Countdown to 2017 Eurovision Song Contest final | Music | DW | 13.05.2017
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Countdown to 2017 Eurovision Song Contest final

The countdown is on for the candidates in the Eurovision Song Contest in the lead-up to Saturday's final. How do they feel? All agree that after the ESC, nothing will be the same.

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Levina - exclusive performance for PopXport

The mood in the Ukranian capital couldn't be more upbeat. Happy to host an event like this, the city has been preparing for the ESC for months. For fans unable to get tickets, a huge "Eurovision Village" has been set up in the city center close to the famous Maidan Square with live music, transmissions from the finals in the Kyiv Exhibition Center, entertainment, eating and drinking.

Visitors access the Eurovision Village after passing security, and police cars are everywhere. The city, and the central venue of the contest, feel safe.

The participants in the final rounds have been assembled in Kyiv for the past week, constantly pursued by cameras and microphones. It's the culmination of months of preparation. Most of the national candidates and their songs were selected in the winter, and everything in the meantime has been a build up to the final.

'Top Five would be amazing!'

With the complete program run through in an endless chain of fully staged rehearsals, nothing is left to chance. Always being at their best puts a strain on the contestants, some of them quite young. But for the host country and the "Big Five," the pressure is even greater. Those six participating countries - Ukraine along with Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Great Britain – have only one performance before a live audience, on May 13.

Levina at the final press conference in Kyiv (DW/S. Wünsch)

Levina is looking forward to the final

That's the moment Germany's candidate Levina is focused on, glad to finally be a part of the action on Saturday evening. "During the semifinals I was just as nervous as the others, thinking that they had to go through this twice," said Levina at the final press conference of the Big Five the day before the final. She continued, with a major slip of the tongue, saying, "I'm happy to be in the Top Five." To the amused audience, she quickly added, "Of course, being in the Top Five would be amazing."

After Saturday, life goes on

Although Levina hasn't officially performed yet, her pre-contest ranking has been on the rise, with betting agencies currently placing her at No. 17. Avoiding the pressure of thinking about that, the 26-year-old prefers to concentrate on her performance of "Perfect Life." After a solid performance at the dress rehearsal, Levina somewhat hesitantly said she believes that after two years of dismal last-place finishes, the song could bring about a "rebirth" of Germany's ESC fortunes, if only because of its message: "It's a nice, positive song that can motivate people, and with it, I can spread a lot of positive vibes."

A host on DW's music magazine PopXport since April, Levina performed her song during her first appearance on the show. 

All in all, it's a strong crop of talent this year, after the more nondescript entries were eliminated in the semifinals.  

ESC live on Deutsche Welle

DW users can watch the spectacle live on DW-TV on Saturday, with the complete final live-streamed on DW online.

Viewers can also vote for their favorites. Here is the link to the telephone numbers for individual countries and candidates.

Broadcast times of DW's live stream:

DW (German)

Saturday, May 13, 2017: 7:00 – 11:00 UTC

New Delhi UTC +5,5 hours | Bangkok UTC +7 | Hongkong UTC +8


DW (Deutsch+)

Saturday, May 13, 2017: 7:00 – 11:00 UTC

Vancouver UTC -7 hours | New York UTC -4 | Sao Paulo UTC -3

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