Eurovision Song Contest Officially Open in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- The official opening ceremony of the 50th Eurovision-2005 Song Contest took place on Monday in downtown Kiev in front of Marinsky Palace, Ukrainian media reported.

The contest semi-final will take place on May 19 in the Palace of Sports, where about 40 young performers from all over Europe will sing for 100 million TV viewers. The finalists and a winner will become known on May 21.



The Ukrainian capital that won the right to host this year’s contest after the rising star Ruslana with her song Wild Dances won against 36 rivals in Istanbul, has been “dressed” in orange again to show the guests of the city what the recent revolution was like.

A private company is inviting the tourists to sleep in the same military tents that were used by supporters of the Ukrainian opposition during the days of the contest. The camping area is also decorated with authentic revolutionary banners and other memorabilia.

This year the country is represented at the Eurovision by a group called Grindzholy, the performers of the unofficial anthem of the Orange Revolution. Ruslana, together with the famous boxer Vladimir Klichko, will host the show.

Russia’s representative is Belarusian citizen Natalya Podolskaya, a participant in the Russian version of the Pop Idol reality show.

In past years the Eurovision contest was regarded as a platform where dozens of singers tried to launch a career. It made stars from Celine Dion who won for Switzerland and Abba for Sweden in 1970s. But critics say that the format no longer works, adding that this year many performers will try to copy last year’s winner, Ruslana.

Source: MosNews

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