HIS MOUSTACHE) VALENTINA MONETTA FROM SAN MARINO WALKING HOLDING FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (English) FRONTWOMAN OF LATVIA ENTRANT BAND 'TRIANA PARK', AGNESE RAKOVSKA, SAYING: "Everything is so great, everything is well-prepared, the team is amazing. The Eurovision people are doing the best they can. And I think it's gonna be an amazing show in the first semi-finals, so just watch the show and have the best time, it's gonna be spectacular." NETHERLANDS ENTRANT BAND 'OG3NE' MEMBERS POSING FOR CAMERAS AND WALKING AWAY VARIOUS OF MAN IN EMBROIDERED SHIRT ON RED CARPET (SOUNDBITE) (English) NETHERLANDS ENTRANT BAND 'OG3NE', SHELLEY VOL, SAYING: "Yeah, it's really cool, especially because of what you said - we are sisters. We can share that moment only with each other, so I wouldn't want to do it on my own or with someone else. It's really special. "
- 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: LVA0026FUBVWT
- 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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