Eric Saade from Sweden performs his song Popular as the eighth entry in the Second Semi-Final tonight. The experience of the Eurovision Song Contest this far has been good to the young performer.
"It's fun, this is a perfect way for me to embark on an international career. It's even bigger and more chaotic than I thought," he tells Eurovision.tv.
Reveals personal top five
Eric Saade followed the First Semi-Final on Tuesday closely.
"I thought it was a good Semi-Final. There were a lot of surprises, I felt that Norway was an obvious qualifier, for example. This shows that anything can happen, we shouldn't think too much about the result," he says.
Like most artists, he hasn't had much time to socialise with the other contestants, because of the hard work they are all doing. But he has listened to most songs by now, and he is free with giving out his opinions, revealing his personal top five.
"Some of my favourites are Germany, Norway, France and United Kingdom. With Sweden added, these songs could have been a proper top five in the Final."
After some retakes, the special effect of the glass wall finally worked for Sweden in Düsseldorf. Photo: Alain Douit (EBU)
Glass cage subordinate
Eric believes that the special effect with the glass breaking in the performance is subordinate to the performance and the song. When it caused troubles in the rehearsals in Düsseldorf, he considered removing it from the act all together. But since this is sorted out by now, he will be using it in the Semi-Final.
"I don't put much focus on the glass cage, I leave it to the special effects people to take care of it. It's a big deal to people since it's a cool effect, and that's a compliment to us," he says.
Swedish journalists in particular have put much focus on the effect of the breaking glass. International journalists, meeting him en masse in Düsseldorf, have been more varied in the questions.
"They ask about everything conceivable. My predictions, opinions about other artists, my stage act..."
Wants to go into the tunnel
Before going on stage, Eric has his special way to go into the right mood. He is jumping and screaming backstage. But he also has to be quiet.
"People in my team have to allow me time to be alone and focus without stress. Otherwise, I will go crazy. This is such a big act, and you have to get into the box properly to do it. If I haven't got time to get into the box, I risk that the performance will suffer."
Eric describes his performance mood as a tunnel. This is where he wants to go tonight.
"You get a tunnel vision. You can't see or hear anything. People can talk around you and you won't hear them. You're only focused on what to do," he says.