MALMO, SWEDEN (MAY 12, 2013) (EBU AND SVT) - Eurovision song contest, (ESC) hopefuls have been arriving from 38 different European countries with the express intention of taking the prize home along with the responsiblity of hosting the 2014 event.
First on the red carpet was last year's winner Loreen who arrived together with theMalmo event's producer, Christer Bjorkman and presenter Petra Mede.
Loreen explained how proud she was to have brought the extravaganza back to her country, "I haven't been this nervous since Baku, really, and I've been on a lot of stages after Baku. This is actually very personel."
The artists then followed in what was meant to be alphabetical order, starting withAlbania's Adrian and Bledar, followed by Finnland's, Krista Siegfrids in a wedding dress and Ukraine's Zlata and her giant Igor completed the procession.
One of the favourites to win this year is Norway's contestant, Margret Berger who had this to say to the cameras, "It's been wonderful, just look at this, it's just... I've never experienced anything like this before."
This years Sweedish entry is Robin Sjernberg who, with a history of tough home nation acts to follow said, "Yeah, I'm allowed to win. I think we have a chance, but there are so many good contestants this year. So you never know but we're going to do all we can and just have fun all the way."
Others to arrive were Iceland's, Eypor Ingi Gunnlaugsson, French entry, Amandine Bourgeois, Bulgaria's Elitsa and Stoyan and Finland's Krista Siegfrids who seemed desperate to find a husband, "Who's going to marry me?! I don't know. I wrote the song for my boy friend but he hasn't proposed yet so I think i'm going to marry someone in Malmo before i leave.", she exclaimed.
The only artist, from the 39 countries competing, who could not take part in the reception was Anouk from the Netherlands who sprained a muscle during a bowling session with her delegation.
There was one character from the Eurovision cast who was, however, very noticiably in attendance, Igor the giant from Ukraine who is due to carry on the nation's star, Zlata, "This experience has been amazing, overwhelming, just pure joy. I never expected to be walking down the red carpet at an event such as this.", the big man boomed.
The competition's two semi-finals will be held on May 14 and 16 and the final will take place at the Malmo Arena on Saturday May 18.